World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models
Lavonia Speedway | Lavonia, GA
Friday, September 03, 2021
Race Recap  

RED CLAY REDEMPTION: Watkins scores first career World of Outlaws win at Lavonia

In 2019, Ben Watkins blew a tire while leading a World of Outlaws Feature at Lancaster Speedway. It’s the heartbreak he thought he’d never fix.

Watkins finally got his redemption Friday night at Lavonia Speedway, leading all 40 laps to win the Charlie Mize Memorial. He’s the fifth driver to win his first career World of Outlaws Feature in 2021.

Watkins started on the outside pole next to Rookie of the Year contender Tyler Bruening, searching for his first World of Outlaws win. When the green flag dropped, the two thundered into Turns 1 and 2 side by side before Watkins carried his momentum around the 16 car, rocketing to the top spot down the back straightaway.

That wasn’t the last time Watkins saw Bruening, as the Decorah, IA driver peeked underneath him, pulling even with him in lap traffic on Lap 19. A caution on Lap 24 gave Watkins some breathing room, allowing him to take the race one lap at a time.

“When we caught lap traffic, they were two wide, and they were racing,” Watkins said. “With the dirty track, it kind of upset my car a little bit, and it was hard to maneuver through them. The way the cautions played out, I was not upset.”

Three cautions plagued the second half of the 40 lap Feature, but they couldn’t have come at a better time for Watkins. He knew he had just enough laps to avoid dealing with traffic and another potential battle with Bruening.

“We had that restart with 11 [laps] to go, I believe it was, and I was hoping that was just enough time we wouldn’t catch lap traffic too bad,” Watkins said. “Right at the end, we caught them and had just enough of a lead to kind of settle in there, and it played out perfectly for us.”

Bruening and Watkins battle for the lead
Ben Watkins had to hold off a challenge from Tyler Bruening/Jacy Norgaard photo

Bruening, the top Rookie of the race, finished second, his best finish of the season. The Decorah, IA driver, knew he had his work cut out for him on the initial start since he was on the bottom.

“It was just a little slimy on the bottom, and you really just wanted to be on that outside groove,” Bruening said. “We put a whole night together, just one spot short in the end. We were really good all night long, and I’m really proud of the effort to come back from [Thursday].”

Three-time and defending champion Brandon Sheppard crossed the line third, his 22nd podium finish of 2021. The New Berlin, IL driver, thought he might have had a chance if Watkins spent more time battling traffic.

“I felt like we had a strong car, and once we got strung out there, it was hard to pass,” Sheppard said. “I was hoping for more time in lap traffic than what we had, just to be able to dice things up a little bit, but all in all, we’re happy with a top three.”

One night after winning $40,000 Cherokee Speedway, Brandon Overton finished fourth, and Zack Mitchell rounded out the top five.

Ben Watkins earned his redemption Friday at Lavonia Speedway. It’s an opportunity he thought may never happen again and one he’ll cherish for the rest of his career.

“I didn’t really think I’d ever get another chance at it; these opportunities come few and far between,” Watkins said.

UP NEXT: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet travel to Tennessee for the fourth time in 2021 for a stop at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, TN.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online or through the DIRTVision App.

Morton Buildings Feature (40 Laps)-1. 16W-Ben Watkins [2][$10,000]; 2. 16-Tyler Bruening [1][$6,000]; 3. 1-Brandon Sheppard [4][$3,500]; 4. 76-Brandon Overton [6][$2,800]; 5. 57-Zack Mitchell [5][$2,500]; 6. 18D-Daulton Wilson [7][$2,300]; 7. 79-Ross Bailes [15][$2,200]; 8. 7-Ricky Weiss [10][$2,100]; 9. 28-Dennis Erb [14][$2,050]; 10. 44-Chris Madden [13][$2,000]; 11. 42-Cla Knight [3][$1,600]; 12. 88-Trent Ivey [17][$1,400]; 13. 19R-Ryan Gustin [16][$1,200]; 14. 4-Ryan Wilson [23][$1,100]; 15. F1-Payton Freeman [8][$1,050]; 16. 1C-Kenny Collins [9][$1,000]; 17. 99B-Boom Briggs [20][$1,000]; 18. 1D-Brent Dixon [18][$1,000]; 19. B1-Brent Larson [11][$1,000]; 20. 22S-Nick Schlager [21][$1,000]; 21. 24D-Michael Brown [12][$1,000]; 22. 21-Will Harris [22][$1,000]; 23. 18E-Ethan Wilson [19][$1,000]; 24. 87-Walker Arthur [24][$1,000] Hard Charger: 4-Ryan Wilson[+9]

Qualifying –1. 57-Zack Mitchell, 15.378; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 15.527; 3. 16W-Ben Watkins, 15.535; 4. 16-Tyler Bruening, 15.566; 5. 76-Brandon Overton, 15.679; 6. 42-Cla Knight, 15.751; 7. 7-Ricky Weiss, 15.761; 8. B1-Brent Larson, 15.767; 9. 1C-Kenny Collins, 15.769; 10. 18D-Daulton Wilson, 15.779; 11. F1-Payton Freeman, 15.804; 12. 24D-Michael Brown, 15.812; 13. 18E-Ethan Wilson, 15.825; 14. 88-Trent Ivey, 15.841; 15. 1D-Brent Dixon, 15.917; 16. 44-Chris Madden, 15.946; 17. 28-Dennis Erb, 15.97; 18. 79-Ross Bailes, 15.99; 19. 19R-Ryan Gustin, 15.999; 20. 99B-Boom Briggs, 16.031; 21. 87-Walker Arthur, 16.051; 22. 21-Will Harris, 16.119; 23. 4-Ryan Wilson, 16.201; 24. 22S-Nick Schlager, 16.248; 25. 22-Chris Ferguson, NT; DNS. O5-Corey Roulette, NT

