Georgia Double-Header: World Of Outlaws Late Model Weekend Recap

by Chris McWilliams on May 9, 2011

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series was in action for a Georgia double-header this weekend.  On Saturday, May 7th they were at the Swainsboro Raceway and on Sunday, May 8th they hit the Needmore Speedway.

Rick Eckert Celebrates his Victory at Swainsboro Raceway (Photo Source: World of Outlaws Late Model Series)

Swainsboro Raceway

On Saturday night it was Rick Eckert who won in dominating fashion as he led from start to finish picking up the win in the “Pine Tree 50” at Swainsboro Raceway a month after a tornado rolled through the area and caused some significant damage to the track.  The veteran from York, Pa, Eckert had to miss his daughter’s college graduation ceremony on Saturday but was able to give her a memorable present.  The $10,775 win was the first of the year for Eckert behind the wheel of his #24 Team Zero by Bloomquist late model.  Eckert also gained the points lead after Saturday’s race as two-time and defending champion Josh Richards struggled to a 19th place finish after losing eight laps fixing a folded front bumper.  In victory lane Eckert had plenty to say, “Coming down the road (en route to the three-eighths-mile Georgia track), I was thinking, Boy, it would be neat if I could win tonight and dedicate it to her.  Fortunately it worked out that way. This one’s definitely for my daughter.  She was mad that I couldn’t be there, but I said I really needed to stay out here and try to keep up in the (WoO LMS) points. Now I’ve got some good news to tell her.”  Eckert’s 22-year-old daughter Courtney was celebrating her graduation from Millersville (PA) University on Saturday.  His win snapped a 20-race winless streak that dated back to July 30, 2010 when he won at Attica Raceway Park.

Eckert faced very little resistance from runner-up Chub Frank of Bear Lake, PA who finished nearly three seconds behind Eckert but did manage to advance from his 12th starting spot.  After his season best finish Frank said, “I got pushed up high early in race and I found that my car was free enough to drive up there.  The track kept getting rougher and rougher on the top, though, so you really had to be up on the wheel to hold it there. If they could’ve run it in a little better and smoothed it out, maybe I would’ve had something for (Eckert). It just got so rough up there, I just couldn’t stay up there.”  Third place was Darrell Lanigan who saw his two race tour winning streak come to an end and then team Vic Coffey and Tim McCreadie finished in 4th and 5th.  The top ten was rounded out by Shane Clanton, Clint Smith, Dennis Franklin, Greg Johnson, and Austin Hubbard.  The WoO Late Models will return to action tomorrow night at Needmore Speedway.

Needmore Speedway

Sunday night’s race at Needmore Speedway saw home state driver “Cat Daddy” Clint Smith of Senoia, GA snap a 122-race winless streak in national series by picking up the 40-lap A-Main victory.  Smith grabbed the lead on lap 23 when leader Vic Coffey spun while negotiating lap traffic and gave the lead to Smith.  The $8,725 win was Smith first WoO Late Model win since June 17, 2008 at Port Royal Speedway.  Sunday’s Mother’s Day race was the first WoO Late Model Series visit to 3/8 mile Needmore Speedway which opened in August 2010 when owner Chris Hunnicutt built the track on a portion of his 700 acre farm.  After his triumph Smith said, “It was a super day.  It feels great to win again, especially because it was right here close to the house. I was like the hometown favorite for these fans, so it was pretty cool to win for ‘em. The crowd was just great.”

Clint Smith Ends his 122-Race National Winless Streak (Photo Source: World of Outlaws Late Model Series)

The runner-up spot was claimed by Chub Frank for the second night in a row as he tried to end his own long winless streak.  Frank trailed Smith for the last 17 circuits but could not get a run on him and had to settle for second again.  Defending tour champ Josh Richards rebounded for his poor finish the night before to come home in third place.  Saturday’s winner Rick Eckert came home fourth and Tim McCreadie was fifth.  The remainder of the top-ten was Ron Davies, Greg Johnson, Tyler Ivey, John Lobb, and Tim Fuller.  The WoO Late Models return to action Thursday, May 12 at Delaware International Speedway for the “Fulton Bank 50.”  For more information on the WoO Late Models check out

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