Column By: MIKE WARREN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – HARTFORD, OH – A swing through the Northeast continues for the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models as they prepare for a double-dip at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, OH.
A potential $30,000 payday is up for grabs this weekend, kicking off on Friday, May 27, as the Series runs a 40-lap Feature paying $10,000-to-win.
The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet return on Saturday, May 28 to wage war for 60 laps, and a $20,000 prize.
Joining the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models this weekend is the RUSH Sprint Cars on Friday, and the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds on Saturday.
Here are some of the storylines to keep an eye on this weekend:
Championship Form: Dennis Erb Jr. continues to show why he’s the man to beat this season with the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models.
Erb, along with 2021 Crew Chief of the Year Heather Lyne have been consistent since Sunshine Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park and continued that success last weekend with a win (Marion Center) and second (Bloomsburg).
The Carpentersville, IL driver holds a 100-point lead over Max Blair entering this weekend’s doubleheader.
Last season, Erb finished ninth in his only appearance at the track.
Looking to Strike: Max Blair has thrown every jab at Erb in the past few weeks, but still finds himself at a deficit heading into Sharon.
The Viper Motorsports entry is also coming off a strong weekend with a win (Bloomsburg), a third (Port Royal), and a ninth (Marion Center).
Blair had a top five run going in last year’s World of Outlaws event at Sharon before misfortune hit, causing him to cross the line 20th. However, he has found success at the track in the past, finishing third in a ULMS event last year.
Reaper’s Redemption: Perhaps no World of Outlaws CASE Late Models driver is looking forward to Sharon Speedway more than Ryan Gustin.
The “Reaper” challenged 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Larson in the closing laps of last year’s event—but ultimately fell short at the checkered flag.
The Marshalltown, IA driver is still searching for his first career World of Outlaws victory, and hopes for redemption this weekend at a place he had his Rocket Chassis rolling last season.
Hot Streaks: Erb and Blair aren’t the only drivers who have momentum entering this weekend’s events at Sharon Speedway.
Shane Clanton thrived in his return to World of Outlaws competition during the three-day Pennsylvania swing with two top 5’s and three top-10s, including a second at Marion Center Raceway.
Four-time Series champion Josh Richards also gained momentum with two podiums over the weekend, a sign the Houston, OH driver is moving in the right direction going forward.
Rookie of the Year contender Tanner English is another driver who ran well in Pennsylvania, grabbing three top 10’s. He currently sits third in points—144 points behind Dennis Erb.
A win by any of these drivers would be their first World of Outlaws victory of 2022.
Battling the Regional Stars: The World of Outlaw CASE Late Models drivers will once again battle regional drivers from both Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Last weekend, Jared Miley broke through at Port Royal for his first career World of Outlaws victory. It was redemption for the Pittsburgh, PA driver, who let a couple wins slip away in the past.
He’s one of many Pennsylvania drivers expected to join the Series at Sharon, including Chub Frank, 2011 Series champion Rick Eckert, Colton Flinner, and Gregg Satterlee who hope to defend their region again in World of Outlaws competition.