Some drivers are riding a wave of momentum into the inaugural World of Outlaws Heartland Speedweek, but Brian Shirley is bringing a tsunami.
On top of winning the last World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series event at Paducah International Raceway, Shirley scored three DIRTcar Summer National victories and the Week 1 title last week.
“Things are starting to go our way a little bit,” the Chatham, IL driver said.
“Just some of it is the car has been good. Luck has been good… It’s kind of the perseverance of the hard work these guys have been putting in to try and get better. Things are starting to go our way a little bit.”
Shirley has been on a hot streak since the end of May with five top-10 finishes in the last six World of Outlaws CASE Late Model starts – including a second-place finish at Tri-City Speedway and his win at Paducah. If not for a tire issue during the DIRTcar Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway, he was on his way to a potentially big payday. But then made up for it by scoring three wins with the DIRTcar Summer National Late Models and earning the $10,000 Week 1 title.
Now, he’ll turn his attention to the World of Outlaws Heartland Speedweek – a stretch of seven races in nine days, which includes events at 81 Speedway (June 23-24), Off Road Speedway (June 25), Mason City Motor Speedway (June 27), Red River Valley Speedway (June 28), River Cities Speedway (June 30) and I-94 EMR Speedway (July 1).
With most of the Speedweek tracks new to the Illinois driver, he’s hoping his recent string of success continues throughout the month and beyond.
“You hope so,” Shirley said. “That’s kind of why you keep racing. Keep racing to feel what the car is doing each night and stuff like that. The bad part is going to a lot of new tracks you don’t have a lot of time to fix where maybe you’re not balanced right but hopefully it all works out enough that we kind of been on a decent package where it will relay over to them racetracks.”
However, as a four-time DIRTcar Summer Nationals Late Model champion, Shirley has excelled in speedweek-type excursions. And knows what it takes to be in contention for a national title.
He currently sits fifth in World of Outlaws CASE Late Model points – 62-points behind leader Chris Madden – with nine top 10s, three top fives and his recent win.
“Anytime you’re running good it helps when you’re going into races, it helps you build confidence as far as knowing you’re up to speed and helps you have enough confidence that when you’re going to race on a national level you can run with them guys,” Shirley said. “Anytime you run good in general it helps you go to the next race and keep everybody’s moral up and keep everybody excited and keeping racing because we have been racing a lot.”
Along with Shirley, World of Outlaws CASE Late Model standout and reigning Series champion Dennis Erb Jr. have also built momentum during the opening week of the DIRTcar Summer Nationals as Pierce picked up two wins and Erb scored three top fives in the first five races.
You can see them, and the rest of the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Series stars, duel during the World of Outlaws Heartland Speedweek, starting at 81 Speedway, June 23-24. For tickets, CLICK HERE.
If you can’t make it to the tracks, you can watch every World of Outlaws race live on DIRTVision.