April 2nd, 2020
Outlaw Racing News
Coby Steals Show in First Start to Star in the 100th Official ORS Race.
Indianapolis, IN - On a wild Wednesday night, where the racing was action packed, and the ego's a bit bruised. The fireworks popped off for Corey Coby, capping off ORS's 100th race in stunning fashion. In just his first race with ORS, Coby not only showed the way through most of the event, but eventually won out due to fuel strategy proving to be the winning call after a late restart. Speed and intuition was a dangerous combination on this night and Coby was the class of the field.
Starting off the nights festivities was qualifying and bringing home the pole position was the man who all during practice complained of the track and the dubious idea of running the trucks here at all. Alas, he powered through the strife to put Zach Gandees' first pole of the season on the board. Between he and Michael Montgomery, the two looked to be the dominant ones during the opening run. However when the first pit cycle came around, Gandees' truck looked to suffer from adjustments as Montgomery continued to show the way. As the stage wore on Montgomery's initial strength slowly turned against him as Pacey Wigent and company began closing the gap. However, Montgomery's early advantage proved to be enough as he would notch his first stage win of the season.
Stage 2 saw the balance of power shift from Montgomery to Wigent and eventually Coby. Wigent appeared to win out as the strongest truck as Montgomery faded but as the stage continued Coby slowly came into the fold, marking himself a contender and putting serious pressure on Wigent. The battle at the top became fierce with blocks and draft breaking moves aplenty. Wigent would hold off the likes of Coby and Montgomery to secure his 6th stage win of the season, further marking his territory at the top of the standings.
The races final stage saw some of the fiercest battling yet, with much of the field kept under a blanket as the race resumed. With enough battling Coby and Wigent would wiggle away from the rest of the field until the races first caution struck 13 laps in. The old adage cautions breed cautions remained true, as two more cautions would add an extra wrinkle to the mix with the final restart bringing the racing back to full bore with 12 laps to go. Right on the edge of fuel mileage. As a good number of drivers would elect to save, several went all out while pitting in the final 5 laps. The mix of strategies saw the running order rearranged, and Coby back out front after contact had pushed him outside the top 5. James Robinson would put the pressure on in the final laps, but would find the fumes first as Coby would coast his 88 Chevy across the bricks to seal the deal winning in his first ORS race. Dylan Malone would fight back to a second place finish after as earlier incident had seen the 93 relegated to the back. Sam Wade would finish his night solidly with a 3rd as Pacey Wigent would come home 4th. Zach Gandee would finish the night 5th to cap off a novel points day.
The top 5 in points didn't see any shake ups as Wigent continues to extend his points lead with just 2 races remaining to the Chase. However Michael Montgomery has overtaken Ryan Lewis for the 6th position in the standings, standing 32 points behind Malone for the final transfer spot. The solid nights for Gandee and Malone see them stretch out just a bit from the cut off line, but Montgomery's stage performance keeps the 14 team alive and the pressure on the competitors ahead to stay on their toes. Anything can happen with 2 races remaining, and with ISM the site of many an exciting races, we may have another on the horizon.
April 16th, 2020
Outlaw Racing News
Dukes Hangs On in Tight Finish, Keeps Wade at Bay for Win Number 3
Bowmanville, ON - Who would've thought that 2 of the closest finishes this season would come at the seasons only trips to road courses. Once again a road course has produced another fantastic finish. Nearly close enough to be a photo finish much like week fours' Roval conclusion, as well as a last turn pass for the lead. However, Sam Wade couldn't quite keep his momentum as the 27 truck struggled for fuel in the final 200 feet, sputtering just enough to drop from door to door for the win, to just hanging on to 2nd as he crossed the line. Aaron Dukes defended just well enough in the final laps to keep the hungry pack behind him tame to claim his 3rd victory of the season.
