The race for the 2019 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series championship gets down to the nitty-gritty this weekend with the final weekend of racing in the Midwest at I-96 Speedway on Thursday and Sharon Speedway on Friday and Saturday. Only 11 races remain on the schedule, and if any team is going to catch 16-time tour victor Brandon Sheppard by the Can-Am World Finals in just over two months, this weekend will be the time to kick it in gear.

However, the Outlaws will be up against a tough local field over all three days, starting with the I-96 locals. The defending DIRTcar Late Model National Champion Rusty Schlenk will lead the charge into I-96 with his three wins and four top-fives in five starts at the facility so far this year. The McClure, Ohio-native will be making his first World of Outlaws start since his 15th-place finish in the clash vs. the DIRTcar Summer Nationals at Terre Haute Action Track back in late June.

“This is one of the races I’ve been looking forward to all year,” Schlenk said. “I’m definitely excited about the chances we have to win, if not, just run well at least.”

A regular on the 2019 Summer Nationals tour, Schlenk wrapped up a top-five finish in the overall points championship, as well as a fifth-place finish in the tour’s visit to I-96 on July 11.

“We had a chance to win the Summer Nationals race there and just missed a little bit on setup, so as long as we do what we’re supposed to this weekend, we’ll be alright,” he said.

Schlenk recently celebrated his 200th career victory in a Late Model at I-96 on July 26, adding to a list that dates all the way back to July 20, 2002, his 16th birthday, when he won his very first race at Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, OH. Since then, he’s been a force to be reckoned with at I-96, crediting he and his crew’s know-how of setting their Rayburn Chassis up for driving around the high side.

“I think it’s where we have most of our luck around there,” Schlenk said. “We get our car to go around the top of that place pretty good where everybody else seems to favor the bottom or the middle. It’s kind of hard to keep your speed up on the cushion, it’s so far around up there. But we’ve had a lot of success with it.”

Like many, Schlenk is one driver coming into this weekend on the hunt for their first World of Outlaws victory. With all of his success so far this year at the Lake Odessa oval, this could be his opportunity to score that big-time payday in front of what he considers to be his hometown fans.

“That would be huge,” Schlenk said. “I’ve got a big fan base up there, and I like to consider myself as a local favorite there. If I ever won a World of Outlaws race, I’d definitely want to do it in front of the fans that get to watch me every week.”

Turning attention to Friday and Saturday in Ohio, the brand new “Battle at the Border” event at Sharon marks the return of the World of Outlaws to the 3/8-mile track for the first time since 2010, when three-time Series Champion Darrell Lanigan took the checkered flag as the seventh different winner in seven visits since 2004.

Sharon Speedway sits just west of the Ohio-Pennsylvania border in Hartford, Ohio, making it the perfect location for Ohio and Pennsylvania’s best Dirt Late Model drivers to battle it out for the ultimate bragging rights against the Outlaws in their own game.

The World of Outlaws have had a Pennsylvanian on the full-time roster every year since 2004, and 2019 is none other than Bear Lake, PA veteran Boom Briggs’ turn to carry the flag of the Keystone State into Ohio this weekend, looking for his first Morton Buildings Feature win of the season.

With plenty of previous experience at Sharon, the Battle at the Border will be among his best opportunities to run up front and go for that long-deserved first career World of Outlaws win.

“Sharon is a top-notch racetrack in this area,” he said. “I’ve won a couple of races there and am really looking forward to the weekend.”

Come see Boom, Schlenk and all of the supporting World of Outlaws cast take on Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania’s best this weekend at the track or live on DIRTVision!

NEWS AND NOTES

After his $125,000 victory in the Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway earlier this season, Brandon Sheppard collected his second six-figure payday of 2019 by winning the 2nd annual Dirt Million at Mansfield Motor Speedway on Saturday night. A hefty $101,626 check headed back to Shinnston, West Virginia on the Rocket1 Racing hauler while a great deal of Outlaws’ best claimed several of the next few spots inside the top ten.

