World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series
Outlaws tour plans 44 races for 2014 season
By Kevin KovacWorld of Outlaws Late Model Series
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its rebirth in 2014 with a typically ambitious and diverse schedule of events, officials announced on Thursday during the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis.
Forty-nine race dates comprising 44 A-Mains at 32 tracks in 21 states and Canada are currently confirmed as part of the national tour’s map-crossing 2014 itinerary, which kicks off with a burst of eight events in Georgia and Florida during the month of February. | 2014 WoO schedule
Almost exactly a decade to the day since the WoO tour was reincarnated under the World Racing Group banner, the country’s longest-running national tour will commence for the third straight year with the Winter Freeze on Feb. 7-8 at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga. The doubleheader will feature 50-lap main events paying $10,000 to win on both Friday and Saturday evenings.
Also part of the busy first month of World of Outlaws action is the third annual Bubba Army Late Model Winter Nationals on Feb. 14-16 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. — a three-night weekend extravaganza with increasingly lucrative events offering $8,000, $10,000 and $12,000 top prizes — and the traditional visit to Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., for the DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment that in 2014 includes three complete WoO programs on Feb. 20-22.
Volusia, of course, is the track that hosted the first race of the WoO World Racing Group era, on Feb. 3, 2004. The circuit restarted that season after a 15-year hiatus following its two-year run in 1988-1989 under the direction of late World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series founder Ted Johnson.
Four high-dollar, long-distance races also highlight the 2014 schedule. The list of marquee events includes the $50,000-to-win USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis. (July 31-Aug. 2); the eighth annual Firecracker 100 at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. ($30,000 to win on June 26-28); the Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury (Ill.) American Legion Speedway ($25,000 to win on July 25-26); and the Illini 100 at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway ($20,000 to win on April 4-5).
The ’14 season will conclude for the eighth straight year with a pair of $12,000-to-win 50-lap events during the World of Outlaws World Finals on Nov. 6-8 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, N.C.
With up to six additional dates still to be announced, the 2014 campaign is on course to surpass the tour’s alltime single-season high of 46 feature races established in 2013 and threaten the record of 38 different host tracks set in 2010. What’s more, the first race of 2014 will mark the 400th WoO event contested since the circuit restarted in 2004.
“The demand for World of Outlaws Late Model Series racing from fans and track promoters across the country continues at a record level,” said Tim Christman, who will serve as the WoO director for the eighth consecutive year. “We are thrilled that so many speedway operators recognize the significance of hosting a World of Outlaws Late Model Series event. It’s with their support that we’re able to offer fans and race teams the most prestigious series in all of Dirt Late Model racing.”
The richest WoO event in 2014 remains Cedar Lake Speedway’s 100-lap USA Nationals, a crown-jewel race that occupies a spotlighted position on the World of Outlaws trail for the fifth consecutive year and eighth time overall in its 27-year history. The three-day spectacular will be an all-World of Outlaws weekend for the second straight season, with a Thursday-night preliminary program on July 31 offering full WoO points and a $6,000 first-place check leading into the traditional USA Nationals qualifying card on Fri., Aug. 1, and the 100-lap finale on Sat., Aug. 2.
Lernerville’s Firecracker 100, meanwhile, will feature three full nights of competition for the fifth year in a row. The fan-friendly Firecracker weekend begins with 30-lap, $6,000-to-win preliminary A-Mains on Thurs., June 26, and Fri., June 27, before ending with the 100-lap headliner offering $30,000 for first place on Sat., June 28.
The Land of Lincoln will be the site of two century-grind WoO events — both at wildly popular quarter-mile bullrings. The Illini 100 on April 4-5 at Farmer City will again serve as a grand lidlifter to the DIRTcar UMP season in the Midwest, while the Prairie Dirt Classic on July 25-26 at Fairbury returns to the World of Outlaws schedule for the second straight year with its first-place payout pumped up to a track-record $25,000 to commemorate the 25th running of the event.
