CONCORD, N.C. – Six fresh faces have signed up to contest the full World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series schedule next year.
Ricky Weiss, G.R. Smith, Blake Spencer, Kyle Hardy, Cade Dillard and Chuck Hummer all have their sights set on the rookie title.
Weiss, the newly-crowned five-time WISSOTA Late Model champion from Headingly, Manitoba, has 28 starts with the Outlaws dating back to 2007. Even though he hails from north of the border, his best finish came in Tennessee on June 2, 2007, at Tazewell Speedway — a third-place run in his black and orange No. 7.
Weiss is no late model amateur and he has the race wins to prove it. The biggest of those came on Aug. 10 when he won the 37th annual North-South 100 at Florence Speedway in convincing fashion over Tim McCreadie and Hudson O’Neal. It was one of 24 victories for him this year.
Weiss will sport a Sweet-Bloomquist chassis with Derrick’s Sandblasting, G-Style Transport, JC Properties and Turk Enterprises on the side of the car. Weiss plans to bounce around between Scott Bloomquist’s shop in Mooresburg, Tenn., and his own back in Manitoba, depending on time between races and their location. He said the help Bloomquist and his associates provide the team with the car is invaluable and will be a big factor to his own success on his first attempt at a national tour.
“We’re going to try and stick here as much as we can,” Weiss said. “The knowledge and the help that they give us, the amount that we learn from Scott and Cody [Mallory]… just being here is kind of surreal for us. Anytime we can get a bit of knowledge from those guys, we’re going to take advantage of it.”
Smith, a driver/owner from Statesville, N.C., has been around the World of Outlaws tour before, but is finally taking his shot at the full season behind the wheel. Smith will be the sole driver of his bright red No. 22 after going to the DIRTcar Nationals this year with Brian Shirley as his wheelman. While plans to run full-time with Shirley didn’t come to fruition, Smith is set to go all out in his Victory Circle Auto Sales machine — something he has been anticipating for a while.
“I’m very excited to get back behind the wheel and have the opportunity to follow the Outlaws again,” Smith said. “So long as every piece of the operation stays together throughout the season, we’re prepared to go the distance.”
After his parting with Shirley, Smith picked up a bit of regional racing with the USLMS and also tapped Gastonia, N.C.-native Ross Bailes to drive the car in a handful of races later in the year. Next year, Smith will be back and full of ambition, starting at Screven.
Spencer and the Revolution Racing/Bozard Ford team will is the next driver to join the tour for the full year. The St. Augustine, Fla.-based team competed in 16 events throughout 2018, placing them 16th in series points. Spencer says it’s full speed ahead on the team’s operation to get more experience out on tour.
“Everybody’s kind of taking the underdog approach,” Spencer said. “The experience level of me as a driver probably isn’t as qualified as most, but that’s part of the journey. I think everybody that’s in our program is on that same page, from Bozard Ford all the way down to a tire changer. We’re all on board with getting that experience and growing into something new.”