During the last month drivers Devin Moran, Ricky Weiss and Brandon Overton have proven that Scott Bloomquist, Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Sheppard, and the like are not necessarily guaranteed winners of the big Dirt Late Model crown jewel races. Yes, veteran star Earl Pearson, Jr. did collect a monster payday at the Dirt Million just over a week ago but three of the other big events held this summer have been won by these three rising stars.
The 23-year-old Moran emerged from a lead swapping battle with Sheppard then held off Mike Marlar to pick up $30,000 and the biggest win of his young career in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series-sanctioned Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury American Legion Speedway on July 28th. The second-generation Ohio driver scored the win in front of what is always a packed and energetic grandstand at the popular Illinois facility.
Weiss turned in an impressive performance on August 11th at Kentucky’s Florence Speedway to score a $50,000 victory in the famed North-South 100 sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. In doing so, the 29-year-old Canadian had to beat out Pearson, who was the early front runner then hold back furious charges by Hudson O’Neal and Tim McCreadie to earn his first crown jewel trophy.
Overton, who has won races paying $20,000 before, followed his recent run of incredible success in the Southern Nationals mini-series in which he won five of the nine contested races with a $50,000 triumph in the LOLMDS-sanctioned Hillbilly 100 at the Tyler County Speedway in West Virginia on Sunday night. The 27-year-old Georgia driver switched teams and chassis brands earlier in the season but the move does not appear to have slowed him down as he has won numerous times in his new ride.
Three drivers earning the biggest paychecks of their careers to date will go a long way toward making the summer of 2018 one to remember in the Dirt Late Model racing world. And with the World 100, Knoxville Nationals and Dirt Track World Championship still remaining on the schedule, there are more crown jewels to be collected before season’s end. Will another fresh face show up in victory lane at one of those events?