Neat Picks Up First WoO LMS Victory
TUSCUMBIA, Ala. — Brad Neat registered his first 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 by 1.434 of a second.
Chub Frank, 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 advanced from the 18th starting spot to place fourth, giving him a top-five finish for the first time this season.
Tim Fuller, 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.
Brad Neat, Rick Eckert, Chub Frank, Vic Coffey, Tim Fuller, Kent Robinson, Rick Rickman, John Lobb, Greg Johnson, Shane Clanton, Jack Sullivan, Bub McCool, Josh Putnam, Darrell Lanigan, Clint Smith, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Tim McCreadie, Eric Cooley, Mike Marlar, Dillon Wood, Jill George, Duke Whiseant, Billy Moyer, Pat Doar, Billy Moyer Jr.BREAKING NEWS: SPEED SPORT is back in print with a new monthly format! Subscribe for just $24.95. Special offer for former subscribers.