Chase Junghans never finished outside of the top three in any Feature he started all weekend with two runner-up finishes in his preliminary Features on Thursday and Friday night, wrapping things up with a third-place finish in the big show on Saturday and a $33,875 check to go with it. Ricky Weiss and Darrell Lanigan ran steadily inside the top ten all race to claim the fifth and sixth spots, giving four of the top six spots to the Outlaws.

THIS WEEKEND AT A GLANCE

WHEN & WHERE
Thursday, August 29 at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan
Friday & Saturday, August 30-31 at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio

THURSDAY
• Pit gate opens at 4 p.m.
• Spectator gate opens at 5 p.m.
• Hot Laps at 6:45 p.m.

FRIDAY
• Pit gate opens at 3 p.m.
• Spectator gate opens at 4 p.m.
• Hot Laps at 6:30 p.m.

SATURDAY
• Spectator gate opens at 4 p.m.
• Hot Laps at 6:30 p.m.

ABOUT THE TRACKS
I-96 Speedway is a semi-banked, 3/8-mile oval. The track record is 15.972 seconds, held by Brandon Thirlby.
Online – http://i96speedway.com/
Phone – (616) 642-0555

Sharon Speedway is a 3/8-mile oval. The track record is 14.842 seconds, set by Brandon Sheppard on April 21, 2017.
Online: http://www.sharonspeedway.com/
Phone: (330) 772-5481

TICKETS
Tickets for both tracks can be purchased at the gate or in advance by clicking the links below.
I-96 SPEEDWAY TICKETS
SHARON SPEEDWAY TICKETS

3/8-MILE WINNERS
There have been 11 races on 3/8-mile tracks so far this season.
1: Screven Motor Speedway – Brandon Overton on Feb. 8
2: Screven Motor Speedway – Shane Clanton on Feb. 9
3: Wayne County Speedway – Brandon Sheppard on May 18
4: Cochran Motor Speedway – Brandon Overton on May 31
5: Independence Motor Speedway – Brandon Sheppard on July 5
6: Deer Creek Speedway – Brandon Sheppard on July 6
7: ABC Raceway – Brandon Sheppard on July 9
8: Ogilvie Raceway – Shane Clanton on July 13
9: Red Cedar Speedway – Chase Junghans on July 14
10: Cedar Lake Speedway – Jonathan Davenport on Aug. 1
11: Cedar Lake Speedway – Chris Madden on Aug. 3

I-96 SPEEDWAY PREVIOUS WINNERS
2014 – Curtis Roberts on Aug. 22
2007 – Chub Frank on May 18

SHARON SPEEDWAY PREVIOUS WINNERS
2010 – Darrell Lanigan on July 29
2009 – Tim Fuller on July 25
2008 – Donnie Moran on July 26
2007 – Chub Frank on July 28
2006 – Rick Eckert on July 8
2005 – Tim McCreadie on July 12
2004 – Davey Johnson on June 26

ON THE INTERNET
World of Outlaws Late Model Series – www.worldofoutlaws.com/latemodels
Twitter – Twitter.com/ WoOLateModels (@WoOLateModels)
Instagram – Instagram.com/ WoOLateModels (@WoOLateModels)
Facebook – Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsLateModelSeries
YouTube – YouTube.com/WorldofOutlaws
DIRTVision – Dirtvision.com – Get your Late Model Fast Pass to watch all races LIVE for only $39/month!
Twitter – Twitter.com/DIRTVision – @DIRTVision
Facebook – Facebook.com/WatchDIRTVision

DRIVER INFO
Follow full-time World of Outlaws drivers on Twitter:
Brandon Sheppard – @B_Sheppard_B5
Shane Clanton – @clanton25
Darrell Lanigan – @DarrellLanigan
Chase Junghans – @ShopQuik18
Dennis Erb Jr. – @DennisErbJr
Boom Briggs – @boom99b
Brent Larson – @BrentLarsonB1
Ricky Weiss – @weissracing7
Cade Dillard – @CDillard97
Blake Spencer – www.blakespencer.com (not on Twitter)

AROUND THE TURN
After this final weekend in the Midwest, the Outlaws will get almost three weeks off from Series competition before the next three-day race weekend on Sept. 19-21. The drivers will take to the Northeast one final time in 2019, visiting The New Stateline Speedway on Sept. 19, Outlaw Speedway on Sept. 20 and Selinsgrove Speedway for the 21st annual Late Model National Open on Sept. 21.

