Monday, March 31, 2014

World of Outlaws Illini 100 Preview

What: World of Outlaw Late Model Series offers up it's first big money show of the 2014 campaign. This weekend brings the complete make up event which rained out earlier this month.

Where: Farmer City Raceway-Farmer City, Illiois

When: 2 day show with time trials and heats on Friday April 25 and consolations plus the "100" on Saturday April 26th.

At Stake: $20,000 to win

Track: Farmer City Raceway is a 1/4 mile, fairly wide surface that can be abrasive to tires and is not always forgiving of bad decisions. The flag stand is in the infield, and the seating is unique.


Who's in the house?:
In addition to the WoO regulars, probably at least these drivers: Shannon Babb, Billy Moyer, Brian Birkhofer, Ryan Unzicker, Jason Feger, Brian Shirley, Jimmy Mars, Brady Smith, and other notables within 500 miles. The Lucas Oil Series will be in action at Hagerstown and Roaring Knob as well this coming weekend, so any of those tour regs who've participated in years past won't be in the running in 2014.
Will be available with free audio at Follow along on twitter via @WoOLateModels  OR you can follow race chaser/updater extraordinaire Patrick Davis who gives some of the best updates in the country! @pdavis18491988  Be sure to follow him if you're not doing so already!
Weather: Check out our companion weather site, run by fellow contributor to the DIRT Network, Penn State Weather Graduate Trever Steele's Raceway Weather here: He'll have the weather eye open all week!

Previous Winners:

2008: Billy Moyer
2009: Shane Clanton
2010: Billy Moyer
2011: Rain
2012: Jimmy Mars
2013: Billy Moyer
What to Expect:
In 2013 Jason Feger won, and then lost. In an unprecedented circumstance for both driver and the race itself, Feger was disqualified for chemically altered tires. He'll be looking for something to prove heading into this year's contest.

But he'll have company. Including Billy Moyer who's won this event before in the past, and the always tough Babb who's still in search of the elusive win.

This weekend also serves as a proper debut of Rick Eckert in the Rocket house car. Eckert was penciled in to replace Brandon Sheppard, who originally replaced Josh Richards who's currently out of action. (We have no idea what the circumstances are any better than anybody else but hope Josh can return as soon as he is able).

One driver that can't be overlooked is the 17 year old standout Bobby Pierce. He's been the hottest driver in the Midwest the last several weeks. The eyes of the late model world have been on him lately, and they'll be paying even closer attention this weekend. It's hard to call him a dark horse here too. He stands as much a chance of winning as any other driver you can think of.

Meanwhile, Darrell Lanigan will keep his Club 29 entry at the forefront of the pack. Lanigan's quietly been going about his business this season, collecting wins and keeping atop the World of Outlaw standings. This could be his first big victory of the 2014 season.
Other than the aforementioned drivers, Mars and Brady Smith always have decent chances at the podium. Smith, who was one of the hottest super late model drivers in Florida this past February, should be there and should be in the top 5, he'll need some luck, but could easily win this.
Bold Predictions:
1.  Pierce takes home a top 5 finish unless a wreck or mechanical gremlins dictate otherwise.
2.  Shane Clanton gets a podium finish
3.  When the dust settles...Babb collects his first Illini 100 win

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