Jordan Koehler’s racing career took a significant jump in 2023.
Not an easy one. But he knew that going in.
The Mount Airy, NC driver took the step from regional Crate Late Model racing to a national tour with the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series this year, driving the #114 Longhorn for Koehler Motorsports.
“Everything’s just a lot faster, and the competition’s a lot tougher,” Koehler said about his new venture. “It still is in Crates; it’s just that everybody has good stuff here, so you’re racing with the best in the world.”
Koehler had a handful of Super Late Model starts coming into the 2023 season. And the step up to the premier league with the World of Outlaws has already shown its challenges in the first four races of the year, making one Feature, so far.
However, racing against the best drivers in the country has also paired him with one of the best drivers in the country. Koehler is teammates with 21-time World of Outlaws Feature winner Jimmy Owens.
For the 21-year-old, Owens is a textbook of knowledge he can lean on throughout the year, especially for the Series’ next tripleheader weekend in Owens’ home territory at Smoky Mountain Speedway, March 16, and Boyd’s Speedway, March 17-18.
“When we get to the track, [Owens and I] work together a lot,” Koehler said. “He gives me pointers on what he thinks I need to do and if I’m any good or not any good. He can relate to what I’m feeling, and he can progress us a lot faster than a lot of other people have had the chance to get.”
That guidance paid off for the Rookie of the Year contender at the first race of the season, making his first World of Outlaws Feature.
Despite finishing 26th in the season opener, he said being able to run against that caliber of drivers gives him confidence for what’s to come.
“Everybody probably thought we’d get blown out of the water like I’m sure a lot of them do when they start,” Koehler said. “It helped our whole team a lot, just showing up out of the gate and being good. The first night just making it into the show was a huge deal.
“I think we started like 11th and ended up wrecking, but we ended up running with them for a lot of laps before that happened.”
As Koehler continues through his first season with the World of Outlaws, he’s trying to maintain a balance on and off the track.
When he’s not working on his race car, he’s helping his dad with the family’s business—Ultimate Towing and Recovery. He also started his own trash company—a sponsor you’ll see on cars racing with the World of Outlaws.
“If you look for Capital Waste, you’ll see on Tanner [English’s] car and other cars that are just running with the World of Outlaws,” Koehler said. “I have a great deal of people helping me with that, so I can really get away.”
That help with his business, plus the guidance from Owens allows Koehler to focus on the significant jump he’s taking into this season.
He’ll get another learning experience when the 2023 World of Outlaws CASE Late Model tour heads to the Southeast for three nights of action.
The weekend starts with a trip to Smoky Mountain Speedway on Thursday, March 16, for the Tennessee Tipoff. Then, the Series moves South to Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, GA, on Friday and Saturday, March 17-18, for the Shamrock 100.
Smoky Mountain Tickets: bit.ly/3IdAwdx
Boyd’s Tickets: bit.ly/3m346eB
If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online on with the DIRTVision App.