||Neat Controls North Alabama, Rolls To First-Ever World of Outlaws Late Model Series Victory
TUSCUMBIA, AL – Brad Neat of Dunnville, Ky., registered his first-ever World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory on Friday night, surviving a hardscrabble 50-lap A-Main at North Alabama Speedway.
Taking advantage of an outside pole starting spot, Neat, 32, bolted into the lead at the initial green flag and never looked back. He controlled the action from start-to-finish, maintaining command following each of the race's 10 caution flags and beating defending WoO LMS champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., by 1.434 of a second.
Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., who ran second behind Neat for much of the distance, settled for third place after being overtaken by Eckert on a lap-44 restart. Though his one-race-old Rocket car was hampered by suspension damage sustained in some restart scrapes early in the race, the 50-year-old driver matched his best finish of the 2012 WoO LMS campaign
Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., advanced from the 18th starting spot to place fourth, giving him a top-five finish for the first time this season.
Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., who started 17th, finished a season-high fifth in his first WoO LMS appearance behind the wheel of Mark Richards's Rocket house car. The struggling racer was tapped as a replacement for two-time tour champion Josh Richards, whose decision to move south and pursue a NASCAR driving career brought an end to his streak of 278 consecutive WoO LMS starts dating back to September 2004.
Neat's march to the $10,500 triumph wasn't without some anxious moments. Beyond the headache of facing a series of restarts necessitated by the event's rough-and-tumble nature, he nearly opened the door for his rivals on several occasions.
"This car was awesome tonight," Neat said of his Red Buck Cigars-sponsored machine, a battle-tested vehicle built eight years ago by B&B Motorsports' Butch Barber and reworked in recent years by Barber and the Longhorn Chassis shop. "But I about messed it up there a few times. That cushion was bad news – we went in the corner and pushed."
Fortunately for Neat, no one was close enough to steer by him when his car momentarily lost momentum.
"My (crew) guy 'Hopper' was out there showing me that I was getting away from 'em and I couldn't believe it," said Neat, who this season has backed off the national touring schedule he's maintained in recent years. "I think we were alright."
Neat became the seventh different winner in eight WoO LMS A-Mains this season and the 44th driver to claim victory on the tour since 2004. He had enjoyed few highlights in his 24 previous World of Outlaws appearances, failing to record a single top-10 finish in 13 A-Main starts.
Eckert, 46, congratulated Neat in Victory Lane and shortly thereafter acknowledged that his only hope for pushing his Team Zero by Bloomquist mount into the top spot was a final caution flag after he grabbed second – a caution that never came.
"He was really good," Eckert said of Neat. "I think with another restart where I could've been behind him, then maybe I could've showed myself at least and had a chance. The first lap (on a restart) is when it's hard not to make a mistake.
"That's how I got Chub (for second). Chub ran a great race – I was all over him and couldn't pass – but then on that (lap-44) restart there I snuck by him because it's just hard when you have somebody behind you you're not all the way up to speed when you get into one. You can't get your car in a position you want to."
Eckert, who started fifth but lost a couple spots early in the distance, moved to second in the WoO LMS points standings. He closed to within 30 points of Union, Ky.'s Darrell Lanigan, who was running seventh on lap 39 when he was collected in a turn-one tangle that began when popular local Josh Putnam of Killen, Ala., slid sideways into turn one. Lanigan limped to the pit area with front-end damage and did not return, finishing 14th and absorbing his DNF of 2012.
Putnam, who started from the pole position, ran among the top five for most of the distance in a head-turning effort. But after surviving the lap-39 incident he completed only five more circuits before stopping on the track with his car's rearend broken.
Another Alabama standout, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, saw a promising performance go awry late in the race. He advanced from the eighth starting spot to take second from Frank on a lap-28 restart, but his bid ended when he slid over the third-mile oval's backstretch berm while battling for the runner-up spot with Frank on a lap-38 restart.
WoO LMS Rookie of the Year contender Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., placed sixth, rallying after a slip off the backstretch on lap 13 dropped him from seventh to nearly out of the top 20. He tied his career-best finish on the WoO LMS.
Finishing in positions 7-10 was Rick Rickman of Columbus, Miss.; John Lobb of Frewsburg, N.Y., who started 23rd after using a provisional to gain entry to the A-Main; WoO LMS rookie contender Greg Johnson of Bedford, Ind.; and Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., who recovered from a lap-nine pit stop to change a flat tire.
Hollingsworth blistered the track in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, earning his first career WoO LMS fast-time honor with a lap of 12.704 seconds.
Heat winners were Eckert, Neat, Robinson and Putnam. The B-Mains were captured by Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., and Coffey.
The WoO LMS continues a weekend doubleheader on Saturday night (April 28) at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway, a high-banked, third-mile oval that hosts the 'Outlaw Sizzler 50' presented by Rusty Wallace Cadillac-GMC-Kia of Morristown.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Fans can also follow the WoO LMS on Twitter at Twitter.com/WoOLateModels and Facebook at Facebook.com/WorldofOutlaws.