Wade, a driver not well known for his road racing prowess, put the field on notice early in the night by sitting on his first pole of the season. Cleaning Pacey Wigent by just under a tenth of a second. Momentum Wade would carry though much of the race, making his intentions known from the drop of the green flag. Wigent however would accept the challenge, taking the lead by turn 2 as the top 4 of Wigent, Wade, Dukes, and Dylan Malone slowly crept away from the field. Dukes would bow out first after a spin off turn 1 on lap 2. Though he would claw from an 11 second deficit to just under 4 seconds off the lead, a second spin would put the nail in the coffin for Dukes in stage 1. Malone would see a speeding penalty be his downfall in the second stint, relegating the 93 to 4th. Though Wade had a spin himself, he clawed back into contention by the stages final run, chasing down the 52 of Wigent. Wade would even take the race lead with just 4 to go, while opening a gap to Wigent in the process. Mistakes were abound in stage 1, and Wigent made none, while Wade would once more spin out of the final corner coming to the white flag giving the stage win to Wigent, his seventh.
Stage 2 became all about strategy, and condensing the 17 lap stage into a 2 stop affair. Getting that extra 6th lap out of both fuel and tire was a highly difficult task, one made to look easy by the conservation king himself, Aaron Dukes. Though Wade wasn't far behind, nearly botching the strategy on his first stint by overrunning his tires. Dukes would easily take stage two for his seventh stage win on the season.
Dukes would proceed to flex his muscle a bit to open the final stage, never giving up the lead throughout the stage. With 2 cautions eating up nearly half the stage, the final strategy call became simple being a two stop race to the checkers in a final 13 lap sprint. Malone would keep pressure on Dukes up to the first pit cycle as Wade would short pit, trying to stagger his cycle from the other front runners. Wigent would methodically work his way back into contention after being collected in the races second caution and restarting 8th. Malone would lose some times on his first stop finding himself over 3 seconds behind Dukes once the race cycled out. Wade found himself in 2nd just under a second behind Dukes. Wade wouldn't really budge from that gap, even with getting to battle Dukes at one point before falling back to just under a second. The final pit cycle would be a near mirror of the first, as Dukes would resume the race lead with Wade close in tow. Issue was, Dukes was playing the final run rather conservatively, keeping in mind those stage 1 spins. Wade would close the gap, but not nearly as much as Wigent and Malone who overcame 3 plus second deficits to the top 2 to find themselves in striking range with 1 to go. Wade stalked Dukes through much of the final 5 laps, but still sat a half second back as the white flag flew. Dukes managed the advantage through the opening corners, but being conservative into the hairpin saw Wade finally attack and make hard contact with Dukes, nearly spinning the 99. In an effort to save his truck, Dukes would be forced through a portion of the infield, landing back on the track as Wade and Wigent loomed behind with a massive run. Blocking for all he was worth, Dukes kept Wade behind, but as they approached the esses, Wade looked to the left of Dukes into turn 8. Wade would edge slightly ahead as the course came to turn 9 putting him on the inside, still door to door. Dukes would take his momentum to clear Wade as he attempted the switchback for the final corner. The crossover move put Wade nearly even with Dukes as the two were door to door yet again as the drag race to the finish line was on, but just as quickly, Wade would lose some momentum, as his short pit strategy left him on the brink of fuel mileage, a single sputter from the engine saw the 27 out of the fight. Giving the outright win to Dukes and foregoing a near mirror image of Week 4 Roval finish. Dukes picks up his 3rd finish of the season to add to point total in the Chase which begins in a weeks time. Wade clings to a well earned 2nd place finish. Malone would rather controversially punt Wigent in the final corner to steal 3rd, as the 52 Chevy settled for 4th. Corey Coby was the best of the rest, notching his 3rd top 5 in as many races with ORS thus far. Homestead and the Chase sit just a week away, three races separate 6 drivers from a championship.
April 16th, 2020
Outlaw Racing News
Wigent Claims Regular Season Honors, Rolls Into Homestead with Momentum
Bowmanville, ON - The regular season has concluded, and Pacey Wigent its obvious champion. The season has reached its peak with just 3 races remaining, the Chase begins. The Chase is a new installment in ORS this season. The points for the qualified drivers will be squared at 500 each. Playoff points will then be given out, 6 for the regular season champion, 3 for each win, and 1 for each stage win. Eligible drivers have to finish in the top 1/3 (one-third) of the points standings among scored drivers. Eighteen total drivers scored points this season, increasing the Chase field size to the top 6 in the final week. Here's the rundown:
6th - Michael Montgomery - Montgomery backs his way into the Chase, using a provisional at Canadian Tire and seeing the Chase field size increase with 2 new drivers making their debut. By no means should he be over looked in these final 3 weeks. Montgomery has had plenty of pace throughout the season, luck just always seemed to play against him. His patience did pay off however, picking up the win just a week ago at ISM. His win plus his stage win at Indianapolis, will see Montgomery start the Chase in 3rd.
