Column By: MIKE WARREN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – GRANITE CITY, IL – The St. Louis area is calling the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series as they return to Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, IL, for the first time since 2004.
Drivers will battle in a 40-lap, $10,000-to-win Feature on Friday, June 3, as the march toward the summer months continues for The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet.
It’s the first time the Series will run on the 3/8-mile track—as Darrell Lanigan’s victory came on the half-mile configuration.
MOWA Sprints and DIRTcar UMP Modifieds join the card Friday as part of a monster weekend of racing near the “Gateway to the West.”
Here are some of the storylines to keep an eye on this weekend:
HOME GAME: World of Outlaws CASE Late Models Rookie of the Year contender Gordy Gundaker gets his chance to race at home with the Series Friday night.
The Gundaker family owns Tri-City Speedway, and the St. Charles, MO driver, can’t think of a better place for a potential first World of Outlaws triumph.
Gundaker has two top-fives so far this season—one of them on a track 3/8-mile in length like Tri-City (Atomic).
He enters Friday night’s race eighth in the points standings.
CAPITAL CLUTCH: The only thing missing from Shane Clanton’s resume since his return to World of Outlaws competition in May is a trip to Victory Lane.
The 2015 Series champion has returned strong with three top-fives in four races, including two second-place finishes.
In the past, Clanton has found success on the 3/8-mile track—a fourth in a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event in 2020.
A victory for the “Georgia Bulldog” would be his 47th World of Outlaws triumph and first since 2019.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY: Dennis Erb Jr. may only have two World of Outlaws CASE Late Models wins in 2022, but his consistency has been the season’s story.
In 19 starts, Erb has nine top-fives and 15 top-10s, more than any other driver.
The Carpentersville, IL driver returns to his home state with a 106-point lead over Max Blair—and has found success on 3/8-mile tracks already this season. Five of his nine top-fives have come on tracks that size.
COMING IN HOT: Both Ryan Gustin and Max Blair enter Tri-City this weekend with momentum after trips to Victory Lane.
Gustin finally scored his first career World of Outlaws victory last weekend at Sharon Speedway—a $20,000 triumph.
The win was Gustin’s second of the season after a DIRTcar Late Model triumph at Volusia Speedway Park during DIRTcar Nationals.
For Blair, a return home sparked a win for the Viper Motorsports Team.
The Centerville, PA driver won the Andy Kania Memorial at Eriez Speedway, his fourth win of 2022.
Gustin and Blair hope to add to their totals on Friday with $10,000 on the line.