2019 STATS
There have been 31 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series Feature events this season.

MORTON BUILDINGS FEATURE WINNERS (12 different drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Wins
1 – Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL – 16
– Shane Clanton, Zebulon, GA – 3
3 – Brandon Overton, Evans, GA – 2
– Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN – 2
5 – Brian Shirley, Chatham, IL – 1
– Ross Bailes, Clover, SC – 1
– Michael Norris, Sarver, PA – 1
– Tim McCreadie, Watertown, NY – 1
– Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KS – 1
– Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, GA – 1
– Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 1
– Mason Zeigler, Chalk Hill, PA – 1

PFC BRAKES FAST TIME AWARD WINNERS (19 different drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Quick Times
1 – Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL – 10
2 – Shane Clanton, Zebulon, GA – 2
3 – Tim McCreadie, Watertown, NY – 1
– Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, TN – 1
– Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, GA – 1
– Jason Covert, York Haven, PA – 1
– Kent Robinson, Bloomington, IN – 1
– Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KS – 1
– Tanner English, Benton, KY – 1
– Ross Bailes, Clover, SC – 1
– Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 1
– Tyler Erb, New Waverly, TX – 1
– Ricky Weiss, Headingley, Manitoba – 1
– Chris Simpson, Oxford, IA – 1
– Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, WI – 1
– Don Shaw, Ham Lake, MN – 1
– Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY – 1
– Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN – 1
– Tyler Bruening, Decorah, IA – 1

DRYDENE HEAT RACE WINNERS (38 different winners)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Wins
1 – Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL – 21
2 – Shane Clanton, Zebulon, GA – 9
– Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY – 8
4 – Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 8
5 – Ricky Weiss, Headingley, Manitoba – 7
6 – Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KS – 6
7 – Scott Bloomquist – Mooresburg, TN – 4
– Brandon Overton, Evans, GA – 4
– Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, IL – 4
10 – Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV – 3
– Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, PA – 3
– Tim McCreadie, Watertown, NY – 3
– Brian Shirley, Chatham, IL – 3
– Frank Heckenast Jr., Frankfort, IL – 3
– Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, WI – 3
– Mason Zeigler, Chalk Hill, PA – 3
17 – Kyle Hardy, Stephens City, VA – 2
– Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN – 2
– Chris Ferguson, Mt. Holly, NC – 2
– Tyler Bruening, Decorah, IA – 2
– Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, GA – 2
– Brian Birkhofer, Muscatine, IA – 2
– Jason Covert, York Haven, PA – 2
24 – Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, GA – 1
– Devin Moran, Dresden, OH – 1
– Kent Robinson, Bloomington, IN – 1
– Tanner English, Benton, KY – 1
– Ross Bailes, Clover, SC – 1
– Ben Watkins, Lancaster, SC – 1
– Johnny Pursley, Clover, SC – 1
– Michael Norris, Sarver, PA – 1
– Chris Simpson, Oxford, IA – 1
– Brent Larson, Lake Elmo, MN – 1
– Chad Simpson, Mount Vernon, IA – 1
– Mike Marlar, Winfield, TN – 1
– Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, IL – 1
– Tyler Erb, New Waverly, TX – 1
– Earl Pearson Jr., Jacksonville, FL – 1

