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WoO Late Model Wrap Up Delaware /Hagerstown Doubleheader

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World of Outlaws Late Model Series News & Notes: Wrapping Up The Delaware International Speedway/Hagerstown Speedway Doubleheader


CONCORD, NC - May 17, 2010 -


OPPOSITE FATES: Josh Richards was perfect. Tim McCreadie was snakebit.


And as a result, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship battle took a dramatic turn during the national tour's East Coast doubleheader.


McCreadie entered the swing to Delaware International Speedway (May 13) and Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway (May 15) leading the WoO LMS standings by 10 points over Richards, but by the time everyone headed home after Saturday night's action the two former champions were no longer in a neck-and-neck battle for the top spot. Richards won both 50-lappers while McCreadie absorbed a pair of disastrous DNFs, leaving Richards atop the standings by 56 points over Darrell Lanigan and 70 over McCreadie.


After flashing virtually mirror-image consistency over the season's first 12 events, Richards and McCreadie saw their fates go in different directions last weekend. Richards was almost shocked to end the weekend as the first driver to lead the WoO LMS standings by greater than 50 points since Lanigan capped his 2008 championship season with a record 160-point margin.


"McCreadie didn't have a very good weekend, but it could happen to any of us," said the 22-year-old Richards, who leads all drivers with four wins (no one else has won more than once), 10 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 14 A-Mains contested to date this season. "We're just trying to enjoy this and win as many races as we can. We're off to a great start this year, but our luck can change in a heartbeat."


Just ask McCreadie. The 36-year-old from Watertown, N.Y., was searching for answers after running into trouble while in contention for at least a top-five finish in both events.


McCreadie's troubles began on lap 23 of the 'First State 50' at Delaware International when he slowed with a cut right-rear tire while running fifth. He returned after a pit stop and raced back to 10th place before a broken jackshaft eliminated him on lap 43, forcing him to settle for a 16th-place finish.


Things got worse at Hagerstown for McCreadie, who was holding sixth place on lap 20 of the 'Conococheague 50' when he pulled to the inside of the homestretch to bring out a caution flag. He quickly crawled out of his cockpit and hopped around in obvious pain; hot fluid from a cut oil line had been spraying on his right leg for several laps before he finally had to abandon ship. McCreadie reported afterward that he escaped the incident virtually unscathed, noting that his skin didn't even blister from the heat of the oil.


"We broke a jackshaft and cut an oil line in back-to-back races – that's just plain bad luck," said McCreadie, who was credited with a 24th-place finish at Hagerstown. "It's gonna be hard to make up all the points we lost this weekend, especially with the way Josh is running. But we can't worry about it. There's still a long way to go – and anyway, I just want to get running better so we can win some races."


VACATION DAY: The off-day between the Delaware International and Hagerstown events once again provided many WoO LMS travelers an opportunity to hit the beach for an afternoon of fun in the sun.


The Outlaw teams of Steve Francis, Chub Frank, Clint Smith, Tim Fuller, Rick Eckert, Brady Smith, Shane Clanton, Russell King and Jill George all invaded the nearby seaside resort of Ocean City, Md., on Friday. Ocean temperatures were still too low for any swimming, but the series regulars enjoyed warm weather, cold drinks at the Purple Moose Saloon and other establishments, volleyball on the beach, the boardwalk and other shore staples.


GIRLS GALORE: Delaware International's 40-car field included three machines driven by females – WoO LMS Rookie of the Year candidate Jill George of Cedar Falls, Iowa, as well as DIS regulars Staci Warrington of Milton, Del., and Amanda Whaley of Millsboro, Del.


Whaley, a 15-year-old dirt Late Model rookie about to complete her freshman year of high school, made the biggest impression. The daughter of former DIS dirt Late Model regular Rick Whaley, Amanda became the third female driver in the history of the WoO LMS to start an A-Main, qualifying through a B-Main in what was her first-ever Outlaw appearance and just the fifth Super Late Model start of her burgeoning career.


"I want to race in the World of Outlaws someday," said Whaley, who completed 33 laps to record a 19th-place finish in the 'First State 50.' "That's what I want to do. That's my goal."


The 19-year-old Warrington, meanwhile, shined early in the night, registering the ninth-fastest lap in time trials. But she missed transferring through the first B-Main by two spots.


If Warrington had qualified for the A-Main, it would have marked the first time that three female drivers competed in the same WoO LMS feature. George gained entry to Delaware's 50-lapper thanks to a provisional and finished 23rd, retiring on lap 13 after her new Rocket car sustained damage when she was clipped under caution by Ricky Elliott, who had stopped in turn four to bring out a caution and did not realize that George was passing by when he gunned his car around to head to the pits.


BUSY DAY: WoO LMS rookie Austin Hubbard's visit to Delaware International – the track closest to his home in Seaford, Del. – had him in the spotlight before he even arrived at the half-mile oval.


Hubbard, 18, spent two hours early in the afternoon at the Seaford heardquarters of his longtime sponsor Trinity Transport, meeting many of the trucking company's 100-plus employees and posing alongside his Beitler Motorsports No. 19 for pictures. A special 'Hubbard Homecoming' t-shirt was also produced for the occasion.


While Hubbard's evening at DIS appeared to be headed toward disappointment when he struggled in his heat race, he rallied from the 19th starting spot to finish fourth in the A-Main. It was his sixth top-five finish of 2010; only former series champions Richards, McCreadie, Lanigan and Steve Francis currently match or exceed Hubbard's total.


QUICK ON THE CLOCK: Rick Eckert had no peer in Ohlins Shock Time Trials during the doubleheader as he set fast time at both tracks, including a New Track Record effort (18.096 seconds) at Hagerstown.


But Eckert's early-evening speed didn't translate into success in the A-Mains. He finished a quiet sixth at Delaware International after running in the top five for most of the distance, and a broken rearend ended his night at Hagerstown on lap 39 as he ran fifth.


Eckert raced with a heavy heart on Saturday after the passing of his paternal grandfather, who died on Friday at the age of 99.


SOLID RUN: Nick Dickson knew he had no reason to hang his head after finishing a WoO LMS career-best fifth in the 'Conococheague 50' at Hagerstown, but he couldn't help feeling just a tinge of disappointment. After all, the 29-year-old from Lewistown, Pa., spent most of the distance running in third place – and on a lap-39 restart, he even slid around the outside of Steve Francis to momentarily move to second place and get visions of an upset victory dancing in his dreams.


Alas, Dickson settled for fifth in his father's Rocket car after being overtaken on the final lap by Jason Covert. The move earned Covert, who started 11th in Barry Klinedinst's Rocket, the $500 WoO LMS 'Bonus Bucks' cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn't won a tour A-Main and isn't among the top 12 in the points standings.


"It was a little blow to my esteem when Covert drove by me on the last lap," said the personable Dickson, whose car was shod with America Racer tires. "I would've loved to have been the first 'local' guy across the line, but Covert is a real good, hard racer and he always runs good in these Outlaw shows.


"Really, though, it was awesome to race near the front with a bunch of professionals. I was giving it everything I had."


NEXT UP: The WoO LMS is off until Memorial Day weekend when the tour visits Bedford (Pa.) Speedway on Fri., May 28, and West Virginia Motor Speedway on May 29-30. Bedford will host a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win event, while WVMS's 'RaceFest' weekend includes an $8,000-to-win program on Sat., May 29, and a $10,000-to-win show on Sun., May 30.


For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.

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