PINE HALL, N.C. — Something about 311 Motor Speedway agrees with Tim McCreadie.
The 39-year-old star from Watertown, N.Y., drove to a convincing victory in Saturday night’s 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series at the half-mile oval — the second consecutive year that his first win of the season on the national tour came at the Tar Heel State track.
McCreadie ran a virtually flawless race after surging off the outside pole to grab the lead from front-row partner Josh Richards at the initial green flag. He paced the entire distance in his Sweeteners Plus Warrior car, turning back just a brief late-race challenge from Rick Eckert en route to a $10,650 payday.
Eckert settled for his third runner-up finish of the 2013 season, steering his Team Zero by Bloomquist machine under the checkered flag 1.046 seconds behind McCreadie. The 2001 WoO LMS champion advanced from the ninth starting spot.
Richards slipped to third at the finish in his father Mark’s Rocket Chassis house car but maintained the WoO LMS points lead. Casey Roberts moved up one spot to register a career-best World of Outlaws finish of fourth in his Capital Race Car and Jonathan Davenport placed fifth in the AES Racing Barry Wright car after starting third and running as high as second.
McCreadie ended a 31-race winless streak on the WoO LMS, dating back to June 22, 2012, at Quebec’s Autodrome Granby. That victory north of the border was his third in a nine-race span – a stretch of success that he hopes to extend to a greater degree this season.
“It’s fun to be up front,” said McCreadie, who recorded his 21st career win on the WoO LMS. “This is where I believe this Sweeteners team should be. We’re starting to show through. We’ve been way better this year than we were last year already and our goal is to keep everything rolling.”
McCreadie, who celebrated his 39th birthday April 12, credited his prime starting spot for propelling him to a breakout triumph.
“That kid who drew the (No. 2) pill probably helped me out the most tonight,” said McCreadie, whose outside pole start was picked for him in the A-Main redraw by nine-year-old Nate Hooker of Danbury, N.C. “It just gets so dirty when you’re behind cars here it’s hard to maneuver, so being up front was definitely where I needed to be.”
McCreadie controlled the action following each of the race’s five restarts and maintained a steady edge ranging from a half to a full second throughout the distance. But he had to contend with Eckert, who reached second with a pass of Richards on a lap-26 restart, before securing the checkered flag.