John Blankenship Rules The World 100


Lanigan, 43, wrestled second place from Phillips on lap 77 and managed to cut Blankenship’s nearly two-second lead in half within 10 circuits. But Blankenship found the rhythm he needed to keep Lanigan from drawing any closer.

“I was really nervous about the whole race,” said Blankenship, whose three previous World 100 A-Main starts resulted in progressively better finishes of 21 st (2009), 11th (’10) and fifth (’11). “I thought they were breathing down my neck the whole time, so I was driving pretty hard and didn’t know how long my stuff was gonna stay under me.

“Evey time I tried to be a little more patient I would get a push and I couldn’t even run down the lapped cars. I decided to just start driving it in like I was when I was trying to catch the leader and actually the car handled a lot better.”

Lanigan had a perfect view of Blankenship’s impeccable mount while chasing the leader late in the distance. Try as he might, the all-time winningest WoO LMS driver couldn’t catch Blankenship.

With the loss, Lanigan surpassed Freddy Smith as the driver who has made the most career World 100 A-Main starts (20) without reaching victory lane. He recorded his second runner-up finish and eighth overall top-five run in the event, but that was little consolation to the hyper-competitive racer.

“It’s just disappointing to come up here and be that close,” said Lanigan, whose previous second-place finish came in 1999. “I already got a couple ideas of what we should’ve done, but it’s too late now. We were just a little bit off.

“(Blankenship) kind of surprised me to be that good down there in the middle. He could run that middle to the bottom. I tried it and felt good there, but he was just a little bit better. I reeled him in and got within six, seven car lengths, but then I couldn’t close up no more.”

Lanigan could only look on from afar – or, more precisely, the post-race inspection area in the pit area – as Blankenship celebrated on the winner’s stage.

“We’ve had an up-and-down season and really slipped the last four or five weeks,” said Blankenship, who briefly led the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points standings in the middle of the summer before falling back. “This is just a really big booster to us.

“You definitely have doubts,” he continued, “especially when you come out here (to Eldora) and can’t even run last in a B-Main — that’s happened before too. It’s just a really competitive sport, and that’s actually why I love it so much. You can be the fastest car one week and the slowest car the next. It makes wins like this even more special.”

The finish:

John Blankenship/100 $46,000

2. (3) Darrell Lanigan/100 $15,000

3. (22) Scott Bloomquist/100 $10,000

4. (2) Bobby Pierce/100 $7,500

5. (20) Josh Richards/100 $6,000

6. (1) Terry Phillips/100 $5,000

7. (8) Earl Pearson Jr./100 $4,000

8. (4) Jonathan Davenport/100 $3,500

9. (16) Jared Landers/100 $3,000

10. (9) Eddie Carrier Jr./100 $2,500

11. (15) Bub McCool/100 $2,475

12. (23) Chris Simpson/100 $2,450

13. (10) Chris Madden/100 $2,425

14. (30) Gregg Satterlee/99 $2,400

15. (27) Brandon Sheppard/98 $2,375

16. (14) Duane Chamberlain/98 $2,350

17. (25) Vic Hill/97 $2,325

18. (5) Brian Shirley/61 $2,300

19. (13) Frankie Heckenast Jr./60 $2,275

20. (11) Jimmy Mars/58 $2,250

21. (19) Jason Feger/49 $2,225

22. (17) Jeff Babcock/48 $2,220

23. (24) Jimmy Owens/43 $2,175

24. (21) Tyler Reddick/41 $2,150

25. (26) Brian Birkhofer/40 $2,125

26. (7) Dale McDowell/39 $2,100

27. (31) Shane Clanton/36 $2,090

28. (6) J.R. Hotovy/32 $2,080

29. (29) Kent Robinson/25 $2,065

30. (32) Jeep VanWormer/21 $2,050

31. (28) Shannon Babb/17 $2,025

32. (18) Jerry Bowersock/15 $2,000