“When (Smith) and Eckert both took off (at the start) they probably got half a track or better on us,” said McCool, who started third. “I couldn’t even see ‘em up there no more, so I was just gonna try to drive my line and hold on to third there.
“We started running ‘em down, and then we had the caution (on lap 29). I tried to have my right rear in the wet up there on the top (of turn four) when (Smith) fired (on the restart) and cut down and have a little more run than he did. I did on Eckert, and then we got by (Smith) when he slowed down getting into one.”
McCool’s strategy of cooling his jets until later in the race on the sprawling half-mile oval proved prescient.
“I knew they was a little softer than I was on tires,” McCool said of Smith and Eckert, “and if I could just keep it straight and keep it under me we’d be OK because I had a good car. It all ended up working out good.”
Fuller, who has one career DIRTcar big-block Modified feature win at Canandaigua, attempted to challenge McCool during the final circuits but couldn’t summon enough speed.
“I could run with him, but I didn’t know how I was gonna pass him unless he screwed up in lapped traffic,” said Fuller, whose winless streak reached 119 races since his last WoO LMS score on June 17, 2010, at Merrittville Speedway in Thorold, Ont. “When it’s that black and this shape of track you just gotta keep turning left and not scrub any speed, and he was doing that real well. I could run with him but then I’d lose the nose, and then I’d try to get down lower and I couldn’t make no ground up that way.
“He was good,” he added. “Maybe more laps would’ve helped, but he ran a good race.”
WoO LMS points leader Josh Richards and Darrell Lanigan, who entered the evening riding a two-race win streak after sweeping the tour’s Canadian swing, experienced rare subpar nights. Richards started 12th and was never a factor while struggling to a 13th-place finish — a run that cut his points lead to eight markers over Clanton — and Lanigan backed up from the sixth starting spot to a 14th-place finish.
Smith’s lap of 18.262 seconds in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials topped the night’s 23-car field.
Bub McCool, Tim Fuller, Morgan Bagley, Rick Eckert, Tim McCreadie, Shane Clanton, Eric Wells, Clint Smith, Vic Coffey, Chub Frank, Dan Stone, Billy Decker, Josh Richards, Darrell Lanigan, Larry Wight, John Volpe, Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs, Dave Zona, John Mason, Alan Fink, Gil Tegg Jr., Greg Oakes, Jon Rohacevich.