5th - Zach Gandee - The Defending Series Champion hasn't seen his title defense season go quite as planned. Win-less thus far this season doesn't necessarily discount his pace. Much the way of Montgomery, Gandee has seen a number of instances not go his way, while luck has left him by the wayside. Yet, Gandee isn't one to bet against, the incumbent champion may have a few steps to climb, but has always found a way to be a contender when the odds weigh against him.
4th - Dylan Malone - This young drivers inaugural campaign has seen Malone a threat week in and week out. He just hasn't been able to crack that almighty first win. One of only 2 drivers in the chase with out a win. Though he's been close numerous occasions, racking up a pair of runner ups and 4 podiums within those 7 top 5's. He always seems to be a truck to watch for and these next three races will be no exception.
3rd - Sam Wade - The quintessential fan favorite has been enjoying unprecedented success this season. After spending the past two seasons jostling among the mid-field, and really only being a threat when strategy was in order. Wade has emerged as a true contender this season. Finding not only success with his normal strategy calls, but his pace is markedly improved, notching already 7 top 5's, of which 5 were podium finishes. Can his Cinderella season come full circle and claim the throne?
2nd - Aaron Dukes - Dukes has been back to form this season after a comparatively dismal season just a series ago. Three wins, seven stage wins all point to a driver whose back in the saddle so to speak. However that consistency has been fluid, as has the pace of the 99 Ford. Though 2nd in points his 6 top 5's is only 4th best in the category. Even with the cushion of race and stage wins, any true missteps in these final three races could see Dukes falter down the stretch.
1st - Pacey Wigent - Wigent has been the true rabbit to chase this season. Though matched in race and stage wins by Dukes, the 52 teams consistency has been off the charts good. Regular season champion good. Finishing outside the top 5 only once this season, and establishing his over powering pace with a league high 5 poles. If there are any clear cut favorites, look no further. The stats speak for themselves.
April 23rd, 2020
Outlaw Racing News
Montgomery Noses Wigent in Photo Finish, Chase Kicks Off in Hectic Fashion
Homestead, FL - New territory for ORS this week, as they presented their drivers with the start of the first ever Chase format being implemented. If there was ever a way to get the ball rolling, Homestead presented the perfect canvas. A little two and three wide racing here, a smidge of strategy there. Battling that immersed the field in an everlasting fight for track position. To think it came down to two unlikely allies working in tandem to put themselves in a winning position, and the striking image of those same two drivers with just feet separating them from glory or disappointment. Once again Pacey Wigent found himself playing bridesmaid in these photo finishes. Just missing out on a Roval victory by seventeen thousandths of a second, and again tonight by a mere twenty-five thousandths of a second as Michael Montgomery starts the Chase festivities off in an incredible display. Fashioning a come from behind performance to steal the night in Homestead.
The night though did see its share of martyrs. Zach Gandee unable to be in attendance for the green flag, and then fellow Chase contender Sam Wade who had nabbed is second pole in a row fell to engine troubles just 8 laps in to all but eliminate themselves from championship contention. The other 4 Chase contenders however would go the full 12 rounds. Dylan Malone and Wigent were the opening acts, trading the lead for much of the races caution filled first stage. The stage would culminate into a 3 lap shootout after a late stage caution and though Wigent would present a tough challenge, Malone would land the first stage win of the Chase, his fourth on the season.
Stage presented a different challenge as a stage splitting caution left just 18 laps, putting the field right on the ragged edge of fuel mileage. Few drivers would even make the attempt to go the full 18 laps, seeing the task too daunting. Corey Coby would use his lessons learned from Indianapolis, and maintain competitve pace all while saving the fuel he needed, while Aaron Dukes also was the only other driver to make the fuel last. Coby picked up his first ORS stage win, while also putting everyone outside the top 5 down a lap.
