Lanigan & McCreadie Wire Eldora Foes

Darrell Lanigan celebrates after winning his World 100 preliminary race Friday at Eldora Speedway. (Mike Ruefer Photo)
Tim McCreadie en route to victory in his preliminary World 100 feature Friday at Eldora Speedway. (Mike Ruefer Photo)
Tim McCreadie en route to victory in his preliminary World 100 feature Friday at Eldora Speedway. (Mike Ruefer Photo)

ROSSBURG, Ohio – Tim McCreadie and Darrell Lanigan scored $5,000 triumphs in the Twin 25-lap features that highlighted Friday night’s second preliminary program of the 43rd annual DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned World 100 at Eldora Speedway.

Both World of Outlaws Late Model Series regulars took advantage of front-row starting spots to lead their respective headliners from flag-to-flag, but their roads to Victory Lane were far from easy.

McCreadie, 39, recorded his long-awaited first career dirt Late Model win at the high-banked, half-mile oval in the event reserved for the evening’s odd-number qualifiers. He grabbed the lead from the pole position at the initial green flag and was never headed in a caution-free race, but he barely outlasted the late-charging Gregg Satterlee, who swiped the runner-up spot from Jeep VanWormer on the final lap.

Lanigan, 43, raced off the outside pole to capture the feature for the even-number qualifiers after surviving mid-race challenges from John Blankenship and Jared Landers and outrunning fellow WoO LMS traveler Shane Clanton in the final circuits.

McCreadie credited his successful performance to an 11th-hour tire-compound decision he made with his Sweeteners Plus team. Going with soft rubber proved to be his ticket onto Eldora’s famed winner’s stage.

“We got lucky,” said McCreadie, who finished third in a preliminary A-Feature on Thursday night. “We were one of the last guys through tech (prior to lining up for the A-Main) and we waited and we waited – and (then) we saw that tiller get out there (to work on the track surface).

“After watching all those heat races 20s (Hoosier LM-20-compound tires) were way faster than 30s, so we just put a couple on and we held on. We were dying at the end, but with no yellows it was just nice to get out there in clean air and be by myself.”

McCreadie maintained a small advantage over Steve Francis throughout the race’s middle stages, but over the last five tours his edge shrank. The battle for second between Francis, VanWormer and Satterlee was fierce, however, and might have prevented one driver from running down the leader.

Satterlee, 29, slid by VanWormer for second off turn two on the last lap and noticeably closed the gap on McCreadie’s Warrior car rounding turns three and four, but McCreadie was able to hang on to win by 0.776 of a second over the rising Keystone State driver.

“I know we got work to do for a hundred laps because we faded,” said McCreadie, whose career-best finish in six World 100 A-Main starts is a seventh, in 2005. “But we’re gonna be damn happy tonight.”

Satterlee’s second-place run was his best ever at Eldora. He has started the World 100 twice, finishing 17th in 2010 and 25th in ’11.

“We went with three hard tires and right before we went out they watered the racetrack,” said Satterlee, who started fourth but struggled for most of the distance. “We weren’t really where we expected to be for the first 20 laps or so, and then that middle came in and the track kind of got back to where it was. Then the car got to doing what we planned it to do.”

VanWormer, who won a preliminary A-Feature on Thursday night, settled for a third-place finish after starting second. His car’s right-rear corner was damaged when he clipped the outside wall off turn two on lap eight while battling for second with Francis.

Francis slipped to fourth at the finish and six-time World 100 champion Billy Moyer started and finished fifth.