Silly Season Roundup for the 2018-19 Off Season

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To say that the “Silly Season” has picked up speed over the past few weeks would be a major understatement. As a matter of fact, the 2018 version of driver and team changes has probably been one of the most active in the recent history of the sport. But with the completion of the PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis, the bulk of news meant to come out this off-season has probably been made public as drivers and teams prepare for the upcoming 2019 campaign.

Here is a quick re-cap of some of the more noteworthy moves:

Mike Marlar

Mike Marlar to drive for K&L Rumley: This is a very interesting situation in that the driver who won this year’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship is moving to a team that will be spearheaded by the chief engineer from the team that won the 2018 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series title.

Both driver Mike Marlar and engineer Kevin Rumley cited a desire to get away from the hectic travel required to compete on a national touring series as a primary reason for choosing not to pursue another title. With Marlar’s Ronnie Delk team also looking to scale back or even pull out of the sport completely, he needed a ride. And with Rumley along his father, LeeRoy, looking to bring the No. 6 team back to life, the opportunity was there to unite all involved.

Recall that the K&L Rumley operation recorded one of the greatest seasons in Dirt Late Model history in 2015 when they won numerous crown jewel events and captured the LOLMDS championship.

The newly formed driver/team combination looks to hit many of the major Super Late Model races throughout the 2019 campaign with a Longhorn Chassis.

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Josh Richards

Josh Richards to join Clint Bowyer Racing: Here is another fascinating pairing that puts two of the sport’s top contenders together. Richards is one of only two drivers(the other being Scott Bloomquist) to win both the World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship and the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series crown. However, he and Best Performance Motorsports parted ways at the end of the 2018 season following a two year run together that had garnered the 2017 Lucas Oil championship and major wins such as the Dirt Track World Championship in that same year.

Clint Bowyer Racing won the Lucas Oil title in 2014 with driver Don O’Neal. That team recently ended a three-year association with driver Darrell Lanigan and his Club 29 Race Cars brand. That opening then created space for Richards to come on board along with his father’s Rocket Chassis brand.

No announcement has been officially made regarding O’Neal’s status with CBR but it appears as if the team will remain as a two-car operation with Richards and O’Neal serving as the pilots. Both will compete on the LOLMDS tour for the NASCAR star in 2019.

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Tyler Erb to take over Best Performance ride: With Richards climbing out of the seat at Best Performance Motorsports, the team looked to Tyler Erb to fill the vacancy.

As mentioned above, Best Performance and Richards parted ways at the end of the 2018 season after having experienced a great deal of success together on the Lucas Oil circuit. At the same time, Erb has competed on the WoO Late Models tour earning two top-10 finishes in the final series standings.

According to the Best website, Erb will pursue the Lucas Oil Series ‘Rookie of the Year’ crown. Further, the team will continue to use the Rocket XR1 Chassis in 2019.

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Tyler Erb will take over the driving duties in the Best Performance ride

Chris Madden to drive Capital Race Cars for Greg Breuning: Chris Madden has made strong runs at the WoO Late Models title each of the past two season but has come up short both times. The South Carolina native will again compete for that national touring series championship in 2019. However, there will be some significant changes on the No. 44 ride.

After spending 2018 driving the Barry Wright Race Cars house car, Madden will move to a newly formed team owned by Iowa’s Greg Breuning. The team will compete with Capital Race Cars which will be maintained out of Madden’s shop. Clements Racing Engines will provide the team’s power.

These maneuverings offer a great deal of potential on multiple fronts. For Madden, obviously, he has the opportunity to again run for the WoO championship in what looks to be a competitive ride. For Capital, this will provide the chassis builder with a second experienced driver to go along with Capital stalwart Shane Clanton on a national series. Further, Capital leader Marshall Green will be heavily involved as he will oversee the operation of driver Tyler Breuning throughout the season.

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Darrell Lanigan

Darrell Lanigan going back to his own team: According to Darrell Lanigan’s website the Kentucky driver will return to his familiar No. 29 ride in 2019. He will compete with Club 29 Race Cars prepared out of his own shop after a three year stint driving for Clint Bowyer Racing. According to the post, it is most likely that the three-time World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion will return to the series on which he has had the most success after having been a part of the LOLMDS circuit during his time with CBR.

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Bobby Pierce returning to his family-based team: Another driver going back to more familiar environs is young racer Bobby Pierce. After a year on the Lucas Oil circuit with Dunn Benson Motorsports, Pierce will be back in a car prepared in his family’s Oakwood, Illinois garage.

According to a post on Pierce’s website, the family team has not yet decided on a schedule for 2019 and is not yet certain if they will follow any particular series. However, the ‘Smooth Operator’ does plan to hit the road just after New Year’s to race in Arizona.

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Devin Moran

Devin Moran to fill the seat at Dunn Benson: The departure of Pierce from the Dunn Benson driver’s seat made room for a new driver. The North Carolina based team has decided to bring in Devin Moran to serve as their new wheelman beginning in 2019. Along with their new driver, the team will also gain a new crew member in Devin’s brother Wylie. Of course, the two young men are the sons of legendary driver Donnie Moran.

Moran was the 2017 WoO Late Models ‘Rookie of the Year’ and ended the season in thefourth spot of the final standings on that circuit in 2018.

The team will utilize Rocket Chassis and Pro Power Race Engines in the coming season. The team plans to compete on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in 2019.

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Brandon Overton to steer Coulter ride: After a season that saw him win multiple races in multiple rides, Georgia’s Brandon Overton appears to have settled in with the team of former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Joey Coulter for the upcoming campaign.

With Coulter’s wife getting a job that calls for her relocation to Texas from North Carolina, Coulter will cut back on his racing schedule.

The team will employ Rocket Chassis and Cornett Racing Engines. As of the time of the latest news release from the team, a schedule for 2019 had not yet been decided upon.

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The No. 2 Rum Runner Racing car will be driven by Brandon Overton in 2019

Donald McIntosh returns to Blount Motorsports: After taking a year away from the team in 2018 to pursue his dream of racing on a national tour, Donald McIntosh will return to Blount Motorsports for a second stint as the driver for the Larry Garner-owned team based out of Maryville, Tenn.

McIntosh won two Spring Nationals championships and numerous feature races during his first stint with BMS.

The team plans to run a regional schedule with Rocket Chassis in 2019.

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