Fuller, 45, looked intent on erasing the bitter memory of his last-turn loss to Richards in Saturday night’s A-Main, but his bid ended in disappointing fashion when he slowed with a cut right-rear tire on lap 41 to bring out a caution flag. He pitted and returned but could only manage a 10th -place finish.
“Fuller had a good line out there on the outside,” said Lanigan, who pushed his WoO LMS record career win total to 45. “But I knew we was a lot softer (on tire-compound selection) so I was just trying to conserve our tires.
“We was reeling him in (after reaching second). Whether or not we would’ve passed him or not, I don’t know. But he definitely had a good car.”
Richards, who started from the pole position in his father Mark’s Rocket Chassis house car but didn’t lead a single lap, immediately took up the chase of Lanigan following the lap-41 restart. The 25-year-old sensation was able to nose under Lanigan’s car several times, but Lanigan’s smooth style prevented Richards from pulling off more heroics to sweep the Jackpot 100 by NAPA doubleheader.
“I really didn’t know he was back there,” Lanigan said of Richards. “You can’t really get any signals out there (from crewmen), but the car was good and we just ran our own line out there.”
Richards credited Lanigan for his savvy maneuvering, but he felt he might have allowed the race to slip through his fingers.
“I think we were better than he was, and I was just kind of riding for a little bit trying to make something happen,” said Richards, who pushed his WoO LMS points lead to 48 markers over Clanton. “But he did what he had to do and used the track. Once I found my sweet spot and ran a little bit wider I could run up over top of him, but there just wasn’t anywhere to go.
“I’m kind of mad at myself that we didn’t try a little harder (to pass Lanigan). Actually, I thought we had more laps left. It just kind of shocked me when I saw the white (flag).”
Darrell Lanigan, Josh Richards, Bub McCool, Davey Johnson, Shane Clanton, Rick Eckert, Morgan Bagley, Scott James, Clint Smith, Tim Fuller, Eric Wells, Chub Frank, Chris Garnes, Donnie Moran, Jared Hawkins, Steve Weigle, Devin Moran, Tim McCreadie, Derek Doll, Mike Benedum, Rick Williams, Butch McGill, Corey Conley, Gregg Satterlee, Mason Zeigler.