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World of Outlaws
AT A GLANCE: David Gravel looks to keep near perfect record at Lake Ozark
Jason Johnson Racing aiming for back to back home wins May 29-30 on DIRTVision
After a rough weekend last week, David Gravel will be on the hunt to rebound at Lake Ozark Speedway where his starts are few but superb.
In three World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car races at the 1/3-mile track near the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri, Gravel has one win and has never finished worse than second – with two teams, as well.
“It’s just a fun track,” said Gravel, of Watertown, CT. “I think it races really good. I’ve been there three times in total I think, and the track has been racy every time. They’ve got a good product there. It’s also an added benefit that it’s right down the road from Jason Johnson Racing.”
The JJR shop, in Rocky Mount, MO, is about 15 minutes away from the speedway and Gravel was able to give them a special hometown win in front of fans, family and sponsors in October for the Jason Johnson Classic.
He’ll look to repeat that win and sweep the weekend during the May 29-30 doubleheader at Lake Ozark to rebuild the momentum he and his team established after winning at Knoxville in May. They lost a bit of it at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 last weekend with a sixth-place finish the first night and a 17th-place finish the next.
The first night they found an issue in the motor, the next he had the misfortune of going out late on a slick track in qualifying and was unable to recover from it the rest of the night.
A return home for JJR is the perfect opportunity to regroup and rebound. A win for Gravel would also make him the first repeat winner at the track. So far, there have been five different winners in five race — Tim Shaffer, Craig Dollansky, Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet and David Gravel.
Qualifying is key to having a good run at the speedway, according to Gravel, and in the past year there’s been no one better at that than he and JJR. The duo collected 21 overall Quick Time awards in 2019 – one of them being at Lake Ozark in April – and already have two this year at Volusia Speedway Park.
His first start at Lake Ozark was in 2018 with CJB Motorsports and drove the #41 for JJR in the other two. While the teams’ setups don’t correlate, they’re in the same vicinity, he noted.
“I think as a driver if you’re really good at a track, historically you can bring an added benefit to that team,” Gravel said. “I think we just did our normal deal there and it worked out good. I think the CJB car and the JJR car are both good late in the Feature and if you can position yourself close to the front, you’re going to have good results.”
With the rust fully shaken off after the nearly two-month break, Gravel said he is primed and 100% committed to his Sprint Car racing. His NASCAR Truck racing plans are on hiatus at the moment with the series still developing its schedule and running races without practice, so his focus is solely on winning with the World of Outlaws.
His one win of the year, so far, at Knoxville was his 52nd career World of Outlaws win – tying him for 15th on the all-time wins list with reigning champion Brad Sweet. One thing he missed at Knoxville that he’d experience with a win at Lake Ozark is the cheer of fans back in the stands.
“It’s just not the same,” Gravel said about winning with no fans in the stands at Knoxville. “No one wants to race without fans as long as we don’t have to. Hopefully it will be the new normal in the coming weeks. People can enjoy it on DIRTVision and in person.”
THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE
AROUND THE TURN: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series on Friday, June 5, and Saturday, June 6, will race at Beaver Dam Raceway, broadcasted live on DIRTVision. Tickets for the doubleheader can be purchased by clicking here.
ELDON, MO – May 26, 2020 – The crowd of fans at Federated Auto Parts Raceway erupted in applause when Kyle Larson completed his qualifying lap.
Johnny Gibson pegged the redline of his vocal cords announcing Larson set a new track record with a 9.995 sec. lap around the 1/3-mile track – the first sub-10 second lap at the bullring for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.
A second wave of applauses then echoed around the facility. Social media became a source of love and astonishment toward Larson for a minute or so after.
Back at his hauler, Larson shed tears.
Tears of joy. Tears of relief. Tears that reflected a “crazy and rough” month and a half.
A derogatory comment made by Larson during an online racing event cost him much of what he built in NASCAR. He’s since acknowledged his mistake and apologized, and now, after losing a top ride in motorsports, the Elk Grove, CA driver is finding a hint of peace again in his dirt racing roots.
“It’s definitely something I love,” Larson said about Sprint Car racing. “I really just love racing cars in general. I’m just happy I can still get out here and have some fun and be around my close friends.”
Along with the support of his fans, sponsors, friends and family, Larson gave a lot of credit to crew chief and car owner Paul Silva for allowing him to continue to drive his #57 car.
“I’ve been racing with Paul for a long time,” he said. “I think since 2012. It’s nice to have him, as well as all of his supporters, still behind me, and be out here still able to race for a living still.”
In his second start at I-55 during the Drydene Double Down Invitational finale, Larson earned an emotional win – his first since losing his NASCAR ride and ninth with the World of Outlaws. The night before he set the new track record. Both accomplishments hold significant meaning to Larson, who is cherishing any victory – big or small.
“I’ll be honest, I’m thankful that everyone was in the infield because I was back here (at the hauler) by myself choked up and tears in my eyes,” Larson said about his reaction to setting the track record. It’s just been a crazy, rough handful of weeks. So, any small accomplishment like that means a lot.”
Larson received thousands of congratulatory comments on his accomplishments from fans and drivers, including brother-in-law and reigning Series champion Brad Sweet who called Larson an “unbelievable talent.”
“I know he needed that,” Sweet said after Larson’s win. “Happy for him.”
Chase Elliott, Mike Joy, Vince Welch, Kenny Wallace and Kyle Larson Racing driver Carson Macedo were also a few who took to social media to congratulate Larson.
His 2020 Sprint Car season hadn’t been going as planned, even before the mistake. In the three World of Outlaws season opening races at Volusia Speedway Park, Larson was unable to start the first due to an issue, finished 23rd the next night and then 16th the final night. He found some momentum at Knoxville with a 18th to 10th run. Then, I-55 was a turning point for he and the Silva Motorsports team.
Silva had been working on the #57 car out of the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing shop in Indiana, studying notes and scaling the car. That time and accessibility was key to helping find the speed in the car, again, Larson said.
“Just really proud of Paul (Silva) and everyone who helps out on his team,” an elated Larson said after winning at I-55. “Everyone who has stuck behind us after my mistake there. It means a lot. I’m having a blast. Trying to have as much fun as I can anyways. Trying to keep my mind off things. To turn it around here now, it gives us confidence for sure.”
He also entered the weekend with an eased mind. He, his wife and kids made their first long road trip together to the Missouri track – fun family time, Larson said. Their finding time for more of that this week by spending time with Clint Bowyer and his family in Lake Ozark, Larson said, before the World of Outlaws’ May 29-30 doubleheader at Lake Ozark Speedway, which he will also compete in.
Other than running as many Sprint Car races as he can, Larson said he doesn’t have a solid racing plan for the year. And added no one really does with the COVID-19 situation, though. He’ll pick and choose the races that make the most sense to him. He knows several of them will be with the World of Outlaws, though.
“I love racing with the World of Outlaws,” said Larson, who has owned a World of Outlaws team since 2013. “They’ve stuck behind me too throughout this. That means a lot. I always want to support them, especially with them sticking behind me.
“I can’t wait to get my journey started and see where my future goes.”
Fans can catch all of the action from the World of Outlaws May 29-30 doubleheader at Lake Ozark Speedway LIVE on DIRTVision. Tickets for the event can also be purchased by clicking here.
Kyle Larson climbed out of his #57 Sprint Car and immediately threw his arms around crew chief and car owner Paul Silva.
The two embraced each other for a moment that was both congratulatory and compassion.
One of the highest profile drivers in motorsports, Larson’s last month and a half has been “life changing,” he said. By his side for the whole journey has been Silva, his family and fans.
On Saturday night, in front of a limited crowd of fans at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 on Memorial Day Weekend, he was able to turn a page in his journey and reward those who stuck behind him with a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series victory. After a derogatory comment he made during an online racing event cost Larson much of what he built in NASCAR, he was visibly relieved after winning just three races into his return to his dirt racing roots.
“Can’t thank all of you fans enough for the support,” Larson said. “It really means a lot. My family. My friends. This win means so much personally. I can’t even describe it.”
He won big not only for his supporters, but for himself by winning the Drydene Double Down Invitational finale, which paid an incredible $20,000 top prize. The victory is his ninth career World of Outlaws win and first at I-55 — in only his second start there. He broke the track record at the 1/3-mile high-banked dirt oval and finished second in the Feature the night before, too.
While he made brother-in-law Brad Sweet fight for the win Friday night, Larson, again, had his work cut out for him to take the emotional victory on the second night of the doubleheader weekend.
Sweet and last year’s Ironman 55 winner Sheldon Haudenschild were shaping up to be the two top cars to beat. Both won Drydene Heat Races and Haudenschild set a blistering pace in the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, beating Sweet to the finish line by more than two seconds.
At the start of the 40-lap Feature, Sweet bested Haudenschild on the initial start and stole the lead. However, it only took Haudenschild two laps to get into a rhythm around the top of the track — the same line he used to win the Ironman by 10.3 sec. — and rocketed by Sweet as if he had an issue to reclaim the lead.
From then on Haudenschild seemed poised to repeat his Ironman performance. He pulled away from Sweet and sliced through traffic with the precision of a fighter jet.
Larson was on the move behind him, already up to second by Lap 10. However, two laps later he touched the wall with his right rear and broke the Jacobs Ladder on the rear end of the car that helps with handling. His car turned tight and his nerves rose, unsure how he’d fair for the rest of the race.
For some, that’s the end of their night. For Larson, he adapted and learned how to drive his car without it.
“It took me a handful of laps to get used to it,” Larson said. “I finally just started running the crap out of it. And keeping it wide open was the only way I could keep it from bouncing.”
With a handle on his car, Larson said he felt like he could run down Haudenschild and duel with him for the win like he did with Sweet the night before.
That opportunity came to an end on Lap 23 when Haudenschild went over the cushion going into Turn 1 and flipped.
