Walkapedia Does Late Models, and Loves It; Sheppard and Marlar Shine on WoO LMS Practice Night at Screven!

SYLVANIA, GA. (February 7, 2019) – First and foremost, I have always been and will always be a through and through open-wheel racing snob. With that being said, I think giving late model racing a shot was the best thing I have done. Last night was ONLY practice and I am already hooked.

A group of 29 drivers gathered together at Sylvania, Georgia’s Screven Motor Speedway to unofficially kick off the 2019 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model season with a practice opportunity on Thursday. Four separate sessions hit the red dirt clay totaling roughly 15-20 sets of practice.

Clocking the fastest lap of the night with a time of 14.260 seconds was Brandon Sheppard aboard the No. 1 Rocket Chassis house car for Mark Richards Racing. The 2017 World of Outlaws Late Model champion, Sheppard of New Berlin, Illinois, recorded 43 laps while testing-and-tuning. Running on a hot streak to open 2019, Sheppard has racked up 11 top five finishes in 11 starts between action in the Wild West Shootout in Arizona and Georgia/Florida Speedweeks with the Lucas Oil Late Model Series.

While it was Sheppard topping the overall charts, it was the reigning WoO LMS champion and his new crew chief who arguably stole the show. Stepping away from the No. 157 after scoring the 2018 WoO title, Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tennessee joined forces with iconic engineer and car owner, Kevin Rumley.

Marlar and Rumley came storming out of the gate on Thursday, busting out the quickest four-lap average of practice in their opening set. In the first five-lap session, Marlar timed in consecutive laps of 14.646, 14.463, 14.365 and ultimately a 14.293, which was his fastest lap of the night. At the conclusion of the night, Marlar and Rumley turned the LEAST amount of total practice laps (17 laps) in the entire field, but still showed their undeniable speed.

Chris Madden, who has earned back-to-back second (2017) and third (2018) place point finishes with the World of Outlaws Late Models, had an impressive late-practice run with a four-lap stretch of times including a 14.563, 14.578, 14.349, and 14.416. The 2015 WoO LMS champion, Shane Clanton, who also holds the record for most WoO victories at Screven with three wins, recorded another strong late-practice session with times of 14.478, 14.341, 14.607 and 14.694.

Although no official lap times were recorded due to an assumed transponder issue or lack thereof, there was no doubt that Darrell Lanigan was one of the fastest cars in attendance. Returning to his Club 29 entry after a three-year tenure with Clint Bowyer Racing, Lanigan is back full-time with the World of Outlaws in 2019, and is on the cusp of history. Entering the year, Lanigan holds 72 victories and three championships, while Josh Richards currently owns the WoO LMS all-time records for wins at 76 wins and four titles.

All in all, late models are really badass, and I am ashamed that I never gave them a shot until now. The general divide between sprint cars and late models is a head-scratcher honestly. These are two incredibly similar communities; we are all racers at our core who put our blood, sweat and tears into this sport, have a burning passion for victory, but we just race different cars and compete with different methods. I am certainly here for both of them from here on out.

We’ll be providing live coverage on @Walkapedia_ on Twitter for the next week. Tonight and tomorrow, we cover the World of Outlaws Late Model Series at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Georgia before heading to Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida for a night with the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. The coverage then resumes next Wednesday and runs through Saturday night with the WoO LMS at Volusia.

Pos. Car – Driver Average Best Four (Total Laps) Laps of Best Four-Lap Runs
1. 6M – Mike Marlar 14.442 Laps 2-5 (17) 14.646 14.463 14.365 14.293
2. 1 – Brandon Sheppard 14.476 Laps 27-30 (43) 14.651 14.509 14.260 14.483
3. 44 – Chris Madden 14.482 Laps 24-27 (39) 14.583 14.578 14.349 14.416
4. 25 – Shane Clanton 14.530 Laps 25-28 (28) 14.478 14.341 14.607 14.694
5. 1D – Brent Dixon 14.614 Laps 8-11 (17) 14.682 14.611 14.697 14.466
6. 36V – Kyle Hardy 14.656 Laps 14-17 (28) 14.628 14.565 14.664 14.766
7. 72 – Jason Covert 14.782 Laps 4-7 (31) 14.783 14.526 14.919 14.898
8. 53 – Ray Cook 14.798 Laps 15-18 (25) 14.811 14.883 14.718 14.779
9. 99B – Boom Briggs 14.800 Laps 8-11 (25) 14.919 14.850 14.774 14.655
10. B1 – Brent Larson 14.824 Laps 20-23 (36) 14.709 14.808 14.822 14.957
11. 7 – Ricky Weiss 14.857 Laps 34-37 (43) 14.987 14.948 14.812 14.681
12. 18 – Chase Junghans 14.862 Laps 18-21 (26) 14.505 14.411 14.771 15.759
13. 2X – John Henderson 14.907 Laps 20-23 (24) 15.091 14.841 14.829 14.867
14. C9 – Steve Casebolt 14.931 Laps 13-16 (39) 14.871 14.884 14.939 15.030
15. 97 – Cade Dillard 14.931 Laps 33-36 (37) 15.089 14.950 14.769 14.916
16. 16 – Tyler Bruening 14.939 Laps 12-15 (28) 15.116 14.874 14.801 14.964
17. 77 – Brian Connor 14.942 Laps 1-4 (18) 15.159 14.894 14.851 14.862
18. 99JR – Frank Heckenast Jr. 14.957 Laps 14-17 (31) 15.070 14.903 14.882 14.973
19. 22X – G.R. Smith 15.016 Laps 14-17 (33) 15.071 14.893 15.021 15.077
20. 8 – Matt Sponaugle 15.034 Laps 32-35 (35) 15.190 15.201 14.808 14.935
21. 42 – Cla Knight 15.036 Laps 26-29 (29) 15.222 15.152 14.894 14.876
22. 1X – Chub Frank 15.053 Laps 16-19 (25) 15.267 15.084 14.962 14.900
23. 28 – Dennis Erb Jr. 15.109 Laps 21-24 (29) 15.120 15.235 15.113 14.966
24. 7R – Ross Robinson 15.114 Laps 27-30 (30) 15.076 15.051 15.142 15.188
25. 11B – Stacy Boles 15.245 Laps 13-16 (21) 15.177 15.218 15.193 15.390
26. J8 – Jadon Frame 15.378 Laps 12-15 (19) 15.322 15.510 15.258 15.423
27. 6 – Blake Spencer 15.426 Laps 8-11 (20) 15.496 15.535 15.434 15.240
28. 27 – Joe Denby 15.704 Laps 19-22 (29) 15.850 15.561 15.709 15.694
29. 0 – Ryan Scott 15.709 Laps 13-16 (17) 15.794 15.690 15.633 15.719

 

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