SHAWANO, Wis. – Darrell Lanigan made more World of Outlaws Late Model Series history on Tuesday night at Shawano Speedway.
Completing a spectacular road trip to the Upper Midwest, Lanigan registered a convincing victory in the Mid-States Equipment 50 to extend his record-setting win streak to six and become the national tours all-time winningest driver.
Lanigan, 42, of Union, Ky., roared off the outside pole to grab the lead on the opening lap and never looked back, pacing the entire distance to register his 13th win of 2012 and the 39th of his career on the WoO LMS.
He overtook Josh Richards and Billy Moyer to move atop the national tours career win list for both the modern era (2004-present) and overall (including the original 1988-89 seasons).
“It’s unbelievable,” said Lanigan, who captured Shawanos WoO LMS event for the second consecutive year. “It’s a real honor to be at the top of that (all-time win) list. It means a lot.
Lanigan dominated the A-Main, keeping his rivals at arms length throughout behind the wheel of his Cornett-powered Rocket. WoO LMS rookie Bub McCool was able to close within a cars length of Lanigan late in the distance, but he couldn’t make a serious bid and crossed the finish line .214 of a second behind the victor in his Victory Circle mount.
Tim Fuller briefly grabbed second from McCool on a lap-15 restart but settled for a third-place finish. It was his best outing since moving to the seat of the Kennedy Motorsports Capital Race Car.
Brady Smith placed fourth and defending WoO LMS champion Rick Eckert finished fifth. Both drivers ran Team Zero by Bloomquist machines.
Lanigan led by nearly a straightaway early in the race, but he cooled his jets as the A-Main wound down to make sure tire wear wouldn’t hamper his effort.
“I know last year there was some cars that blew out tires late in the race, so I was just trying to be conservative there at the end and finish,” said Lanigan. ”Anytime you get to lapped traffic when its rubber, you don’t want to catch’em. I was just trying to slow the pace down a little bit.
McCool, 35, was satisfied just to follow the country’s hottest dirt late-model driver under the checkered flag.
“I felt the longer the race run under green, we was getting better and better and I could get to (Lanigan) a little bit,” said McCool, who registered his seventh top-five finish of the 2012 WoO LMS campaign. “But I don’t know if could’ve gotten by him. Hell, he was right down around that bottom in the rubber and it would’ve been hard to do anything.
“But with our last few finishes, were happy with anything in the top five. It was a good night for us.”
Lanigan’s $10,650 win put a put a cap on his perfect - and very lucrative - three-race WoO LMS swing. He began the trip on Aug. 4 with a $50,000 triumph in the USA Nationals 100 at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., and then outdueled Clint Smith, to win Monday night’s 50-lapper at Independence (Iowa) Motor Speedway.
The checkered-flag hat trick was worth $71,350 and pushed his WoO LMS earnings for the 2012 season to an astounding $269,400 after just 30 races. He also extended his points lead to 170 points over Eckert as he chases his second career championship with 12 races remaining on the schedule.
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