By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE -- A night after getting acclimated to the fastest half-mile dirt track in the east, the World of Outlaws drivers dominated the first-ever sanctioning of the 15th annual Late Model National Open on Sunday night at Selinsgrove Speedway.
Two-time series champion Darrell Lanigan, of Union, Ky., passed York's Rick Eckert on lap 14 and went on to win the 50-lap, $10,000 feature.
It was the 10th win of the season for Lanigan and his 51st career WoO LMS win. He signed on as one of the original 12 contracted drivers with the series in 2004.
Lanigan started on the pole in Saturday's WoO LMS feature, but suffered overheating problems and finished 20th after completing 32 laps of the 40-lap feature. That was still good enough for him to learn what to do with his car for Sunday.
"I learned that we needed to have a harder tire on and that got us the win," he said.
His overheating issues continued Sunday night -- he had to stop and cool down his car while on his way to victory lane.
The initial start was aborted when Bear Lake's Chub Frank slowed from his 12th starting spot on the backstretch when his rear end broke. The back half of the field did a nice job of avoiding his slowing car.
On a second attempt at the start, Eckert jumped into the lead, passing polesitter and WoO LMS Rookie of the Year candidate Eric Wells, of Hazard, Ky, on the outside of Turn 2.
Eckert stretched his lead in the early going, while Dan Stone, of Thompson, battled Wells for second.
Williamsport driver Matt Cochran, who had a seventh-place finish Saturday, battled early on with WoO LMS points leader Josh Richards. The two continued their battle for most of the night before Cochran solidified his hold on third place late in the race.