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Lanigan breaks streak of second place finishes to win at Lernerville

| Friday, June 27, 2014, 12:15 a.m.
Late Model (29) Darrell Lanigan jockeys for position during the fifth heat race of the World of Outlaws Late Models 3-day Firecracker 100 held at Lernerville Speedway on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Late Model (29) Darrell Lanigan jockeys for position during the fifth heat race of the World of Outlaws Late Models 3-day Firecracker 100 held at Lernerville Speedway on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

After too many runner-up finishes, Darrell Lanigan finally won his first World of Outlaws Late Model race at Lernerville Speedway.

Lanigan won the 30-lap feature in Thursday night's opening of the eighth annual Firecracker 100. Lanigan's margin of victory was 1.462 seconds over Scott Bloomquist. Jimmy Owens finished third, Jonathan Davenport was fourth and Mike Marlar rounded out the top-five. Jared Miley finished seventh, and Alex Ferree was eighth for the top local finishes.

Racing will continue tonight with another full show that includes another 30-lap main event, with $6,000 going to the winner. The weekend culminates with $30,000 going to the victor of Saturday's 100-lap feature.

Davenport led the first 17 laps of the race, but then things started to change. On lap 19, Bloomquist took the lead. Two laps later, Lanigan took the lead from Bloomquist and held on for the 59th WoO victory of his career and sixth this season. With the win, Lanigan has three wins in the last four WoO events.

“The track came around tonight,” Lanigan said. “It's good to get that win, and we will go with our basic stuff. The track was great tonight too. It feels good to get a win, and it feels good to get a win in our own stuff.”

The victory for Lanigan takes some of the stigma off of him for his career. In the seven previous Firecracker main events, Lanigan has four second-place finishes and a third-place finish.

Bloomquist has won two Firecracker main events, 2007 and 2012, as well as two other WoO races at Lernerville and — even though he finished second Thursday — he was encouraged by the result.

“The main thing for me tonight was that the car was extremely tight,” Bloomquist said. “I had to break loose on entrance to the turns, but it's a fixable thing.”

Qualifying went off without a hitch and 55 cars registered times. Marlar scored the fastest qualifying lap, 16.221 seconds on the first of his two laps. Bloomquist was second with a 16.425 and Davenport was third with a 16.543.

Thomas Zuck is af freelance writer.

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