The final stage easily saw the races best racing, even with its 4 cautions. Each caution seemed to come just towards the end of a fuel run, just before pit stops were set to begin. However the racing in those stints was beyond exceptional. The lead swapped numerous times between Wigent, Dukes, Malone, and Coby. Even James Robinson, who has typically been a fringe top 5, top 7 driver, didn't just march into the top 5. Robinson would take sole ownership of the race lead with 26 laps to go as the battles raged behind him from the races final restart. Wigent and Malone fought for 2nd, as the laps wound down though Robinson was never able to get away. Eventually Wigent emerged from the fight and was able to put the pressure to Robinson before wrestling the lead back with 16 to go. Even with pit stops on the horizon, the top 7 were all still within a second and a half of the top spot. Finally with 11 to go, nearly all the leaders scrambled for pit road as 6 of the top 7 dove off of turn 4. During the sequence, Montgomery, who had fought back from being a lap down for much of the final stage and had battled within the the top 5 some, took full advantage to several drivers who played it conservative on pit road approach. Picking up some 3 positions, and somehow making the speed limit by the line. Risk/reward went the way of Montgomery through the pit cycle, coming off pit road on the tail of Wigent. Through the cycle, one driver did go an extra lap. That driver being Aaron Dukes. Avoiding the mad dash for pit road a lap prior, Dukes had a clean entry for what would be a pit call to go for the win. Electing for a two tire strategy, Dukes cycled out four and a half seconds ahead of the dueling duo of Wigent and Montgomery. Even while considerably faster, the gap would still prove to be sizeable, so instead of battling amongst themselves Wigent and Montgomery moved to draft together to help close Dukes' advantage. An advantage that would slowly evaporate lap after lap. Finally with 2 laps to go, Wigent and Montgomery had run down the 99 of Dukes. On the much better rubber, Wigent would look to the inside Dukes out of turn 2, going door to door into turn 3. Though the high line had proven tough all night, the four tires of Wigent would easily win out, clearing the 99 on the exit of turn 4. Next came Montgomery, pulling alongside Dukes as the white flag flew. Montgomery expertly set up his corner entry to pull past Dukes and onto the back bumper of Wigent, even getting to the 52's corner panel down the back stretch. By the time the duo reached turn 3 for the final time, Montgomery had pulled nearly even, sailing his number 14 Chevy into turn 3. Wigent doing his best to pinch Montgomery to the bottom, the two would make slight contact as they slid up the track, coming off turn 4. The 14 would nearly lose control, saving his Chevy all the way to the apron, as Wigents' momentum from the high side brought the 52 nearly back even as they rumbled to the checkers. Alas, coming up just a few feet short, Wigent would once again fall victim to a last corner pass and have to settle for runner-up. Montgomery, however, after fighting back all race long to have a shot at the win, struck at the right time to hit pay-dirt and earn his second win of the season. Dukes would also have to settle, notching a podium to complete a strong night. James Robinson would pick up his first top 5 of the season in an impressive effort as Malone would round out the races top 5.
Though Montgomery is named the winner the spoils still find themselves going to Wigent. Whose points lead going into the first Chase race still increases, as Montgomery failed to score any points in the nights opening stages. In the case of the top 3, little has changed. Wigent leads Dukes by just 10 points, while Montgomery trails by 20. Malone takes sole ownership of 4th just 30 points back, while Wade and Gandee require miracles to overcome thier 46 and 50 point deficits, respectfully. Next week is the wrench in this Chase machine as Gateway looks to bring in the night shift as race 2 of this 3 race Chase.
April 30th, 2020
Outlaw Racing News
Montgomery Holds Off Hard Charging Wigent for Back to Back Chase Victories
Madison, IL - In a race for his championship life, Michael Montgomery is firing on all cylinders in the back half of the season. Baring his provisional at Canadian Tire, the past 3 races for Montgomery have been, win, win, win. Though there were times tonight at Gateway where the victory didn't seem to be within his grasp, a few late cautions changed the game, allowing for Montgomery to fight to the lead, and hold off a hungry Pacey Wigent who hasn't won a race since Kansas over a month and a half ago though he's been right on the cusp numerous times. Montgomery ties both Wigent and Aaron Dukes with three wins on the season, while making his path to the finale a legitimate fight for the championship.
