BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Max Blair’s journey to the national dirt late model scene started with a dream.
“I’ve always said, if I could write my own book, it’d be running for Rookie of the Year with the World of Outlaws,” Blair said.
He gets the chance to write the first few pages of his story Jan. 20-22, when the World of Outlaws Late Models open the 2022 season at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., during the Sunshine Nationals. It’s a mountain he’s been eager to climb growing up in Pennsylvania.
“I’ve dreamed of doing it since I was a little kid,” Blair said. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”
Last season, Blair teamed up with Shawn Martin and Viper Motorsports, preparing to make his first run on a national tour in 2022. The two have already found success, racking up victories across the northeast.
Those achievements wouldn’t be possible without the team’s crew chief: his dad, Rob.
“He’s the full-time crew chief for Viper Motorsports, and that was a big deal for me when me and Shawn first talked,” Blair said. “He was 100 percent on board with bringing dad on with us, and for me, that was huge.”
Blair and his dad will travel across the country, hitting 16 different states in his quest for Rookie of the Year. The two have been together from the beginning and plan to keep it that way.
“Number one, I would never want to do any of this without him, and number two, I don’t know if I would even be able to,” Blair said. “It’s always been me and him together, so I don’t know if I could do any of this without him, even if I had to.”
While having that father-son bond on the road is something Blair will cherish, they’ll also get a taste of home in 2022. The World of Outlaws race in Pennsylvania five times next season, including two new tracks that caught his eye.
“I was pretty excited when I saw the Bloomsburg [Fairgrounds in Pennsylvania] race and especially Tri-City [Speedway in Franklin, Pa.]; that’s only about 10 minutes from my house,” Blair said.
Despite the home-field advantage, he knows Pennsylvania has some of the most challenging regional competition the series will see all year.
“If you look back over the last five-six years, anytime the Outlaws race not just in Pennsylvania, but in my little corner at Stateline, Eriez, McKean — the racing that we have in our little area — there’s always a couple of them that are in the top five,” Blair said. “If not, more than a couple.”
The Keystone State won’t be the only place Blair faces tough regional standouts.
He’ll also have to contend with them and the other tour regulars in the Midwest and Southeast — something he knows could be an uphill battle during the season’s grind.
“There’s a lot more nights that everyone else has a bigger advantage than I do,” Blair said. “There’s a lot of the race tracks that I’ve never even seen before.
“I’m hopeful,” Blair added. “But you have to be real about it at the same time with what we’re getting ready to go do here.”
Blair’s dream of becoming a World of Outlaws full-time competitor is about to become a reality—the first chapter in what he hopes is a popular novel.
“I’m excited to see all these new tracks, get better, learn, and just finally get to live out what I’ve always wanted to do,” Blair said.