Yet another hard-fought weekend in two Northeast states led to breakthrough wins for World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series drivers Shane Clanton and Darrell Lanigan.
Beginning with Friday night’s 50-Lap feature at Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, NY, Skyline Motorsports newest driver Shane Clanton kept his cool on a restart with three laps to go to drive away from Rocket1 Racing driver Brandon Sheppard and claim his fourth World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series Feature win of 2019 in the second-ever visit to Outlaw Speedway.
Before driving to this impressive victory, “The Georgia Bulldog” set a quick time in qualifying, winning his Drydene Heat Race and redrawing the outside pole before taking off on the first lap and opening up a sizeable advantage over Sheppard.
Within the first 10 laps, Clanton’s quick lap times allowed him to catch the rear of the field. This gave Sheppard an opportunity to crack the whip a little harder, making up almost a full second by the time the race’s first caution flag flew on Lap 29. This erased Clanton’s lead and put “The Rocket Shepp” right on his rear bumper for the first restart, which he expertly handled.
As the caution flags began to fly, Sheppard continued to do everything he could to chase down his record-breaking 19th Morton Buildings Feature win of the year. Despite several chances to take the lead Sheppard, wouldn’t be able to deny Clanton his goal of a checkered flag.
“We worked really hard to get this win,” said Clanton. “Hopefully, we can carry this momentum through the rest of the year.”
Clanton wasn’t the only driver to take down the hard-charging points leader Sheppard this weekend. As the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series powered into its second state of yet another dirt track racing weekend, it was “The Bluegrass Bandit” whose team had a goal to win as many races as possible.
After 36 Series starts this season, the work that Lanigan and the team have put in over the previous seven months finally paid off. Fittingly, Darrell Lanigan picked up his 73rd career Morton Buildings Feature win on Saturday night at the very same track he won his 72nd Feature at – Selinsgrove Speedway just four years ago.
After winning his Drydene Heat Race and starting on the pole for Saturday night’s Late Model National Open at Selinsgrove Speedway, the Union, KY native wasted no time taking command of the field. An expertly prepared track surface made for several lane choice options, but Lanigan stuck with the preferred lane around the inside guardrail – that was, until a win record-hungry Sheppard offered up Lanigan’s biggest challenge for the lead all night on the high side. After Sheppard raced to the outside, Lanigan could feel the 18-time winner breathing down his neck. Quickly moving up to block Sheppard’s pass attempt, the Rocket1 Racing ride’s nose began to lose air, which sent him way up into the cushion, resulting in several car lengths lost.
A caution flag with seven laps left in this race restacked the field and gave all the drivers behind Lanigan a shot at the win. Fortunately, this dirt driving bandit was too good on the bottom, which gave him the chance to drive away with three laps remaining to claim his first World of Outlaws win of the year.
“This feels awesome,” said Lanigan. “We have been working hard in the shop and found some stuff on the car we needed to fix, and now we are definitely going in the right direction.”
Thanks to this win, Lanigan is now a four-time Late Model National Open winner at The Super Speedway of Dirt Track Racing and even made up lots of points in the overall point standings. As for Sheppard and the next installment of Rocket1’s chase for win No. 19 on the year, the team will have to try again in less than two weeks when the Series heads to the Southeast for three more races.
Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com for all your World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series coverage.