Trent Gower photo
Haudenschild took to Twitter after the race and said, “Man, hate it for my team. Had a great car all weekend. My guys don’t quit.”
Larson then inherited the lead for the final 17 laps. For the final half of the race he had to fend off challenges from Sweet and Brent Marks. However, Marks and Sweet’s battle for the runner-up spot in the back half of the race helped Larson extend his lead over them.
A few cautions interrupted their rhythm in the time frame with the final caution of the night setting up a six-lap shootout with Larson out front, Marks second and Sweet third. Sweet became preoccupied trying to hold off current points lead Logan Schuchart behind him and while Marks made attempts to close on Larson, the Finley Farms #57 was too strong.
“This thing was awesome tonight,” said Marks about his second-place run. “Wish we could have stayed in lap traffic there at the end. The yellows kept falling on us. It just didn’t really work out there. We got lucky to finish there. We were running out of fuel with a couple of laps to go. We were hanging on.”
Sweet was third with current points leader Schuchart behind him in fourth — who now has a two-point lead over Sweet and continues to be the only driver with a top-five finish in every race this year.
Ten-time Series champion Donny Schatz had an eventful night of his own, not transferring to the Feature from the Last Chance Showdown and having to use a rare provisional to start 25th. He was able to work his way to an eighth-place finish and earn the KSE Hard Charger award.
As Larson sped down the front stretch toward the checkered flag, the crowd of fans around the facility erupted into cheers. They continued when his car rolled into Victory Lane, as he hugged Silva and climbed to the top wing of his car to celebrate in an explosion of confetti.
“To win in front of a huge field, and crowd too, it feels great,” Larson said. “Just really proud of Paul (Silva) and everyone who helps out on his team. Everyone who has stuck behind us after my mistake there. It means a lot. I’m having a blast. Trying to have as much fun as I can anyways. Trying to keep my mind off things. It’s cool to come here. We’ve struggled the last two weeks. To turn it around here now, it gives us confidence for sure.”
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series on May 29-30 will RETURN to RACING at Lake Ozark Speedway. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.
NOS Energy Drink Feature (40 Laps) – 1. 57-Kyle Larson [$20,000]; 2. 5-Brent Marks [$7,000]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet [$3,000]; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$2,700]; 5. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$2,500]; 6. 71-Shane Stewart [$2,200]; 7. 2-Carson Macedo [$2,000]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz [$800]; 9. 18-Ian Madsen [$1,600]; 10. 26-Cory Eliason [$1,450]; 11. 83-Daryn Pittman [$1,300]; 12. 14-Parker Price-Miller [$1,200]; 13. 24-Rico Abreu [$1,100]; 14. 17B-Bill Balog [$1,000]; 15. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,000]; 16. 51-Freddie Rahmer [$1,000]; 17. 41-David Gravel [$1,000]; 18. 7S-Jason Sides [$]; 19. 13-Paul McMahan [$1,000]; 20. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey [$1,000]; 21. 1A-Jacob Allen [$1,000]; 22. 87-Aaron Reutzel [$1,000]; 23. 4-Terry McCarl [$1,000]; 24. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$1,000]; 25. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [$1,000]; 26. 21-Brian Brown [$1,000]; Lap Leaders: Brad Sweet 1-2, Sheldon Haudenschild 3-23, Kyle Larson 24-40; KSE Hard Charger Award: 15-Donny Schatz[+17]
Qualifying Flight-A – 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 10.948; 2. 51-Freddie Rahmer, 10.965; 3. 57-Kyle Larson, 11.007; 4. 71-Shane Stewart, 11.032; 5. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 11.196; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 11.22; 7. 1A-Jacob Allen, 11.308; 8. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 11.428; 9. 21-Brian Brown, 11.436; 10. 48-Danny Dietrich, 11.667; 11. 4-Terry McCarl, 11.698; 12. 24-Rico Abreu, 11.718; 13. 35X-Stuart Brubaker, 11.724; 14. 33M-Mason Daniel, 11.793; 15. 99M-Kyle Moody, 11.82; 16. 17W-Shane Golobic, 11.848; 17. 17A-Austin McCarl, 11.877; 18. 24W-Lucas Wolfe, 11.946; 19. 41-David Gravel, 11.963; 20. 3-Ayrton Gennetten, 12.263; 21. 15-Donny Schatz, 12.274; 22. 35-Zach Hampton, 12.314; 23. 44S-Trey Starks, 12.361; 24. 13JT-Mark Dobmeier, 12.367; 25. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 12.456; 26. 9K-Kyle Schuett, 12.657; 27. 15H-Sam Hafertepe, 12.679; 28. 55W-Logan Wagner, 12.774; 29. 6-Bill Rose, 12.791; 30. 55-Hunter Schuerenburg, NT; 31. 42-Cory Bruns, NT
Qualifying Flight-B – 1. 49-Brad Sweet, 11.531; 2. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 11.806; 3. 14-Parker Price-Miller, 11.856; 4. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey, 11.859; 5. 83-Daryn Pittman, 11.874; 6. 2-Carson Macedo, 11.886; 7. 26-Cory Eliason, 11.894; 8. 5-Brent Marks, 11.923; 9. 13-Paul McMahan, 11.927; 10. 18-Ian Madsen, 11.975; 11. 17B-Bill Balog, 11.986; 12. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 11.998; 13. 9X-Paul Nienhiser, 12.015; 14. 7S-Jason Sides, 12.037; 15. 9-Kasey Kahne, 12.038; 16. 11-Zeb Wise, 12.061; 17. 91-Cale Thomas, 12.074; 18. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 12.083; 19. 39M-Anthony Macri, 12.12; 20. 2KS-Chad Boespflug, 12.249; 21. 91R-Kyle Reinhardt, 12.279; 22. W20-Greg Wilson, 12.281; 23. 51B-Joe Miller, 12.283; 24. 70-Justin Peck, 12.334; 25. 49J-Josh Schneiderman, 12.473; 26. 64-Scotty Thiel, 12.552; 27. 44-Jeff Swindell, 12.556; 28. 11T-T.J. Stutts, 12.61; 29. 21X-Brinton Marvel, 12.935; 30. 23B-Brian Bell, 13.127
PEVELY, MO – May 22, 2020 – Brad Sweet’s win Friday night at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 was a return to form for the reigning champion after a disappointing return at Knoxville, but it came with a challenge.
A challenge from his own brother-in-law Kyle Larson.
There was no family love in their battle. Both wanted the win just as bad as the other, racing clean but hard. However, the reigning champion made the right move at the right time to hold off Larson to win the first night of the Drydene Double Down Invitational against a star-studded field and in front of a limited crowd of fans in the stands — the first return of fans at a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series race since February.
“That was a lot of fun,” Sweet said. “Kyle is an unbelievable talent. He’s my brother-in-law, but he makes me earn these wins dammit… It’s a lot of fun to see fans back in the stands. It’s not a lot of fun to win in front of empty grandstands. Hopefully the crowds keep getting bigger and bigger.”
Larson, in his first World of Outlaws appearance at I-55, stunned everyone and gave Johnny Gibson a reason to hit his high octave of excitement by announcing Larson’s incredible track record setting 9.995 sec. qualifying lap around the 1/3-mile track. It’s the first lap under 10 seconds at the track for the World of Outlaws.
Shortly after, the attention turned to Jacob Allen — poised to potentially win his first World of Outlaws race. He took a dominating win in his Drydene Heat Race and then bolted by Sweet at the start of the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash to claim the pole for the 30-lap Feature.
Allen was impressive in the early laps for the Feature. He pulled ahead of second-place Shane Stewart by half a straightaway in the first three laps and when Sweet moved into the runner-up spot and caught the Drydene #1A Shark Racing car in lap traffic, Allen was still able to hold the hungry champion behind him.
However, a mistake on a restart after a caution nine laps into the Feature cost him the lead. He eventually fell to fifth but is not hanging his head. The Pennsylvania driver had a smile after the race and an attitude of confidence.
“All of these guys have a chip on their shoulder, we’re only getting to race so much,” Allen said. “Those guys that ran in front of me, the other four there, are aggressive racers and the track was aggressive. I’m not hanging my head about it at all. I was leading laps. I felt very strong. I wasn’t looking forward to the caution, but I wasn’t scared of it either. I just think I drove through too hard through the bottom and it took me a few laps to get going. Other than that, I felt like I was ripping just as good as anybody and had a car to win the race.”
Larson followed Sweet by Allen and began to slowly real him in every lap. He looked to steal the lead with 12 laps to go on a restart by diving under Sweet in Turn 1 but didn’t have the traction to pull it off. Sweet sped away and Larson’s slow exit off Turn 2 put third-place Logan Schuchart on his bumper.
A few laps later Sweet found himself caught in lap traffic, giving Larson another opportunity to go after the NAPA Auto Parts #49 car.
He stalked his brother-in-law for several laps before throwing another slide job at him in Turn 3. This time he made it stick, taking the lead with five laps to go. Sweet wasn’t done with Larson either, though.
The next corner, while Larson went high, Sweet dove to the bottom and found enough grip in the track for his Hoosier tires to dig into and charge ahead of Larson’s Finley Farms #57.
With the lead back in his hands, Sweet rode the high side hoping to block any on coming run by Larson and make him have to pass him down low. Larson built up a run to take another shot at Sweet but ran out of time before Sweet was the first to see the checkered flag.
“Early in the race I was tight and waited for the racetrack to come to us,” Larson said. “I could maintain with him (Sweet) and was able to slide by him once in traffic, but I couldn’t get the grip I needed to stay in front of him. It was a good race. Good run for our team. We’ve struggled a lot so far this year with the 57. Good run. Hopefully we can come back tomorrow and win and click off some good finishes.”
For Sweet, he said he gave it everything he had in the physically demanding race.
“There were some developing lines on the racetrack,” Sweet said. With him (Larson) behind me, I thought the top would be the place to be. But he found the middle and I got stuck behind in lap traffic there. Just need to do a little better job on my end. They (Kasey Kahne Racing team) gave me a great race car. It was a lot of fun to be back.”
