World of Outlaws Late Models tackle Bristol for first time

Outlaws Late Models Bristol
Josh James, World of Outlaws
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When the World of Outlaws Late Model Series hits the track at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday April 8, it marks the first time the series visits Bristol Motor Speedway. That’s not surprising since the 0.533-mile bullring is typically asphalt, but when  track officials and NASCAR decided to convert the surface for NASCAR’s Food City Dirt Race, it opened a world of opportunities.

Nearly 40 A-Mains were run March 16-20 when the track hosted the Bristol Dirt Nationals.

Martin Truex Jr. won the Camping World Truck Series Race on March 29 and Joey Logano was victorious in Cup competition later that same day.

Now it’s time for dirt professionals at the highest level to tackle the track.

The anticipation for this event, as well as for the return of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series April 22-24, promises to make this a marquee race everyone wants to win.

And, for that matter, it’s anyone’s race to win. In the first 10 races of the season, Kyle Strickler is the only driver with more than one victory. He won Night 2 and 3 of the DirtCar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.

Those wins propelled him into the points’ lead where he still stands, but he has not had a top-10 since leaving Florida. Strickler’s last four results ended 13th or worse.

Meanwhile Brandon Shephard enters the weekend with a win at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. and three consecutive top-fives. Compounding the issue is that nearly 30 different drivers have earned top-fives in the Outlaw Late Model Series, so Bristol is anyone’s to win.

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And while the Outlaws Late Models have not visited the track, Bristol has hosted six Super Late races since 2000. Scott Bloomquist won two of those races.

“It was big, it’s a special place,” Bloomquist said at WorldofOutlaws.com. “Just going into [Bristol] is kind of breathtaking, there’s probably not a finer place you could race in the world.”

Bloomquist has two top-fives already this season in nine starts.

Chris Ferguson and Jonathan Davenport each won a Super Late Model race during the Bristol Dirt Nationals.

Fans can watch a special pre-race show Thursday night free on DIRTVision from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (ET). It will also be free on Facebook Live and Youtube Live.

A subscription will be required to watch Friday, April 9 when the series runs a 40-lap feature paying $10,000 to win. Then, they will run another 40 laps on Saturday, April 10, with the winner collecting $25,000.