A changing of the guard happens in every form of motorsports.
The top drivers in a particular genre of the sport retire or they fade from the front of the pack, and they are replaced by a new generation of stars.
One could argue that generational change is beginning to take place in dirt late model racing. It began with Brandon Sheppard, a now three-time champion of the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series and hasn’t slowed since.
One of the key players among the new generation of late model stars has a familiar last name. Twenty-six-year-old Devin Moran is the son of 2002 National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame inductee Donnie Moran.
In recent years, the younger Moran has been forging his own legacy, racing dirt late models across the United States.
“I’ve always loved racing. I’ve always loved the race cars. I love hanging out at the races. I love it all,” Devin Moran said. “I’ve always wanted to do it from the start and there was really no chance of me not doing it.”
The dream is real for Devin Moran, who spends his weekends on the road with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series wheeling a car owned by Tye Twarog. His only crew is his brother, Wylie, and together they crisscross the country chasing checkered flags.
Some might assume it would be a foregone conclusion that Donnie Moran’s children would end up with careers in motorsports. The father of four disagrees, saying it was important to him to let his children make their own decisions about their futures.
In the case of Devin Moran, that included becoming a race car driver.
“I let them make their own decisions,” Donnie Moran noted. “If they wanted to race, that was fine. If they didn’t want to, that was fine. I figured it would be best for them to make the decision.
“My dad drilled oil wells and I worked with him some,” Donnie Moran continued. “He had race cars, too, and I wanted to race and he let me make my own decision. I thought it was what my dad taught me, I’ll pass it on to the next generation. I’ll let my boys and my daughter make their own decisions about what they wanted to do in life.”
It wasn’t a difficult choice for Devin Moran. If he could go racing, he was going racing.
Naturally, when Devin Moran started racing dirt late models, his dad and brother were there to lend a helping hand. In 2017, they teamed with Twarog and hit the road with the World of Outlaws, finishing fourth in the standings while Devin Moran claimed rookie-of-the-year honors with the tour.
The following year, they finished fourth in the standings and earned a $30,000 victory during the Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury (Ill.) Speedway.
In 2019, things changed for Devin and Wylie Moran as the brothers packed their things and moved to North Carolina to work for Dunn Benson Motorsports, with Devin Moran driving the team’s No. 1 entry in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, while Wylie Moran worked as part of his crew.
“We raced for the year and we had a lot of fun and we liked it, but things just didn’t quite work out the way we wanted them to,” Devin Moran explained. “So we ended up coming back.”
The duo moved back home to Dresden, Ohio, and reunited with Twarog under the Tye Twarog Motorsports banner. The biggest difference this time around was that Donnie Moran had no involvement with the team.
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