WEST FARGO, N.D. — Leading the final 31 laps, Darrell Lanigan turned in one of the most dominant drives of the season to win Saturday’s World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series feature at Red River Valley Speedway.
Blowing past Ricky Weiss on lap 19 and storming by back markers left and right, Lanigan ran off into the West Fargo night with a monstrous 5.831-second victory as he lapped all the way up to ninth-place.
For Lanigan and his Viper Motorsports No. 29V Clements Race Engines powered Barry Wright Icon Race Car, Saturday’s triumph in North Dakota was the culmination of a resurgence that’s been building for almost two months.
“This has been a long time coming,” Lanigan noted in his first World of Outlaws win since September 21, 2019 at Port Royal Speedway. “I can’t thank all my guys enough. We’ve all been working so hard these last few months. This is cool. I’m excited for the rest of the year.”
Polesitter Weiss and Lanigan shared the front row for the 50-lap feature with Weiss taking the early lead.
When lapped traffic became a factor, however, the game changed. Biding his time trying to work the outside groove on, Lanigan’s lane paid dividends as he powered around the outside of Weiss on lap 20 and set sail on a masterful lap traffic route.
“I knew once we got up there and got it worked in that we could get going and we’d be good,” Lanigan said. “We finally got it rolled in there about when I passed Ricky and they actually started throwing stuff around there in the middle and I could run right through there later on.”
Pacing the rest of the nonstop $10,000-to-win feature, a smiling Lanigan climbed out in victory lane and stood in a cloud of confetti for the 74th time in his career.
While the No. 29v was checked out and gone, the battle for second brewed between Weiss and a charging Brandon Sheppard. Striking for the runner-up spot with two laps remaining, Sheppard capitalized on lapped traffic and snuck around Weiss for the second spot on the 48th circuit.
It wasn’t the fifth-straight victory he and the Rocket1 Racing crew desired, but it was yet another solid night that helps pad their points lead in pursuit of a third World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series championship together.
“I didn’t really know where he was running, but I probably could’ve moved up sooner,” Sheppard noted. “I don’t know if we had anything for Darrell, those guys were pretty solid tonight. Maybe a caution or two earlier could’ve gave us something, but still another great finish. All in all, another good night for us. This turned out to be a really fun race track. Hopefully we can come back here again next year.
Rounding out the podium in third-place was Weiss aboard his Drydene Performance Products No. 7 Team Zero Race Car.
Chase Junghans nearly got his second podium finish of the year, but settled for a fourth-place finish for Rocket Chassis No. 18. Ashton Winger continued his noticeable streak of front-running performances with his fourth top five of the year in the Franklin Enterprises No. 12.
Feature (50 laps): 1. 29v-Darrell Lanigan [$10,000]; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard [$5,000]; 3. 7-Ricky Weiss [$3,000]; 4. 18-Chase Junghans [$2,500]; 5. 12-Ashton Winger [$2,000]; 6. 97-Cade Dillard [$1,700]; 7. 28-Dennis Erb [$1,400]; 8. 2-Dave Mass [$1,300]; 9. 0-Scott Bloomquist [$1,200]; 10. 15-Donny Schatz [$1,100]; 11. 99b-Boom Briggs [$1,050]; 12. 18x-Shawn Meyer [$1,000]; 13. 74-Mitch McGrath [$950]; 14. C4-Ryan Corbett [$900]; 15. 55c-Chad Mahder [$850]; 16. 6m-Jeff Massingill [$800]; 17. 14-Brody Troftgruben [$770]; 18. 76-Blair Nothdurft [$750]; 19. 77-Jordan Yaggy [$730]; 20. O3-Casey Meyer [$700]; 21. 37jr-Morgan Ward [$700]; 22. O2-Dan Dowling [$700]; 23. B1-Brent Larson [$700]; 24. 37-Scott Ward [$700]. Lap Leader(s): Weiss 1-19; Lanigan 20-50. Hard Charger Award: 55c-Chad Mahder[+8]