The opening stages were spilt among the championship contenders. Stage 1 saw Montgomery lead a bulk of the laps after the races first pit stop, eventually going on to take the stage as Wigent finished 2nd a second and a half behind. The races second stage saw the roles reverse, as Wigent would lead a bulk of laps, even through the stages pit cycle. Montgomery made an honest chase of the race lead in the closing laps, erasing a 1.3 second Wigent advantage. In the end, Wigent ran the clock out to score his 8th stage win of the season.
The races final stage was shaping up to be a duel between Sam Wade and Wigent with Montgomery a few seconds behind as a number of pit cycles tested the consistency of both driver and crew. Until 48 to go, an incident brought out the races first caution as Dylan Malone and Tyler Starcher tangled in turns one and two. Then a second caution flew shortly after as a blown gearbox on the Dukes machine saw the leaders spin on the front stretch as oil sent Wigent and Wade around. With 33 laps to go and a clean racetrack, the final restart was set to fire off. Through all the chaos of the previous cautions, Montgomery went from the outside looking in, to the race leader as the green flag flew. A lead he would be hard pressed to give up. Wigent and Wade took their shots, but none would really land, as the laps slowly spread the trio out by several truck lengths. Then the spotlight shifted to the crews for one final pit stop. Montgomerys' team was ice under pressure, giving the 14 Chevy nearly a one second cushion for the final stint, as Wade faded from the fight after a dismal showing from both driver and crew. The Montgomery undercut looked to be the call until Wigent slowly started reeling in the 14. The stage was finally set for the final 8 laps as Wigent found himself on the bumper of Montgomery with the race on the line. Wigent threw punch after punch, and Montgomery took each one in stride. Playing defense just well enough to keep Wigent at bay. Montgomerys' resolve was never shook, zero intimidation factor took over, and Montgomery would hold off Wigent to take the checkered flag for back to back wins. Wigent would once again have to settle for runner up, while Wade would notch another podium to make up for last weeks disappointing DNF. Starcher would notch his first Top 5 of the season while Dukes would finish the night in 5th.
The fight for the championship continues to stay heated as we head into the finale. Even though Wigents' lead does increase from 10 to 17, his challenger in that number 2 spot is a lot more potent. While Dukes holds a good statline this season, the speed has been inconsistent as was on full display tonight needing a promising result and coming up short. Whereas, Montgomery now overtaking Dukes for the number 2 spot in points is as dangerous as ever. Winner of 3 of the last 4, and a known contender on the speedways, Montgomery can't be doubted as the possible usurper in a weeks time at Vegas. Though with no wins of late to show for his efforts, it will be a monumental task to take down the likes of Wigent. For three quarters of the season to this point, Wigent has either won or finished second. Each of those results on their own would be enough to safely secure the championship. Even if Montgomery has the week of his racing life, it would still not overcome the juggernaut that has been Wigent this season. A tandem of luck and mastery would need be on the side of Montgomery, but nothing is impossible even with the odds stacked against you. I mean, we are in Las Vegas, after all.
May 7th, 2020
Outlaw Racing News
Wigent Flawless in Vegas, Becomes Third Different Series Champion in Ninth Try
Las Vegas, NV - A tale of perseverance has been the story of Pacey Wigent through the seasons. Enjoying almost instant success in ORS, just never quite good enough. Time and again, Wigent was forced to be witness to Aaron Dukes hoisting the series championship. Five times in fact, through the 8 seasons ORS have run, Wigent would concluded the season just one position from the pinnacle. If that weren't enough, just a season ago Wigent would sludge through his worst season to date while having to watch a rival finally unseat Dukes from the top of the mountain. This season however saw the evolution, the final step from contender to dominator. From running the race to setting the pace. From winner to champion. As through a near perfect performance at the penultimate race, Pacey Wigent is your series 7 champion.
