From being an original 1978 World of Outlaws fan club member to a current Be an Outlaw member, Bob Morse’s passion for the Series has been a key part of his life for 45 years.
He became hooked on dirt racing after his first trip to Skagit Speedway in the late 1960s – while still in high school – but when the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars visited the Washington track for the first time in 1978, he found his new passion.
“When the Outlaws showed up, they were the stars,” Morse said.
The speed. The action. The accessibility to drivers. It was like nothing he’d experienced before.
A fan club was started for the Series in its inaugural year and Morse didn’t hesitate to sign up – still holding his membership card today. However, the club only lasted a couple years. Morse’s fandom never wavered, though. From 1978 to now, Morse’s love for the World of Outlaws brought him to placed he’d never been, helped him find new friendships and create a family experience.
He grew up in Canada before his parents bought a home on Lummi Island in Washington when he was a teenager. Not far from there was Skagit Speedway. His friend’s father did the sound system for the track and that connection eventually lured him to his first dirt race. From then on, he went to the track as much as he could.
Then came the World of Outlaws.
“Oh my gosh, it just separated the men from the boys,” Morse said. “That’s how I got introduced to the World of Outlaws.”
From there, he followed the Series as closely as he could, going to World of Outlaws events at Skagit Speedway and venturing to others outside of Washington, like the Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway, a Lincoln Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway and more.
His passion for the sport brought him a new best friend along the way. Morse met Steven Morse – no relation – at a computer user group, and one conversation about Sprint Cars grew into a close friendship of traveling to multiple races.
“We met at Grays Harbor Raceway that summer,” Bob Morse said. “I met him and his family and now he’s like my cousin. He’s dragged me to races at Tulare. Vegas. He’d get the tickets and go, ‘Hey we’re going to go see the Outlaws.’ He’s my racing buddy.”
Along with going to races with his new buddy, he was able to hook his wife and stepson on going to the races too.
“I have a developmentally disabled son that lives with us, and I thought it is going to be tough for him to get engaged, he’s sensitive to noise,” Morse said. “We took him to the races last year for the first time, put some headphones on him, put a cheeseburger in front of him and he had a wonderful time.
“I see (the World of Outlaws events) leaning more toward female and kids too. It’s something the family can do.”
Since his first World of Outlaws race in 1978, Morse said he’s been impressed with how streamlined the shows have become and the incorporation of new enhancements like the Jumbotrons, pit reporters and increased engagement with the fans.
One thing he said that’s remained a constant throughout the Series’ 45-year history is the accessibility to the drivers.
“You can still go down and meet the drivers and talk to them and get an autograph and get a picture with them,” he said. “That’s a constant. It’s not like going to a NASCAR race, which I went to my first race a couple years ago in Vegas and you can’t even get near them. Everyone is courted off.”
This year he got a couple unique opportunities to meet and spend time with drivers. His family got to meet Brock Zearfoss and Spencer Bayston through a special Be an Outlaw whale watching program in September before the Skagit Nationals. Those who went go to spend the day with the drivers and their crew in the unique experience.
Then, when he made the trip east to watch the World of Outlaws in Pennsylvania with his family, he spotted the Shark Racing shop along one of their drives. They pulled over just to take a look but were quickly invited inside by the Shark Racing group, given a tour and got to meet Logan Schuchart.
“It’s one of the highlights of our summer,” Morse said. “I just can’t thank World Racing Group enough for putting [the whale watching trip] together. It was very thoughtful.”
Now, like the World of Outlaws, he’s preparing for year 46 as a fan in 2023, making plans for the Skagit Nationals when the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returns to Skagit Speedway, Aug. 31-Sept. 2.
To join the Be an Outlaw program like Morse and get the chance to be apart of unique opportunities like meeting drivers, wavering the green flag at a race and more, sign up at Be-an-Outlaw.com.