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World of Outlaws Late Model Series Event Preview: Attica Raceway Park PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 May 2008

By Kevin Kovac, World of Outlaws Late Model Series PR Director

Image WHAT: The World of Outlaws Late Model Series rolls across the Midwest this weekend for a pair of events - on Friday night (May 16) at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park and Sunday night (May 18) at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway.

Attica's first-ever WoO LMS show will be headlined by a 50-lap A-Main paying $10,000 to win. Virtually all of the tour's regulars have never previously raced at the track, so the speedway will be an open book for the travelers.

Lincoln, meanwhile, offers the 'Land of Lincoln 40' on Sunday night, with a $7,000 check earmarked for the winner.

The Midwest swing was originally scheduled for three straight nights of racing, but Saturday's program at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway was postponed indefinitely earlier in the week. A major reconstruction project to enlarge the track from a quarter-mile oval to a high-banked, three-eighths-mile layout is not yet totally completed, forcing the forcing the decision.

WHEN: At Attica Raceway Park on Friday, pit gates will open at 3:30 p.m., with grandstands gates unlocked at 5 p.m. and racing action heating up at 8 p.m.

WHERE: Attica Raceway Park in a high-banked, one-third-mile oval located in central Illinois. It sits northeast of the intersection of SR 4 and US 224 at the Attica Fairgrounds.

TICKETS:
Adult general admission for Attica's show - which also includes a full program for Attica's regular 410 Sprint Car class, setting up a spectacular doubleheader - is $30 for adults, $15 for students 11-15 and free for kids 10 and under. Pit passes will cost $35.

INFORMATION:
Attica Raceway Park: visit www.atticaracewaypark.com or call the track office at 419-680-5606.

PREVIOUS WoO LMS WINNERS:
This will be the inaugural WoO LMS visit to Attica. The tour was scheduled to race at the track on July 25, 2007, but rain washed out that event and it was not rescheduled.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

• Brian Shirley, a 27-year-old WoO LMS regular who lives in nearby Chatham, Ill., enjoyed one of the most memorable moments of his career when he won last year's tour event in front of his family and friends at Lincoln.

Can the driver known as 'Squirrel' pull off a repeat? He's hoping that a return visit to a track in his backyard - albeit an oval that he's only raced on twice in his six-year dirt Late Model career - will help him turn around the frustration he's experienced so far on the 2008 WoO LMS.

• Shannon Babb is another central Illinois product who will have plenty of local support at Lincoln. His diehard fans will be anxious to get a close look at a driver who is red-hot driving NASCAR Sprint Cup star Clint Bowyer's Traeger Grills/Chevy dirt Late Model, coming off his first WoO LMS win of the season on May 3 at Missouri's Lebanon I-44 Speedway and an off-week triumph worth $40,000 in last Sunday's Diamond Nationals at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo.

Babb, 34, of Moweaqua, Ill., won the 2005 UMP DIRTcar Summernationals event at Lincoln, but he finished 17th in last year's WoO LMS A-Main after being forced into a spin on the backstretch while battling for a top-five spot.

• Defending WoO LMS champion Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., and Rick Eckert of York, Pa.., enter the weekend tied for second in the points standings, 10 points behind leader Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark. They are also tied for second on the WoO LMS 'modern-era' win list (2004-present), at 15 triumphs, and have an opportunity this weekend to tie or pass Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., as the tour's winningest driver since 2004.

Neither driver has competed at Attica, but they authored similar performances in their first visits to Lincoln last year. Francis finished seventh and Eckert was 10th in the 40-lapper.

Eckert, who is mired in a 66-race winless streak on the WoO LMS, would love to enjoy the same type of success on Sunday that he's experienced at another Lincoln Speedway close to his Keystone State home. He started his racing career at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, Pa.

• The 50-year-old Moyer, who has four wins in nine WoO LMS events this season, finished fifth in last year's tour event at Lincoln.

• Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., took an immediate liking to Lincoln last year, timing third-fastest in qualifying and finishing a solid fourth in the A-Main. The tour's winningest driver in 2007 is still looking for his first win this season - but of course, his initial triumph last year didn't come until the 14th race on the schedule.

• What a difference a year has made for Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky.

Lanigan, who finished eighth in last year's WoO LMS event at Lincoln, enters the weekend ranked fourth in the WoO LMS points standings, just 24 points out of the lead. Last year he was ninth and already 130 points behind through nine events.

• Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., will look to get back on track this weekend after tumbling from second to a tie for sixth in the points standings after the May 3-4 doubleheader in Missouri. He finished a quiet 11th in last year's event at Lincoln.

• Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., who won all four of his 2007 WoO LMS A-Mains at tracks in the Midwest, will look for his first checkered of '08 during another visit to the region. He finished ninth last year at Lincoln.

