SUPERIOR, Wis. — Tim McCreadie was one very happy race car driver — and father — after holding off Rick Eckert to capture Friday night’s 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Wild West Tour’ opener at Amsoil Speedway.
Not only did the 39-year-driver score his fourth WoO LMS triumph of 2013, it came on his son Gavin’s third birthday. The toddler was home in the Empire State with his mother, Karen, but McCreadie made sure he dedicated his 24th career win on the national circuit to the curly-haired boy.
“This one’s for you, Gavin,” McCreadie said. “It’s cool to win on his birthday. I wish they could be here with me, but when I get home we’ll have (Gavin’s birthday) party next weekend.”
McCreadie, who started from the pole position but was outgunned for the lead at the initial green flag by his front-row mate Tim Fuller, kept up the pressure on his fellow New Yorker until gaining command on lap 15. T-Mac never looked back en route to a memorable victory that brought him $10,650 to buy presents for his kid.
Eckert, who started sixth, passed Darrell Lanigan for second on lap 43 and drew close to McCreadie during the final circuits but settled for second place, 0.669 of a second behind the victor. It was the fourth runner-up finish of the season for Eckert, who is still searching for his first WoO LMS win of 2013.
Lanigan finished third, Chub Frank placed fourth and home-state favorite Brady Smith, who lives 35 miles from Amsoil Speedway and raced regularly at the three-eighths-mile track early in his career, completed the top five. The 3-5 finishers ended the race in the same positions they started it, but each driver settled into their ultimate spots only late in the distance.
The race’s late stages were the most stressful for McCreadie, who scrapped to keep Lanigan, and then Eckert, at bay. McCreadie held firm control of the top spot for nearly 20 laps after sailing around the outside of Fuller off turn two to assume command on lap 15, but his edge shrunk as the finish neared.