The World of Outlaws Late Model Series heads into its first big money race of the season this weekend with a $25,001 prize awaiting the winner of the First in Flight 100 at Fayetteville Motor Speedway in Fayetteville, NC. Along with the opportunity earn a nice payday, the competitors on the series also have an opportunity to make a move in the series standings in the midst of a tight battle that will eventually lead to a championship and $100,000 for the driver and team who can outlast his opposition over the course of the long season.
Up to this point in 2018, all WoO Late Models races contested have paid $10,000 to the winning driver.
The winning driver in WoO Late Model Series races receives 150 points for his efforts with second earning 146, third getting 144, and so on. Currently, six drivers are within 108 points of each other in the series standings with the top-10 only separated by 190.
With eleven points-paying races in the books so far, Chris Madden leads the way with Mike Marlar just 24 markers behind. Both of those drivers picked up wins this past weekend as Marlar grabbed the checkered flag in Gaffney, SC at the Cherokee Speedway on Friday night for his first series win this year while Madden took the honors at Senoia(GA) Raceway on Saturday to capture his second victory. Both of those racers have piled up eight top-10 finishes out of their nine counted starts in 2018.
Keep in mind that drivers and teams only counted their two best finishes out of the four races held during Georgia-Florida SpeedWeeks toward their totals.
Former WoO Late Models champion Shane Clanton currently resides in third place in the standings, just 54 points behind Madden. The Georgia Bulldog has not yet visited a WoO victory lane but he has amassed four top-5 and eight top-10 finishes in an early campaign marked by steady consistency.
Defending series champion Brandon Sheppard also made a trip to victory lane this past weekend when he won the feature race at Lavonia(GA) Speedway on Thursday. The driver of the Rocket Chassis house car got off to a good start during the early part of the season by winning three WoO features as it looked like he and his team would be tough to beat. However, mechanical issues have led to uncharacteristic inconsistency which has dropped Sheppard back to fourth in the series rundown as he currently sits 58 points behind the leader.
Another former WoO champion, Rick Eckert, is fifth and needs only 84 points to catch Madden.
The back of the top-10 packs some powerful punchers who have the ability to score the wins and podium finishes that could allow them to make up ground quickly. Chase Junghans, Devin Moran and Brandon Overton along with ‘Rookie of the Year’ contenders Chris Ferguson and David Breazeale all are poised to strike should the front runners leave the door open.
Something to consider for this weekend is that the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is not in action so there is the very real possibility that some of those drivers as well as regional racers who do not compete on either tour could assert themselves by taking the $25,001 check and separating the WoO points seeking regulars.
The bottom line is that there is plenty on the line this weekend in Fayetteville. The season’s first payday for the WoO Late Models that will exceed $10,000 as well as points that could give someone a leg up on the competition as teams look toward the long grind of summer that will no doubt separate the pack just a bit.