Schuchart rounded out the podium and maintains the points lead by four points over Sweet. Ten-time Series champion Donny Schatz, who finished seventh, has now moved up into third — 26 points behind Schuchart.
Drivers will compete for an incredible $20,000-to-win prize on Saturday for night two of the Drydene Double Down Invitational at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55. All of the action can be watched LIVE on DIRTVision, starting at 6 p.m. (CT).
NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps) – 1. 49-Brad Sweet [$6,000]; 2. 57-Kyle Larson [$3,000]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$2,300]; 4. 71-Shane Stewart [$2,000]; 5. 1A-Jacob Allen [$1,850]; 6. 41-David Gravel [$1,750]; 7. 15-Donny Schatz [$1,550]; 8. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$1,350]; 9. 21-Brian Brown [$1,250]; 10. 87-Aaron Reutzel [$1,100]; 11. 26-Cory Eliason [$1,000]; 12. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$950]; 13. 83-Daryn Pittman [$900]; 14. 13-Paul McMahan [$850]; 15. 14-Parker Price-Miller [$800]; 16. 48-Danny Dietrich [$750]; 17. 7S-Jason Sides [$700]; 18. 9-Kasey Kahne [$700]; 19. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$700]; 20. 6-Bill Rose [$]; 21. 64-Scotty Thiel [$700]; 22. 51-Freddie Rahmer [$700]; 23. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey [$700]; 24. 4-Terry McCarl [$700]; 25. 2-Carson Macedo [$700] Lap Leaders: Jacob Allen 1-9; Brad Sweet 10-24, 26-30; Kyle Larson 25 KSE Hard Charger Award: 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[+13]
Qualifying Flight-A – 1. 57-Kyle Larson, 9.995; 2. 71-Shane Stewart, 10.12; 3. 41-David Gravel, 10.176; 4. 21-Brian Brown, 10.185; 5. 83-Daryn Pittman, 10.212; 6. 4-Terry McCarl, 10.238; 7. 13-Paul McMahan, 10.241; 8. 51-Freddie Rahmer, 10.247; 9. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey, 10.255; 10. 15-Donny Schatz, 10.261; 11. 48-Danny Dietrich, 10.269; 12. 55-Hunter Schuerenburg, 10.288; 13. 17B-Bill Balog, 10.289; 14. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 10.311; 15. 6-Bill Rose, 10.326; 16. 24W-Lucas Wolfe, 10.353; 17. 39M-Anthony Macri, 10.356; 18. 35-Zach Hampton, 10.361; 19. 24-Rico Abreu, 10.373; 20. 5-Brent Marks, 10.394; 21. 35X-Stuart Brubaker, 10.454; 22. 21X-Brinton Marvel, 10.457; 23. 49J-Josh Schneiderman, 10.488; 24. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 10.493; 25. 2KS-Chad Boespflug, 10.532; 26. 18-Ian Madsen, 10.537; 27. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 10.543; 28. 11-Zeb Wise, 10.558; 29. 3-Ayrton Gennetten, 10.609; 30. 42-Cory Bruns, 10.788; 31. 9K-Kyle Schuett, 10.848
Qualifying Flight-B – 1S-Logan Schuchart, 10.113; 2. 1A-Jacob Allen, 10.148; 3. 7S-Jason Sides, 10.241; 4. 64-Scotty Thiel, 10.251; 5. 49-Brad Sweet, 10.256; 6. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 10.277; 7. 2-Carson Macedo, 10.278; 8. 9-Kasey Kahne, 10.302; 9. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 10.312; 10. 15H-Sam Hafertepe, 10.323; 11. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 10.336; 12. 26-Cory Eliason, 10.346; 13. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 10.353; 14. 11T-T.J. Stutts, 10.384; 15. 91-Cale Thomas, 10.397; 16. 13JT-Mark Dobmeier, 10.416; 17. W20-Greg Wilson, 10.456; 18. 14-Parker Price-Miller, 10.464; 19. 55W-Logan Wagner, 10.51; 20. 9X-Paul Nienhiser, 10.516; 21. 17A-Austin McCarl, 10.517; 22. 44-Jeff Swindell, 10.531; 23. 70-Justin Peck, 10.532; 24. 91R-Kyle Reinhardt, 10.574; 25. 17W-Shane Golobic, 10.58; 26. 23B-Brian Bell, 10.594; 27. 33M-Mason Daniel, 10.646; 28. 99M-Kyle Moody, 10.656; 29. 51B-Joe B. Miller, 10.688; 30. 44S-Trey Starks, 10.694
World of Outlaws Open Racing in Wisconsin with Beaver Dam Bash
BEAVER DAM, WI — May 22, 2020 – The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will race June 5-6 at Beaver Dam Raceway, marking the first high profile motorsports event this year in Wisconsin.
From Hall of Famer Dave Blaney’s victory in 1996 to champion Brad Sweet’s win in 2019, Beaver Dam Raceway has played a key role in World of Outlaws history. While Sweet has two victories, Daryn Pittman has won four times at Beaver Dam, the most of any World of Outlaws driver, and still owns the track qualifying record. Bill Balog is the only driver not running the tour who has defeated the Outlaws at the 1/3-mile high-banked dirt oval when he accomplished the feat in 2016.
The event will have limited attendance and no camping per county guidelines. Tickets will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m.(ET) Tuesday, May 26, at WorldofOutlaws.com. Upon arriving, fans and participants will have their temperatures taken and be asked to complete a health questionnaire. Hand sanitizer will be provided in 1-ounce bottles and social distancing will be required. CDC guidelines recommend wearing face covers, but they are not mandatory in the grandstand. Fans will be allowed to use stadium-style chairs, blankets and lawn chairs in the general admission areas, lawn chair and table seating areas will be first-come, first-serve and will not be reserved.
“Beaver Dam Raceway has traditionally been one of the most exciting tracks on the World of Outlaws tour, and the track team led by owner Scott Boyd and his team continue to improve the facility each year,” World of Outlaws Series Director Carlton Reimers said. “This will be the first time we’ve been able to race on back-to-back nights at Beaver Dam, giving everybody the chance to enjoy a huge Wisconsin weekend in a state that is safely reopening its communities.”
This two-day event at Beaver Dam, centrally located in the Dairy State about an hour from Madison and Milwaukee, replaces events originally scheduled June 5 at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND, and June 6 at Granite City Speedway in Sauk Rapids, MN, as well as events that were scheduled for June 19 at Dubuque (IA) Speedway and June 20 at Beaver Dam Raceway.
Those who purchased tickets for the originally scheduled Jim Boyd Memorial at Beaver Dam Raceway (June 20) will receive ticketing instructions from SLS Promotions.
PEVELY, MO – May 22, 2020 – After a successful return at Knoxville Raceway, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series is geared up for the Dydene Double Down Invitational at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.
The Fri., May 22 and Sat., May 23 events will see a limited number of fans in the stands – for the first time since February – and, like every race, will be broadcasted live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene. Hot Laps will start at 6 p.m. (CT) and racing is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. (CT) both nights.
The doubleheader event will see a 62-car field of the best Sprint Car drivers in the world compete to win $6,000 Friday night and an astonishing $20,000 Saturday night. Both races will be a testament to why the World of Outlaws is “The Greatest Show on Dirt.”
Here are the top storylines to follow throughout the two nights:
BACK TO BACK ATTEMPT FOR GRAVEL: With the eyes of the world on him, yet again, at Knoxville Raceway, David Gravel made history on May 8 by winning the Series’ first RETURN to RACING event with no fans in attendance. It was the Watertown, CT driver’s 52nd career World of Outlaws win, moving him past Jeff Swindell to rank 15th on the all-time wins list.
He and his Jason Johnson Racing team will look to, again, make history this weekend by parking their #41 car in Victory Lane at I-55 – this time with fans to in the stands to celebrate with them. Gravel has one win at I-55, which came in 2016.
HAUDENSCHILD THE IRONMAN: Sheldon Haudenschild, of Wooster, OH, made history of his own last year during the Ironman at I-55 with a performance that may not be matched for years, if ever again. In the 55-lap caution free race, Haudenschild led the final 45 laps, won by 10.3 seconds over 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz and lapped up to fifth place.
In his six starts at the track, Haudenschild has finished outside the podium only twice. Driving for NASCAR-star Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing team, Haudenschild will be on the hunt to score another win in his NOS Energy Drink #17 car.
SCHUCHART ON TOP: In the four races this year, Hanover, PA’s Logan Schuchart is the only driver to score a top-five finish in all of them. With a win already at Volusia Speedway Park and a third-place finish at Knoxville, Schuchart is currently the points leader for the first time in his career.
Going into the doubleheader at I-55, Schuchart leads reigning champion Brad Sweet by 10 points. He struggled at the Missouri track in his first 10 starts there, picking one top-10, but has improved immensely in the past two years with his Shark Racing team. He has three top-five finishes in his last four starts –including his 2018 Ironman 55 win in his Drydene #1s car.
SWEET LOOKING FOR TWO: Reigning Series champion Brad Sweet, of Grass Valley, CA, won his first I-55 Feature last year. He and his Kasey Kahne Racing team will be on the hunt for another this weekend after a disappointing ninth-place finish at Knoxville Raceway. A win at the track this weekend would not only be his second there, but also his second of the year. He won at Volusia Speedway Park in February in his NAPA Auto Parts #49.
Sweet has a solid record at the 1/3-mile track. In 16 starts, he’s only finished outside the top-10 three times. He was also the winningest driver on 1/3-mile tracks last year with wins at I-55, Lake Ozark Speedway and Beaver Dam Raceway.