Results of WoO Late Model Series at North Alabama Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Brad Neat/50 $10,500
2. (5) Rick Eckert/50 $5,700
3. (4) Chub Frank/50 $3,550
4. (18) Vic Coffey/50 $3,050
5. (17) Tim Fuller/50 $2,550
6. (6) Kent Robinson/50 $1,750
7. (14) Rick Rickman/50 $1,500
8. (23) John Lobb/50 $1,300
9. (16) Greg Johnson/50 $1,350
10. (15) Shane Clanton/50 $1,650
11. (19) Jack Sullivan/50 $1,050
12. (11) Bub McCool/48 $1,650
13. (1) Josh Putnam/44 $950
14. (7) Darrell Lanigan/39 $1,550
15. (21) Clint Smith/39 $1,450
16. (8) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth/38 $800
17. (10) Tim McCreadie/36 $1,420
18. (22) Eric Cooley/27 $750
19. (9) Mike Marlar/26 $1,280
20. (3) Dillon Wood/11 $700
21. (25) Jill George/11 $110
22. (12) Duke Whiseant/9 $700
23. (13) Billy Moyer/7 $700
24. (20) Pat Doar/7 $1,250
25. (24) Billy Moyer Jr./3 $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 39 Mins., 51.669 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.434 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 10 (Laps 3, 9, 10, 11, 28, 39, 39, 44)
Lap Leaders: Neat (1-50)
Provisional Starters: Lobb, Moyer Jr. (WoO points); George (WoO emergency)
WoO LMS 'Bonus Bucks' Winner: Neat ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 18-Ronny Lee Hollingsworth/Northport, AL 12.704
2. 1W-Dillon Wood/New Smyrna Beach, FL 12.756
3. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 12.784
4. A1-Duke Whiseant/Texarkana, AR 12.791
5. 53-Ray Cook/Brasstown, NC 12.801
6. 41-Brad Neat/Dunnville, KY 12.927
7. 7R-Kent Robinson/Bloomington, IN 12.952
8. 212-Josh Putnam/Killen, AL 13.020
9. 5b-Mike Marlar/Winfield, TN 13.031
10. 86-Rick Rickman/Columbus, MS 13.039
11. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 13.059
12. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 13.098
13. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 13.194
14. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 13.206
15. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 13.244
16. s4-Seth McCormack/Muscle Shoals, AL 13.249
17. 1s-Jack Sullivan/Greenbrier, AR 13.271
18. 1-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 13.278
19. R1-Riley Hickman/Cleveland, TN 13.279
20. 49-Greg Johnson/Bedford, IN 13.291
21. 21-Billy Moyer/Batesville, AR 13.301
22. 28-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 13.304
23. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 13.350
24. 33b-Eric Cooley/Fulton, MS 13.414
25. 7-Stacy Tyler/Moulton, AL 13.504
26. 12-Chad Winkles/Falkville, AL 13.517
27. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 13.553
28. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 13.563
29. 6M-Wendell Wallace/Batesville, AR 13.596
30. 21Jr.-Billy Moyer Jr./Batesville, AR 13.606
31. F26-Mark Fields/Lawrenceburg, IN 13.706
32. F36-Cale Finley/Ardmore, AL 13.730
33. 32-Mark Dodson/Caledonia, MS 13.771
34. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 13.798
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Eckert, Hollingsworth, Marlar, Moyer, Sullivan, Dodson, Cook, Tyler (DNS) Wallace
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Neat, Wood, McCreadie, R. Rickman, Fuller, Moyer Jr., C. Smith, Lobb (DNS) Winkles
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Robinson, Frank, McCool, Clanton, Coffey, Hickman, George, Fields
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Putnam, Lanigan, Whiseant, Johnson, Doar, Cooley, McCormack, Finley
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Fuller, Sullivan, C. Smith, Moyer Jr., Lobb, Cook, Dodson (DNS) Tyler, Winkles, Wallace
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Coffey, Doar, Cooley, Hickman, Fields, Finley, McCormack (DNS) George
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 product certificate to 23rd-place finisher I n A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jill George
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Rick Rickman
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
Comp Cams ($50 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Greg Johnson
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Billy Moyer Jr./Pat Doar
Gravely ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Rick Rickman
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 16th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
JE Pistons (one compete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 11th-place finisher or next highest w/decal - $285 value): Dillon Wood
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher or next highest w/decal - $285 value): Jill George
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Rick Rickman
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Kent Robinson
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
Roush-Yates Performance Products ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Greg Johnson
Roush-Yates Performance Products (carburetor repair kit to 18th-place finish in A-Main or next highest w/decal - $100 value): Jill George
Roush-Yates Lap Leader Award (one pair of Wiley X Sunglasses to driver who leads most laps in A-Main): Brad Neat
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
SuperFlow ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Greg Johnson
VP Racing Fuels 'Nice Jugs Award' (one VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main or next highest with decal - $30 value):
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner if decal displayed - $200 value): Chub Frank
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Kent Robinson
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 8th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Greg Johnson
XS 'Power Move of the Race' ($60 product certificate): Rick Eckert
2012 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of April 27 – 8 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 1132
2. Rick Eckert 1102 (-30)
3. Shane Clanton 1064 (-68)
4. Chub Frank 1036 (-96)
5. Vic Coffey 996 (-136)
6. (tie) Josh Richards 974 (-158)
6. (tie) Clint Smith 974 (-158)
8. Bub McCool 972 (-160)
9. Tim McCreadie 970 (-162)
10. Pat Doar 908 (-224)
11. Mike Marlar 894 (-238)
12. Billy Moyer 870 (-262)
13. Tim Fuller 862 (-270)
14. Kent Robinson 860 (-272)
15. John Lobb 838 (-294)
16. Jack Sullivan 812 (-320)
17. (tie) Brandon Sheppard 782 (-350)
17. (tie) Billy Moyer Jr. 782 (-350)
19. Greg Johnson 778 (-354)
20. Jason Feger 738 (-394)
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Gravely Tractors (Official Lawn Equipment), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy's One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gaskets, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filter, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake's Carts, Longacre, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.