LAST CHANCE SHOWDOWN WINNERS (36 different drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Wins
1 – Brandon Overton, Evans, GA – 3
– Shane Clanton, Zebulon, GA – 3
3 – Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, GA – 2
– Devin Moran, Dresden, OH – 2
– Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KY – 2
– Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN – 2
7 – Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY – 1
– Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV – 1
– Steve Casebolt, Richmond, IN – 1
– Mike Marlar, Winfield, TN – 1
– Brent Larson, Lake Elmo, MN – 1
– Tyler Bruening, Decorah, IA – 1
– Kent Robinson, Bloomington, IN – 1
– Tyler Erb, New Waverly, TX – 1
– Kyle Hardy, Stephens City, VA – 1
– Tanner English, Benton, KY – 1
– John Ownbey, Cleveland, TN – 1
– Cory Hedgecock, Loudon, TN – 1
– Tommy Kerr, Maryville, TN – 1
– Shannon Babb, Moweaqua, IL – 1
– Ryan Unzicker, El Paso, IL – 1
– Bob Gardner, Washington, IL – 1
– Blake Spencer, St. Augustine, FL – 1
– Donald Bradsher, Burlington, NC – 1
– Anthony Sanders, Spartanburg, SC – 1
– Dan Stone, Thompson, PA – 1
– John Kaanta, Elk Mound, WI – 1
– Brody Troftgruben, Grand Forks, ND – 1
– Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, PA – 1
– Ashton Winger, Hampton, GA – 1
– Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND – 1
– Terry Casey, New London, WI – 1
– Earl Pearson Jr., Jacksonville, FL – 1
– Gary Stuhler, Greencastle, PA – 1
– Bryan Bernheisel, Jonestown, PA – 1
– Andy Haus, Hamburg, PA – 1

PODIUM FINISHES (26 different drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – # of podiums
1 – Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL – 26
2 – Ricky Weiss, Headingley, Manitoba – 10
3– Shane Clanton, Zebulon, GA – 7
4 – Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KS – 6
5 – Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, WI – 4
– Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 4
7 – Brian Shirley, Chatham, IL – 3
– Don O’Neal, Martinsville, IN – 3
– Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY – 3
– Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, IL – 3
11 – Brandon Overton, Evans, GA – 2
– Ross Bailes, Clover, SC – 2
– Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN – 2
– Mike Marlar, Winfield, TN – 2
– Tim McCreadie, Watertown, NY – 2
– Mason Zeigler, Chalk Hill, PA – 2
17 – Kyle Hardy, Stephens City, VA – 1
– Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV – 1
– Scott Bloomquist, Mooresville, TN – 1
– Tanner English, Benton, KY – 1
– Michael Brown, Lancaster, SC – 1
– Michael Norris, Sarver, PA – 1
– Chris Simpson, Oxford, IA – 1
– Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, IL – 1
– Cade Dillard, Robeline, LA – 1
– Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, GA – 1
– Brian Birkhofer, Muscatine, IA – 1
– Tyler Bruening, Decorah, IA – 1

HARD CHARGERS (23 different drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – # of merits
1 – Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KS – 4
2 – Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY – 2
– Cade Dillard, Robeline, LA – 2
4 – Frank Heckenast Jr., Frankfort, IL – 1
– Brian Shirley, Chatham, IL – 1
– Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, GA – 1
– Mike Marlar, Winfield, TN – 1
– Morgan Bagley, Longview, TX – 1
– Shane Clanton, Zebulon, GA – 1
– Spencer Diercks, Davenport, IA – 1
– Brent Larson, Lake Elmo, MN – 1
– Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 1
– Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, IL – 1
– Shannon Babb, Moweaqua, IA – 1
– Blake Spencer, St. Augustine, FL – 1
– John Kaanta, Elk Mound, WI – 1
– Brody Troftgruben, Grand Forks, ND – 1
– Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, PA – 1
– Rick Hanestad, Boyceville, WI – 1
– Mike Fryer, Freeport, IL – 1
– Brad Mueller, Random Lake, WI – 1
– Nick Anvelink, Navarino, Wisconsin – 1
– Tyler Erb, New Waverly, TX – 1
– Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, TN – 1
– Gary Stuhler, Greencastle, PA – 1
– Ross Robinson, Georgetown, DE – 1

