Tim McCreadie cashes in at Lernerville’s Firecracker 100
One man’s heartbreak was another man’s fortune Saturday at the Firecracker 100 at Lernerville Speedway.
World of Outlaws Late Model rookie Ricky Weiss looked poised to win one of the series’ crown jewel events, but suffered a flat right rear tire with six laps to go, which opened the door for Tim McCreadie to steal a win.
McCreadie, a Watertown, N.Y., native, got a run around the top and used the momentum to rocket past Darrell Lanigan following a restart with three laps to go and held him off from there to secure a $30,000 payday.
McCreadie had been close a couple times, finishing in the top three on a couple occasions so he was happy to cash in this chance.
“This is huge,” McCreadie said. “The 100-lappers are the ones you get amped up for. These are the ones you want. I’ve been close here before, so it’s nice to get one. I’ve never been beat here like (Weiss) was, but we’ve led a while and got passed for the win here.”
McCreadie, who started 11th, was about a straightaway behind Lanigan and Weiss prior to the late caution, but made the most of his opportunity on the last restart.
“I just figured I’d let the tires cool down and the track wouldn’t be rubber down on the backstretch, so we could maneuver around to a different spot,” McCreadie said. “It was tough to get by all of those guys
Lanigan, the 2014 Firecracker 100 champion, settled for second place, which was the fifth time he’s finished runner up in the race.
“I thought we had a good car, but we just came up short,” Lanigan said.
Current World of Outlaws points leader Brandon Sheppard led the first 60 laps from the pole position and ended up third. Jonathan Davenport finished fourth and Josh Richards was fifth.
The race went green for the first 95 laps before Weiss’ flat. The only other caution was for Boom Briggs right after the field went to green on the initial restart after the Weiss incident.
Prior to McCreadie’s late triumph Weiss, Manitoba native, diced his way through the field used the top line in turns one and two to pass both Lanigan and Sheppard to take the lead on lap 61. From there Weiss kept Lanigan at arm’s length while following Chub Frank, who was at the tail end of the lead lap. But with four laps remaining Weiss said he hit something on the track and that jolted his car into the wall and cut his tire. He made repairs to his car and ended up with a 16th place finish.
“We were in contention to the win The Dream (at Eldora) and we showed them we could win this one and together we ended up losing $150,000,” Weiss said. “(The Tire) just went. I thought at first the (car) body got shoved into it, but after seeing how big the hole was, something must have been laying on the track and we were the first ones to hit it.”
Sheppard rolled out to a comfortable lead for the first half of the race before he was chased down by Weiss. He had won eight World of Outlaws races coming into the weekend and fell short of his first Firecracker 100 win, but was happy to come home with a podium finish.
“When you’re out front it’s hard to figure out what line on the track is coming in and what line is going away,” Sheppard said. “If I could go back and do it again there’s a few things I would do different, but it’s hard to know when to do something and when not to when you’re out front. We’ll take it. We certainly aren’t going to hang our heads over a third place finish.”
Two-time Lernerville track champion and Knoch grad Michael Norris followed up Friday night’s preliminary win with a seventh place finish. It was his third consecutive Top 10 finish in the Firecracker 100. Jared Miley (18th), Mike Pegher, Jr. (25th) and Kenny Schaltenbrand (27th) were other local drivers that made the 100-lap finale.
In the RUSH Crate Late Models, Max Blair drove past Ross Robinson with five laps to go and went on to earn the $10,000-to-win Bill Emig Memorial 50. Robinson was second, Daryl Charlier took third, Damian Bidwell was fourth and John Waters finished fifth.
A couple hours earlier Blair took home the Uncle Sam 30 nonqualifiers race for the super late models, earning $3,000.
Blair waged a tough battle with Tyler Erb for the first half race and eventually pulled away for the victory. Erb settled for second, Russ King was third, Tyler Dietz placed fourth and Doug Eck was fifth.