PEVELY, Mo. — A Midwest tripleheader awaits the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series, beginning with the weekend opener at Federated Auto Parts Raceway on June 24-25.
The raceway will host the St. Louis Firecracker Faceoff, which will also collide with the DIRTcar Summer Nationals for the first time since 2019.
A 40-lap, $10,000-to-win feature starts the two-night spectacular before the stars of both series’ battle for supremacy on Saturday in a 55-lap finale paying $20,000-to-win.
The Xtreme Outlaw Sprints and the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds join the card for the inaugural event.
Jacksonville Speedway will be the backdrop for the late models weekend finale on Sunday, June 26, as the series makes its debut at the one-fourth-mile bullring in the JB Hawks Summer Spectacular.
Drivers will wage war in the 40-lap Wild Man Kelly Classic, paying $10,000-to-win.
A weekend sweep could equal a $50,000 payday for any one driver.
The Xtreme Outlaws Midgets will join The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet at the Western Illinois venue as well.
As the summer stretch begins for the World of Outlaws Late Models, all championship competitors are trying to catch current points leader Dennis Erb Jr.
Erb enters the weekend with a 98-point advantage over Rookie of the Year contender Max Blair.
As a seasoned, three-time DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion, Erb has accumulated two wins this season. He’s run every Hell Tour race this year so far, picking up a best finish of second to Bobby Pierce at Tri-City Speedway.
Erb hasn’t finished out of the top 10 in summer nationals competition.
Meanwhile, Blair and Tanner English have separated themselves from the rest of the field as the drivers hoping to track down Dennis Erb for the title.
Blair enters the weekend second in points on the strength of two wins, six top fives and 12 top 10s.
The driver has recently spent time racing against summer nationals competition, entering three events during the series’ opening week. Blair also holds a 40-point advantage over English in the Rookie of the Year battle.
The aforementioned rookie English rolls into the Midwest with momentum after winning the Pappy and Bob Allen Memorial at Fairbury Speedway in his family-owned No. 96 car.
His next step is to carry that into the weekend at I-55 and continue chasing his first World of Outlaws win.
English isn’t the only one searching for a first win.
Following memorable battling at the family-owned Tri-City Speedway earlier this month, Gordy Gundaker has two more chances at winning his first series race in front of his home fans.
The late model driver had a disappointing end to his night at Tri-City, but now looks for redemption in his home state.
Gundaker scored a top-five finish during last year’s DIRTcar Summer Nationals event.
However, no driver in the field this weekend has found more success at I-55 and Jacksonville than Bobby Pierce.
The four-time DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion has won at both tracks in recent years and currently leads the Hell Tour points standings entering week two — four points ahead of Ryan Unzicker. Pierce is also the most recent World of Outlaws winner, emerging a victor in his second event of the season at Tri-City earlier this month.
On the other hand, Shane Clanton hasn’t run any DIRTcar Summer Nationals events this year, but he still has momentum from racing in the Midwest.
The 2015 series champion scored a massive $40,000 victory on the one-fourth-mile track at Belleville Speedway last week and hopes to keep it rolling into this weekend’s tripleheader.
Since returning to series competition last month, the “Georgia Bulldog” has three top five finishes, including two second-place results. He’s only finished outside the top 10 once in that stretch.
Clanton has found past success at I-55, scoring a series triumph in 2008.
It’s the collision between the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models and DIRTcar Summer Nationals that means several Illinois standouts will throw their hat in the ring for a potential $30,000 payday.
Ryan Unzicker enters week two of the Hell Tour second in points, with a win scored in the series opener at Kankakee Speedway. Unzicker also had a top-five finish at Tri-City Speedway earlier this month.
Four-time and reigning series champion Brandon Sheppard is projected to make his return Sunday at Jacksonville, driving his family-owned No. B5.