Don Shaw will be bringing big-time race car drivers to Fergus Falls July 17, 2021 when the World of Outlaws Late Model Series makes their first stop at I-94 Sure Step Speedway.
Shaw has only owned the Fergus Falls track since May, but he has always liked its potential.
“This is something I think the track and area need to develop into to be noted as an upper-class track and bring in some of the big shows,” Shaw said. “You’ve got to start somewhere and Late Models are a good place for us to start.”
Late Model Class race drivers pilot the same type of cars as the Limited Late Model drivers compete in I-94 during the summer months.
The difference is under the hood.
“They have another 250-300 horsepower,” Shaw said.
Late Model drivers also make their living off the sport.
“They are bad-fast,” Shaw said. “They know what they are doing because it’s their job.”
The World of Outlaws boasts the most lucrative championship points payout in dirt track Late Model racing but they are stepping it up in 2021. The standard purse will pay $10,000 to win, $2,0000 for 10th and $1,000 to start. The total purse is expected to be $52,000 to $53,000.
“A lot of people don’t understand what it all entails being on that racetrack,” Shaw said. “You’ve got guys all around you and you are going as hard and as fast as that car will go. It’s quite a unique feeling.”
Shaw would like to see the event bring in a crowd of 2,000 fans or more.
“I kind of always had a vision of what I wanted to do,” Shaw said. “In order for fans to take a track seriously you’ve gotta stick your neck out every now and then and be willing to deal with the issues at hand. For the most part it usually turns out decent. The biggest thing is getting fans there to help pay the purse. It’s a show that they will be glad they have seen. There is nothing to compare to it.”
Ricky Wiese, a Canadian driver who used to compete against Shaw at I-94, is now a Late Model Series competitor making his living off the sport. Wiese will be competing against drivers from all over the United States.
“That is a whole different way of life. It’s grueling, they put in 70 to 80 shows a year,” Shaw said.
At this point Shaw believes the event will feature Limited Late Model cars as a support class.
Fergus Falls will be one of the six new tracks on the tour. Other tracks will be Richmond, Kentucky, Plymouth, Indiana, Boone, Iowa, Mississippi Thunder, Wisconsin and Port Royal, Pennsylvania. The Late Model series opens Jan. 14 at Volusia Speedway in Barberville, Florida It is tentatively scheduled to run into early November with the final show at The Dirt Track in Concord, North Carolina.