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World of Outlaws Late Model Series News & Notes: Previewing The Lowes Foods World of Outlaws World Finals At The Dirt Track At Charlotte

 

CONCORD, NC - Nov. 3, 2010 -

 

BUSY RACERS: This weekend’s Lowes Foods World of Outlaws World Finals Presented by Bimbo Bakeries and Tom’s Snacks at The Dirt Track at Charlotte will for the first time bring together the World of Outlaws Late Model and Sprint Car Series with the Northeast’s Super DIRTcar Series big-block Modifieds in an epic tripleheader.

 

And the addition of the popular big-block Modifieds will mean double-duty for at least four New York drivers.

 

WoO LMS stars Tim McCreadie and Tim Fuller as well as Super DIRTcar Series regulars Billy Decker and Larry Wight have plans to compete in both the Late Model and big-block Modified action during the Lowes Foods World Finals, which kick off on Thursday night (Nov. 4) with two rounds of time trials for the Late Models and Sprint Cars and two sets of heats for the big-blocks. The programs on Friday (Nov. 5) and Saturday (Nov. 6) will feature 50-lap A-Mains for the Late Models, 40-lappers for the Modifieds and 30-lap contests for the Sprints.

 

McCreadie, 36, and Fuller, who turned 43 on Oct. 28, are returning to their big-block Modified roots at The Dirt Track. Both will drive their familiar Late Models in the full-fender action – McCreadie will run the Sweeteners Plus No. 39 and Fuller will go to the post in the Gypsum Express No. 19 – and steer big-block Mods for Empire State-based teams that they hook up with for selected events that fit their schedules. McCreadie’s Modified ride is the Vinnie Salerno-owned Four Star Racing mount – a machine he drove to a $20,000 victory on Oct. 24 in the unsanctioned Eastern States 200 at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N.Y. – and Fuller will campaign the J&S Racing No. 74.

 

While McCreadie and Fuller have never won a WoO LMS event at Charlotte, both reached Victory Lane there in Super DIRTcar Series shows during their big-block Modified careers. McCreadie was triumphant on April 6, 2002, and Fuller hit paydirt on May 25, 2005.

 

McCreadie is certainly knocking on the door to the winner’s circle at The Dirt Track in WoO LMS competition, however, having finished second in his last two starts – last year’s World Finals finale and last month’s Showdown event. His runner-up outing at the 2009 World Finals followed a dismal 27th-place finish in the opener and runs of fourth and 11th in the 2008 doubleheader (he didn’t enter the 2007 edition).

 

Fuller, meanwhile, has only a single memorable run at the World Finals – a third-place finish from deep in the field in the finale of the 2007 twinbill. He failed to qualify for the first A-Main in 2007 and then scored finishes of 14th and 15th in 2008 and 17th and 13th in 2009.

 

Decker, a DIRTcar big-block Modified superstar who turns 46 on Nov. 21, and the 17-year-old Wight will focus their attention on big-block Modified racing this weekend but also continue their dirt Late Model moonlighting. The two drivers – teammates of Fuller’s on the Gypsum Express operation, which is fielded by Wight’s father John – have been entering selected full-fender events in recent years.

 

Decker, who has never won a Super DIRTcar Series feature at The Dirt Track, is coming off a third-place finish in the dirt Late Model portion of last weekend’s Octoberfest 350 at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway. Wight, who won a B-Main before finishing 19th in the Octoberfest dirt Late Model event, will make his first-ever start at Charlotte.

 

THE SCENARIO: Josh Richards can assure himself of a second consecutive WoO LMS championship one way this weekend – by finishing in the top five in both 50-lap A-Mains.

 

The 22-year-old sensation leads the points standings entering the Lowes Foods World Finals by 22 points over 2008 titlist Darrell Lanigan. He can’t be overtaken for the $100,000 crown if he finishes at least fifth in the features.

 

McCreadie remains mathematically alive for the championship, sitting third in the standings, 94 points behind Richards. But his hopes wrest on both Richards and Lanigan experiencing disastrous weekends – ie., back-to-back finishes of 24th or worse.

 

Is that possible? Well, nothing can be taken for granted at The Dirt Track, but the odds are against it considering both Richards and Lanigan have finished every WoO LMS A-Main this season on the lead lap except the USA Nationals at Wisconsin’s Cedar Lake Speedway, an event that offered only show-up points.