Special events are also inked for the quarter-mile Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va. (Jackpot Weekend on May 24-25) and Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich., a 7/16th-mile asphalt track that will be covered with dirt for the Keyser Manufacturing Down & Dirty Weekend on Sept. 12-13. Race formats and purse structures for the Tyler County and Berlin weekends will be announced in the near future.
Another two-day meet is scheduled for Labor Day weekend at Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway. The sprawling half-mile oval’s promoter, Charlie Paige, has set the 40-lap, $8,000-to-win ‘Showdown On Sand Hill’ for Sat., Aug. 30, and the 50-lap, $10,000-to-win Late Model National Open for Sun., Aug. 31.
The tour’s annual mid-summer ‘Wild West Tour’ currently includes four events over a seven-day period with at least one more event to be added. WoO stalwart Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., is scheduled to kick off the swing on Sat., July 12, with the ‘Gopher 50’ charity race (the 10th straight year the event is part of the series), followed by subsequent races on July 15 at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen, S.D., which returns to the WoO for the first time since 2008; July 17 at Red River Co-op Speedway in Winnipeg, Manitoba (third year in a row that the series will visit the Canadian track); and July 18 at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., which had its WoO event rained out in 2013 after presenting an A-Main every year since ’06.
Other highlights of the 2014 schedule:
* An early-season swing to Lonestar Speedway in Kilgore, Texas, on March 28 and I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark., on March 29. The circuit will visit Lonestar for the first time since 2010 and returns to I-30 after debuting there in 2013.
* Three weekends of springtime racing below the Mason-Dixon Line: a Volunteer State doubleheader on April 11 at Duck River Raceway Park in Wheel, Tenn., and April 12 at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway; Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway on May 2 and Lavonia (Ga.) Speedway on May 3; and 201 Speedway in Sitka, Ky., on May 16 and Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn., on May 17. Lavonia and 201 Speedway are set to host first-ever WoO events; Duck River and Smoky Mountain are back on the tour for the second consecutive year; and Tazewell (last race: 2012) and Fayetteville (2010) return after having scheduled events rained out in 2013.
* The traditional spring midweek event at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, which hosts the WoO for the 10th time in 11 years on Thurs., May 29. The trip to the First State once again coincides with the NASCAR weekend at nearby Dover International Speedway.
* A Northeast swing in the week preceding the Firecracker 100, including return appearances on June 19 at Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway, which hosted the WoO for the first time in 2013, and June 24 at Big Diamond Raceway in Minersville, Pa., which was last part of the series in 2009. At least one more event is expected to be added to the stretch of races.
* A new date on the calendar for Independence (Iowa) Motor Speedway, which shifts forward slightly to Thurs., July 24. The WoO will visit the quarter-mile oval for the fourth consecutive year.
* Shawano (Wis.) Speedway will continue its midweek date preceding the USA Nationals when it presents the WoO for the fifth year in a row on Tues., July 29 (raindate of Wed, July 30).
* A Mid-Atlantic twin bill on Aug. 15 at Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Md., and Aug. 16 at Winchester (Va.) Speedway (Raye Vest Memorial). Potomac ran its only previous WoO event in 2004 while Winchester has held a tour A-Main in two of the last three years.
* Two late-summer races in the Wolverine State. Merritt Speedway in Lake City, Mich., is set to host a WoO event for the fourth straight season on Sat., Aug. 23, while a Fri., Aug. 22, date at another Michigan track is pending.
* A Labor Day weekend date on Fri., Aug. 29, at Lernerville Speedway, the flagship World Racing Group track that for the first time since 2009 will bring in the WoO for more than just the Firecracker 100 extravaganza. A unique format is being considered for this added event, with details to be announced in the coming weeks.
* A 40-lap, $8,000-to-win mid-week show on Thurs., Sept. 11, at LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway, which hosted its only previous WoO event in 2007. The date comes at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, about an hour’s drive from LaSalle.
Seven facilities are scheduled to host multiple WoO A-Mains in 2014. Lernerville leads the way with four races; Bubba Raceway Park and Volusia will have three; and two events will be contested at Screven, Tyler County, Cedar Lake, Selinsgrove and The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Nearly a half-million dollars in first-place prize money will be up for grabs during the 2014 WoO campaign.