HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Late Models Extending Storied History in Pennsylvania

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Thunder Mountain Speedway Becomes 17th Different Pennsylvania Track to Host World of Outlaws Late Models

Pennsylvania has been linked to the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models since the inception of the series in 1988. Literally, this connection goes back to the very beginning. The first-ever event was held at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. on April 22, 1988 with Larry Phillips topping Jack Boggs, Freddy Smith, Rodney Franklin, and Billy Moyer Sr.

To this day, more than 32 years later with 19 seasons completed and 700+ features contested, The Keystone State remains the most visited state in series history. A marvelous feat considering the 34 different states and four Canadian provinces in which the World of Outlaws Late Models have raced.

Adding to that legacy this weekend, The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet will make their debut at Thunder Mountain Speedway in Knox Dale, Pa., marking the 17th different Pennsylvania track to host a World of Outlaws event. With back-to-back nights scheduled at the 3/8th-mile, Friday and Saturday’s show will bump PA’s tally to 104 features held in series history.

Thunder Mountain Speedway in Knox Dale, Pa. becomes the 17th Pennsylvania track for the World of Outlaws this weekend. [Paul Arch Photo]
Making up more than 14% of the entire World of Outlaws schedule, Pennsylvania is far and away the most visited state in series history. To find the next closest state you’d have to drop off nearly 50 races to find Florida at 59 events and Wisconsin at 57 events. Following in their footsteps with the next most World of Outlaws Late Model races is North Carolina (47), Illinois (39), Tennessee (39), Ohio (38), New York (35), Minnesota (29) and Georgia (28).

As far as Pennsylvania itself goes, 16 different tracks have graced the schedule, but one track has certainly carried the load after all these years. Home of the annual $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100, Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. has hosted a whopping 46 events since debuting with the series on April 23, 2004. Holding some weight behind Lernerville is the trio of Eriez Speedway in Erie, Pa. with 11 races, Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pa. at 10 races, and Selinsgrove Speedway in Selinsgrove, Pa. at 9 races.

The full list of all 16 Pennsylvania race tracks to host a World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series event:

Lernerville Speedway [Sarver, PA] – 46 races; Eriez Speedway [Erie, PA] – 11 races; Tri-City Speedway [Franklin, PA] – 10 races; Selinsgrove Speedway [Selinsgrove, PA] – 9 races; Port Royal Speedway [Port Royal, PA] – 5 races; Williams Grove Speedway [Mechanicsburg, PA] – 3 races; Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway [Imperial, PA] – 3 races; Bedford Speedway [Bedford, PA] – 3 races; Big Diamond Raceway [Minersville, PA] – 3 races; Lincoln Speedway [Abbottstown, PA] – 2 races; McKean County Raceway [East Smethport, PA] – 2 races; Thunder Valley Speedway [Central City, PA] – 1 race; Challenger Raceway [Indiana, PA] – 1 race; Grandview Speedway [Bechtelsville, PA] – 1 race; Central Pennsylvania Speedway [Clearfield, PA] – 1 race; Dog Hollow Speedway [Strongstown, PA] – 1 race.

Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky. is the winningest World of Outlaws driver in Pennsylvania with 15 victories.

Offering 33 different winners in 102 features, the list of World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series victors in Pennsylvania is a who’s who of Late Model Racing. From Larry Phillips’ first win in 1988 to Brandon Sheppard’s recent run of dominance, the list is sandwiched with all-time greats like Scott Bloomquist, Billy Moyer, Chub Frank, Bart Hartman, and Dale McDowell, among others.

At the top of the list sits Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky. with 15 of his 74 career World of Outlaws wins coming in Pennsylvania. Stretching from June 2007 at Port Royal (1 win) to September 2019 at Selinsgrove (4 wins), The Bluegrass Bandit has won at eight different PA facilities including Lernerville (3 wins), Big Diamond (2 wins), Eriez (2 wins), Central Pennsylvania (1 win), Tri-City (1 win), and Dog Hollow (1 win).

Other accomplished Pennsylvania superstars include Josh Richards at 14 wins, Brandon Sheppard with seven wins, Shane Clanton holding six wins, and Tim McCreadie, Scott Bloomquist, and Steve Francis all at five wins apiece. Most recently, the likes of Chase Junghans, Cade Dillard, Dennis Erb Jr. have all added their names to the Pennsylvania winners list.

This Friday and Saturday, the next chapter is written in the storied history between Pennsylvania and the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series. Don’t miss out on any of the action at Thunder Mountain Speedway in Knox Dale, Pa. with back-to-back nights of The Most Powerful Late Model on the Planet.

As always, if you can’t make it in-person, you can watch Every Lap LIVE with the DIRTVision FAST PASS.

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