The race itself saw flashes of a possible duel but after weeks of success the piper was to be paid, and Michael Montgomery had to seemingly pay with blood. A series of unfortunate events plagued the 14 team as tire worries forced Montgomery to pit close to stage end in the opening stage, dropping the 14 from any points to be earned and off of the lead lap. Stage two saw contact with Zach Gandee once again force the 14 team into an extra pit stop, relegating Montgomery out of the points. Eventually, the race would culminate into an engine failure with 35 laps to go, rendering the championship uncontested through the final laps. All while having to frustratingly watch his competition lead most of the race, with almost zero blemishes. Though Dylan Malone enjoyed early success by nabbing the pole as well as the stage one win. Wigent would put on a clinic in the second half of the race, leading a majority of the event and taking his fourth win of the season by just over 2 seconds. Malone was good enough for second as James Robinson put together an impressive effort to grab third. Kenny Kucko in his 5th ORS start notched a 4th place position while Sam Wade rounded out the races Top 5.
A Season in Reflection:
1st - Pacey Wigent - Bar none the best driver this season, with a cerebral consistency, and pristine pace. Wigent would go an impressive 12 of 13 races within the top 5, while also racking up 4 wins, 9 stage wins, and 6 poles. Leading all categories amongst all competitors this season. Besides the bounce back from a disastrous season the series before, there really isn't much else to say, as the results speak for themselves.
2nd - Michael Montgomery - After going 3 of 4 heading into the season finale, the dismal result at Vegas shouldn't dull the illustrious success Montgomery was able to culminate this season. Coming off a runner up championship performance the season before, Montgomery looked poised to make that final jump to champion. However the early season proved tough, as the 14 team struggled with results as well as attendance with only a 2nd at Chicagoland and a handful of 5th place finishes to note. As the season turned to the back half, a win at ISM picked Montgomery into 6th in points, and though a provisional at Canadian Tire would nearly see Montgomerys' championship ambitions broke, arrival of fresh faces pushed the playoff field to 6, to which Montgomery took full advantage. Racking in back to back wins in the Chase, and a few Stage wins to make a serious play for the ultimate prize before coming up just short, settling for runner up 2 seasons in a row.
3rd - Aaron Dukes - A quietly consistent year for the seven time champ. Never really a serious threat to the throne, Dukes was able to maintain that air of supremacy with wins on both road courses and remaining undefeated in the mud. All of which in dramatic fashion with last lap pass at the Roval coming in as the closest ORS finish to date at 0.017 of a second. Alas it was another run of the mill season for Dukes, 3 wins, 7 stage wins, 8 top 5's and a pole. Altogether another solid season to run parallel to last seasons championship effort.
4th - Dylan Malone - Completing his first full season in ORS saw Malone enjoy varying amounts of success. Behind an effort of 5 stage wins, 9 top 5's, and 3 poles the only achievement missing from that mantle was the ever elusive first win. He would ever so close numerous times for late race incidents or just plain bad timing be the cost of victory. Even still, Malone has a place to hang his hat for moment as a 4th place championship performance ain't nothing to gloss over.
5th - Sam Wade - We've seen our few cases of the Chase being beneficial, now we look at the driver the Chase bit this season in Sam Wade. Wade making this his third full season, had to this point mainly had mid pack success with a few glimmering highlights. Yet this season, Wade turned the dial to eleven laying claim once again to the season opener at Auto Club, while maintaining that competitive edge throughout the season, becoming a perennial contender in the process. Wade became a staple of the top 5, on his way to 9 total to compliment his race win and 2 poles. Though the Chase stained his position in the standings, a solid foundation has been laid in the seasons moving forward.
6th - Zach Gandee - Not quite the season the championship incumbent planned for. Going winless for only the second time in his 5 seasons, Gandee struggled for consistency throughout the season. Though his pace was still enough to contend, the finishes always seemed to fall against the 48 team as numerous mechanical failures kept the team from solid results. All in all his season was enough to make the first Chase behind one stage win, one pole, and 5 top 5's.
Tyler Starcher - 7th - With glimpses of contending pace, Starcher did seem to make a step toward to the front and out of the mid pack in his 2nd season in ORS. Although finishes are where the work is to be done as only 1 top 5 was earned through the effort.
James Robinson - 8th - Another newcomer to the series, Robinson through much of the season held mid pack pace, vying for the occasional top 5. Late in the season is where his speed blossomed, contending at both Homestead and Las Vegas, earning podiums in both events.