PITTSBURGH'S PENNSYLVANIA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
(By World of Outlaws Late Model Series P.R. Director Kevin Kovac)
CLANTON CLOSES IN ON WORLD OF OUTLAWS LATE MODEL SERIES POINTS LEAD WITH POWERFUL PITTSBURGHER 100 VICTORY
IMPERIAL, PA (October 8, 2006) - Shane Clanton couldn't have picked a better time to catch fire.
After making Sunday night's 18th annual Pittsburgher 100 at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway his second consecutive victory on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, the Locust Grove, Ga., standout can now do more than dream of winning the $120,000 tour title.
Clanton, 31, will enter the WoO LMS season-finale Gator 100, on Oct. 13-14 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., trailing points leader Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who finished a disappointing 10th in the Pittsburgher, by a mere eight markers.
"I ain't really been close enough to think about the championship all year," said Clanton, who began Sunday's feature 28 points behind McCreadie. "But now that it's the last race and we're right there, yeah, I'm thinking about it.
"It would mean a lot t win it. You could do a lot with 120,000 bucks - and you'll also put your name in the record books.
Clanton put himself in position to battle McCreadie for the points crown with a powerful performance in his first-ever start at the track known as "Dirt's Monster Half-Mile." He moved steadily forward from the eighth starting spot in his Ronnie Dobbins-owned RSD Enterprises Rocket car, finally overtaking Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., for the lead on lap 88 while racing through lapped traffic.
Frank, who led laps 17-87, settled for runner-up money, about 10 car lengths behind Clanton at the checkered flag.
Teenage sensation Josh Richards of Shinnstow, W.Va., finished third, followed by 10th starter Darrell Lanigan on Union, Ky., and Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., who left his familiar No. 17m home for the rescheduled event and instead drove a Rocket House Car as a teammate to Richards.
Clanton, who earned a career-high paycheck of $18,000, chalked up his deciding move to having the racing gods on his side.
"Chub just got balled up behind that lapped traffic and I got a good run on him," said Clanton, who charged underneath a momentarily obstructed Frank rounding turns one and two to assume command on the 88th circuit. "I don't know if I could've got him on open track. Everybody gets so much momentum built up here, something's gotta break it if you wanna go by 'em.
"I hated that lapped traffic done it to him, but that's part of racing."
Frank, who has competed in 17 of the 18 Pittsburgher 100s (he missed last year's edition) and won the event in 2001, built an edge of nearly a full straightaway shortly after passing Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., for the lead on lap 17.
But Frank, who drove his Lester Buildings Rocket machine, didn't pull away from Clanton following the race's third and final caution flag, which flew on lap 72 for a flat tire on the car of Senioa, Ga., racer Clint Smith. That meant Clanton was in position to take advantage of Frank's trouble with the lapped car driven by Robbie Scott on lap 87.
"I just got stuck in lapped traffic," said Frank. "It was just one of those racing deals. (Clanton) picked the right lane and I didn't."
Clanton hopes he can extend his WoO LMS hot streak. "You just gotta go into every race to win. I know (McCreadie) is gonna do that in Florida, so that' what we'll be doing too.
Rocket Chassis co-owner Mark Richard's son Josh at one point appeared capable of bringing his father another Pittsburgher triumph. Driving the same Rocket house car and using almost the identical setup that Ohio's Bart Hartman used to win the 2004 Pittsburgher, Richards reached third place on lap 61 and was able to challenge Frank and Clanton following restarts on laps 63 and 72. But Richards couldn't overtake the veterans ahead of him.
Finishing in positions 6-10 were defending WoO LMS champion Billy Moyer who started 15th, Rick Eckert, who passed Francis for second on lap 46, but lost the spot to Clanton 13 circuits later; top local Keith Barbara, Francis, who led laps 1-16, and McCreadie.
Two B-Mains kicked off the remainder of the Pittsburgher 100 2-day action which was postponed from Sept 23. PPMS regulars Jared Miley and Lou Bradich captured the last-chance events.
Frank earned the pole position for the 100 by winning the dash for the victors of the heat races, which were run on Sept. 22.
Sunday's action was run under clear skies and warm conditions.
Results of the WoO Late Model Series Pittsburgher:
1) Shane Clanton, 2) Chub Frank, 3) Josh Richards, 4) Darrell Lanigan, 5) Dale McDowell, 6) Billy Moyer, 7) Rick Eckert, 8) Keith Barbara, 9) Steve Francis, 10) Tim McCreadie, 11) John Blankenship, 12) Rick Briggs, 13) Eddie Carrier Jr., 14) Steve Baker, 15) Clint Smith, 16) Jared Miley, 17) Robbie Scott, 18) Tim Gould, 19) Dave Hess Jr., 20) Scott Gunn, 21) Lou Bradich, 22) Eric Jacobsen, 23) Alex Ferree, 24) Dave Wade, 25) Bob Salathe, 26) Davey Johnson, 27) Lynn Geisler, 28) Steve Casebolt.
Yellow Flags: 3 (Laps 46, 63, 72)
B-Main No. 1 (15 Laps, top 5 transfer): Jared Miley, Davey Johnson, Bob Salathe, Tim Gould, Robbie Scott, Rodney Sweitzer, Mark Banal, Tony Musolino, Dave Hess Jre., Alan Dellinger, Dutch Davies, Nick Jones, Eric Jacobsen, Al Atallah, Ben Miley, Dennis Neiderriter, Leo Stadelman, (DNS) Mike Johnson, Garrett Durrett, Jim Stephans.
B-Main No. 2 (15 Laps, top 4 transfer): Lou Bradich, John Blankenship, Scott Gunn, Alex Ferree, Rick Heim, Dave Wade, Lance Elson, Jason Rider, Tommy Schirnhofer, John Hodgkiss, Jim Lepro, Lynn Geisler, John Flinner, Keith Rodriguez, Brandon Burgoon (DNS) John Mason, Chris Hackett, Matt Urban
Dash: Frank, Francis, McCreadie, Eckert.
Jacob Hawkins and Craig Kamicker Grab Pittsburgher Support Class Wins.
(October 8) - Jacob Hawkins, the bright rising star from
(October 8) - Jacob Hawkins, the bright rising star from
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