Lanigan, meanwhile, was able to find the prime line around the famed track to keep his Rocket mount at the front of the pack in the nightcap. He secured his first victory at Eldora since the 2006 DIRTcar UMP Nationals.
“We had to move around a little bit and find a couple different grooves,” said Lanigan, who was threatened early by Blankenship and Landers but never let Clanton get close enough to make a serious bid for the lead during the race’s second half. “The car was really good on the bottom, but then we kind of started losing grip down there so I moved to the middle and actually the car got better there.
“Unbelievable car,” he added. “We’ve been working on this car – this is the same car we had at the Dream (where he was involved in a hard heat-race crash), so we had to fix it some. It’s unbelievable now.”
A winner of Eldora’s $100,000 Dream in 2003, Lanigan has never captured the World 100 in 19 career A-Main starts since 1990. His best finish is second, in 1999.
Clanton, who won Thursday night’s second A-Feature, slid past Blankenship and Landers in successive laps to reach second place following a lap-11 restart but ran about one second behind Lanigan for the remaining distance. The former World 100 and Dream winner’s bridesmaid run gave him the best combined finishes of all drivers who competed in the preliminary events.
Blankenship finished third after starting from the pole position. Three-time World 100 winner Scott Bloomquist advanced from the 14th starting spot to finish fourth and 2006 World 100 champ Earl Pearson Jr. completed the top five.
Two caution flags slowed the second A-Feature. The first came on lap 11 when Duane Chamberlain blew a tire and was hit by Dustin Linville. Later, on lap 16, Brad Neat slowed entering turn one.
Jason Feger was the fastest qualifier in Friday night’s multi-car time trials with a lap of 15.770 seconds. His circuit ended up being the fastest of the two nights of time trials.
With Saturday night’s six 15-lap Dream heat races aligned by each driver’s best lap time from the two rounds of qualifying, Feger’s overall fast time earned him a visit to the Eldora stage during Friday’s program to spin the inversion wheel. It stopped on ‘6,’ setting up a 36-car invert and leaving Feger with the sixth starting spot in a heat race that will transfer the top-three finishers to the World 100.
Among odd-number qualifiers, heat-race winners were Feger, Moyer, Satterlee, Francis, VanWormer and McCreadie. The B-Mains were captured by Chris Simpson, Jon Henry and Greg Johnson.
Even-number qualifier heat wins went to Matt Miller, Clanton, Jacob Hawkins, Mike Marlar, Lanigan and Blankenship, while the B-Mains were topped by Brian Shirley, Ricky Weiss and Devin Moran.