|• Hess Beats WoO Stars In Buckeye 50 At Wayne Co.|
Hess Outruns Former World of Outlaws Late Model Series Champs For Buckeye 50 Victory At NAPA Wayne County Speedway
Pennsylvania Driver Captures Coveted First-Ever Triumph On National Tour
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
ORRVILLE, OH – May 24, 2013 – Dave Hess Jr. ran the race of his life on Friday night at NAPA Auto Parts Wayne County Speedway.
The 28-year-old driver from Waterford, Pa., grabbed the lead on lap two and never looked back en route to capturing the World of Outlaws Late Model Series Buckeye 50 Presented by Southeast Equipment – his coveted first-ever triumph on the national tour.
Not even a lap-36 caution flag could derail Hess, who pulled away from three former WoO LMS champions – Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., and Rick Eckert of York, Pa. – during the race's late stages to pocket $10,550.
Hess's victory came in the 58th WoO LMS event he's entered and 38th A-Main he's started since 2004. His previous best finish was a second on Aug. 31, 2008, at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pa.
"We've been trying a long time to win one of these World of Outlaws shows," said Hess, who has driven family-owned equipment throughout his career. "We've come close before, and I knew the way the car's been (in recent years) it was just a matter of time (that a win would come) if we got some luck.
"But I didn't think (the win) would be here," he added. "I thought it would be at one of my better tracks. We haven't even been here in a couple years, but the car was great."
Richards, 25, advanced from the seventh starting spot to run second from lap 11 to the finish, but he only managed to briefly duck underneath Hess twice late in the distance. The two-time WoO LMS champion crossed the finish line 1.262 seconds behind Hess.
Lanigan, who started sixth but lost two spots on the race's first lap when he bounced through a rut in turn one, recovered to finish third. He turned back the late-race challenges of the eighth-starting Eckert, who settled for fourth. Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., completed the top five after climbing forward from the 12th starting spot to match his top finish of the season.
Hess, who started from the pole position, was outgunned for the lead at the initial start by WoO LMS rookie Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky. But Hess pushed his Craiger-powered Rocket past Wells for the top spot on lap two and maintained firm control for the remainder of the distance.
Running hard on the top side of the three-eighths-mile oval, Hess kept Richards and the rest of the star-studded field at bay. He understood that he had to be flawless to reach the checkered flag first.
"You gotta have your car perfect, have the right tires on and then drive a perfect race," said Hess, noting the ingredients for success in a WoO LMS event. "You know guys like Josh Richards and Darrell Lanigan, they ain't gonna make mistakes. So if you make any, it'll put you behind.
"My cars felt real great around that top of one and two, but that berm was pretty tall so if you got into it very hard it really got you out of a shape. It scared me a few times, but I knew I had to push it as hard as I could because Josh and Darrell would be coming."
Hess threw every last bit of caution to the wind following the race's final restart, which came on lap 36 after George Lee of Loudonville, Ohio, slowed to bring out a yellow flag.
"It seemed like every restart the car would just be great for about six, seven, eight laps, and then it would start laying down just a little bit and losing a little bit of traction," said Hess. "I knew I just had to push it as hard as I could on that last restart and hope I could build enough cushion to hold 'em off."
Richards showed his nose to Hess entering turn one on the lap-36 restart, but he never got his Rocket Chassis house car close enough to challenge Hess again over the remaining circuits.
"We had a really good car but I was a little too tight to run up on the cushion off of (turn) two," said Richards, who recorded his series-leading 11th top-five finish in 14 A-Mains this season. "That's where he would really get a run."
"Dave's a really great race car driver and I'm glad to see those guys get a win. He did a great job."
Richards's runner-up finish allowed him to extended his WoO LMS points lead to 32 markers over Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., who finished 15th after rearend problems in his Kennedy Motorsports machine forced him to retire on lap 38 while battling for fifth place.
Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., tied his best finish of the season with a sixth after starting 16th. Wells slipped to seventh in the final rundown after running in the top five until Frank's lap-44 pass knocked him back. Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, placed eighth, third-starter Gregg Satterlee of Rochester Mills, Pa., was ninth and a Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., finished 10th after starting 23rd because a heat-race flat tire forced him to use a provisional spot.
