CONCORD, N.C. — Dustin Sorensen grew up watching the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models Series at his home track. And now, he’ll compete against them every night.
The Rochester, Minn., driver will join the series in 2024, racing for Rookie of the Year honors in his family-owned No. 19.
Sorensen first saw the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models sitting in the grandstands at Deer Creek Speedway and said he’s loved them ever since.
“I remember the Gopher 50 growing up at Deer Creek, my home track,” Sorensen said. “And I loved watching the races there.”
Deer Creek was also the site of his best series finish in eight starts — a third place behind World of Outlaws champions Bobby Pierce and Brandon Sheppard. The podium finish boosted the confidence of the 23-year-old driver, who’s using it as fuel for 2024.
“(Deer Creek) is a track that I probably have more laps around than anyone else I raced against that night,” Sorensen said. “That’s a big part of why I ran so good is because I’m so comfortable there. It also made me realize I could probably be good and run better at other places if I could learn to adapt more quickly.”
While Sorensen is preparing for his first season with the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models, he’s no stranger to a national tour. Two years ago, he won the United States Modified Touring Series championship — a feat also claimed by series competitor Ryan Gustin.
Sorensen said it’s more travel that he’s dealt with in the past but something he’s prepared for.
“It isn’t quite as rigorous of a schedule with USMTS,” Sorensen said. “Living in Minnesota we aren’t as far from home as we will be now or be on the road for as long as we will be with the World of Outlaws. But I have experience going to new tracks, and I’ll adapt quickly to that, and it’s just being on the road.”
As Sorensen enters his rookie season with the World of Outlaws, he knows his experience will help him, especially at tracks near home like Deer Creek and Mississippi Thunder Speedway, where he won a Dirt Kings Series feature in August.
And with that knowledge, his expectations are set for 2024.
“I guess I just want to be competitive and be consistently inside the top 10 on tour,” Sorensen said. “If we can knock off a couple of wins, that’d be great.”
From the grandstands at Deer Creek to the driver’s seat of his late model, Sorensen said he’s excited about what’s to come next season.
“There’s no better place to run late models than with the World of Outlaws,” Sorensen said.