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AUTO RACING: Darrell Lanigan the driver to beat in Friday’s feature

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sports Grand Forks, 58203
Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series rolls into River Cities Speedway Friday. And it wouldn’t be surprising to see Darrell Lanigan roll into Victory Lane after the $10,000-to-win 50-lap feature.

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Lanigan is the dominant driver on the WoO LMS circuit this season.

The Union, Ky., driver led all 50 laps during Tuesday’s feature at the Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen, S.D., and also won Sunday night’s Outlaws’ event in Spring Creek, Minn.

He’s also the only driver on the circuit to have more than one win at RCS. He won the inaugural WoO LMS event in 2006 and won again in 2012, edging Clint Smith by 0.026 of a second — one of the closest races in RCS history.

In Aberdeen, Lanigan held off a hard charge from Tim McCreadie, the 2011 WoO LMS winner at RCS.

“He’s doing whatever it takes to win and that’s what we gotta start doing, I guess,” said McCreadie. “It’s tough. Sometimes, it’s like he’s got eyes in the back of his head.”

“He’s good right now; we just gotta get better.”

There have been 20 WoO LMS features this season. Lanigan has won nine and also has 18 top-five finishes. He’s clearly the dominant driver on the circuit and now has won $161,075 this season.

Lanigan also has 62 career WoO LMS wins, the most of any driver.

This season’s top five WoO LMS drivers are:

  •  Lanigan, nine wins, 2,970 points.
  •  Rick Eckert, York, Pa., 2762 points.
  •  McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y., one win, 2.736 points.
  •  Morgan Bagley, Tyler, Texas, 2,686 points.
  •  Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa., 2,652 points.

There are 11 full-time drivers with the WoO LMS this season. But there could be approximately 15 non-RCS regulars Friday at the bullring as the event usually attracts a handful of regional drivers as well.

Approximately 15 RCS drivers are expected as well.

Realistically, the chances of a local driver sitting in Victory Lane Friday aren’t good.

Joey Pederson could be Friday’s top local driver. Brad Seng, the RCS season points leader at RCS, isn’t expected to race in Friday’s event.

“Our goal is to qualify close to the top of the local group and make the feature,” said Pederson. “We’ll go lap by lap if we’re lucky enough to make the show. We’ll see where we stack up; whether we’re in the way or actually racing with them.

“That will decide whether we try and make it to the end.”

Friday’s races

Who: World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

When: River Cities Speedway, hot laps 6:30 p.m.; qualifying 7 p.m.

Tickets: Adults $30 general admission ($28 in advance); Children (7-12) $15.

Classes: World of Outlaws Late Models, sprints, WISSOTA A modifieds.

Of note: Darrell Lanigan has won two of the three races so far on this season’s Wild West Tour, which concludes Friday at RCS.

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Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
(701) 780-1268
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