Four caution flags slowed the event. Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., brought out the first, on lap five, when he slammed into the barrier of tractor tires off the backstretch. Later, Russ King of Bristolville, Ohio, slowed on lap 15; Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., spun in turn two on lap 16 shortly before retiring; and Lee slowed on lap 36 with a smoking car.
Thirty cars were signed in for the event, which was contested on an unseasonably cool evening. Temperatures never climbed much above 50 and dipped into the 30s by the end of the program.
Doug Drown of Wooster, Ohio, turned the quickest lap in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, clocking in at 16.807 seconds to earn his first-ever WoO LMS fast-time honor.
Drown, Lanigan and Satterlee were victorious in heat races, and Ron Davies of Warren, Pa., won the B-Main.
Walker Arthur of Forest, Va., saw his night come to an abrupt end after his car dug into the cushion between turns one and two and rolled several times during his time-trial effort. He wasn't injured.
The WoO LMS continues its Memorial Day weekend tripleheader on May 25-26 with the running of the second annual Jackpot 100 Presented by NAPA Auto Parts at Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va. A 30-lap, $6,000-to-win A-Main is scheduled for Saturday night (May 25) and a 70-lap finale carrying a $15,000 first-place prize will be contested on Sunday evening (May 26).
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series at NAPA Auto Parts Wayne County Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Dave Hess Jr./50 $10,550
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 25 Mins., 38.302 Secs.
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 63-Doug Drown/Wooster, OH 16.807
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Drown, Wells, Richards, C. Smith, Johnson, McCool, Davies, Bond, Bates (DNS) Arthur
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Lanigan, Clanton, Eckert, Bagley, McCreadie, Markham, Z. Dohm, McLoughlin, Bellman, Fuller
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Satterlee, Hess, King, Frank, Gentry, C. Conley, Lee, Duncan, Aber, Casebolt
B-Main (12 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Davies, Lee, Dohm, McLoughlin, Casebolt, Duncan, Bond, Aber, Bates (DNS) Bellman, Fuller, Arthur
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners (awards presented to noted finisher/qualifier or next highest displaying decal:
Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash to fast qualifier): Eric Wells
2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of May 24 – 14 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 1988
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: American Racing Custom Wheels (Official Custom Wheel), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), KMC (Official Custom Truck Wheel), 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 Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake's Carts, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.
LIVE UPDATES 5/24: World of Outlaws Late Model Series At NAPA Auto Parts Wayne County Speedway
ORRVILLE, OH - May 24, 2013 - The World of Outlaws Late Model Series kicks off a big Memorial Day weekend of action tonight with the Buckeye 50 at NAPA Auto Parts Wayne County Speedway.
The national tour is visiting the three-eighths-mile oval for the second consecutive season and third time overall. Darrell Lanigan won last year's event and Chub Frank was victorious in 2006.
For live updates of news, pit notes and results from tonight's action, click the 'Full Story' link below. Be sure to refresh your browser throughout the night to see the latest information.
What a performance by Hess
10:45 p.m. - Dave Hess Jr. ran one of the best races of his life, taking the lead on lap two and never looking back to capture the Buckeye 50. He pulled away from three former WoO LMS champions -- Josh Richards, Darrell Lanigan and Rick Eckert -- following a lap-36 restart to record his first-ever triumph on the national tour in impressive fashion.
Richards ran second from lap 11 to the finish, but he only managed to briefly duck underneath Hess twice. Lanigan held off Eckert's late challenges to finish third, and Chub Frank charged forward from 12th to complete the top five.
A-Main Finish: 1. Dave Hess Jr., 2. Josh Richards, 3. Darrell Lanigan, 4. Rick Eckert, 5. Chub Frank, 6. Bub McCool, 7. Eric Wells, 8. Morgan Bagley, 9. Gregg Satterlee, 10. Tim Fuller, 11. Doug Drown, 12. Russ King, 13. Corey Conley, 14. Ryan Markham, 15. Shane Clanton, 16. Davey Johnson, 17. George Lee, 18. Shane McLoughlin, 19. Tim McCreadie, 20. Zack Dohm, 21. J.R. Gentry, 22. Steve Casebolt Jr., 23. Clint Smith, 24. Ron Davies
9:50 p.m. - Dave Hess Jr. and Eric Wells will start from the front row in the Buckeye 50, which is coming up shortly. The eight-minute horn to line up the headliner was blown immediately after the 12-lap B-Main was completed with Ron Davies winning over George Lee, Zack Dohm and Shane McLoughlin.