TOTAL LAPS LED (21 different drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Laps
1 – Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL – 665
2 – Shane Clanton, Zebulon, GA – 164
3 – Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN – 98
4 – Ricky Weiss, Headingley, Manitoba – 77
5 – Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KS – 75
6 – Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, IL – 74
7 – Brandon Overton, Evans, GA – 72
8 – Cade Dillard, Robeline, LA – 60
9 – Ross Bailes, Clover, SC – 50
10 – Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY – 49
11 – Tanner English, Benton, KY – 32
12 – Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, GA – 30
13 – Mason Zeigler, Chalk Hill, PA – 29
14– Michael Norris, Sarver, PA – 25
15 – Tim McCreadie, Watertown, NY – 24
16 – Brian Shirley, Chatham, IL – 20
17 – Ben Watkins, Lancaster, SC – 19
18 – Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 17
19 – Chris Simpson, Oxford, IA – 3
20 – Brian Birkhofer, Muscatine, IA – 2
21 – Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, PA – 1

2019 WORLD OF OUTLAWS SCHEDULE & WINNERS
No. / Day, Date / Track / Location / Winner (Total Wins)
1. Friday, Feb. 8 / Screven Motor Speedway / Sylvania, GA / Brandon Overton (1)
2. Saturday, Feb. 9 / Screven Motor Speedway / Sylvania, GA / Shane Clanton (1)
3. Wed, Feb. 13 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Brandon Sheppard (1)
4. Thursday, Feb. 14 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Brandon Sheppard (2)
5. Friday, Feb. 15 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Brandon Sheppard (3)
6. Saturday, Feb. 16 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Brandon Sheppard (4)
7. Friday, March 22 / Duck River Raceway Park / Lewisburg, TN / Brandon Sheppard (5)
8. Saturday, March 23 / Smoky Mountain Speedway / Maryville, TN / Jimmy Owens (1)
9. Friday, April 4 / Farmer City Raceway / Farmer City, IL / Brian Shirley (1)
10. Saturday, April 5 / Farmer City Raceway / Farmer City, IL / Brandon Sheppard (6)
11. Friday, May 3 / Cherokee Speedway / Gaffney, SC / Ross Bailes (1)
12. Saturday, May 18 / Wayne County Speedway / Orrville, OH / Brandon Sheppard (7)
13. Friday, May 31 / Cochran Motor Speedway / Cochran, GA / Brandon Overton (2)
14. Saturday, June 1 / Lancaster Motor Speedway / Lancaster, SC / Brandon Sheppard (8)
15. Friday, June 21 / Lernerville Speedway / Sarver, PA / Michael Norris (1)
16. Saturday, June 22 / Lernerville Speedway / Sarver, PA / Tim McCreadie (1)
17. Friday, June 28 / Terre Haute Action Track / Terre Haute, IN / Brandon Sheppard (9)
18. Friday, July 5 / Independence Motor Speedway / Independence, IA / Brandon Sheppard (10)
19. Friday, July 6 / Deer Creek Speedway / Spring Valley, MN / Brandon Sheppard (11)
20. Tuesday, July 9 / ABC Raceway / Ashland, WI / Brandon Sheppard (12)
21. Friday, July 12 / River Cities Speedway / Grand Forks, ND / Brandon Sheppard (13)
22. Saturday, July 13 / Ogilvie Raceway / Ogilvie, MN / Shane Clanton (2)
23. Sunday, July 14 / Red Cedar Speedway / Menomonie, WI / Chase Junghans (1)
24. Wednesday, July 24 / Davenport Speedway / Davenport, IA / Jimmy Owens (2)
25. Saturday, July 27 / Fairbury Speedway / Fairbury, IL / Brandon Sheppard (14)
26. Monday, July 29 / Plymouth Dirt Track / Plymouth, WI / Brandon Sheppard (15)
27. Tuesday, July 30 / Shawano Speedway / Shawano, WI / Shane Clanton (3)
28. Thursday, August 1 / Cedar Lake Speedway / New Richmond, WI / Jonathan Davenport (1)
29. Saturday, August 3 / Cedar Lake Speedway / New Richmond, WI / Chris Madden (1)
30. Friday, Aug. 16 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Brandon Sheppard (16)
31. Saturday, Aug. 17 / Port Royal Speedway / Port Royal, PA / Mason Zeigler (1)