Column: Battle At The Border On Tap For World Of Outlaws Late Models At Sharon Speedway
Column By: MIKE WARREN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – HARTFORD, OH – A border battle awaits the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models as they prepare for three nights in the Buckeye State.
The Series travels to Sharon Speedway in Hartford, OH, for the Battle at the Border on May 25-27.
On Thursday, May 25, and Friday, May 26, drivers will battle in a 25-lap Feature, paying $6,000-to-win.
Then, on Saturday, May 27, the weekend comes to its epic finale as drivers wage war for 60-laps, with $25,000 going to the winner.
Drivers will battle for a $ 156,000 weekend purse between the three Features.
Joining the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models are the RUSH Wingless Sprints on Thursday, RUSH Modifieds on Friday, and Econo Mods on Saturday.
Fans attending the Battle at the Border this weekend at Sharon will get to taste the on-track and off-track activities.
A cornhole tournament in the Fan Zone will happen on Friday from 12pm-2pm. Fans can sign up on Thursday at the World of Outlaws tent starting at 4pm.
That’s not the only off-track activity on Friday, as Against the Wind, a Bob Seger tribute band, will play after the racing is complete.
On Saturday, fans can meet their favorite drivers in an autograph session from 4-5pm.
Here’s a look at some of the storylines entering the Battle at the Border at Sharon Speedway:
The Points Tighten: Entering this weekend’s Battle at the Border at Sharon Speedway, the top seven drivers in the standings are separated by 56 points.
Chris Madden extended his points lead on Tuesday at Stateline, holding a 22-point lead over Ryan Gustin and a 30-point lead over Kyle Bronson.
Nick Hoffman (-34) moved up to fourth in the standings after his win on Tuesday, while Bobby Pierce (-52), Brandon Sheppard (-52), and Brian Shirley (-56) round out the top seven.
With three complete shows this weekend, all those spots may change by the end of Saturdays $25,000-to-win finale.
Here Comes the Reaper: In the last three World of Outlaws CASE Late Models races at Sharon, no driver has been better than Gustin.
The Marshalltown, IA driver has finished no worse than second in those three starts.
After finishing second to Kyle Larson in 2021, “The Reaper” scored his first career World of Outlaws triumph at the track last May.
He backed that win up with another second-place finish last August.
Gustin is looking for his second Series win of the season after grabbing the checkered flag at Marion Center last week.
Beware of the Bulldog: While Gustin has thrived at Sharon, so has 2015 Series champion Shane Clanton.
The “Georgia Bulldog” had two podium finishes when the Series visited last season but has yet to win at the Ohio track.
Clanton is two wins away from becoming the fourth driver to reach 50 World of Outlaws wins, joining Sheppard, Josh Richards, and Darrell Lanigan.
Return of the Warrior: The 2023 Battle at the Border will mark the return of 2018 Series champion Mike Marlar to Series competition.
Last season, the Winfield, TN driver won five CASE Construction Equipment Features, including four on 3/8-mile tracks.
If he can become the 12th different World of Outlaws winner at Sharon, it’ll be his 14th career Series win, tying Jonathan Davenport, Dale McDowell, and Tim Fuller for 14th all-time.