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Ricky Weiss hopes early-season success translates to World of Outlaws show

Manitoba Late Models driver Ricky Weiss (#7) trades paint with Dustin Strand (#71) in a heat race July 6, 2018 at River Cities Speedway. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald1 / 2
WISSOTA Late Models racers Ryan Corbett (4C) and Ricky Weiss (#7) are neck-and-neck down the straightaway at River Cities Speedway Friday, July 6, 2018. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald2 / 2

Ricky Weiss took a trip to the outskirts of Phoenix in January.

It wasn't for a vacation, though.

The late model driver from Manitoba decided to compete against some of the top late model drivers in the country in the Wild West Shootout at the Arizona Speedway.

The results were impressive.

He won two races that featured World of Outlaw late model drivers Mike Marlar, Brandon Sheppard, David Breazeale and Chase Junghans. Marlar is the co-leader in points in the World of Outlaws circuit.

Weiss also had a second-place finish, a third-place finish and two did-not-finishes—one occurred while he was leading a race.

That kick-started a terrific season for Weiss.

"Big time it boosted our confidence to start the season," Weiss said. "It's been great all year."

Weiss hopes that his success against the World of Outlaw late models in Arizona will carry over to tonight's event at River Cities Speedway.

The show begins at 7 p.m. and will feature only late models and sprints.

In the last decade, no local driver has finished higher than eighth against the top late model competitors at the Bullring. Joey Pederson accomplished that in 2015.

But Weiss hopes to top it, having knowledge of the track and experience against the World of Outlaw drivers.

"Hoping for a solid top five," he said.

Last summer, Weiss was the top local finisher in 11th place.

Weiss has raced seven times at River Cities Speedway this year. He has six top-five finishes and he won one feature.

Other top local drivers have been RCS points leader Dustin Strand, Pederson, Mike Balcaen, Bill Mooney and Brad Seng.

The field won't be easy.

Marlar set the late model track record at the Bullring a year ago, turning in a lap at 11.321 seconds.

Marlar is tied with Chris Madden in points.

Shane Clanton, who is fourth in points in the circuit, won at River Cities Speedway a year ago.

And Brandon Sheppard, who is third in points, already has eight feature wins this season.

RCS World of Outlaw Late Model winners

2017—Shane Clanton

2016—Rain

2015—Tim McCreadie

2014—Tim Fuller

2013—Rain

2012—Darrell Lanigan

2011—Tim McCreadie

2010—Austin Hubbard

2009—Josh Richards

2008—Brady Smith

Top local finishers

2017—11. Ricky Weiss

2015—8. Joey Pederson, 9. Brad Seng

2014—15. Dustin Strand

2012—12. Seng

2011—14. Seng

2010—14. Seng

2009—15. Dustin Hapka

2008—15. Seng

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 13th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016 and 2018, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He also was the NCHC's inaugural Media Excellence Award winner in 2018. Schlossman has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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