FIRST FOR KAHNE AND LARSON: Racing-stars Kasey Kahne, of Enumclaw, WA, and Kyle Larson, of Elk Grove, CA, will attempt to make their first ever World of Outlaws starts at I-55 this weekend. Larson has competed in all four Series races this year, while Kahne made his first World of Outlaws return in more than a year at Knoxville Raceway.
However, Kahne didn’t transfer to the Feature at the Knoxville RETURN to RACING event, finishing 11th in the Last Chance Showdown. Larson did transfer and finished 10th, after starting 18th – he currently sits 16th in the point standings.
NEW WINNING POTENTIAL: With drivers like Carson Macedo, Jacob Allen, Kraig Kinser, Kyle Larson and Brian Brown still eyeing their first win of the season, a victory by any of them this weekend could see two recorders extended. There have been four different winners in four races this year and five different winners in the past five World of Outlaws races at I-55.
So far this year, 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz, reigning champion Brad Sweet, points leader Logan Schuchart and last year’s Knoxville Nationals winner David Gravel have picked up a Feature win. And in the last five races at I-55, Sheldon Haudenschild, Sweet, Daryn Pittman, Rico Abreu and Schuchart have all visited Victory Lane.
Originally schedule races at River Cities Speedway, Granite City
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will host a doubleheader event with limited fans on June 5-6, with the track being announced soon.
The event will replace the previously scheduled races at River Cities Speedway and Granite Speedway, which were canceled along with the June 19 event at Dubuque Speedway, due to ongoing mass gathering restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Those three events will not be rescheduled.
The exciting new two-day event will see a star-studded field of drivers — including reigning champion Brad Sweet, 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz and 2019 Knoxville Nationals winner David Gravel — battle for glory, again showing fans why the World of Outlaws is “The Greatest Show on Dirt.”
The River Cities Speedway event scheduled for Aug. 21 is still on.
Those who purchased tickets to the three canceled events through SLS Promotions online or over the phone, will automatically receive a refund to the credit card/debit card that was used to purchase the tickets. Allow one full billing cycle on your credit card to apply. Seating will revert back to the 2019 seating arrangement for the June 2021 River Cities Speedway event.
Until then, make sure to catch the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars’ RETURN to RACING at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 this weekend, May 22-23, LIVE on DIRTVision.
For more information, make sure to follow the World of Outlaws socials channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
PEVELY, MO – May 20, 2020 – The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will race at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 for the 24th year in a row and 30th year overall on May 22-23.
With $26,000-to-win on the line between the two days of racing and race fans back in the stands for the first time since February – with limited tickets still available – the Drydene Double Down Invitational is set to be another historic weekend for “The Greatest Show on Dirt.”
Hot Laps are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. (CT) with racing at 7:30 p.m. (CT), LIVE on DIRTVision.
Here are numbers to know for the doubleheader event:
THREE – 2013 Series champion Daryn Pittman has three World of Outlaws wins at I-55 – the most of all 62 drivers entered for the Drydene Double Down Invitational doubleheader.
10.115 – The current track record at I-55 is 10.115 sec. set by Logan Schuchart on Aug. 2, 2019.
35 – Friday night’s Feature will be 35 laps.
40 – Saturday night’s Feature will be 40 laps.
45 – Ten-time Series champion Donny Schatz has made the Feature of all 45 World of Outlaws Sprint Car races he’s entered at I-55 since 1997. Two of them were wins in 2006 and 2015.
6,000 – Friday night’s Feature at I-55 will pay $6,000-to-win.
20,000 – Saturday night’s Feature at I-55 will pay an astonishing $20,000-to-win.
The stats of the 13 full-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series drivers at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55:
PEVELY, MO – May 19, 2020 – Rarely does a driver have a performance so prodigious that it sets a new level of excellence in the era of Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz dominance.
That triumph was earned by Sheldon Haudenschild when he won the Ironman 55 last year at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55. He crossed the finish line 10.3 sec. ahead of runner-up Schatz, lapped up to fifth place and led 45 of the 55 laps in the caution free race — a feat that still amazes to this day.
With the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returning to the 1/3-mile track in Pevely, MO for the Drydene Down Double Invitational May 22-23 — where there are limited tickets still available to each night’s action — the Wooster, OH driver will look to dominate once again.
However, even Haudenschild isn’t sure we’ll ever see a performance like his Ironman run again.
“That’s a night that will probably be hard to ever beat again,” Haudenschild said. “I don’t know. Just the feeling in the car that night was something different. And to get a 55-lap race with no cautions is something unheard of. That one will definitely be hard to replicate again. But all we can do is do our best.”
(RELATED: Watch the Drydene Double Down Invitational on Friday and Saturday on DIRTVision.)
While Haudenschild was putting on one of the best performances in the history of the sport, from inside the car he had no idea.
“Ever since I started racing you have to expect somebody is right on you and is going to pass you,” he said. “That’s how I raced that night. That’s how you have to do it with the Outlaw guys. You never know. There’s a good chance somebody could have been running with me and been there at the end.
“I think I looked at the board one lap and I think that was my one mistake. I won’t do that again. That was a weird night. I didn’t really realize what was going on until I got to the white or the checkered and you start lapping some of them guys you knew you were racing with at the beginning of the race. It was kind of making me wonder.”
Haudenschild and I-55 have blended well ever since his debut at the track in 2017 with his own #93 car. He started the Feature third and finished third. In his six World of Outlaws starts at the track, he’s finished outside the podium twice.
He’s been watching his past I-55 races to prepare for the upcoming World of Outlaws doubleheader and his Ironman victory isn't one of them.
“I try not to watch that one actually,” Haudenschild said. “I watch different ones from Pevely. Maybe some older ones. I watched the one from when I ran second (the Friday before the Ironman) probably more than that one. I feel like I passed more cars and it was a little more realistic. I try to watch more common races than that one.”
Haudenschild and his NOS Energy Drink Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing team have had a decent start to the 2020 season. During the three season opening races in February at the DIRTcar Nationals, Haudenschild picked up one top-five and two top-10 finishes. He also earned two KSE Racing Hard Charger awards. Then, after about two months of not racing, he was on his way to a potential top-10 finish at Knoxville Raceway before getting caught up in a wreck when a car blew their tire directly in front of him.
Despite the poor finish, Haudenschild said he still has confidence in his car and team going into Pevely — a trait he said helped him win the Ironman.
“I feel like we had a solid Florida,” Haudenschild said. “Maybe not set the world on fire, but I felt good in the car. That gives me confidence. Same with Knoxville. We might not have started the night well, and it didn’t end well, but we made good laps in the [Last Chance Showdown] and I feel like we could’ve had a top-10 in the Feature. In my mind, I feel like we’re good. Just didn’t have the results we needed. Just move on and look forward to Pevely.”
One change to the team this year that’s already been a benefit to him is the addition of crew chief Kyle Ripper, who he worked with prior to joining SJM Racing. There’s a chemistry between them. Haudenschild already feels it. He said there’s no worries between them. They go to each race and focus on what they have going on.
Even team owner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. sees the potential in the pair.
“I think Sheldon’s communication with Ripper is in a really good spot,” Stenhouse said. “We raced good in Volusia but got to work on our qualifying a little bit. But I thought we went forward. Got a few hard chargers there and raced good. I definitely like our team.”
Going into their third year together this year, Stenhouse added he has seen the 26-year-old Haudenschild grow as a driver during that time. Haudenschild has seen it in himself, too.
“From 2017, when I was in my own car to 2018 when I was with Ricky, I look back and see things and wonder why I did that back then,” Haudenschild said. “It’s all a learning curve. I think that definitely in this sport, the older you get, the more experience you get and the better you get. To me, I think you hit your prime at about 35 years old. I think just growing and learning to work to that point to try and be perfect.”
Right now, whether it’s in a history making performance or not, his expectation is to just win — starting with the doubleheader at I-55 against a star-studded field and $26,000-to-win on the line between the two days.
THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE
St. Mary's, NSW, AU
Gravois Mills, MO
Grand Forks, ND
St. Mary's, NSW, AU
Benton Ridge, OH
Grain Valley, MO
St. Helena, CA
Grass Valley, CA
West Burlington, IA
Elk Grove, CA
Sydney, NSW, AU
Neptune City, NJ
AROUND THE TURN: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series on Friday, May 29, and Saturday, May 30, will race at Lake Ozark Speedway, broadcasted live on DIRTVision. The first night will be $6,000-to-win and the second night will be $10,000-to-win.
– David Gravel, Watertown, Conn. – 1
– Cory Eliason, Visalia, Calif. – 2
N.D. – 1
1 – Trey Starks, Puyallup, WA – 1
World of Outlaws Double Down on Memorial Day Weekend
Drydene Boosts NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars and Morton Buildings Late Models Double Double on DIRTVision
CONCORD, NC – May 18, 2020 – There is no doubt the 2020 Memorial Day Weekend, American’s annual kickoff to summer, will go down as a ‘Weekend to Remember.’ In years past the holiday weekend has always had two constants that go hand-in-hand: honoring and celebrating our veterans, and marquee motorsports events.
This weekend, the World of Outlaws will continue pushing that patriot spirit to Americans from coast to coast hosting the Drydene Double Down Invitational, a two-state doubleheader featuring the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars and the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models.
Both World of Outlaws series will race Friday and Saturday, May 22-23, in a pair of first-ever events backed by Drydene and broadcast on DIRTVision, with the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars’ much anticipated short-track ‘Return’ at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, MO, and the Morton Buildings Late Models making their series debut at Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, MN.
True to the name of the weekend, Drydene is doubling down on the purse for the Saturday night Sprint Car and Late Model events, making them both $20,000-to-win (originally $10,000-to-win), as well as increasing them to $1,000-to-start. The Friday night Features remain $6,000-to-win, $700-to-start.
“We are proud to once again partner with the World of Outlaws and support the Drydene Double Down Invitational,” said Dave Klinger, President, Drydene Performance Products. “We know that Memorial Day Weekend is typically the kick-off to summer racing. And this year, these races are even more meaningful to the sport and to the fans. This is an exciting way for Drydene to continue our strong support of dirt track racing, whether it’s Late Models or Sprint Cars.”
