Lanigan Keeps Rolling At Shawano

Darrell Lanigan crosses the finish line to win a Firecracker 100 preliminary event at Lernerville Speedway earlier this year. (Joe Secka/JMS Pro Photo)
Darrell Lanigan crosses the finish line to win Thursday's Firecracker 100 preliminary at Lernerville Speedway. (Joe Secka/JMS Pro Photo)
Darrell Lanigan, seen winning at Lernerville, did the same at Shawano Speedway on Tuesday. (Joe Secka/JMS Pro Photo)

SHAWANO, Wis. – Darrell Lanigan won his third World of Outlaws Late Model Series race at Shawano Speedway in the last four years, earning $10,675 Tuesday for his series-leading 11th victory of the season.

The series points leader took the lead from outside front-row starter Rick Eckert on the 17th lap and led the remainder of the 50-lap Sun Drop Shootout in the first of three series races in Wisconsin.

It was a two-car breakaway most of the race, but Lanigan crept further away from Eckert in the second half of the race and lapped all but nine competitors in the 24-car field.

“When your car’s that good, it’s not too bad,” Lanigan said of the 43-lap stretch of green-flag racing on the half-mile fairgrounds oval. “The car was just phenomenal out there and would go anywhere we wanted to. Like I said, I can’t thank my crew enough — Jason (Jameson), Adam (Logan), Richie (Davis) — they all do a phenomenal job.”

Eckert finished two seconds back at the finish while seventh-starting Jimmy Mars was nearly seven seconds back in third. Tim Fuller and Billy Moyer rounded out the top five finishers on a night when an afternoon shower delayed the beginning of the night’s action.

The 44-year-old Lanigan, who also won at Shawano in 2011 and ’12, led comfortably most of the second half of the race, but Eckert drew closer with about 10 laps remaining when the leader was trying to put Tim McCreadie a lap down.

Eckert drew nearly within striking distance, but once Lanigan cleared McCreadie he cruised the rest of the way for his 64th career WoO victory.

“We had a great race car. That’s the best driving race car I’ve had in a long time. The guys have been working hard,” the 48-year-old Eckert said. “Really, we should’ve beat him. I didn’t get through lapped traffic as quick as I should’ve, so that one’s on me.

“I thank all the fans for coming out and sitting through this rain. I knew that was a pain in the neck for everybody, but it turned out to be a great race, so you got your money’s worth.”

Mars picked his way up to the third spot, improving four positions, but he never caught the frontrunners as the laps clicked off.

Mars will make another home-state run with the World of Outlaws regulars starting Thursday at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., for three nights of action capped by a $50,000 payday. Lanigan will be among drivers gunning for his first visit to victory lane in USA Nationals action.

“We’ve definitely been good up there in the past, so I can’t wait to get up there,” Lanigan said. “All the Club 29 Cars have been doing awesome this year, so I can’t wait until we get up there to see if we can take the money, too.”

The finish:

Darrell Lanigan, Rick Eckert, Jimmy Mars, Tim Fuller, Billy Moyer ,Wendell Wallace,  Mason Zeigler, Chub Frank, Billy Moyer Jr., Dennis Erb Jr., Eric Wells, Tim McCreadie, Frank Heckenast Jr.,  Gregg Satterlee, Shane Clanton, Morgan Bagley, Clint Smith, Boom Briggs, Chase Junghans, Brady Smith,  Brett Swedberg, Todd Frank, Jason Feger, Jonathan Davenport