Story By: MIKE WARREN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – CONCORD, NC – For the first time in 2021, the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models will race at two tracks in the same weekend.
It starts Friday, April 23, when the Series makes its first trip to Richmond Raceway in Richmond, KY for a 40-lap $10,000-to-win Feature.
“The Beast of the East” will be the 191st track the World of Outlaws have visited, and it’s the only trip to Kentucky for the Series in 2021.
Friday will also mark the ninth time in Series history the Bluegrass State has held a World of Outlaws Feature. Rick Eckert has the most World of Outlaws wins in Kentucky (2), while tour regulars Darrell Lanigan and Shane Clanton each have one victory.
On Saturday, April 24, the Series moves to Brushcreek Motorsports Complex in Peebles, OH for “The 4B4EVER 40,” celebrating the life of legendary Late Model driver Jackie Boggs.
Saturday’s Feature will also be 40-laps, paying $10,000-to-win. It’ll be the first time a National touring Series has raced on the new 3/10-mile track configuration. However, it’s the third time the World of Outlaws Late Models have visited the complex. Dale Mcdowell won in 2005, and Steve Francis won the last event in 2006.
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:
Rocketing To The Top: Even though he hasn’t found Victory Lane in an official World of Outlaws event in 2021, Brandon Sheppard still leads the standings heading into this weekend – 20 points ahead of Kyle Strickler.
It’s the longest the New Berlin, IL driver has gone without a win to start the season in his career. His longest streak previous was four races during his rookie season in 2017.
In his last four races, Sheppard has three top-five finishes, including a pair of thirds at Farmer City Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway. If the “Rocket Shepp” can find Victory Lane this weekend, it’ll be his 70th World of Outlaws win of his career. It’ll put him eight wins behind Josh Richards for the most all-time.
Defending Home Turf: It hasn’t been the start to the season three-time Series champion Darrell Lanigan has hoped for. He’s sitting eighth in the standings, 106 points behind Brandon Sheppard.
The good news for the “Bluegrass Bandit,” is he can take advantage of some home cooking this weekend. Both racetracks the Series visits this weekend aren’t far from his Union, KY home.
Lanigan already has a World of Outlaws win in the state of Kentucky, finding Victory Lane at Bluegrass Speedway in 2011.
The Kentucky driver also has a third place finish at Brushcreek Motorsports Complex when the Series last visited the Peebles, OH track in 2006.
Turning the Tide: It’s been the tale of two seasons for Kyle Strickler in 2021. He won twice at Volusia Speedway Park, catapulting him to the top of the point standings. Since then, the Mooresville, NC driver has had a string of bad luck.
The “High Side Tickler” hasn’t had a top-10 finish since February at DIRTcar Nationals.
Despite those finishes, he’s still only 20 points behind Brandon Sheppard in the chase for the World of Outlaws Late Models title. A couple of good finishes this weekend could put him back on top.
Smokin’ Hot: While it’s been nothing but bad luck for Kyle Strickler since DIRTcar Nationals, it’s the opposite side of the coin for South Carolina’s Chris Madden.
He’s been on a hot streak since finding Victory Lane at Smoky Mountain Speedway in March. In just nine starts this season, Madden has four top-five’s and six top-10’s. The Gray Court, SC driver is third in the standings, 60 points behind Sheppard.
“Smokey” has put himself in position for good finishes by having good runs in Drydene Heat Races. Madden has won more Heat Races(4) than any other driver in 2021.
Big Money On The Line For WoO Late Model Drivers In Hawkeye 100
In less than two weeks, the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models will travel to Iowa for the Hawkeye 100. The inaugural event is the richest in Boone Speedway’s history, and one racer could drive away with $32,500.
On Friday, April 30, The Most Powerful Late Models on The Planet will run two preliminary Features, known as the “Twin Hawks.” The winner of each race will collect $2,500. Each of those Features will set the starting lineup for the 100-lap finale on Saturday, May 1. The Feature will have an unprecedented three-wide start for the first time in World of Outlaws history.
The Hawkeye 100 winner will collect $30,000, and any driver who starts the race gets $1,500.
“This unique event brings the World of Outlaws to Boone for the first time, and we’re excited to add to the history there,” World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series Director Casey Shuman said. “The three-wide start has everyone talking, but a $30,000-to-win and $1,500-to-start event early in the season is tremendous for the teams, too. We can’t wait to get there and put on a show for the fans.”
The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models aren’t the only ones racing for a big purse at the event. On Friday and Saturday, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, and IMCA Stock cars will join the Series.
The IMCA Modifieds will race for $1,000 on Friday, followed by $3,000 in Saturday’s Hawkeye 30. The total purse of Saturday’s race is more than $10,000. The IMCA Sport Modifieds will race for $500 on Friday and $750 Saturday, while the IMCA Stock Cars will compete for $500 on Friday and $1,000 on Saturday.
Among those three divisions alone, the drivers will be chasing more than $31,000.