World of Outlaws Late Models tackle Bristol for first time

Outlaws Late Models Bristol
Josh James, World of Outlaws

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.


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 “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.

Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing

Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

A Ganassi spokesman said the team hopes to run its second entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans but only its WEC team is confirmed (an AOC invitation would be required for the IMSA team). The team also is exploring options but currently plans to have the WEC’s team base of operations in Indianapolis.

Ganassi is the first American-based prototype team to confirm its entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s expected that Team Penske, which raced this year’s Le Mans with a full-time WEC entry in LMP2, also will race Le Mans with Porsche’s new LMDh car that is set for IMSA, but the manufacturer has yet to confirm its driver and team lineup.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.