Column By: MIKE WARREN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – FARMER CITY, IL – When the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series returns to Farmer City Raceway, March 30-April 1, there will be a sense of needed familiarity for Nick Hoffman.
He grew up developing his skills on Midwest bullrings and scored two national wins in a DIRTcar UMP Modified at Farmer City. However, he admitted going there with the World of Outlaws for the Illini 100 will be a new challenge.
“I’ve ran good in the Modified there, but this is a whole different deal,” Hoffman said. “You’ll have 15 to 20 guys that can legitimately win that deal, so we’ll just throw our name into the ring, and hopefully, we’ll be one of them.
“Farmer City, I kind of know what to expect. Looking at pictures, it looks like they kind of changed [Turns] 3 and 4 a little bit, maybe banking-wise. So, we’ll see what we got when we get there.”
Hoffman can get his feet wet at Farmer City as teams are offered a practice session on Thursday, March 30, before the racing begins on Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1.
It’s a test he said he’s looking forward to since his last race was the final night of DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.
“The biggest thing is we have a test night,” Hoffman said. “That’s kind of nice to get back in the swing of things. I feel like it’s been a year since it feels like since we’ve raced with so many off weekends.
“I kind of know what we need to do or what to expect as the night goes on, which is kind of nice. Any of those Illinois’ racetracks are pretty similar as the night goes on, which for sure helps.”
Hoffman enters the Illini 100 eighth in the points standings—38 points behind Chris Madden. However, he currently leads the battle for Germfree Rookie of the Year after four races.
Despite being in contention for a championship, he’s hoping to get back on track at Farmer City. After a top five and two top 10s at Sunshine Nationals, his best finish was 17th when the Series returned to Volusia for DIRTcar Nationals.
“I just sucked, really, at the Speedweeks side of it,” Hoffman said. “I was good at the beginning of the week. Then, I pulled my car I ran at Sunshine Nationals out and just wasn’t very good. I don’t know where I missed it.
“Once we got back to the shop and worked on some stuff, I found some areas that were off. I had a bent A-frame and stuff like that. Little things that I missed, I guess. Just bad maintenance on my part, I guess.”
Despite not racing since Volusia, Hoffman has been busy in his Mooresville, NC shop getting a car ready for one of the most significant events of the season—the Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway.
However, that car is also necessary if things don’t go as planned.
“The biggest thing is to make sure we’re prepared for the whole year for this World of Outlaws schedule, so if we do go out there and happen to junk one or two cars, we’re not sitting on our hands and don’t have everything ready,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman had plenty of success building Modifieds with his Elite Chassis business and said he’s excited to put together his first Late Model. But he hopes that the car doesn’t hit the track too soon.
“This is the first Late Model I’ve ever put together myself,” Hoffman said. “Everything else has been put together by either Longhorn or Rocket, so I was kind of excited just to put one together myself. I had some areas I felt I wanted to change and make a bit different and see how it goes.
“We’ll debut it probably a couple of weeks before The Dream. Hopefully, we don’t have to use it before then.”
With more knowledge about his Late Model and a sense of familiarity, Hoffman has all the tools he needs to get back on track at Farmer.
The World of Outlaws CASE Late Models return to Farmer City Raceway for the Illini 100, March 30-April 1.