“I knew somebody was coming,” said Lanigan. “I looked at the board and knew it was a different car (than had been in the top three throughout the race). I just kind of figured (Stone) had a harder tire on, but I come to find out that he was just running a different groove. I guess he found that high groove before anybody else did. I didn’t even think about going up there. It seemed crumbly to me, but he definitely got up there and made it work.
“It’s kind of hard to tell where the guy is behind you and what he’s doing,” he continued, “but I knew if I just ran my line on the bottom it was gonna be hard to pass.”
Beating Stone to the finish line put Lanigan in the WoO LMS history book as the first driver to win 50 A-Mains.
“That’s a big accomplishment to get 50 wins,” said the preternaturally calm Lanigan. “That’s definitely a bunch of wins (with) the Outlaws.”
Stone, meanwhile, was happy with his second runner-up finish of 2013 on the WoO LMS after taking just a bit too long to get rolling.
“I didn’t get tired midway through the race, but I kind of got hypnotized or something running behind those guys and wasn’t running where I needed to be,” said Stone, who owns two career WoO LMS A-Main victories. “Once we caught that lapped traffic I tried (the outside lane) and I was like, ‘Ugh! I should’ve been here the whole time.’
“We really ran Lanigan down after getting to second. I can’t believe it. Maybe two more laps would’ve been enough, but 50 laps should be long enough so congratulations to him – man, he’s just good everywhere he goes.
“To be running up there,” he added, “we’re definitely happy. It’s a good night of pay for us.”
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., finished sixth after battling closely with Clanton and Eckert during the race’s final circuits. Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., advanced from the 20th starting spot to place seventh; WoO LMS rookie points leader Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., was eighth; Dutch Davies of Warren, Pa., was the highest-finishing local driver in ninth; and Jason Dupont of Cyclone, Pa., rounded out the top 10.
Just two caution flags slowed the event. Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., brought out the first yellow flag on lap 11 when he stopped with terminal mechanical trouble on, and Mike Knight of Ripley, N.Y., relinquished fourth place on lap 16 due to a parts failure.
Clanton topped the evening’s 28-car field in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, earning his second fast-time honor of 2013 with a lap of 21.867 seconds.