Column: Madden, Sheppard, Bruening & More Prepare For Two-Track WoO LM Weekend In Indiana

Column By: MIKE WARREN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Racing history in Indiana is usually reserved for the Indianapolis 500. But as the calendar turns to June, the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models have their own chance to make history in the Hoosier State.

This weekend is the only time the Series will visit Indiana in 2021, with a pair of 40-lap $10,000-to-win Morton Buildings Features.

Friday, June 4, The Most Powerful Late Models on The Planet travel to Circle City Raceway for the first Late Model race in track history. The Series will be joined by the United CC Modifieds, and Pro Legends.

On Saturday, June 5, the World of Outlaws Late Models will make their first appearance at Plymouth Speedway in Plymouth, IN. The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds and 4-cylinders are also on the card.

Here’s a look at some of the storylines to follow this weekend:

“Smokey” Streak: Chris Madden doesn’t want to forget the month of May anytime soon. He’s won the last three races, and his only finish outside the top-five was sixth during the Hawkeye 100 at Boone Speedway.

Those three wins helped him close the gap in the standings. The Gray Court, SC driver is 26 points behind Brandon Sheppard, with two less starts than the reigning champion.

“Smokey” hopes to keep his success rolling as the calendar switches to June. He’s won four times this season, more than any other driver.

Madden’s also had success at 3/8-mile tracks in 2021. One of his four wins came during the Dairyland Showdown at Mississippi Thunder Speedway.

Madden has a top-five finish in two races on 1/4-mile tracks this season, as well.

Feels Like The First Time: Circle City Raceway and Plymouth Speedway continue a trend of exciting firsts in 2021. It’ll be the fifth and sixth time the Series travels to a new facility this season.

In eight races at new venues in 2021, there’s been eight different winners.

If that trend continues, a tour regular could win their first-ever Morton Buildings Feature. Tyler Bruening, Ryan Gustin, Boom Briggs, and Brent Larson are still searching for that elusive victory.

Larson holds the advantage out of that group, as he owns the track record at Plymouth Speedway.

Indiana Experience: While The Most Powerful Late Models on The Planet have never raced at Plymouth Speedway, one full-time Outlaw does have a win there. Three-time and defending champion Brandon Sheppard won a DIRTcar Summer Nationals event at the track in 2017.

Another reason he may be looking forward to Plymouth, is his success at 3/8-mile tracks this season.

Both of Sheppard’s wins in 2021 have come on tracks that size. He won an unofficial event at Cherokee Speedway in March and found Victory Lane for the 70th time in his career at Mississippi Thunder Speedway.

If the New Berlin, IL driver wins this weekend, he’ll be seven wins away from tying Josh Richards for the most all-time (78).

Quiet Ascension: Tyler Bruening is quietly moving his way up the standings in his first full year with the World of Outlaws.

The Decorah, IA driver is third in points—136 points behind Sheppard. He also leads the chase for Rookie of the Year—36 points ahead of Kyle Strickler.

Bruening’s rise comes on the strength of 11 top-10 finishes—the third most of any driver.

He hopes to keep his momentum rolling but hasn’t had much success at tracks like the ones he’ll see this weekend.

Bruening’s best finish on either a 1/4-mile or 3/8-mile track is a sixth at Cherokee Speedway in March.

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