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OUTLAW WAY IN PA: Port Royal Late Model doubleheader set for thrilling fan, driver experience

The stars of the World of Outlaws Late Model aim to shutout PA locals at Port Royal Speedway

As the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars exits Pennsylvania with all of the PA Posse’s riches, the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models enters with the same intentions.

The Late Models return to Port Royal Speedway, on May 21-22, for the first time since 2019 and the famed half-mile track will look a touch different to fans and teams. The track completed several renovations last year and has more to come, according to Promoter Steve O’Neal.

A new wider tunnel was constructed under the first turn for fans to easily get to and from the infield, there’s blacktop throughout the pit area, a large pit grandstand was added by Turn 4, infield buildings were lowered for better viewing, a new gate was installed on the backstretch and the front stretch was widened by 10-feet.

“There have been quite a few renovations since [the World of Outlaws Late Models] were here a couple of years ago,” O’Neal said. “The track continues to try and enhance the fan experience, as well as the driver’s. We did a lot of extra work in the pit area. I think everyone coming this week will be pretty impressed with what we’ve been doing. And we’re not done yet.”

Ricky Weiss (top) races Mason Zeigler (bottom) at Port Royal Speedway / Rick Neff photo

Along with the physical appeals, O’Neal said he is excited to see the Late Model’s version of the World of Outlaws versus the PA Posse during the Series’ first two-day event at Port Royal. Like with the Sprint Cars, both sides enter the event with an impressive talent pool.

Three-time defending champion Brandon Sheppard and Chris Madden enter the weekend with the momentum of milestone wins at Mississippi Thunder Speedway. Sheppard earned his 70th career Series win – also his first of the year – and Madden earned his 30th career win. Sheppard is currently the only full-time Outlaw with a Series win at Port Royal – in 2017.

Also representing the Outlaws will drivers like be Sinking Spring, PA-native Kyle Stricker, who is the leading rookie contender with two wins, Ricky Weiss, who finished second at Port Royal in 2019, Cade Dillard, who won at Boone Speedway in April, Tyler Bruening, Ryan Gustin and Boom Briggs, of Bear Lake, PA.

Leading the charge for the Pennsylvania drivers will be Mason Zeigler, of Chalk Hill, PA, who won the last World of Outlaws event at Port Royal in 2019 – his lone Series victory. He has one track event win at the speedway this year, as well. Other PA stars to potentially be on the lookout for are drivers like current Port Royal Speedway Super Late Model points leader Ross Robinson, Dylan Yoder, Jeff Rine, Trevor Feathers and more.

Fellow Pennsylvania resident and part-time Outlaw competitor Rick Eckert, the 2011 Series champion of York, PA, will look to spoil the party and sweep the weekend himself. He won a track event at Port Royal at the beginning of May, also.

“It’s always great to have the Outlaws come to Port Royal,” O’Neal said. “We always look forward to it. It should be a very competitive show with the drivers the Outlaws bring in. And we have a very competitive class. I’d say Port Royal Speedway’s class of Late Model drivers is the closest you’re going to get to PA Posse battle with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars. I’m hoping to have the same kind of deal. We’ve got some really strong weekly runners. I look forward to the battle between them and the World of Outlaws.”

Boom Briggs races around Mississippi Thunder Speedway / Jacy Norgaard photo

Friday’s Huey Wilcoxon Memorial (May 21) will pay $10,000 to the winner and Saturday’s Billy Vacek Memorial (May 22) will award the winner $15,000.

Along with hosting the World of Outlaws Late Model’s first trip to Pennsylvania in 2021, Port Royal Speedway will also host the World of Outlaws Sprint Car’s final trip to the Keystone State on Oct. 8-9 for the Nittany Showdown – playing a key role in the Sprint Car championship battle. It’ll be the final chance in 2021 for the Outlaws to shut out the PA Posse and leave the state with all the riches.

“When the Sprint Cars come in, it’s our last big event of the year,” O’Neal said. “We always look forward to that. It’s always a great event.”

To see the Outlaws challenge the Pennsylvania favorites and experience the new track improvements, get tickets by CLICKING HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision with the annual Platinum FAST PASS subscription for $299/year or the monthly FAST PASS subscription for $39/month.

Nick Graziano

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