Tickets for the two races at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 are limited in supply, and fans will not be permitted to attend the events at Jackson, but DIRTVision will broadcast the entire weekend live. All four races will be included in the DIRTVision Fast Pass, which is still only $39 per month.
“We are eager to continue our ‘Return to Racing’ during Memorial Day Weekend, and we are thrilled Drydene has come on board to double down making each Saturday night race $20,000-to-win,” World of Outlaws CMO Ben Geisler said. “While the events bridge two different series at two different tracks, our DIRTVision viewers at home will be able to switch back and forth between both races. We will also be saluting our fallen veterans in a number of our own unique ways. It will be a Weekend to Remember.”
The Friday and Saturday races are full points events for both series, with Saturday races running 40 laps for the Sprint Cars and 60 laps for the Late Models. Broadcasts on Friday and Saturday nights from each track are expected to begin at 6 pm (CT) with hot laps and qualifying followed at 7:30 p.m. CT with racing.
CONCORD, NC – May 14, 2020 – You arrive at the World Racing Group office 30 minutes past midnight – an hour and a half until the first Saturday morning broadcast from Toowoomba Speedway in Australia goes live on DIRTVision.
Lights from inside the office illuminate the dark parking lot. An aroma of coffee from a nearby coffee plant attacks your senses. Every breath tastes like a caffeinated inhale. It’s a welcomed sensation as you prepare yourself for the long morning.
Already roaming the office, preparing the DIRTVision studio for the close to eight hours of Australia racing coverage is Brian Dunlap, Director of Broadcast and Technology for DIRTVision. About three hours of sleep at home and a can of NOS Energy Drink in the studio prepare him for his early morning shift.
Tonight, is a two-show broadcast. Racing from Toowoomba starts at 2 a.m. (ET) and two hours later DIRTVision broadcasts the second Australian event of the morning at Perth Motorplex – 410 Sprint Cars top the bill for both events.
DIRTVision began broadcasting races from Australia in October and broadcasted more than 20 races from the country through May — which will also include races at Valvoline Raceway, Murray Machining & Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway, Hi-Tec Oils Speedway and events like the Ultimate Sprintcar Championship and Ultimate Speedway Challenge.
The decision to add the Australia races stemmed from wanting to bring as much Sprint Car — and dirt racing action — to fans as possible.
“It came from the desire to make it easier for race fans to stay engaged in Sprint Car racing all year long,” Dunlap says. “Obviously, this isn’t the beginning of Sprint Car racing in Australia. But we’ve got fans trained to watch the World of Outlaws on DIRTVision all summer, so, we had fans asking, how do we bridge that gap and give people Sprint Car racing year-round.”
With several connections in Australia already, it didn’t take long to work out deals and begin the international coverage.
To make it work, transmission equipment was sent to the tracks ahead of time to ensure coverage was up to DIRTVision standards and could be streamed through the DIRTVision studio in Concord, N.C.
Dunlap is working the first shift of this two-race broadcast. His plan is to get the coverage of Toowoomba going, monitor it and then stay for the first hour of the Perth event — happening simultaneously with the Toowoomba race — to help Rob Blount, DIRTVision Live Broadcast Specialist, as he begins the second shift.
The studio is like a simple miniature mission control room. Three flat screen televisions line the walls of the small rectangular room, dividing the space into stations. A grid of computer monitors is organized underneath the TVs to control graphics, run commercials and make the broadcasts happen. On the desk wrapping around the room is a small refrigerator-sized device to record the broadcasts and control the sound levels, and an Apple desktop computer, used to edit clips and make the post-race highlight reels.
Dunlap is positioned at the center station with a laptop in front of him to monitor tech support — typically quiet during early morning Australia coverages — and a sheet of paper next to it, charting the time zone differences for each track.
“It’s easy to lose track of time,” he says.
He jokes how one night he scared himself, thinking he was about to miss the start time for a broadcast, but then realized there was still an hour before the start of the race.
The action at Toowoomba starts on time. It’s the first broadcast from the speedway this year. The commentators, dressed in pink for a special breast cancer awareness night, waste no time mentioning the event being broadcasted worldwide on DIRTVision.com.
“You can hear the excitement in the drivers during interviews and with the announcers in talking about worldwide coverage,” Dunlap says. “I feel like those guys, obviously, see what we do over here all the time. I think it’s cool that they feel people over here now see what they do.”
If there’s any issues with the broadcast, a quick text message, email or Facebook message to the team in Australia solves the issue in seconds.
The Toowoomba event progresses smoothly, with entertainment on and off the track. With several “modified” classes and the cars from each class having few differences, the announcer’s best way to explain the differences amongst them is “They’re kind of the same, but just something else.”
“I love it. I love it,” bellows out a chuckling Dunlap.
His next two hours are spent rolling his chair back and forth between computers, recording clips of the event on SD cards and monitoring emails and social channels.
At 3:30 a.m. — 30 minutes before the broadcast at Perth Motorplex goes live — Dunlap begins pacing between his station and the one next to him every few seconds. He’s silent, but his fast pace actions say something is wrong. He leaves the studio, phone in hand.
The server that allows DIRTVision to push the Australia coverage live from the office is down. For how long? An unanswerable question. Five minutes. Maybe an hour. It’s a rare occurrence and one that never happens during a broadcast.
After a few minutes on the phone, Dunlap returns. He’s only focused on the task at hand. After another round of pacing back and forth between stations, working on the computers, he returns to his seat. His muscles relax. The tension is gone.
“That’ll wake you up,” he says.
Fortunately, there’s a switch on the transmitter in Australia that can turn the broadcast live. And when the time came, the television at the third station went from a stationary photo of a Sprint Car to the live broadcast from Perth.
At 4 a.m., with a QuikTrip hot chocolate in hand, Blount enters the studio with the stride of someone who woke up for an early morning flight. He was in bed by 11 p.m. Friday night and then woke up at 3 a.m. Saturday for the morning’s work. He strolls to his seat and debriefs with Dunlap.
With the two broadcasts running smoothly there’s time to relax. Random conversations spark every few minutes to disrupt the silence, ranging from the praise of the new Star Wars Mandalorian show to the exceptional Sprint Car racing produced at Perth Motorplex.
Blount brings up the replay of last week’s Perth Sprint Car race where the second-place car dove underneath the leader off Turn Four, the two collided, and the second-place car edged ahead of the leader by a bumper to win the race.
“Aside from the time of day, when you get races like last week, it can be exciting,” Blount says.
By 5 a.m., with a break in the action at Toowoomba, the track begins to play – depending on your preference – either the whimsical or ear piercing “Baby Shark” song.
“And on that note…” says Dunlap as his shift ends and he takes his leave.
The show is now Blount’s. For the next five hours, it’s up to him to record the races, cut clips of each, post them on social channels and make sure everything runs smoothly.
Just before 8 a.m., the Sprint Car Feature at Toowoomab – the track’s final race of the event – goes green. Robbie Farr takes the win, holding off a hard charging Luke Oldfield. Once the race finishes, Blount runs a closer video for the event and then begins the process of getting the entire event uploaded to the DIRTVision vault, making it immediately available for fans to watch.
An hour later the Sprint Car Feature at Perth starts. And it’s another thriller. Jason Kendrick, in the #11 car, has command of the lead, but Callum Williamson, in the #3 car, charges his way through the field to the front. With the race nearing its end, Williamson, throws a slide job on Kendrick to take the lead. However, the next lap he jumps the cushion and flips in Turn Four. The win goes to Kendrick.
A race worth the wait.
There is still a Late Model race to finish the Perth event and once it ends, Blount, again, runs the closing video and posts the race to the vault.
By 10 a.m., the morning of work is over. Racing is done. The sun has set in Australia and risen outside the office. The parking lot is now illuminated by the day, while the lights in the World Racing Group office are off.
Sleep is in the forecast for you and the DIRTVision crew, while others are waking up, ready to consume the morning’s work of action from Australia.
Until the Australia racing season resumes later in the year, the DIRTVision crew will be hard at work in the studio each week broadcasting live World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car and World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model events to thousands of viewers.
Both series return to racing Memorial Day weekend with the Sprint Cars at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 and Late Models at Jackson Motorplex on May 22-23, live on DIRTVision.
EPIC PERFORMANCE: Bell, Cornell shine in World of Outlaws iRacing thriller ‘World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout’ on CBS Sports Networks gives fans a finish to remember
CONCORD, NC – May 12, 2020 – As the World of Outlaws return to racing, the third round in the trilogy of “World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout” events on CBS Sports Network Tuesday night gave fans an explosive battle to the finish worth their while.
The iRacing invitational event at The Dirt Track at Charlotte saw NASCAR star Christopher Bell and Super DIRTcar Series standout Max McLaughlin wage a war of slide jobs for the final three laps, trading the lead every corner. At the end, Bell claimed his fourth World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing win and second in a row. Before their battle, 19-year-old Kaeden Cornell claimed his second World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing win in another epic showdown to the finish.
The intense action in the Sprint Car race was non-stop throughout the 35-lap Feature. McLaughlin started on the pole in the NOS Energy Drink #17 and jumped to the early lead. However, Bell — who already had one iRacing Invitational win at The Dirt Track — and Williams Grove Speedway iRacing Invitational winner Robbie Kendall pressured him early.
After a restart eight laps into the race, Bell dove underneath McLaughlin and Kendall in Turn 3 and stole the lead from them exiting Turn 4. Kendall kept Bell in sight but hit the wall and handed the runner-up position to McLaughlin.
The next 20 laps became a Bell and McLaughlin show. Both rode the cushion against the wall the entire way around the virtual 4/10-mile track. McLaughlin tried a slide job on Bell but couldn’t complete it, allowing the black #21 to pull away. He then hit the wall with his right rear tire, seeming to hand the race to Bell.