 

Richards has a formidable performance record in the World Finals, finishing outside the top 10 just once in six A-Main starts. He finished fifth and 11th in 2007; 10th and first in 2008; and fifth and seventh in 2009.

 

Lanigan has been quiet but steady in the World Finals, rolling up finishes of 11th and fifth in 2007; 11th and seventh in 2008; and a pair of fourths in 2009.

 

COMING BACK: Chub Frank didn’t compete in last year’s World Finals doubleheader – thanks, of course, to the fractured cheek and orbital bones he suffered on the eve of the event when an apparent clod of hard-packed clay struck him in the helmet during qualifying for the rescheduled Topless Showdown.

 

The 48-year-old driver from Bear Lake, Pa., is fully healed and hoping to erase his bad memories of The Dirt Track this weekend. His previous World Finals finishes include a 14th and 24th in 2007 and a 12th and sixth in 2008.

 

WILL HE ROLL ON?: Since late September Shane Clanton has been on a hot streak, accumulating one win, four runner-up finishes and a third in seven starts at seven different tracks in six states.

 

But Clanton’s one hiccup came on Oct. 13 in the Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. He finished 10th after qualifying problems forced him to use a provisional and start 26th.

 

Can the Georgia driver keep his successful stretch going in the World Finals? He’ll have to buck his history in the event; he’s been a contender in past visits but doesn’t have the results to show for it. He finished 10th and ninth in 2007; 25th and 18th in 2008; and 11th and 16th in 2009.

 

OUTLAWS AT THE WORLD FINALS: Other WoO LMS regulars and their World Finals finishing histories include:

 

* Steve Francis: fourth and second in 2007; 28th and fifth in 2008; ninth and 12th in 2009.

 

* Rick Eckert: sixth and 12th in 2007; 17th and 12th in 2008; third and eighth in 2009.

 

* Clint Smith: 26th and 23rd in 2007; 23rd and 17th in 2008; 13th and sixth in 2009.

 

* Austin Hubbard (2010 Rookie of the Year): entered the 2007, 2008 and 2009 programs but did not qualify for an A-Main.

 

* Russell King: 18th and 20th in 2009.

 

* Jill George: entered the event in 2008 but did not qualify for an A-Main.

 

WINNERS: No driver has enjoyed more success in the Lowes Foods World Finals than Scott Bloomquist, who has won the opening-night 50-lapper all three years of the event’s existence. He craves a Saturday-night triumph in front of the SPEED television cameras, however, and will return this weekend to take another crack at it.

 

Joining Bloomquist and Richards as World Finals A-Main winners are Donnie Moran (2007 finale) and Jimmy Owens (2009 finale). Moran and Owens are expected to be contenders again this weekend.

 

CARS, CARS, CARS: The Lowes Foods World Finals dirt Late Model field has averaged 80 cars in its three-year run – a record 82 in 2007, 78 in 2008 and 80 in 2009. Another huge turnout is expected to pack The Dirt Track’s pit area this weekend.

 

NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: The Lowes Foods World Finals program on Saturday night (Nov. 6) will once again be broadcast live on the SPEED cable network – this year as a four-hour spectacle beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

 

The show – the first World of Outlaws race broadcast in high definition – will see popular SPEED personality Dave Despain serve as host for the fourth consecutive year. The broadcast team also includes Bobby Gerould and hall-of-famer Brad Doty calling the Sprint Car action; Shane Andrews and Dr. Dick Berggren covering the Late Models and big-blocks; and Sarah Jane Hunt and Tony Bokhoven providing reports from the pits.

 

EARLIER START: The Dirt Track at Charlotte officials announced on Tuesday a change in the schedule for the Lowes Foods World Finals, moving gate openings and hot laps up one hour ahead of their originally scheduled times on Friday and Saturday.

 

Spectator gates will open at 3 p.m. and practice laps will begin at 4 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, with racing to immediately follow. On Thursday, meanwhile, gates will open at the originally scheduled time of 4 p.m., but hot laps will be moved up one hour to get the green flag at 5 p.m.

 

Questions about the schedule change can be directed to the Charlotte Motor Speedway events department at 704-455-3205.

 

TICKET INFO: With fans from 48 different states, all across Canada and even overseas (Australia, Great Britain, etc.) already purchasing tickets for the Lowes Foods World Finals, only a few three-day ticket packages remain. Thursday tickets start at only $20, while kids 12 and under get in for $10. Friday and Saturday adult single-day tickets start at only $39, while children 12 and under get in for $15.

 

Call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) to order tickets or go online to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

 

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

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