Row 1: Dave Hess Jr./Eric Wells
Heat race notes
9:15 p.m. - Doug Drown, Darrell Lanigan and Gregg Satterlee were victorious in the three 10-lap heat races.... Drown flexed his muscle in the first heat, outrunning a side-by-side battle for second between Eric Wells and Josh Richards. Wells took the runner-up spot to shut Richards out of the redraw.... Lanigan was strong in the second heat, overtaking Shane Clanton midway through the prelim to emerged triumphant. Clanton held off a late charge from Rick Eckert to snare the second redraw spot.... Gregg Satterlee controlled the third heat, beating Dave Hess Jr. to the finish line.... Tim Fuller saw his promising night take an abrupt downward turn when he hit the cushion in turn two on the opening lap of the second heat. His right-rear wheel packed with mud and the tire went flat, forcing him out of action without completing a circuit.... Recovering from a spin during time trials that hampered his qualifying effort, Chub Frank made some of the best moves of the heats to finish fourth after starting deep in the third-prelim field. Frank's most memorable pass was a three-wide maneuver through turns three and four on lap five that vaulted him to fourth place...
Complete heat-race results can be found here....
Racing moments away
8:35 p.m. - With the third and final BOSS Sprint Car heat race taking the checkered flag, the first of three 10-lap WoO LMS heat races is about to roll onto the track. The top-six finishers will transfer to the Buckeye 50, with the first- and second-place drivers in each heat redrawing for the top-six starting spots in the A-Main.
7:55 p.m. - Doug Drown -- the hottest dirt Late Model driver in the state of Ohio, with six victories in his last seven starts -- earned his first career WoO LMS fast-time honor with a lap of 16.807 seconds in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials. The winner of last Friday night's weekly dirt Late Model feature at Wayne County was the only driver to qualify in the 16-second bracket.
Shane Clanton -- the hottest driver on the WoO LMS, with triumphs in two of the last three events -- was second-fastest with a lap of 17.036 seconds. Dave Hess Jr. was third-fastest (17.140), followed by Eric Wells (17.143) and Tim Fuller (17.186).
Ron Davies, who had the second-best lap in practice, could only manage the 25th-quick time in qualifying. His car had to be pushed into the pit area after its radiator was damaged.
For complete results from time trials, click here.
7:35 p.m. - Last year Virginia's Walker Arthur enjoyed a breakout performance during the WoO LMS's visit to Wayne County, leading laps 1-21 of the A-Main en route to a fifth-place finish.
This year? He didn't even make it through time trials.
Arthur's evening went south abruptly when he rolled his No. 87 between turns one and two during qualifying. He escaped uninjured, but the only car in his stable sustained significant body damage and it appears he's done for the night -- and possibly the weekend as well, since he was planning to run tomorrow and Sunday at Tyler County.
"I just dug in on the cushion and started flipping," said Arthur. "When my car went in the air I just said, 'Uh-oh.' It got quiet real quick."
The good-natured Arthur said it was the first time he had ever rode out a flip in his racing career, which began in 2000.
"It was like a wild roller-coaster ride," said Arthur.
7:20 p.m. - Russ King topped the speed charts in hot laps, turning a circuit of 16.971 seconds. The winner of Wayne County's season opener on April 26 was the only driver to break into the 16-second bracket during practice.
Ron Davies was second-fastest in hot laps at 17.036 seconds, followed by George Lee (17.182), Eric Wells (17.254) and Tim McCreadie (17.295).
Ohlins Shocks Time Trials are now on the track....
Ready to go
6:40 p.m. - A total of 30 cars are signed in for tonight's action, including late arrivals Steve Casebolt Jr. and Dave Hess Jr., who both pulled in just after the drivers' meeting.
What made Pennsylvania's Hess late? "We made a wrong turn somewhere," he said. "And we had GPS."
The wingless BOSS Sprint Cars are completing hot laps, setting the stage for the WoO LMS machines to hit the track.
