OCALA, FL – Jan. 16, 2014 – The running of the third annual Bubba Army Dirt Late Model Winter Nationals on Feb. 14-16 at Bubba Raceway Park will mark two significant milestones for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series.
For starters, a season-long celebration of the 10th anniversary of the national tour’s rebirth in 2004 will begin with the weekend tripleheader at the unique egg-shaped, three-eighths-mile oval. In addition, the opening night of the meet – a 40-lap, $8,000-to-win event on Fri., Feb. 14 – is set to be the 400th WoO LMS A-Main contested since the circuit resumed action 10 years ago under the World Racing Group banner.
Landmarks aside, the tour’s visit to BRP will also kick off the chase for the prestigious WoO LMS championship. A typically star-studded roster of drivers is eyeing the $100,000 title in 2014, including:
* Josh Richards. The three-time and defending WoO LMS champion from Shinnston, W.Va., is geared up to pursue another points crown with his father Mark’s Rocket Chassis house car team after making his triumphant return in 2013 following a season spent pursuing his NASCAR aspirations. There will be a couple new looks to Richards’s effort in ’14: veteran wrench-turner Randall Edwards has come on board to serve as his chief mechanic (’13 WoO LMS Crew Chief of the Year Matt Barnes won’t travel as extensively with Richards this season) – and sometime during the season, Richards, who turns 26 on March 22, plans to become a married man by tying the knot with Andrea Cleveland.
* Darrell Lanigan. A two-time champion who led the tour in victories in ’13 but finished second to Richards in the standings, Lanigan enters 2014 following an off-season that saw him make headline-grabbing news. The 43-year-old driver from Union, Ky., ended his longtime affiliation with Rocket Chassis to start a chassis-building partnership with veteran mechanic Ronnie Stuckey, who will assist in the development of the ‘Club 29’ machines that Lanigan hopes will allow him to continue his spectacular recent success on the WoO LMS. He’s won 27 World of Outlaws A-Mains over the past two years – more than half of his alltime series-best total of 53 victories.
* Shane Clanton. After enjoying arguably the strongest WoO LMS season of his career in 2013 (four wins and a third-place finish in the points standings), the 38-year-old from Zebulon, Ga., decided to leave the Kennedy Motorsports team in December and launch his own operation. He’s confident of picking up right where he left off in ’13 – with solid backing from his father-in-law, western Pennsylvania racer Ron Davies, and essentially the same Capital Race Cars he ran last year, he has the goods to contend.
* Rick Eckert. It’s steady-as-she-goes for the 48-year-old WoO LMS stalwart from York, Pa., who will look to improve upon a 2013 season during which he won just once but tallied six runner-up finishes en route to placing fourth in the points race. The 2011 series champion’s self-owned effort has been bolstered for ’14 with the recent addition of Horton Coal Company and Sorbera Family Chiropractic as sponsors.
* Tim McCreadie. The 2006 WoO LMS titlist will fire off into 2014 with a renewed vigor after spending the off-season assembling new Rocket Chassis machines, putting him back exclusively in the West Virginia’s company’s camp for the first time since 2010. Watertown, N.Y.’s McCreadie, who turns 40 on April 12, drove Warrior Chassis cars to eight WoO LMS wins over the past two seasons (three in ’12, five in ’13) and a pair of top-five points finishes, but struggled with inconsistency.
* Eric Wells. The 2013 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year hopes to take another step forward this season with his father David’s Bloomquist Chassis equipment. Buoyed by the addition of Tommy Hicks, Scott Bloomquist’s longtime crew chief, on a fulltime basis this season, the 25-year-old from Hazard, Ky., sits primed to improve upon a 2013 campaign that saw him win once and finish a solid sixth in the points standings.
* Morgan Bagley. Coming off his first season of competition on a national tour, the 2013 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year runner-up returns to the circuit this year with Jay Bohannon assuming crew-chief duties alongside car chief Nick Hoover. The 27-year-old from Longview, Texas, steered Wayman McMillan’s Rocket cars to just a single top-five finish on last year’s WoO LMS but is expecting better results with one season of traveling under his belt.
* Chub Frank. A WoO LMS regular for a decade, the veteran from Bear Lake, Pa., struggled to a ninth-place finish in the 2013 points standings and went winless on the circuit for a fourth consecutive season. Frank, who will celebrate his 52nd birthday on Jan. 22, hopes to put together a strong start in ’14 to keep him traipsing down the road with the Outlaws for another season.
* Bub McCool. The Mohawked driver from Vicksburg, Miss., reached Victory Lane once on last year’s WoO LMS, but that was one of the few highlights of a frustrating sophomore season for the tour’s 2012 Rookie of the Year. He managed just two other top-five finishes and fell to 10th in the points standings. If he can put ’13 behind him and build from his solid 2012 campaign (nine top-five finishes, seventh in points), McCool, 36, will remain one of the circuit’s top draws.
* Clint Smith. Save a handful of noteworthy runs, the 2013 season was a washout for the 48-year-old driver known as ‘Cat Daddy.’ He finished 11 th in the standings, falling short of a points-fund-paying spot. But the Senoia, Ga., racer has renewed hope for 2014 thanks to his pairing with Florida’s Todd Wood, who will provide the Rocket machines that Smith plans to make his primary ride on the WoO LMS.
* Chase Junghans. A 21-year-old open-wheel Modified convert from Manhattan, Kan., who competed fulltime in the dirt Late Model division for the first time in 2013, Junghans has announced his intention to step up to a national level this season and pursue the WoO LMS Rookie of the Year award. He’s already shown a glimpse of his talent this year, finishing third in Wednesday night’s Winter Extreme event at Tucson (Ariz.) International Raceway.
Advance-sale tickets for the Bubba Army Dirt Late Model Winter Nationals, which also include a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win event on Sat., Feb. 15, and a 60-lap grand finale paying $12,000 to win on Sun., Feb. 16, are available on-line at www.bubbaracewaypark.com or by calling the track office at 352-622-9400.
The season-opening burst of WoO LMS action in Florida also includes three nights of competition (Feb. 20-22) as part of the DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville. More information on the DIRTcar Nationals by Summit can be obtained by visiting www.DirtCarNationals.com.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Fans can also follow the WoO LMS on Twitter at Twitter.com/WoOLateModels and Facebook at Facebook.com/WorldofOutlaws .
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: American Racing Custom Wheels (Official Custom Wheel), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), KMC (Official Custom Truck Wheel), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors: Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.