A season of change will continue for Mooresville, NC racer Kyle Strickler as the former Modified ace will make a bid for the season championship and Rookie of the Year honors on the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series over the remainder of the 2021 season. The driver hopes to seize upon early season momentum after having won two races on that national touring series.
During the off-season, it was announced that Strickler would move away from his own team, which employed Longhorn Chassis Late Model machines, to drive for the Craig and Shannon Sims-owned PCC Motorsports organization. His new team planned to utilize Rocket Chassis cars as it had the previous year with Hudson O’Neal behind the wheel.
Further, the new pairing was originally set to take on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in the coming campaign.
However, Strickler struggled to get a handle on the Rocket cars during the LOLMDS portion of SpeedWeeks. The 37-year-old driver failed to make the feature in three of the nine events sanctioned by that tour and currently sits 26th in the standings despite the fact that the series allowed drivers to drop their worst four efforts out of those nine races.
With no scheduling conflicts between the two national tours during SpeedWeeks, drivers and teams have been free to run as many of the sanctioned races as they please. And up to this point, Strickler has found much more success with the WoO Late Models.
Back in January, Strickler had captured a WoO-sanctioned Sunshine Nationals event at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida. And on Wednesday night, the ‘Highside Tickler’ again found victory lane with that same series on that same track in the 50th annual DIRTcar Nationals. In that race the No. 8 machine had fallen to the eighth position before fighting back to take the lead late in the going.
Strickler had used his own Longhorn Chassis cars during the Sunshine Nationals to earn a feature win and a third-place finish before entering the Lucas Oil races in the PCC Rockets. After their uninspiring performance in late January and early February, the team led by crew chief Vinny Guliani rebranded Strickler’s Longhorns for the return to Volusia for PCC and immediately found success.
As a result of those three podium finishes in three features, Strickler currently leads the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series standings.
“This is awesome!” Strickler proclaimed in victory lane on Wednesday night. “It’s the first win for Craig and Shannon Sims and PCC Motorsports. Me and Vinnie really went out on a limb here to get the Longhorn back and it’s really paying off now. This is just so great for our whole team. This was probably my favorite race of my career. That’s so much fun to go back and forth like that.”
As for the move from the Lucas Oil Series to the World of Outlaws, Strickler says the decision was one that made the most sense for his team.
“It’s a performance-based industry,” Strickler said in a press release from WoO Late Models. “So yeah, we signed up for the deal. We leave this week running top-five in points or leading points, we’d be stupid not to follow the whole tour. The Outlaws have been absolutely awesome to us and have treated us great. It’s a performance-based deal. It’s a business decision. Craig and I will talk it over, but yeah, we’re hopefully going to stick on this deal and see how things go.”
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series will continue this Thursday through Saturday at Volusia Speedway Park with all races being shown live on DirtVision.com.
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