However, a caution with 10 laps to go set up the most exciting final showdown in all of the World of Outlaws iRacing events this year. Bell got a good jump on the restart, pulling away from McLaughlin by a few car lengths. McLaughlin didn’t waste any time to catch back up to him, though. Within a lap, his NOS Energy Drink car was back on Bell’s bumper. He followed him for a couple of laps, waiting to make his move.
During the final three laps of the race, Bell and McLaughlin traded slide jobs and the lead every corner. McLaughlin would lead down the backstretch, while Bell always took the lead back down the front stretch.
On the final lap, Bell’s car wiggled off Turn 4 and he ran into the side of McLaughlin down the front stretch. McLaughlin held the lead to Turn 3 before Bell threw a final slide job at him and reclaimed the lead for the final time. McLaughlin made a charge back underneath him to the finish line but came up short by 0.035 seconds.
“I hope the fans enjoyed that one, because that was a hell of a race from where I was sitting,” Bell said. “Max was outstanding there. It was pretty tough. The cushion got dirty and marbled up and slick and it was hard to run.”
Bell totaled $4,000 in winnings between his four World of Outlaws iRacing Invitational wins. And while McLaughlin came up short of getting a win of his own, he still enjoyed him time in the virtual Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing car.
“It is what it is,” McLaughlin said. “If you’re going to lose to anyone it might as well be Christopher Bell. It was a great race. I had a ton of fun. I can’t thank you guys (World of Outlaws and CBS Sports) for putting this on, making the most of this quarantine. This was great. I wish we had more green flag laps to go at it a little more, but I guess you can’t ask for a better race for the fans.”
Another former iRacing Invitational winner Kevin Swindell was third, with NASCAR Xfinity star Chase Briscoe finishing fourth, edging NASCAR Cup star William Byron by one spot while NHRA champion Ron Capps advanced five positions to finish 11th. David Gravel, who won the World of Outlaws Return to Racing on Friday night at Knoxville Raceway, powered the DIRTVision Sim Rig in the studio for the broadcast, finishing 17th as Logan Schuchart, who won the first of the CBS Sports Network iRacing events, was 8th.
Before that exciting Sprint Car finish, the Morton Buildings Late Models had their own edge-of-your seat battle over 35 laps that ended with another repeat winner on CBS Sports Network, Kaeden Cornell.
Just two weeks after his CBS win at virtual Eldora Speedway, Cornell, of Willard, MO, made a magical move on Charlotte’s red clay, swiping the lead away from Trent Ivey on a big slide job he threw in Turn 3 with just seven circuits remaining. Cornell had stayed up front the entire race, and soon found himself pacing the field under the final caution that set up a green-white-checkered finish.
As the field stepped on the throttle in Turn 4, Cornell got the best jump of anybody, rocketing down the front stretch and into Turn 1 with a massive advantage over Nick Stroupe and Mike McKinney, who both slipped by Ivey on the restart. The start he got even impressed CBS Sports broadcast guest host Kenny Wallace, who told Cornell it was the move that won him the race as they spoke in the post-race interview.
“Whenever that dang caution came out there, I was throwing stuff in here, man I was ticked,” Cornell responded to Wallace. “That start, it was like I had some kind of nitrous button or something. I couldn’t ever do that again if I tried!”
As the field went into a frenzy behind him, Cornell was smooth sailing out front. Untouched, he led the field back to the checkered flag for his second career World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing win on CBS Sports Network.
He was fast, patient and very well-deserving of the win. But above all else, Cornell was thankful for his supportive sponsors and the opportunity to race on national television.
“I can’t thank everybody enough that helps me with this deal. You guys for putting this on for us while this whole virus deal is going on is just super awesome. CBS, the World of Outlaws and everybody with them, I just can’t thank them enough,” Cornell said.
In the final circuits after the restart, a huge dogfight broke out between the rest of the top-six, and McKinney was right in the middle of it. Coming from his eighth-place starting spot, the real-life DIRTcar UMP Modified star found his #96 NOS Energy Drink ride sitting fourth as the field came back to the green-white-checkered.
After avoiding contact in Turns 1and 2, McKinney threw a big slide job of his own to take the runner-up spot from Stroupe in Turn 3 and made it stick as he crossed the stripe under the white flag. He stayed up on the high side and out of the wreck behind him on the final lap to secure a second-place finish.
“We were really good,” McKinney said. “Just in Qualifying there, I got beat, straight up. We were a really good car, just kinda ran out of laps. Can’t complain.”
McKinney was also very thankful for his partners as he spoke with Wallace, and said he’s looking forward to getting back on the real track in the coming weeks.
“I’ve got to thank everybody at the World of Outlaws. They’ve given us a great opportunity to get our names out there on CBS and DIRTVision. It’s been an awesome time representing NOS Energy Drink, Bilstein Shocks and everybody else I got on board,” McKinney said.
The Illinoisan was victorious in last week’s eDirt Racing Shootout on CBS and wrapped up his second runner-up finish Tuesday night. Quite a successful iRacing campaign for the 26-year-old, and he’s enjoyed every minute of it.
“We all have a lot of sponsors we want to represent on national television and get our names out there,” McKinney told Wallace. “I feel like we’ve taken advantage of that opportunity and had a really successful tour here.”
Sprint Car aces Schuchart and Gravel were among those doing double-duty this week, also competing in the Morton Buildings Late Model Feature, finishing 10th and 12th respectively. NHRA champion Cruz Pedregron scored an 11th-place finish while DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modified champion Nick Hoffman was the Penske Racing Shocks Hard Charger after advancing nine spots to finish 9th. Three-time DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion Bobby Pierce wound up 18th in the star-studded field.
After last Friday’s event at Knoxville Raceway, the World of Outlaws Return to Racing continues this Friday and Saturday with the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series invades Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 just south of St. Louis, with both nights broadcast on DIRTVision. The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars roll to I-55 the following weekend, May 22-23. Tickets for both events can be purchased at WorldofOutlaws.com.
World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout; May 12, 2020; Virtual The Dirt Track at Charlotte
NOS Energy Drink Feature (35 laps) — 1. 21-Christopher Bell  [$1,000]; 2. 17-Max McLaughlin ; 3. 39-Kevin Swindell ; 4. 5-Chase Briscoe ; 5. 25-William Byron ; 6. 17-Mike McKinney ; 7. 7-Tyler Courtney ; 8. 1-Logan Schuchart ; 9. 35-Mike Mahaney ; 10. 2-Wayne Johnson ; 11. 28-Ron Capps ; 12. 55-Robbie Kendall ; 13. 170-Bill Balog ; 14. 4-Justin Grant ; 15. 2-Carson Macedo ; 16. 5-Brent Marks ; 17. 41-David Gravel ; 18. 1-Jacob Allen ; 19. 21-Brian Brown ; 20. 18-Ian Madsen . Lap leaders: Max McLaughlin 1; 33; Robbie Kendall 2-9; Christopher Bell 11-32, 34-35. KSE Hard Charger: Tyler Courtney +11.
Morton Buildings Feature (37 laps) — 1. 50-Kaeden Cornell  [$1,000]; 2. 96-Mike McKinney ; 3. 88-Trent Ivey ; 4. 99-Matty Watkins ; 5. 1-Logan Seavey ; 6. 6-Nick Stroupe ; 7. 12-Ashton Winger ; 8. 0-Corey Gordon ; 9. 2-Nick Hoffman ; 10. 1-Logan Schuchart ; 11. 71-Cruz Pedregon ; 12. 41-David Gravel ; 13. 66-Matt Cosner ; 14. 7-Justin Allgaier ; 15. 39-Kevin Swindell ; 16. 29-Ethan Toedter ; 17. 5-Chase Briscoe ; 18. 32-Bobby Pierce ; 19. 9-Devin Moran . Lap leaders: Matty Watkins 1-9, 11; Trent Ivey 10, 12-28; Kaeden Cornell 29-37. Penske Racing Shocks Hard Charger: Nick Hoffman +9.
TEAM BUILDING: Ricky Stenhouse happy with iRacing team, real team’s progress Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing to compete in CBS Sports Network broadcast and prepared for I-55 return with Haudenschild
PEVELY, MO – May 12, 2020 – If you’ve ever seen Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series race there’s no denying his passion for the sport and his Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing team.
While standing in the grandstands at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals in February, Stenhouse would hold his pointer finger in the air and flick it around every time his driver Sheldon Haudenschild made a pass. The young Wooster, OH driver kept Stenhouse's finger busy as he was the hard charger that night, passing 14 cars.
After that race it would be two-months before Stenhouse could enjoy another Sprint Car event or even partake in his day job as NASCAR Cup Series driver for JTG Daugherty Racing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, he was still able to watch his NOS Energy Drink #17 Sprint Car make laps each week. Albeit virtually through the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitationals and with Super DIRTcar Series standout and rising NASCAR driver Max McLaughlin behind the wheel. And while watching the iRacing events aren't quite the same as the real thing to him, it's still important to Stenhouse to see his team and sponsors represented in the nationally broadcasted events on DIRTVision and CBS Sports Network.
“Yeah it was big,” Stenhouse said. “I didn’t expect Sheldon to jump in and get a rig like I had to do for some of the NASCAR stuff. It was a lot of work going into trying to get set up to do that. Not to mention it is difficult.
“Max has been working out in my gym. His gym got shut down, so he’s been over at the house, we’re kind of quarantined, hanging out. I was like, ‘Hey, man, I need somebody to represent my team and NOS Energy Drink, being the partner that they are and everything they do for dirt track racing. I was like, ‘Jump in and do a NOS car for us.’ He jumped on board and did that for us, which is huge.”
McLaughlin has had impressive runs in the virtual NOS Energy Drink #17 car, getting two top-five finishes in a row during the iRacing events at The Dirt Track at Charlotte – which the series will return to Tuesday night for the World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. (ET). The events have also allowed the 20-year-old dirt racer a small sense of what it’s like to drive a World of Outlaws Sprint Car.
