by Chris McWilliams on March 14, 2011
The Inaugural Cash Cow 100 featuring the World of Outlaws Late Model Series at Columbus Speedway should be an action packed event that fans will remember for some time. The high-banked 1/3 mile tack in Columbus, Mississippi is indeed a bullring as it has gained quite a reputation among fans. Former racer and current Columbus promoter Johnny Stokes summed up the racetrack in his own words saying, “It’s very wild. It’s high-banked, intense, right-rear-up-against-the-wall, sparks-flying, hammer-down racing. They don’t call it the ‘Baddest Bullring in the South’ for nothing. I didn’t give it that name. The fans did.” Dirt late model veteran Shane Clanton summed up the action at Columbus in one word when asked, “Fierce.”
That unique, tough-to-tame aura will be on display for two action-packed nights during the ‘Cash Cow 100′ weekend, which brings the WoO LMS back to Columbus for the first time since March 2007. Time trials and qualifying heat races are scheduled for Fri., March 18, and the B-Mains and 100-lap A-Main, which pays $20,000 to win, headlines the featured program on Sat., March 19. The promoter Stokes had plenty to say about the race saying, “Shane Clanton told me I’m the hardest-working promoter on a racetrack he’s ever seen. But hey, you gotta go out there and work on it if you want a good track. I don’t want to see a bad race and neither do the fans and racers, so I’ll be out there from Monday until Saturday (of race week), from dawn to dusk at least, to do everything I can to make sure there’s a good track. One-hundred laps at Columbus is a challenge. It’s a very physical, demanding racetrack on a driver, so you better be in good shape to go the distance. A lot of times that really fast groove is right up there against that wall, and that ain’t for everybody.”
Shane Clanton's 2011 Dirt Late Model in Action (Image Credit: Outlaw Photo)
Shane Clanton has dominated Columbus’s marquee event in recent years the Magnolia State 100. Clanton took home the victory at that race in 2007 and 2009, as well as a second in 2010 with a damaged car, and he led 86 laps in 2008 before a flat tire knocked him back to eighth. “I guess I just like the racetrack,” said Clanton. “The shape of it, the speed, and just the way you gotta stay up on the wheel for the whole race – I guess it just fits my driving style. I like the little bullrings everywhere we go. They just seem to fit me better than the big tracks. The smaller the racetrack, the tighter the corners, the more demanding the racetrack…the better I seem to run. You gotta go all-out every lap. It don’t matter if it’s 50 laps or a hundred laps – there ain’t no riding there. You gotta go from lap one to lap 100. And at that place, you can go 70 or 80 laps of green-flag racing in a row so you gotta be in shape. If you’re not, you can go 50 laps and you’ll be tired. You’ll be falling out of the seat and they’ll drive right by you because it don’t matter when it is during the night – somebody’s gonna be tail-dragging you, or you’re gonna be in lapped traffic.”
Early Season WoO Late Model Action (Image Credit: G.T. Smith)
Shane Clanton will have to hold off challenges from the rest of the nation’s best late model drivers if he hopes to have a chance at the Cash Cow 100 win. Josh Richards, Billy Moyer, Darrell Lanigan, Steve Francis, Tim McCreadie, Clint Smith, Rick Eckert, Austin Hubbard, Tim Fuller, Chub Frank, Earl Pearson Jr., and Brad Neat are just a few of the big names that are expected to be in attendance.