INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — Wins don’t come easy for Darrell Lanigan at Independence Motor Speedway.
But they definitely come — as evidenced by his hard-fought march to victory in Monday night’s 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main that put him in the spotlight at the Hawkeye State track for the second consecutive year.
Lanigan, 43, of Union, Ky., battled forward from the seventh starting spot to take the lead from Shane Clanton on lap 37 and turned back a furious late challenge from local hero Chad Simpson to secure his series-leading eighth triumph of the 2013 season.
Closely following his path he took to a narrow victory over Clint Smith in last year’s WoO LMS feature at Independence, Lanigan couldn’t take a breath until the checkered flag finally flew over his Rocket Chassis machine.
“It was pretty tough out there,” said Lanigan, who earned $10,600 for his series-best 49th career win. “The track was just super-racy — and just to get the lead starting where we did, that was pretty good. Then we just had to hold on.”
Clanton, who led laps 14-36, overtook Simpson for the runner-up spot on a lap-44 restart and finished there, 0.860 of a second behind Lanigan. Simpson, who started from the pole position, settled for a career-best WoO LMS finish of third after leading laps 1-13 and having his late-race bid for victory stymied by the lap-44 caution flag that ultimately cost him second place.
Gregg Satterlee, who scored his first-ever WoO LMS A-Main triumph on July 30 at Shawano (Wis.) Speedway, was steady from start-to-finish to place fourth in his first start at Independence. Outside-polesitter Don O’Neal completed the top five after rallying from the rear of the field because he pitted Larry Moring’s No. 1 on lap seven to check a vibration that he incorrectly thought was caused by a flat tire.
Lanigan mastered the inside groove of the three-eighths-mile oval, using the lane to steady advance to the front. He swapped second place with Simpson twice before gaining control of the position on a lap-22 restart and rocketed by Clanton for the lead off the inside of turn four on lap 37 moments before a caution flag flew.
“We were really good in the bottom,” said Lanigan, who won for the first time since July 6 at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn. (a span of six races). “We set the car up to traction up in the bottom and it definitely worked. We were really strong off of (turn) four on the bottom and got most of those guys coming off the corner.”