• Lincoln's 2007 WoO LMS was one to forget for tour stalwart Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga. He earned a transfer spot in the night's fourth heat but had to scratch his car because of engine woes and start at the rear of the A-Main field in a backup; he finished 15th.

• Coming off his first top-five finish of the 2008 tour on May 4 at Monett (Mo.) Speedway, 2007 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., will arrive at Attica and Lincoln reenergized about his prospects. He finished 12th last year at Lincoln after timing fifth-fastest in qualifying.

• John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., returns to Lincoln hoping to improve on his 22nd-place finish in last year's event.

• The tour's three Rookie of the Year contenders - all New Yorkers who are products of the DIRTcar big-block Modified ranks - plan to enter both events this weekend. Vic Coffey leads the standings over Danny Johnson and Joe Isabell.

• Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va., has plans to enter both events. The 2006 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year finished a then career-high third in last year's A-Main at Lincoln.

• Considering that the WoO LMS travelers don't have notes about Attica to draw upon, two drivers to keep an eye on in Friday's event are Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich., and Donnie Moran of Dresden, Ohio.

VanWormer, who won his first career WoO LMS show last September at La Salle (Ill.) Speedway, was victorious twice at Attica in 2006 in Sunoco American Late Model Series events. Moran, meanwhile, was the winner the last time a regional series other than the ALMS visited Attica, capturing a Northern Xtreme DirtCar Series (formerly Renegade/STARS DIRTcar Series) race in 2004.

* Top regional drivers expected to enter Attica's program include defending Sunoco ALMS champion Brian Ruhlman of Clarklake, Mich.; 2007 ALMS Rookie of the Year Tyler Boggs of Warsaw, Ind.; Rusty Schlenk of Jackson, Mich.; and Doug Drown of Wooster, Ohio.

* The 'Land of Lincoln 40' on Sunday will attract some top-notch regional talent as well, led by defending UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model Summernationals and national champ Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill. Erb finished second in last year's WoO LMS stop at Lincoln after leading the race's first 20 laps.

Other regional and local standouts expected include former UMP DIRTcar Summernationals champion Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind.; Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis.; Terry Casey of New London, Wis.; defending Lincoln Speedway champion Matt Taylor of Springfield, Ill.; Steve Sheppard Jr. of New Berlin, Ill., a recent feature winner at Lincoln; Wes Steidinger of Fairbury, Ill.; Ryan Dauber of Tonica, Ill.; Kevin Weaver of Gibson City, Ill.; Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill.; and Tim Lance of Brimfield, Ill.

EXTRA CASH:

* The influx of regional and local standouts competing in the events will be chasing some WoO LMS 'Bonus Bucks.'

The highest-finishing driver in each A-Main who is not ranked among the current top-12 in the WoO LMS point standings and has never won a WoO feature will receive the $500 'Bonus Bucks' award.

COMING UP:

* The tour will have the Memorial Day Weekend off before heading east for a pair of races to close out the month of May - on Thurs., May 29, at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, Del., and Sat., May 31, at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway.

LISTEN OR WATCH ON THE INTERNET:

* Fans who can't make it to the track can listen to the action live thanks to the DIRT Radio Network.

To listen to the free audio broadcasts of WoO LMS events, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.

Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. Those who sign up for a free membership can enjoy advanced features while listening to the races, such as text chat and live scoring via AMB.it.

WoO LMS INFO:

* Log on to the WoO LMS website at www.worldofoutlaws.com<http://www.worldofoutlaws.com/>.

2008 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of May 4 - 9 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/wins/top-5s/top-10s/earnings/points/deficit to leader):

1. Billy Moyer 4-6-6-$70,420-1181 (-0)
2. (tie) Rick Eckert 0-3-7-$24,050-1171 (-10)
2. (tie) Steve Francis 1-5-7-$71,550-1171 (-10)
4. Darrell Lanigan 0-1-7-$16,950-1157 (-24)
5. Chub Frank 0-3-5-$19,180-1147 (-34)
6. (tie) Shannon Babb 1-4-6-$37,000-1143 (-38)
6. (tie) Josh Richards 1-4-6-$33,760-1143 (-38)
8. Clint Smith 0-3-3-$14,410-1107 (-74)
9. Shane Clanton 0-3-3-$16,430-1083 (-98)
10. Tim Fuller 0-1-2-$10,190-1053 (-128)
11. Brian Shirley 0-0-2-$9,080-1019 (-162)
12. John Blankenship 0-0-2-$12,160-1017 (-164)
13. Vic Coffey 0-0-1-$8,350-823 (-358)
14. (tie) Joe Isabell 0-0-0-$2,260-589 (-592)
14. (tie) Danny Johnson 0-0-0-$2,650-589 (-592)
Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 May 2008 )
 
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