Clanton clobbers World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series in Mason City

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July 8, 2016

Shane Clanton celebrates after winning the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series main event Friday, July 8, at the Mason City Motor Speedway. (Mike Ruefer Photo)
Shane Clanton celebrates after winning the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series main event Friday, July 8, at the Mason City Motor Speedway. (Mike Ruefer Photo)

Shane Clanton was stronger than stone Friday night, dominating The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series 50-lap feature at Mason City Motor Speedway. Clanton not only solidified his fifth win of the season, but also tied Rick Eckert for fourth all time with 35 career wins.

“Oh man, that car was good,” Clanton said. “It’s pretty special right now. It was a good win here that eluded me the last time I was here (in 2004). I went a little hard on the tire (then), ut tonight we ran a little softer than everyone else, and it was pretty good.”

Clanton, the defending series champion, rose to the top of the track as the green flag waved on the 24-car field. Within a half-lap, he reeled in Eckert with his No. 25 Weldbank Energy/Coopers Meat Packers Capital car. The long half-mile oval lent enough room for Clanton to separate himself from the pack lap by lap. By lap nine in a caution-free feature, Clanton was 2.402 seconds away.

As Eckert began to fade, other drivers took advantage. Eric Wells, who captured his first podium finish the night before, replaced Eckert for the second position. Chad Simpson, following behind Wells in his No. 25s Liebe Trucking/ GATR Truck Center Victory Circle car, followed suit. By lap 15, the podium was spaced by more than one second between the trio of drivers.

The only immediate challenge for Clanton came with 37 laps to go when he approached the caboose of the field. Clanton’s lead diminished by nearly half a second for the lap; however, he quickly rebuilt his lead to a 1.2-second margin. The gap widened 16 laps later to 3.913 seconds.

“Yeah, 50 laps here is kind of grueling just trying to hit your marks,” Clanton said. “We had to do what we did [passing lapped traffic]. Nothing was going to slow us down.”

While Clanton pulled away, Josh Richards charged to the front; he started ninth in the feature. Richards early in the race battled for fifth position with Tyler Erb, who is second in the rookie of the year standings. From there, Richards had little opposition to his strong push to the front.

Richards passed Eckert for fourth when a lapped car prevented Eckert from slamming the door on his advances. The No. 1 Valvoline/ Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket car proceeded to gain ground on Wells, who he passed a few laps later; Wells finished seventh in the feature. With 10 laps remaining, Richards made the move on Simpson for second place.

“It’s a lot of fun racing right here in Iowa,” said Simpson, who was awarded the fast time award in qualifying. “We had a good car. We’re getting closer. The tire game hurts us a little when we come to these deals because we run on hard tires around here all the time. But, I guess we’re guessing pretty good so far [on our setup].”

With fewer than five laps remaining, Richards ran out of real estate. From a 3.116 lead, Richards managed to only close the gap between him and Clanton to 2.017 seconds. This is Richards’ 18th top five finish of the season.

“Shane and those guys did a great job,” Richards said. “We got stuck on the outside from our heat race, lost position and had to start ninth. We were just green flag the whole way, and it just took so long to run everybody down. I think we were better than he was at the end, but we were just strung out way too far.”

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series
Mason City Motor Speedway, Mason City, Iowa
Friday, July 8, 2016

Qualifying: 1. 25s- Chad Simpson, 18.512 seconds; 2. 18- Eric Wells, 18.519; 3. 91- Tyler Erb, 18.528; 4. 25- Shane Clanton, 18.606; 5. 7- Rick Eckert, 18.627; 6. 1- Josh Richards, 18.675; 7. 18c- Chase Junghans, 18.680; 8. 16b- Tyler Bruening, 18.721; 9. 32- Chris Simpson, 18.818; 10. 99B- Boom Briggs, 18.857; 11. 21JR- Billy Moyer Jr., 18.686; 12. 11- Austin Smith, 18.871; 13. 99JR- Frank Heckenast Jr., 18.890; 14. 28M- Jimmy Mars, 18.894; 15. 76-Brandon Overton, 18.948; 16. 20- Rodney Sanders, 18.967; 17. 1*- Chub Frank, 19.026; 18. C9- Steve Casebolt, 19.043; 19. 29- Spencer Diercks, 19.067; 20. 14m- Morgan Bagley, 19.095; 21. 3s- Brian Shirley, 19.160; 22. 16- Austin Siebert, 19.168; 23. 90- Lance Matthees, 19.172; 24. 77- Jordan Yaggy, 19.186; 25. 2c- Joey Coulter, 19.204; 26. 98- Jason Rauen, 19.602; 27. B1- Brent Larson, 19.978.

Heat #1 (10 laps, top 6 transfer): 1. 25s- Chad Simpson; 2. 25- Shane Clanton; 3. 99JR- Frank Heckenast Jr.; 4. 99B- Boom Briggs; 5. 20- Rodney Sanders; 6. 2c- Joey Coulter; 7. 16- Austin Sierbert; 8. 18c- Chase Junghans; 9. 29- Spencer Diercks.

Heat #2 (10 laps, top 6 transfer): 1. 18- Eric Wells; 2. 7- Rick Eckert; 3. 16b- Tyler Bruening; 4. 21JR- Billy Moyer Jr.; 5. 28M- Jimmy Mars; 6. 14M- Morgan Bagley; 7. 1*- Chub Frank; 8. 98- Jason Rauen; 9. 90- Lance Matthees.

Heat #3 (10 laps, top 6 transfer): 1. 32- Chris Simpson; 2. 91- Tyler Erb; 3. 1- Josh Richards; 4. 76- Brandon Overton; 5. 3s- Brian Shirley; 6. 11- Austin Smith; 7. 77- Jordan Yaggy; 8. C9- Steve Casebolt; 9. B1- Brent Larson.

Last Chance Showdown (10 laps, top 4 transfer): 1. 77- Jordan Yaggy; 2. 1*- Chub Frank; 3. C9- Steve Casebolt; 4. 98- Jason Rauen; 5. 90- Lance Matthees; 6. 29- Spencer Diercks; 7. 16- Austin Siebert; 8. B1- Brent Larson.

A-Main (50 laps): 1. 25- Shane Clanton [2] [$10,875]; 2. 1- Josh Richards [9] [$5,800]; 3. 25s- Chad Simpson [3] [$4,100]; 4. 7- Rick Eckert [1] [$3,300]; 5. 21JR- Billy Moyer Jr. [11] [$3,000]; 6. 91- Tyler Erb [5] [$1,950]; 7. 18- Eric Wells [4] [$1,950]; 8. 16B- Tyler Bruening [8] [$1,350]; 9. 99JR- Frank Heckenast Jr. [7] [$1,750]; 10. 14M- Morgan Bagley [17] [$1,700]; 15. 1*- Chub Frank [20] [$1,400]; 16. 32- Chris Simpson [6] [$800]; 17. 28M- Jimmy Mars [14] [$770]; 18. 76- Brandon Overton [12] [$800]; 19. 29- Spencer Diercks [24] [$730]; 20. 77- Jordan Yaggy [19] $700]; 21. 11- Austin Smith [18] [$700]; 22. 20- Rodney Sanders [13] [$700]; 23. 2c- Joey Coulter [16] [$700]; 24. 98- Jason Rauen [22] [$700].