A new year means new faces for the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series.
At the moment, four newbies are set to join the trail in 2021, bringing in a fresh rookie crop to challenge the veterans.
Entered to contend for Rookie of the Year honors currently is Ross Bailes, Iowa’s Ryan Gustin, Tony Jackson Jr. and Ryan Scott.
The season-long grind for the $10,000 top rookie prize begins with seven shows at Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park. It all starts January 14-16 with the Sunshine Nationals, followed by the DIRTcar Nationals, February 10-13.
One of the more experienced rookies, Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, will pilot the Dave Steine-owned Rocket Chassis No. 19R sponsored by Tri-Star Engines & Transmissions.
A superstar with the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS), "The Reaper" is a two-time national champion with more than 100 dirt modified wins to his resume.
Dipping his feet in late model land, Gustin recently collected four podium finishes and six top five runs during an eight-race slate with the DIRTcar Summer Nationals in 2020. Finding success on the regional level, he also nabbed two Lucas Oil MLRA victories in 2020.
Gustin has only attempted seven World of Outlaws Late Model Series events in his career. He’s made five feature starts, most recently coming this August during a Wisconsin swing to Cedar Lake Speedway for the 33rd annual USA Nationals, which returns in 2021 in August.
Some of the most notable former Rookie of the Year winners include Ashton Winger (2020), Ricky Weiss (2019), Devin Moran (2017), Brandon Overton (2016), Frank Heckenast Jr. (2015), Josh Richards (2005) and Tim McCreadie (2004).