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Long haul pays off

In his first hot lap Friday night late model Outlaw Clint Smith (44) rounds turn two on the famous "Bullring" track at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)

Tim Fuller doesn’t mind the long haul from his home in Watertown, N.Y., to the quarter-mile bullring at River Cities Speedway.

The track has been good to Fuller.

Fuller won Friday night’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series 50-lap feature at RCS, masterfully handling intense lapped traffic for a majority of the race to claim the $10,000 win before nearly 3,000 fans.

It was his first win of the season with the Outlaws. And it was his second win at RCS, as the driver of the No. 19 late model won in 2007. That was his first career WoO LMS win.

“This win is huge,” said Fuller. “The last 15 races we’ve been great; we just couldn’t capitalize and get a win. This is the highlight of the year so far.” Fuller started fifth in the 24-car feature. Tim McCreadie, who started on the front row, jumped to the early lead and was in control for the first 20 laps.

On Lap 24, however, Fuller managed to slip past McCreadie. From there, the two drivers used both grooves on the track to pick their way through lapped traffic. The race went green to checkered without a caution flag.

“I just used patience,” said Fuller. “This track is fast. Even as slippery as it was, it was fast out there. And it wall on the top.

“Lapped traffic is tough at this track. You have to line the cars up just right, slide them up into the corner and hopefully they’ll give you that lane.”

McCreadie finished second; Brady Smith finished third followed by Shane Clanton and Darrell Lanigan, a two-time winner at RCS. The top local finisher was Dustin Strand, who finished 15th. In the 25-lap sprint feature, Austin Pierce won his third straight — leading from start to finish. The race was marred by a five-car pileup on the start, a wreck that took out Mark Dobmeier, the track’s dominant driver.

Wayne Nelson
Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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