[Read More]
Feature Results
12+116WBen Watkins 00.000Running150$10,000
21-116Tyler Bruening 00.000Running146$6,000
34+11Brandon Sheppard 00.000Running144$3,500
46+276Brandon Overton 00.000Running142$2,800
55057Zack Mitchell 00.000Running140$2,500
67+118DDaulton Wilson 00.000Running138$2,300
715+879Ross Bailes 00.000Running136$2,200
810+27Ricky Weiss 00.000Running134$2,100
914+528Dennis Erb Jr00.000Running132$2,050
1013+344Chris Madden 00.000Running130$2,000
113-842Cla Knight 00.000Running128$1,600
1217+588Trent Ivey 00.000Running126$1,400
1316+319RRyan Gustin 00.000Running124$1,200
1423+94Ryan Wilson 00.000Running122$1,100
158-7F1Payton Freeman 00.000Running120$1,050
169-71CKenny Collins 00.000Running118$1,000
1720+399BBoom Briggs 00.000Running116$1,000
181801DBrent Dixon 00.000Running114$1,000
1911-8B1Brent Larson 00.000Running112$1,000
2021+122SNick Schlager 00.000Running110$1,000
2112-924DMichael Brown 00.000Running108$1,000
2222021Will Harris 00.000Running106$1,000
2319-418EEthan Wilson 00.000Running104$1,000
2424087Walker Arthur 00.000Running102$1,000
DIRTVision Highlights  
Event Info  

World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models
September 3, 2021
Lavonia Speedway
5941 Lavonia Hwy
Lavonia, GA 

Event Description
The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models make its only stop in Georgia in 2021.

Series Racing
World of Outlaws Late Model Series

Late Model Track Record
14.990 seconds by Zack Mitchell

To Win Amount

Event Schedule
Drivers Meeting - 7:00pm
Hot Laps - 7:30

1. 602 Crate Late Model Hot Laps
2. Stock 8 Hot Laps
3. World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Hot Laps
4. 602 Charger Hot Laps
5. World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Qualifying - 2 Cars/2 Laps
6. 602 Crate Late Model Qualifying
7. Opening Ceremonies
8. Stock 8 Heats - 6 Laps
"9. World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Heats - 10 Laps "
10. 602 Charger Heats - 6 Laps
11. World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Redraw
12. World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model LCS - 10 Laps
13. 602 Crate Late Model Feature - 20 Laps
14. World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Feature - 50 Laps
15. Stock 8 Feature - 12 Laps
16. 602 Chargers Feature - 12 Laps
*All times Eastern

Ticket Options  
Parking Cost

Camping Availability
non-electric, onsite

Camping Cost

Frequently Asked Questions  
To Win Amount

Type of Grandstand

Stadium Seating

Handicapped Seating
Top Row of Tun 4

Handicapped Parking
Front gate

Pit Age Limit
NO age restriction for pits. 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent/ guardian.

Pit Gate Location
turn 4 side of the track

Personal Coolers

Credit Card Use

Alcohol Sales
Yes/ No Coolers

Smoking Policy
Yes you can smoke

Family Section

Parking Cost

Camping Availability
non-electric, onsite

Camping Cost

Closest Airport

Other Airport

Track Info  

Lavonia Speedway
5941 Lavonia Hwy
Lavonia, GA 

Track Phone
(706) 612-0893

Track Email
[email protected]

Track Size & Type
0.375; Semi Banked Clay Oval

Competitor Info  
Competitor Downloads

Competitor Info
Event Format:
1-20 Entries = Overall Qualifying | Two Heats | All Cars Transfer | Top 2 from each heat redraw
21-24 Entries = Overall Qualifying | Three Heats | All Cars Transfer | Top 2 from each heat redraw
25-27 Entries = Overall Qualifying | Three Heats | Top 6 Transfer | Top 2 from each heat redraw | One LCS | Top 4 Transfer
28-31 Entries = A/B Group Qualifying | Four Heats | Top 4 Transfer | Top 2 from each heat redraw |One LCS | Top 6 Transfer
32-47 Entries = A/B Group Qualifying | Four Heats | Top 4 Transfer | Top 2 from each heat redraw |Two LCS | Top 3 Transfer
48+ Entries = A/B Group Qualifying | Six Heats | Top 3 Transfer | Heat Race Winner Redraws | Three LCS | Top 2 Transfer

Event Payout: 40 Laps
1. $10,000; 2. $6,000; 3. $3,500; 4. $2,800; 5. $2,500; 6. $2,300; 7. $2,200; 8. $2,100; 9. $2,050; 10. $2,000; 11.$1,600; 12. $1,400; 13. $1,200; 14. $1,100; 15. $1,050; 16. $1,000; 17. $1,000; 18. $1,000; 19. $1,000; 20. $1,000; 21. $1,000; 22. $1,000; 23. $1,000; 24. $1,000 Tow Money: $110 - MUST start LCS in order to receive Tow Money

Technical & Safety Rules:
GENERAL RULES: Under the guidelines of Chapter 1

TECHNICAL & SAFETY RULES: Under the guidelines of Chapter 3
Weight Rule is 2350. Pound per lap burn off in the Feature event ONLY

Tire Rules:
LF,RF,LR: 1350
You MUST run the same tires all night long.

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