Column: Sheppard, Madden, Larson Set For WoO Late Model Minnesota Twin Bill This Weekend

Column By: MIKE WARREN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – JACKSON, MN – The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models get their first taste of the North Star state this weekend with a trip to Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, MN.

It’ll be the Series’ fourth visit to the state-of-the-art complex, seeing a potential $30,000 payday to one driver over the two nights of jam-packed action.

Friday, July 9, the Series will run a 40-lap Feature, paying $10,000-to-win. Then, The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet return on Saturday, July 10, with $20,000 on the line in a 50-lap brawl.

The Tri-State Late Models will join the card on both nights.

Here are the top stories to follow this weekend:

Time to Blast Off: Brandon Sheppard sits at the top of the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model standings—58 points ahead of Chris Madden. But the New Berlin, IL driver has only reached Victory Lane twice in 2021, so far.

This is the point of the season last year when the “Rocket Shepp” started a hot streak, winning six races in July. Sheppard hopes history repeats itself, as he’s only seven wins away from catching Josh Richards for most Series wins all-time (78).

Last season, Sheppard finished second and third when the Series traveled to the Minnesota track. He has more top-fives (14) than any other driver and is tied for the most top-10’s with Madden (19) this season.

Sheppard also has momentum entering Jackson Motorplex, after winning two DIRTcar Summer Nationals events in Illinois over the weekend.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire: Chris Madden hasn’t won a Morton Buildings Feature since sweeping the weekend at Port Royal Speedway in May. But it doesn’t mean the Gray Court, SC driver has cooled off.

Madden had two second place finishes at the 26th Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway, and the Firecracker 100 at Lernerville Speedway. “Smokey” has more wins than anyone with the World of Outlaws in 2021 (4) and is still in striking distance of the Series championship.

Madden also scored two top five finishes when the Series visited Jackson Motorplex last year.

Feeling Minnesota: While it’s not the closest Brent Larson will race to his Lake Elmo, MN home, it’s the first of three chances he’ll have to win in his home state.

The last time the Series was in the North region in May, Larson finished a career-best second at Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, WI. If he can build on that finish, it could put him in position to win his first career Morton Buildings Feature.

Jackson Motorplex hasn’t been the kindest to Larson though. He finished outside the top-10 in both races last year.

Larson enters the weekend ninth in points, with one top-five and four top-10s.

Missile Launch: Ricky Weiss hasn’t reached World of Outlaws Victory Lane in more than a year. But there’s good news for the Headingly, MB driver. Jackson Motorplex is where his last World of Outlaws triumph happened in 2020.

Weiss enters the weekend fourth in the standings—274 points behind Sheppard, and 58 points behind third place driver Tyler Bruening.

The “Manitoba Missile” has four top fives and eleven top-10s in 2021, including an eighth-place finish last weekend at Lernerville Speedway.

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