Column By: MIKE WARREN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – BOONE,IA – The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models will make its first ever appearance at Boone Speedway April 30-May 1, for the highly anticipated Hawkeye 100.
It’s the richest event in the history of the Boone, IA oval, and one driver could walk away with $33,000 if they win both nights.
Friday’s event starts with Slick Woody’s Qualifying, splitting the field into two 25-lap “Twin Hawk” Features, each paying $3,000-to-win. Drivers will earn points in both Qualifying and their Twin Hawk Feature, setting the lineups for Saturday’s Drydene Heat Races.
The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet return Saturday for Drydene Heat Races and Last Chance Showdowns. Those events will set the stage for the unprecedented three-wide start of the Hawkeye 100, paying $30,000-to-win, and $1,500-to-start.
Joining the World of Outlaws Late Models this weekend is the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, and IMCA Stock Cars. All three divisions will chase more than $31,000 in purse money.
If you can’t make it either night, watch all the action live on DIRTVision with the annual Platinum FAST PASS subscription for $299/year or the monthly FAST PASS Subscription for $39/month.
Here are the top stories to follow this weekend:
Chasing the Champ: Three-time and defending champion Brandon Sheppard widened the gap between himself and second place in the point standings. But now, he has more challengers gunning to knock him off his throne.
There’s only 66 points separating Sheppard and fifth-place Ricky Weiss. The New Berlin, IL driver has a 46-point lead on Chris Madden and Kyle Strickler, who are currently tied for second. Tyler Bruening is fourth, 64 points behind, and Ricky Weiss is fifth.
Sheppard is still chasing his first official World of Outlaws win of 2021. If he gets it during Saturday’s Hawkeye 100, it’ll be the 70th of his career. It would put him eight wins behind Josh Richards for most all-time (78).
The Hawkeye state has been good to Brandon Sheppard lately. He won all three events at Davenport Speedway in 2020.
Smokey Stays Hot: Chris Madden has been on a hot streak the last four races.
He has three top-fives, and two of them are second-place finishes. The only event he didn’t finish in the top-five was April 11 at Bristol Motor Speedway, when he finished sixth. Madden has more top-fives (5) than any other driver this season.
One of Madden’s strengths is his performance early in the night. He also currently has more Drydene Heat Race wins than anyone else (5).
Sniper Engaged: Another driver with some momentum after a couple of good runs is Ricky Weiss.
The Headingly, MB driver has back-to-back top-five finishes at Bristol Motor Speedway and Richmond Raceway. It’s propelled him to fifth in points, 66 back of Sheppard and put him on a path to nearing his first win of the season, which would also be the first win for his self-built Sniper Chassis.
So far this season, Weiss has three top-fives, and six top-10s in 12 starts.
Home for the Hawkeye: This weekend’s Hawkeye 100 has been on Tyler Bruening’s radar since the beginning of the season.
Boone Speedway is a short drive for Bruening, with the track about three hours from his Decorah, IA home. He hopes for some home cooking as he pushes for his first career World of Outlaws victory.
Bruening is also making a push in the hunt for Rookie of the Year. His six top-10 finishes, and top-five at Richmond Raceway have put him only 16 points behind leading rookie contender Kyle Strickler.