“I’ve always had a love for Sprint Car racing, so it’s been extremely cool to battle up front and contend for wins with some of the best Sprint Car racers in the business,” McLaughlin said. “Ricky and I are great friends and it’s been awesome to represent him, the Marshalls, NOS Energy Drink, SJM Racing and all their great supporters over the last few weeks. It’s just a great organization overall.”
World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing star Mike McKinney, and friend of Stenhouse, later joined the Sprint Car side of the virtual world, sporting a green Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing NOS Energy Drink #17m to further provide more exposure for the team and sponsors. He’s done well in the Sprint Car, which he’s also never driven in real life, picking up a couple of runner-up finishes.
Stenhouse, who has experience in World of Outlaws Sprint Cars, cited the virtual version of the car is not easy to drive. He said he ran a race for fun with drivers like McLaughlin and McKinney and described his race with a woof.
His hope is, whether it’s through NASCAR or the World of Outlaws, the iRacing events will result in more fans interested in all forms of motorsports. Maybe even lead to real Sprint Car racing on live television.
“If anything, I think it’s helped to grow the sport,” Stenhouse said. “It definitely hasn’t hurt the sport. It’s gotten exposure for brands, such as NOS Energy Drink to be on TV. We’re not getting samples out to fans at the racetrack like we normally do at the track, but still getting some exposure, which is good.”
Like everyone, he’s been chomping at the bit to see his real SJM Racing team back on track and thankful it is happening sooner than later. Through seeing what NASCAR has been going through to try and get its season back going, Stenhouse said it’s not lost on him the same amount of work has been put in by the World of Outlaws and acknowledged the people behind the scenes have put in a lot of hard work to make it happen.
That hard work paid off when the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series made its historic return to racing — two months after its last race — at Knoxville Raceway on Friday. While Stenhouse joined the thousands of fans happy to be watching Sprint Car racing again on DIRTVision, his team’s night did not play out well.
After winning the Last Chance Showdown and making his way up through the field, Haudenschild found himself upside down in Turn 3 halfway through the race. Kerry Madsen blew a tire directly in front of him, causing to two to collide.
However, the Series’ next race on May 22-23 is at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 where Haudenschild put on one of the most dominate performances in Series history, leading 45 of the 55 laps, lapping up to fifth place and won by an unprecedented 10.3 second lead over runner-up Donny Schatz. A “pretty fun race,” as Stenhouse called it.
After that race, Haudenschild only finished outside the top-10 six times in the next 26 races. He ended the season with two wins — he had five in 2018 — and finished seventh in points for the third year in a row. In four races, so far, this year Haudenschild has one top-five and two top-10s.
“We ended the year good last year,” Stenhouse said. “Had speed at times. Technically our numbers were better last year than they were the year before, other than the wins. We ran better in some bigger races than we did the year before. More top-fives, top-10s. With less races ran actually. I thought that was good. Obviously, we want to be in the winner’s circle a little bit more often than what we were last year. That tends to keep the spirits up on the team the more you get to Victory Lane. So, hopefully we can do that a little bit more often.”
In the team’s third full-time year with Haudenschild, Stenhouse said he would like to see him and the team finish in the top-five in points this year. While expectations are always to win a championship and as many races as you can, Stenhouse said he looks at drivers like Brad Sweet, Donny Schatz and Daryn Pittman as examples of how it took time before they eventually battled for championships. There are years of learning that goes into it, he said.
He’s seen Haudenschild grow in his time with the team, too. He thinks about races more and has realized there are nights where he just has to get what his car is capable of and not make more work for the team, Stenhouse said.
“Last year, we definitely saw a significant amount less of front axles torn up or getting into different cars or different situations,” Stenhouse said. “He’s learning that, and I think that’s only going to get better. You look at Donny Schatz and Brad Sweet and their consistencies. It’s all about finishing races and putting yourself in the right position. I know Sheldon is learning that. He’s still young. I’m looking forward to continuing that with him.”
Stenhouse is confident his 26-year-old driver and SJM Racing team can have a good 2020 and likes the chemistry the team has this year. Haudenschild was paired with former crew chief Kyle Ripper at the beginning of the season.
“I think Sheldon’s communication with Ripper is in a really good spot,” Stenhouse said. “We raced good in Volusia but got to work on our qualifying a little bit. But I thought we went forward. Got a few hard chargers there and raced good. I definitely like our team.”
Between iRacing and real racing, Stenhouse will have plenty of chances to hold his pointer finger in the air and flick it around as he watches his cars race to the front… and if there’s time this year, he said there’s a newly built Sprint Car waiting in the SJM Racing shop with his name on it.
Tickets for the Saturday, May 23 event at I-55 are already sold out, but you can still purchase tickets for the Friday, May 22 event, click here. Tickets are also still available for the May 29-30 events at Lake Ozark Speedway, click here.
NEW EXPOSURE: Brent Marks using iRacing as another way to promote sponsors 2019 National Open winner will compete in Tuesday’s World of Outlaws iRacing event on CBS Sports Network
CONCORD, NC – May 11, 2020 – Along with providing drivers a platform to turn laps before returning to real racing, iRacing has also helped give their sponsors much needed exposure on national broadcasts.
Through the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing events on DIRTVision and CBS Sports Networks, drivers and sponsors have been seen by thousands of fans across the world.
For four-time World of Outlaws winner Brent Marks, who joined CJB Motorsports this year, bringing his sponsors with him to help support the team, that exposure has been a huge benefit.
“That’s been a big help for everybody,” said Marks, of Myerstown, PA. “Everyone has been affected by not racing. We still have to do things with the race team to make it worth our sponsors’ time and stay invested in the sport. We tried to do anything we could. It felt like being a part of the DIRTVision and CBS Sports broadcasts helped that and gave them the exposure that they need. Even though it was all virtual exposure, it was still better than nothing at all. At least we were able to do something for them there.”
Marks joined the World of Outlaws iRacing Invitationals late, initially not having an iRacing set up. But once he got his Fanatec steering wheel and pedals, he quickly became accustomed to the virtual racing world.
He qualified for his first iRacing Feature at the virtual Knoxville Raceway — out of a more than 60 car field — and finished 16th. His speed progressed with each race, giving him more airtime, but bad luck stood in his way of good finishes at times. Marks was on his way to a top-five finish in the May World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational at Volusia Speedway Park before an ill-tempered Logan Seavey drove into him and wrecked him under caution over a misunderstanding.
However, Marks rebounded the next race, which was broadcasted on CBS Sports Network. He battled in the top-three all night, at times challenged for the win, and earned a third-place finish.
“I’m getting better,” Marks said. “It was a little rough at first to get used to everything. The set ups on this thing is totally different than real life. That’s been a huge challenge and trying to figure out the lines that work best and things like that. Really the biggest thing that’s helped me out the last couple of weeks is trying to get all of my steering wheel settings right. That really helped. It’s been fun, though.”
There are various settings for the sim racing wheels, such as the amount of force feedback you want to feel. That allows you to feel the bumps in the virtual tracks and the handling of the car through the wheel. In talking with experienced iracers, Marks said they told him to turn down the force feedback. That didn’t work for him, though. Used to feeling everything from the seat of his real #5 Sprint Car, Marks needed some kind of feedback. He turned the setting back up and immediately found more speed, citing it gave him a “more realistic feel.”
His involvement in iRacing has gone beyond his racing in the World of Outlaws events, too. With help from Wicked Cushion, Marks has started his own eSports racing team. The five-car team gave Marks another way to provide more exposure for his sponsors — with each sponsor getting its own car — as well as getting to help out a few iracers who compete in iRacing leagues.
“They’ve been helping me out quite a bit,” Marks said. “I appreciate that. It’s real to them. They love it. It’s cool. They think it’s cool that they’re a part of a team. Trying to get them their own exposure. And each car has its own individual sponsor on it that’s on the CJB car right now. So that’s another cool way to give our sponsors move exposure through another avenue than just me. I think that’s pretty cool, too.”
After a long two months of waiting, he went from iRacing to real racing on Friday as one of the 48 drivers invited to the World of Outlaws’ historic return to racing at Knoxville Raceway. With no fans in the stands, thousands of people around the world watched the race on DIRTVision.
Marks and the rest of the World of Outlaws field of drivers will get that exposure again on Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23 when the Series races at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55. There will be a limited crowd of fans, who will be socially distanced around the track. And those not able to attend will again be able to watch all of the action live on DIRTVision.
He finished eighth and 11th, respectively at I-55 last year and will be poised to get another pair of solid finishes to continue building momentum with his CJB team and bring real world exposure to his sponsors. And while the Series and racing world is slowly getting back into a rhythm, Marks still sees more iRacing in his future even when racing gets back into full swing.
“I’ll keep up with it when I have the time,” Marks said. “It’s been cool, and it’s been fun. I’m going to stay involved in it as much as I can. During the off season it’ll be nice to sit down and get some practice in. One thing about iRacing that I think is really cool is the cars are OK, they have some work to do on that yet, but I think the tracks are really realistic. That’s another cool tool to use to learn the tracks a little bit more.”
Marks will be a part of the elite line up of drivers — including David Gravel, Logan Schuchart and Christopher Bell — in Tuesday night’s World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. (ET).
Tickets for the Saturday, May 23 event at I-55 are already sold out, but you can still purchase tickets for the Friday, May 22 event, click here. Tickets are also still available for the May 29-30 events at Lake Ozark Speedway
ONE TO REMEMBER: David Gravel wins historic, unusual night at Knoxville
Broadcast-only event engages thousands of fans around the world on DIRTVision
KNOXVILLE, IA – May 8, 2020 – The silence was different. An oddity that confused a mind used to Johnny Gibson calling the four-wide salute and fans yelling as loud as they can in reaction to an epic battle waged for the glory.
