CONCORD, N.C. — Racing across the country with the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models Series is a grind. One that makes earning the thrill of victory even sweeter.
This year, 14 drivers, including two first-timers, scored a win, bringing the total number of winners to 101.
Here’s a look at who moved up the list during the 2023 season:
Reigning Series champion Bobby Pierce made the most significant jump of the season, winning 14 times. With 18 series wins on his résumé, the Oakwood, Ill. driver moved up 21 positions to 13th on the all-time wins list, passing former champions Mike Marlar and Dennis Erb Jr. along the way.
The “Smooth Operator” is two wins away from tying Brandon Overton for 12th on the list and is 10 wins away from cracking the top 10, which would tie current World of Outlaws Late Models Series Director Steve Francis (28).
Still On Top
Four-time series champion Brandon Sheppard remained atop the World of Outlaws CASE Late Model’s all-time wins list, adding two wins in the 2023 campaign. He earned victories at Davenport Speedway and Mississippi Thunder Speedway, bringing his total to 83 victories.
With two victories at Sharon Speedway, and one at Cedar Lake Speedway, Chris Madden broke a tie with 2004 Series champion Scott Bloomquist for eighth on the all-time wins list.
“Smokey” ends the year with 36 career wins, good enough for seventh all-time. He’s two wins away from tying 2011 Series champion Rick Eckert for sixth.
The Reaper’s Climb
In his third year with the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models, Ryan Gustin earned three victories—all coming on Friday nights.
The Marshalltown, Iowa scored wins at Marion Center Raceway and Sharon in May, before grabbing a win at River Cities Speedway in June. That gives him five career Series wins, moving him into a six-way tie for 26th with Bart Hartman, Donnie Moran, Earl Pearson Jr., Brady Smith and Max Blair.
Gustin will try and add to his total in 2024 with his new team – Todd Cooney Racing.
A Pair of Triples
Mike Marlar and Ricky Thornton Jr. made steps up the World of Outlaws ladder this year by scoring three victories throughout the season.
Marlar, the 2018 series champion, earned wins at Red River Valley (N.D.) Speedway, The Dirt Track at Charlotte (N.C.) and Ponderosa (Ky.) Speedway. The win at Ponderosa was memorable, as he climbed from 22nd to first in the Johnny Mulligan classic.
The Winfield, Tenn. driver is now 14th on the all-time wins list with 17 wins—one behind Pierce.
Thornton also had three wins on the season, all coming on big stages. “RTJ” won the Prairie Dirt Classic in July before grabbing the season’s final two races at World Finals in Charlotte. The Martinsville, IN driver has four career victories, tied for 32nd all-time with Steve Shaver, Cade Dillard, Gregg Satterlee, Ashton Winger, and Chase Junghans.
Devin Moran opened the season in style for the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models, sweeping Sunshine Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park for his two Series wins in 2023. The Dresden, Ohio, driver is 22nd in all-time wins with 11 victories.
Hitting The Century Mark
Hudson O’Neal and Nick Hoffman earned their first World of Outlaws CASE Late Models win in 2023 — O’Neal becoming the 100th different winner in series history.
With only a handful of starts for Rocket1 Racing, the Martinsville, Ind. driver stormed from 23rd to win the Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals finale. He added another milestone for Rocket1, the most accomplished team in series history.
Hoffman, meanwhile, earned his first career win at New York’s Stateline Speedway in May. The Mooresville, N.C. driver passed Gordy Gundaker on lap one and held on to become the series’ 101st winner.
Along with O’Neal and Hoffman, five other drivers earned one World of Outlaws victory in 2023.
Corey Hedgecock scored his lone win at 411 Motor Speedway in April, moving the Loudon, Tenn. driver to a 13-way tie for 47th on the all-time wins list with two.
Kyle Bronson is one spot ahead of Hedgecock with three victories after winning at Tri-City Speedway by inches over Brian Shirley in June. The Brandon, Fla. driver has three World of Outlaws wins to his credit, putting him in a nine-way tie for 38th.
Shirley also added a win to his total in June, holding off Bronson for the win at Paducah International Raceway. The victory was the Chatham, Ill. driver’s seventh career triumph, tying him with Brian Birkhofer for 24th all-time.
Dennis Erb Jr., the 2022 series champion, added a win to his total at 81 Speedway in June with a $30,000 triumph. The win was Erb’s 14th World of Outlaws win, tying him with Tim Fuller, Dale McDowell and Jonathan Davenport for 14th all-time.
Brandon Overton scored his lone World of Outlaws Late Models win of the season when the Series visited Talladega Short Track for the Alabama Gang 100. The $50,000 win was “Big Sexy’s” 20th career win, putting him 12th on the all-time wins list.