Lanigan Out-Duels Frank At Big Diamond
FORESTVILLE, Pa. – Darrell Lanigan overtook Chub Frank for the lead on lap 25 and marched on to capture Tuesday’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series Diamond Shine 40 at Big Diamond Raceway.
The 43-year-old Lanigan continued his relentless pursuit of a third career WoO LMS championship, padding his already healthy points lead with his series-leading fifth victory of the 2014 season and the 58th of his career. He earned $8,650 for his second triumph in three career starts at the 3/8-mile oval in Pennsylvania’s coal region, which hosted the national tour for the first time in five years.
“We’ve got an A-plus season going right now,” said Lanigan, who has 13 top-10 finishes in 14 WoO LMS starts this season. “The piece (Club 29 Race Car) we built and designed has been unbelievable since we brought it out of the box in February, so I couldn’t ask for nothing better.”
Lanigan, who won the inaugural WoO LMS event at Big Diamond in 2008, swept Tuesday night’s program. He set fast time in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, won a heat race and stormed to the feature win, which kept him as the only repeat winner on the tour this season.
Starting third in the 40-lap A-Main, Lanigan passed Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., for second on a lap-11 restart and settled in behind the 51-yearold Frank, who started second and grabbed the lead at the initial green flag. Finally, on lap 25, Lanigan surged by Frank to assume command for good.
Rick Eckert of York, Pa., sailed around the outside of Frank to take second place on a lap-26 restart and drew close to Lanigan for a short time, but Lanigan’s inside line was too much for Eckert to overcome. The home-state driver finished second, 1.430 seconds behind the winner.
Frank settled for a third-place finish, with 10th-starter Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa., placing fourth and Wells, who started from the pole, completing the top five.
“I just had to wait to get to (lapped) traffic there,” said Lanigan. “Chub was pretty good, but our car was pretty good and it was getting better toward the end of the race. Then he kind of chose the wrong line when he got to traffic and we got by him.”
Eckert, 48, made a gallant attempt to challenge Lanigan riding the high side of the track, but his bid fell short.