LITTLE VALLEY - Defending champion Darrell Lanigan scored his second straight Little Valley Speedway World of Outlaws victory on Thursday and it was a big one.
It was the Hazard, Ky., driver's 50th career series win, and he became the first driver to hit that milestone.
Starting on the outside pole, just as he did last year, Lanigan bolted to the lead over polesitter and current point leader, Josh Richards, at the drop of the green and was never headed in the race that was slowed by only two minor cautions over the 50-lap distance.
Though he led every lap, there were times that it appeared his advantage was going to be threatened. One of his biggest challenges early came from local favorite "Hollywood" Mike Knight, who was flying around the outside, took fourth on lap 13 and was challenging Dan Stone for third, when he suddenly slowed on lap 16 for what was later reported to be a damaged radiator.
As Lanigan set the pace, there was a furious battle for the runner-up spots, as Richards, Rick Eckert, Shane Canton, and Dan Stone grappled for position. The big winner in that group was Stone, who found the outside to his liking and, making strategic use of lap traffic, was able to negotiate past Eckert and Richards to close on Lanigan, managing to finish second by .377 seconds.
Richards settled for third, followed by Clanton and Eckert to round out the top five. Other notables were Tim McCreadie, who came from 11th to finish sixth; Bub McCool, winner earlier this year at Canandaigua, who came from 20th to finish seventh; and Dutch Davies, who was the first local to cross the line, finishing ninth.
In other racing, Jeremy Wonderling captured the 20-lap BRP Can Am Series feature, coming from his 10th- place starting spot to grab the lead on lap six from pace setter Ray Blis. From there, he held off friend and arch rival, John Waters, over several restarts before Waters eventually surrendered the runner-up spot to Bruce Miller, who made a spirited run from 11th.
Perhaps the best run of the night was turned in by Jon Rivers, who started 20th, after having problems in his heat, and finished fifth.
Finally, Steve Dixon, from Smethport, using a new car and a smaller motor, completed a sweep of the E-Mod races and won the track championship, as he won for the fourth time.
Starting on the pole, he stayed in his favorite groove, the bottom, and was never challenged in the caution-free, 20-lap event. Brent Rhebergen, who also drove in the WOO Feature, was able to keep him in sight, but couldn't get closer than about 10 carlengths and settled for second. Rich Michael Jr. made a nice run from tenth to finish third.
World of Outlaws Late Models: 1. Darrell Lanigan, 2. Dan Stone, 3. Josh Richards, 4. Shane Clanton, 5. Rick Eckert, 6. Tim McCreadie, 7. Bub McCool, 8. Eric Wells, 9. Dutch Davies, 10. Jason Dupont, 11. Coleby Frye, 12. Tim Fuller, 13. Chub Frank, 14. Vic Coffey, 15. Billy Decker, 16. Morgan Bagley, 17. Bump Hedman, 18. Brent Rhebergen, 19. Greg Oakes, 20. Dick Barton, 21. Boom Briggs, 22. Mike Knight, 23. Clint Smith, and 24. David Scott. Heat winners were Clanton, Knight, and Lanigan. Last Chance winner was Frye.
BRP Can Am Series: 1. Jeremy Wonderling, 2. Bruce Miller, 3. John Waters, 4. Ray Bliss, 5. Jon Rivers, 6. Jason Knowles, 7. Mike Wonderling, 8. Bob Close, 9. Brian Knowles, 10. Quinn Sutherland, 11. John Zimmerman, 12. Barry Payne, 13. Kevin Olinger, 14. Bob Babbitt, 15. Jay McConnell, 16. Jared Hill, 17. Ron Wilkins, 18. Brad LaBarron, 19. DJ Krug, 20. Steve LaBarron, 21. Neil Patterson, and 22. Mikey Wonderling. Heat winners were Jeremy Wonderling and Miller.
E-Mods: 1. Steve Dixon, 2. Brent Rhebergen, 3. Rich Michael Jr., 4. Vic Vena, 5. Joel Watson, 6. Nathan Hill, 7. Kyle Bedell, 8. Chad Ruhlman, 9. Randy Hall, 10. Dan Davies, 11. Kirk Bradley, 12. John Boardman, 13. Dan Sasso, 14. Jeff Johnson, 15. Brian Fardink, 16. Carl Ballinger, 17. Al Brewer, 18. John Woodward, and 19. TJ Downs. Heat winners were Hall and Michael.