BARDSTOWN, Ky. — The early-season beat rolled on for Darrell Lanigan Saturday night at Bluegrass Speedway.
Racing at a half-mile oval just two hours from his home, Lanigan completed a sweep of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series’s weekend doubleheader with a victory in the caution-free 50-lap My Old Kentucky Old Home Shootout.
Lanigan, 40, led the entire distance of the ninth annual event after starting from the pole position in his GottaRace.com Rocket car. He repelled challenges from two-time defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards and Scott James to earn his tour-leading fourth win in six starts this season.
“It’s good to come back here to Kentucky and win one,” said Lanigan, who captured the inaugural My Old Kentucky Home Shootout’ at Bluegrass in 2003. “We didn’t qualify very well (30th after timing late in the session), but we ran a good heat race (finishing second) and then drew the number one (for the feature). That definitely helped, but like I’ve said – the car’s been good all year, and we’re just doing everything we can to win every race and get back in the points.”
Lanigan, who missed the WoO LMS season opener on Feb. 17 at Volusia Speedway Park due to a medical issue and finished 15th in his first tour outing of 2011 two days later, hasn’t finished outside the top three since leaving the Florida track. He has climbed all the way back to fourth in the points standings and, with Saturday’s $10,775 score, has already topped $60,000 in earnings.
Coming off a spectacular charge to victory using the outside lane on Friday night at Hartford (Mich.) Motor Speedway, Lanigan utilized a more methodical approach at Bluegrass. He had to calmly hold his line and avoid catching lapped cars throughout a race that was completed without interruption in just over 14 minutes.
Lanigan crossed the finish line 0.479 of a second ahead of James, who slipped underneath Richards for the runner-up spot on lap 37 and marched on to a career-best performance on the WoO LMS driving the Riggs Motorsports Rocket.
The 23-year-old Richards settled for a close third-place finish in the Rocket house car, veteran Mike Jewell was fourth in a self-owned MasterSbilt mount and 19-year-old sensation Austin Hubbard placed fifth in Dale Beitler’s Rocket machine.
Darrell Lanigan, Scott James, Josh Richards, Mike Jewell, Austin Hubbard, Kent Robinson, Rick Eckert, Chub Frank, Tim Rivers, Brady Smith, Clint Smith, Jason Feger, Victor Lee, Tim McCreadie, Shane Clanton, Greg Johnson, Vic Coffey, Pat Doar, Jonathan Davenport, Terry English, Dustin Neat, Justin Rattliff, Ron Davies, Tim Tungate, Tim Fuller, Brent Robinson.