On a roll
6 p.m. - Pennsylvania veteran Ron Davies, who followed the full WoO LMS schedule in 2011, is making his first appearance on the tour since February's action in Georgia and Florida.
Tonight's event provides Davies an opportunity to visit with his daughter Michelle (photo below), who is married to WoO LMS regular Shane Clanton. It also gives him a chance to continue his hot streak since returning home from his southern swing in February.
"We've got 11 top-three finishes in a row," smiled Davies, whose stretch of success includes two dirt Late Model wins (at New York's Stateline Speedway and Pennsy's McKean County Raceway) and two open-wheel Modified triumphs (both at McKean County).
5:50 p.m. - It appears that first-year WoO LMS traveler Scott James will miss his first tour event of the season due to mechanical problems with his hauler. He called WoO LMS officials earlier this afternoon to report that his rig was broken down near Cincinnati and, as a result, it was unlikely that he would be able to get his Warrior Chassis house cars to the track.
Bright, Ind.'s James enters tonight's action tied for seventh in the points standings with Eric Wells. As a series regular unable to compete due to unforeseen circumstances, he's eligible to receive 60 hardship points, but he still could tumble as far back as 11th in the standings depending on tonight's results of the drivers behind him.
James, who experienced mechanical woes with his hauler earlier this month that led his team to borrow a truck and trailer from dirt Late Model legend Freddy Smith for the washed-out Georgia weekend May 3-4, said he hopes to have his truck fixed in time to compete tomorrow and Sunday at Tyler County Speedway.
Quite a camper
5:25 p.m. - There are dozens of race fans with camp sites set up in Wayne County parking lot, but none have one as unique as Terry Hammond's setup.
Hammond, 59, of Westerville, Ohio, is here with a neat motorcycle/pop-up tent combination (pictured below) -- a Goldwig Motor-Trike pulling a CombiCamp trailer that turns into a self-contained tent.
"They only make these things in Denmark," Hammond said of the tent/trailer. "I bought in last summer from a guy down in Georgia."
With temperatures expected to fall into the 30s overnight, Hammond said he'll need some extra blankets to sleep in the contraption after tonight's races. (There's no heater in the pop-up.) But he'll enjoy himself just the same.
"I went World of Outlaws Sprint Car racing last week (at Pennsylvania's Williams Grove Speedway) and I'm going World of Outlaws Late Model racing this week," said the retired Hammond, whose racing travels this year have also taken him to Florida's Volusia Speedway Park in February.
5:10 p.m. - WoO LMS regular Bub McCool has found himself a new mechanic.
Left without a crew after the departure of Todd Pruitt and Doug Todd earlier this month, McCool spent the last two weeks searching for help. He eventually hired Chase Winkles, 22, of Falkville, Ala., to serve as his fulltime crew member.
"I saw Bub's post about needing a crew guy on the Mid-South Racing (website) forum," said Winkles, whose brother, Chad, drives a dirt Late Model. "I texted him, he called me back, and the next day I was in Mississippi working for him."
5 p.m. - Former WoO LMS team owner Dale Beitler (pictured to right enjoying some conversation with friends) is spending the holiday weekend on the road with the tour. He hitched a ride in Rick Eckert's hauler to take in this weekend's tripleheader at Wayne County and Tyler County Speedway.
Beitler, whose familiar Reliable Painting No. 19 was driven on the WoO LMS by Steve Francis in 2008-09 and Austin Hubbard in 2010-11, is retired -- at least for the moment -- from the team-ownership game. But he still often attends races near his Maryland home and keeps close tabs on the World of Outlaws action.
This year, in fact, Beitler has even become a WoO LMS sponsor. In an effort to help the owner-operators on the tour, at each WoO LMS event he provides a free tire to the second-highest finishing series regular who fields his own race team.
A bit chilly
4:35 p.m. - While there's no rain in the forecast on a WoO LMS race night for a change, the weather isn't 100 percent perfect. Some unseasonably cool temperatures are prevailing, prompting everyone to pull out their heavier jackets one more time before diving into summer.
Nearly two-dozen cars are already in the pit area. Among the drivers on hand to challenge the Outlaws are Davey Johnson, Doug Drown, Ron Davies, Walker Arthur, Charlie Duncan, George Lee, Corey Conley and 2009 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year Russ King.