Devin Moran: “It’s probably the best season I’ve ever had”

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Devin Moran

Every racing driver and team have high hopes coming into a new season and that was no different for Devin Moran and Tye Twarog Racing at the beginning of the 2021 campaign. But even with those high expectations, the No. 9 crew fared better than even they might have imagined. The 27-year-old racer from Dresden, Ohio visited victory lane a total of 14 times throughout the season with pig paydays and numerous accolades being a major part of the story.

It didn’t take long for Moran and his team to begin fulfilling their high hopes as the Longhorn Chassis machine scored one win and earned the Big Gator trophy for the overall DIRTcar Nationals championship at Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park during February SpeedWeeks.

Among the other triumphs from 2021 was a $25,000 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series-sanctioned race on the dirt covered surface of the Bristol Motor Speedway and a $30,000 victory in another WoO event at the Davnport(IA) Speedway. A check valued at $22,000 was taken from the Castrol FloRacing Night in America feature at Ohio’s Atomic Speedway.

Obviously, the driver known as ‘The Mailman’ has delivered some big wins for his team in 2021.

“It’s probably, to be honest, the best season I’ve ever had,” Moran told InsideDirtRacing.com. “I just feel like. with the Tye Twarog Racing Longhorn, that once we made the switch to Bilstein Shocks it felt like we’ve got a package and we’ve really started rolling really good. We had some early success at Volusia then Bristol and different places like that but I feel like it didn’t ever peter out. We just kept getting better and better. It was just a really, really good year. I think we ran like in the top-3 every time in August and had some wins. It was a lot of fun for sure.”

The driver who did not follow a particular series in 2021 was on hand this past Sunday to compete in the Drydene Xtreme DIRTcar Series race at the Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina. In the Blue-Gray 100, Moran drove a car owned and prepared by Jeremy Bullins who serves as the crew chief in NASCAR for the Team Penske No. 2 Ford Mustang for driver Austin Cindric.

Devin Moran drove this Jeremy Bullins-owned Longhorn in Gaffney

Did not running a full series serve as an advantage or a disadvantage when going up against those who race full-time on a national tour?

“I don’t know if it’s an advantage at the track but I think it’s an advantage in that if you’re not 100% ready, you don’t have to go to the race track,” Moran pointed out. “Sometimes when you’re following a tour, you’re just showing up to race and you’re not showing up to win.”

Moran and Bullins had initially planned to compete in the Peach State Classic at Georgia’s Senoia Raceway one week prior to the Cherokee race. However, the Cup Series crew chief’s busy schedule during the NASCAR Playoffs did not allow the Dirt Late Model to be fully prepared.

“That’s our goal and it’s why we didn’t race last week at Senoia,” Moran stated. “We had that race on our plans but I felt like we weren’t 100% ready. We have this brand new Longhorn with Jeremy and we were just trying to get it ready, but like I said, neither of us felt like we were where we needed to be so we just decided not to race, because when you don’t have to, there’s no pressure on us so we spent the week getting this thing ready. I feel like we’re prepared to come out here and win today and that’s what we’re hoping we can do.”

The new driver/owner combination ultimately would finish third when all was said and done at ‘The Place Your Mama Warned You About’.

Please consider also reading “Penske crew chief Jeremy Bullins having fun in the dirt while preparing new car, driver

While Moran plans to continue doing most of his racing for Tye Twarog, he hopes to drive for Bullins when their busy schedules will allow. The opportunity to race in that ride began sprang out a friendship between the NASCAR pit boss and Moran’s brother.

Devin Moran in the Tye Twarog Racing Longhorn Chassis

“Him and Wylie have actually been friends for a long time and it just got me and him talking a little bit,” Moran explained in the Cherokee pit area. “He’s been wanting to race and he just never has. He’s got an Andy Durham engine in it and he ended up getting a brand new Longhorn car. We kind of talked about it and we just decided to go race in it.”

When might there be future races with Bullins in the future?

“We’re not 100% sure,” Moran explained. “Obviously, I’m still racing with Tye next year. There’s a lot of races in SpeedWeeks and I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do all of those because there’s like 24 or 25 races so if we don’t race all of those(in the Twarog car) then maybe we’ll have this thing down there. Other than that, we haven’t really figured out what our plan is. We’ll just have some fun today then go from there.”

Please consider also reading “Carson Ferguson finds immediate success in Super Late Model debut

While the 2017 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Rookie of the Year did not follow that series or the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series this season, he does believe that the groundwork laid by those organizations is very much responsible for the increase in purse money being handed out recently by the tracks in both sanctioned and unsanctioned races.

“I love both series, World Racing Group with World of Outlaws and Lucas Oil are both really great organizations and I hope they keep doing what they’re doing because if it wasn’t for them, none of this money would be out here,” he declared. “They’re the ones who have upped the ante and it’s made everyone else do it. Then you get Barry Braun and the XR Series and they’ve jumped in the mix with Bristol and Vegas and Texas, he’s doing an awesome job with that. Without one, you can’t have the other so I feel like we need all the series to keep doing what they’re doing because it’s helping drivers, it’s helping fans, it’s helping the tracks. It’s making our sport a better sport. I think if everyone keeps working together and don’t complain about things it gets it to where everyone is having a good time together.”

One big 2022 race that is already on Moran’s radar is the recently announced Eldora Million at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio next June. His father, Donnie Moran, won the only other Dirt Late Model $1,000,000 feature race on that same track in 2001. Moran knows that his family’s legacy will place added pressure on him going into that event.

“I usually say that my dad’s name don’t give me a whole lot of pressure, but with this one, I feel like it’s going to be building up pretty big. I hope we’re able to do what we’re supposed to do and go out there and have fun and maybe we can get it done.”

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