30th Anniversary WoO Late Model Tour

Shane Clanton (25) racing Brandon Sheppard

Shane Clanton (25) racing Brandon Sheppard (Jim DenHamer pic)

New Events, New Venues and Traditional Favorites Highlight 2018 World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Tour
2018 celebrates 30th anniversary of inaugural campaign

(Special to Kayla May)

In 2018 the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its inaugural season with 47 races in 18 states stretching from February to November, adding new venues and huge races to its solid foundation of exciting events.

In 1988, the inaugural season featured 17 races in 11 states. In 2004, the series was rekindled to push the sport, drivers and passion of the fans to a level unimaginable just 30 years ago. Now, February is just around the corner with six races in nine days to wave the green flag on this milestone season. For the fourth consecutive year, the season opens Feb. 9-10 with the Winter Freeze at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, GA.

Mike Marlar (157) and Rick Eckert go door-to-door

Mike Marlar (157) and Rick Eckert go door-to-door (Jim DenHamer pic)

The Outlaws will then head to the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, FL, where for the first time it will compete at the half-mile speedplant on four consecutive nights, Feb. 14-17, with more than $150,000 up for grabs in addition to two nights of DIRTcar Late Model Feb. 12-13. In a new twist, competitors’ two best finishes over the four nights of Outlaw racing will count toward the 2018 championship.

One of the new events to the Outlaw schedule is the two-day Tennessee Tip-Off March 9-10 at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, TN, giving competitors a chance to win more than $20,000 over two nights before heading north March 23-24 to Farmer City (IL) Raceway for the 11th annual Illini 100. The popular two-day event at the quarter-mile bullring in central Illinois features the always thrilling 25-lap Friday race followed on Saturday with the 75-lap, $15,000-to-win main event.

The Outlaws will return in April to Whynot Speedway in Meridian, MS, and for the first time it’s a two-day showdown with two 50-lap features paying $10,000-to-win each night for $20,000 at stake in this new anchor event April 20-21 that leads into a swing through the south and southeast.

After jam-packed crowd watched the Outlaws last season at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC, the series returns there Friday, May 4, before heading Saturday, May 5, to Georgia for the highly anticipated Billy Clanton Classic at Senoia (GA) Raceway. The new First in Flight 100 weekend will be May 11-12 at Fayetteville (NC) Motor Speedway, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary season. A Friday night of qualifying will lead to the 100-lap finale on Saturday paying $25,000 to the winner and $2,000 to start.

May will conclude in Ohio with the new two-day Outlaw Invasion May 18-19 at high-banked Atomic Speedway. The Invasion will feature two $10,000-to-win events for $20,000 on the line to winners over the weekend.

A packed house at Smoky Mountain Speedway. (Michael Moats photo)

A packed house at Smoky Mountain Speedway. (Michael Moats photo)

A big Tennessee weekend kicks off June with $10,000-to-win events Friday, June 1 at 411 Speedway in Seymour followed Saturday with another $10,000-to-win feature at storied Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap. Then a three-race swing from Pennsylvania’s McKean County Raceway to New York’s Ransomville Speedway to Ohio’s Wayne County Speedway sets the stage for the 12th annual Firecracker 100, a three-day destination event June 21-22-23 with thrilling on-track action and a $30,000-to-win finale at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, PA.

The summer begins to really heat up when the Outlaws battle the stars of the DIRTcar Summer Nationals tour in back-to-back $10,000-to-win grudge fests Friday, June 29, at Terre Haute (IN) Action Track and Saturday, June 30, at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, MO.

The Outlaws set their sites on the Midwest in July, beginning Friday, July 6, at Farley (IA) Speedway and Saturday, July 7, at Deer Creek Speedway before heading out to their westernmost point of the year Tuesday, July 10, under the watchful eyes of Mt. Rushmore at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, SD. The swing through the upper Midwest wraps up on Friday, July 13, at the always-thrilling River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND, and on Saturday, July 14, at Ogilvie (MN) Speedway.

A new stop on Tuesday, July 24, at Davenport (IA) Speedway leads into the hot-ticket fan-favorite Prairie Dirt Classic July 27-28 at Fairbury (IL) American Legion Speedway. This event continues to grow not just by the level of competition on the track but also by the party in the campgrounds. In 2017, the PDC nearly tripled the size of the all-American city as fans traveled from all over to watch more than 60 of the best Dirt Late Model drivers chase a huge payday. Long-time track promoter Matt Curl has recently come aboard as the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Director. In this new role, Curl extends his commitment to Late Model racing, and to every promoter hosting a World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series event moving forward.

