The 2011 World of Outlaws racing season came to an end over the weekend at the World Finals at the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
And when the dust settled on Saturday night’s 50- lap Late Model main, York’s Rick Eckert captured his first career World of Outlaws series championship and the $100,000 payday that goes with it.
Eckert, a long-time great of Late Model racing in the midstate area, led two-time series champ Josh Richards by just two points heading into the final event Saturday night. Eckert and Richards battled hard during the entire 50-lap main, running just a position apart for many laps until Richards pulled ahead by several cars as the race progressed.
Eckert saw his title hopes going out the door, but when Richards’ car developed a flat tire on the final lap, Eckert was able to get around the West Virginia driver and take the title by 14 points. He was joined in celebration with his wife, daughter, his father, Junior, and mother Charlotte, who is battling cancer, along with Barbara Vest, wife of Eckert’s longtime car owner, Raye Vest.
Jimmy Owens won the Saturday night feature over Scott Bloomquist, Jonathon Davenport, Steve Shaver and Dennis Erb Jr. Davenport was the Friday night Late Model winner over Shaver, Dale McDowell, Chris Madden and Austin Hubbard.
Donny Schatz swept both WoO Sprint car mains over the weekend as he won Friday night over Sammy Swindell, Jason Meyers, Craig Dollansky and Joey Saldana. Schatz’s Saturday night win came over Steve Kinser, Dollansky, Cody Darrah and Thomasville’s Greg Hodnett, who started 16th. Hodnett had a third-place finish wrapped up on Friday until mechanical troubles sent him to the pits.
Jason Meyers only had to sign in for the World Finals to claim his second straight WoO Sprint championship as he dominated the second half of the season to finish nearly 300 points ahead of Schatz in final points.
Hagerstown Speedway will try again this weekend with the 24th annual Octoberfest 350 that was snowed out two weeks ago. Saturday will feature heat and consolation races for Late Models, Big Block and Small Block Modifieds, while Sunday will present the features for those divisions along with 410 Sprint car heats and feature as well. The Sprints run Sunday only due to Susquehanna Speedway’s 410 Sprint car season finale that will take place on Saturday.
That’s it for another week as we inch closer to the holiday season! E-mail reaches me at Bvores@comcast.net.