Wisconsin becomes a focal point for one of the richest weeks of the season as more than $250,000 is up for grabs when the Outlaws head north to the Plymouth Dirt Track on Monday, July 30, and Shawano Speedway on Tuesday, July 31, before heading to western side of the Dairy State for the three-day, $50,000-to-win USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedway Aug. 2-3-4 in New Richmond.

The Outlaws return east for four consecutive nights Aug. 16 through Aug. 19 beginning at Georgetown (DE) Speedway and continuing Friday to Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, PA, where the inaugural World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series event was run in 1988. The series picks up on Saturday at Port Royal (PA) Speedway and wraps up the swing Sunday with the 2017 promoters of the year at Eriez Speedway in Erie, PA.

Shane Clanton (25) passes Chris Madden on the last lap for the Saturday win.

Shane Clanton (25) passes Chris Madden on the last lap for the Saturday win. (Jim DenHamer pic)

The series will remain in the northeast in September with $10,000-to-win events on Friday, Sept. 21 at Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, NY, followed on Saturday, Sept. 22, by a return to Selinsgrove (PA) Speedway, leading into October and the $25,000-to-win Chi-Town Showdown Oct. 12-13 at The Dirt Oval @ Route 66 in Joliet, IL.

All of those events set the stage for the championship-crowning World of Outlaws World Finals Nov. 1-2-3 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, NC.

Date Track (location) Purse Winner
Feb 9 Screven Motor Speedway (Sylvania, GA) $8,000
Feb 10 Screven Motor Speedway (Sylvania, GA) $10,000
Feb 14 Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL) $10,000
Feb 15 Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL) $10,000
Feb 16 Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL) $10,000
Feb 17 Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL) $10,000
Mar 9 Smoky Mountain Speedway (Maryville, TN) $10,000
Mar 10 Smoky Mountain Speedway (Maryville, TN) $12,000
Mar 23 Farmer City Raceway (Farmer City, IL) $6,000
Mar 24 Farmer City Raceway (Farmer City, IL) $15,000
Apr 20 Whynot Motorsports Park (Meridian, MS) $10,000
Apr 21 Whynot Motorsports Park (Meridian, MS) $10,000
May 4 Cherokee Speedway (Gaffney, SC) $10,000
May 5 Senoia Raceway (Senoia, GA) $10,000
May 11-12 Fayetteville Motor Speedway (Fayetteville, NC) $25,000
May 18 Atomic Speedway (Alma, OH) $10,000
May 19 Atomic Speedway (Alma, OH) $10,000
Jun 1 411 Motor Speedway (Seymour, TN) $10,000
Jun 2 Volunteer Speedway (Bulls Gap, TN) $10,000
Jun 14 McKean County Raceway (East Smethport, PA) $10,000
Jun 15 Ransomville Speedway (Ransomville, NY) $10,000
Jun 16 NAPA Wayne County Speedway (Orrville, OH) $10,000
Jun 21 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) $6,000
Jun 22 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) $6,000
Jun 23 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) $30,000
Jun 29 Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN) $10,000
Jun 30 Federated Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO) $10,000
Jul 6 Farley Speedway (Farley, IA) $10,000
Jul 7 Deer Creek Speedway (Spring Valley, MN) $10,000
Jul 10 Black Hills Speedway (Rapid City, SD) $10,000
Jul 13 River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND) $10,000
Jul 14 Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN) $10,000
Jul 24 Davenport Speedway (Davenport, IA) $10,000
Jul 27-28 Fairbury American Legion Speedway (Fairbury, IL) $30,000
Jul 30 Plymouth Dirt Track (Plymouth, WI) $10,000
Jul 31 Shawano Speedway (Shawano, WI) $10,000
Aug 2 Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI) $6,000
Aug 3-4 Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI) $50,000
Aug 16 Georgetown Speedway (Georgetown, DE) $10,000
Aug 17 Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA) $10,000
Aug 18 Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA) $10,000
Aug 19 Eriez Speedway (Hammett, PA) $10,000
Sep 21 Outlaw Speedway (Dundee, NY) $10,000
Sep 22 Selinsgrove Speedway (Selinsgrove, PA) $10,000
Oct 12-13 Dirt Oval Route 66 Raceway (Joliet, IL) $25,000
Nov 1 Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC) TBA
Nov 2 Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC) $12,000
Nov 3 Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC) $12,000

About the author

Ben Shelton

Ben got his start at historic Riverside International Speedway. His accomplished motorsports media career includes journalist, race announcer, and on-air personality.
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