However, it was replaced by an unexpected sense, shared by the few fortunate enough to be in attendance. A sense that you knew Friday night’s World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Invitational at Knoxville Raceway presented by McKay Insurance was big. Not in the sense of a Knoxville Nationals or Kings Royal. Bigger. Historic.
A 48-car field of the best Sprint Car drivers in the world that included the return of Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson, following strict COVID-19 regulations, set by the World of Outlaws, competed for $10,000-to-win in front of an empty grandstand and thousands of fans watching live on DIRTVision desperate for Sprint Car racing. Desperate to forget for a few hours about life.
The silence around the half-mile track was an adjustment, but when drivers fired their cars for the first time in more than two months, normalcy set in. And when their helmets went on, the passion, aggression and competitiveness returned, knowing no difference from before.
It showed during the 30-lap Feature. Last year’s Knoxville Nationals winner David Gravel, of Watertown, CT and two-time Knoxville track champion Ian Madsen, of Saint Marys, NSW, Australia, put on such an electrifying show that you couldn’t help but feel like everyone watching at home was at the track with you.
Every slide job the two traded for the lead added another level of tension and drama. Then, with the white flag in the air, Gravel stole the lead from Madsen to win yet another race at Knoxville with the eyes of the world upon him.
“We don’t really feel how many people are watching, maybe tens of thousands of people are watching tonight (on DIRTVision) and hopefully that was a good race for everyone to get their blood pumping again,” Gravel said. “Me and Ian just battled and battled and battled … It’s just good to get back in a race car and be competitive.”
Gravel earned his first small victory of the night by setting the fastest time in Flight 2 of Qualifying, however Aaron Reutzel set overall Quick Time. Gravel dominated his Drydene Heat Race and then finished fourth in the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash – won by Madsen.
When the Feature went green, Daryn Pittman darted ahead of Madsen for the lead and led the opening eight laps before Madsen tracked him down and powered around the outside of him. Pittman spent the next eight laps trying to claw his way back by Madsen, but the Australian’s car was in love with the black-clay and pulled away.
Behind them, Gravel looked to be struggling after an early run at the leaders. He fell from third to fifth on a restart and came close to crashing with Lynton Jeffrey as they banged side bars going into Turn 2. It took him a few laps to recalibrate and work at building his momentum again. He got to fourth by Lap 11. Third by Lap 13. And the passed Pittman for second on Lap 16.
With the same engine under his hood that guided him and Jason Johnson Racing to a Knoxville Nationals win and sweep of the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, it only took Gravel another lap to eliminate Madsen’s half a track lead. The two drivers then put on a battle that will be remembered for years.
Gravel had a run underneath Madsen that was sure to give him the lead, but a slower car running the bottom hindered his exit of Turn 4, allowing Madsen to pull back ahead. The two then traded slide jobs each lap, but Madsen continued to carry the better momentum off the corner to hold the lead.
With about three laps to go, Gravel threw a desperate slider underneath Madsen going into Turn 1. However, if he continued the trajectory of his slider he could have plowed into the side of Madsen. Gravel thought better and cranked his car sideways to avoid that outcome. He then watched Madsen fire down the backstretch to about a half of a track away.
Gravel thought the race was lost. A valiant attempt gone sour. But in this unusual event, the unexpected was ever present.
Madsen’s car got sideways off Turn 4 coming to two laps to go. That allowed Gravel one final shot at running Madsen down. He closed through Turns 1 and 2, but not enough to set up another desperate slider the next corner. Looking to cruise to his first World of Outlaws win at Knoxville, Madsen road the high side through Turns 3 and 4, coming to one lap to go.
However, Madsen, again, had an issue trying to exit Turn 4, getting sideways and killing his speed. Gravel didn’t hesitate to take advantage. He sped by Madsen down the front stretch to lead his first lap of the race and only had one more to go.
You could hear the thunder of cheers building in your head, even though they weren't there in reality. This momentous moment in time was about to come to a close in thrilling fashion. No matter who won, it was going to be an exciting memory in Sprint Car history. After one final lap with no mistakes, Gravel etched his name in history once again and claimed a win that may be remembered more than his Knoxville Nationals win or any other big win after.
“I don’t know how,” said an elated Gravel about winning after the race. “Me and Ian made a lot of mistakes. If it was a 25-lap race, I would have lost that one. I was really good in (Turns) 1 and 2 on the bottom, but man, I could not come off. It was so treacherous, and he was kind of running up the track and turning down and getting more momentum. If I hit my marks, I was faster, but man, it was hard to do.”
Also, in an occurrence like no other, fans and companies watching on DIRTVision donated money for various contingencies throughout the night – totaling nearly $15,000 – and part of it brought Gravel’s win total from $10,000 to more than $15,000.
(RELATED: Fans watching on DIRTVision share their experiences on social media.)
On the other end of the spectrum, while Madsen had a great performance, he said he’s devastated with the results.
“I gave it my all,” Madsen said. “Probably made a little error there at the end. Got my wing too far back and I couldn’t get around the top of (Turns) 3 and 4. I buried myself a couple of times, which allowed David to get by. You just can’t make a mistake like that around him.”
There was a completely different scene for Logan Schuchart, who finished third — after finishing second at the Knoxville Nationals last year — and took the points lead for the first time in his career by doing so.
“Definitely a good start,” Schuchart said. “Started off good. We were quick right off the bat in qualifying. Ran good in the Heat Race. We have some things we can work on to be a little bit better in the Feature, but a great start to the season. Thanks to DIRTVision and the World of Outlaws for putting this on and letting us be here. And Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there.”
There may not have been fans in the stands, but Gravel knew they were there in spirit, looking to the stands when he did his wing dance and then to the camera in recognition of everyone watching on DIRTVision. The silence in Victory Lane was different. But that didn’t diminish his understanding of the historic nature of the event and how good it is to win.
“For us to be the only race this weekend and win it is just good for everybody,” Gravel said. “Good for JJR. Good for (team owner Bobbi Johnson’s son) Jaxx’s birthday. His favorite number is five. We drew that in the Dash. It was all meant to be.”
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series on Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23 will be at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 for a doubleheader event with limited fans at both events. Tickets for the Saturday's race are already sold out, but you can still get tickets for Friday's race by clicking here.
NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps) – 41-David Gravel ; 2. 18-Ian Madsen ; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 4. 83-Daryn Pittman ; 5. 26-Cory Eliason ; 6. 15-Donny Schatz ; 7. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey ; 8. 21-Brian Brown ; 9. 49-Brad Sweet ; 10. 57-Kyle Larson ; 11. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss ; 12. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 13. 17A-Austin McCarl ; 14. 2-Carson Macedo ; 15. 4-Terry McCarl ; 16. 71-Shane Stewart ; 17. 64-Brooke Tatnell ; 18. 2M-Kerry Madsen ; 19. 56N-Davey Heskin ; 20. 24-Rico Abreu ; 21. 7S-Jason Sides ; 22. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 23. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 24. 7-Justin Henderson ; 25. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 26. 17W-Shane Golobic ; Lap Leaders: Daryn Pittman 1-8, Ian Madsen 9-28, David Gravel 29-30; KSE Hard Charger Award: 49-Brad Sweet[+10]
Qualifying Flight-A – 87-Aaron Reutzel, 15.162; 2. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 15.398; 3. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey, 15.47; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 15.478; 5. 18-Ian Madsen, 15.527; 6. 83-Daryn Pittman, 15.535; 7. O9-Matt Juhl, 15.615; 8. 5-Brent Marks, 15.631; 9. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 15.643; 10. 24W-Lucas Wolfe, 15.735; 11. 48-Danny Dietrich, 15.751; 12. 17A-Austin McCarl, 15.768; 13. 14P-Parker Price-Miller, 15.774; 14. 49-Brad Sweet, 15.788; 15. 64-Brooke Tatnell, 15.859; 16. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 15.871; 17. 55-Hunter Schuerenburg, 15.876; 18. 13-Paul McMahan, 15.886; 19. 56N-Davey Heskin, 15.891; 20. 41G-Giovanni Scelzi, 15.904; 21. 55K-Robbie Kendall, 15.911; 22. 17B-Bill Balog, 16.053; 23. 9W-Ryan Giles, 16.239; 24. 3P-Sawyer Phillips, 16.243
Qualifying Flight-B – 41-David Gravel, 15.446; 2. 1A-Jacob Allen, 15.5; 3. 4-Terry McCarl, 15.544; 4. 26-Cory Eliason, 15.587; 5. 21-Brian Brown, 15.689; 6. 17W-Shane Golobic, 15.74; 7. 71-Shane Stewart, 15.754; 8. 2-Carson Macedo, 15.765; 9. 57-Kyle Larson, 15.786; 10. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 15.797; 11. 24-Rico Abreu, 15.904; 12. 7-Justin Henderson, 15.913; 13. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 15.924; 14. 15H-Sam Hafertepe, 15.951; 15. 15-Donny Schatz, 15.977; 16. 44-Chris Martin, 15.994; 17. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 16.122; 18. 2KS-Chad Boespflug, 16.149; 19. 9-Kasey Kahne, 16.16; 20. 44S-Trey Starks, 16.281; 21. 33M-Mason Daniel, 16.426; 22. 7TAZ-Tasker Phillips, 16.691; 23. 7S-Jason Sides, 16.72; 24. 15M-Bobby Mincer, 17.495
DRYDENE Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer – 18-Ian Madsen ; 2. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey ; 3. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 4. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss ; 5. 64-Brooke Tatnell ; 6. 56N-Davey Heskin ; 7. 55-Hunter Schuerenburg ; 8. 14P-Parker Price-Miller ; 9. 9W-Ryan Giles ; 10. 55K-Robbie Kendall ; 11. 87-Aaron Reutzel ; 12. O9-Matt Juhl 
DRYDENE Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer – 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 2. 83-Daryn Pittman ; 3. 2M-Kerry Madsen ; 4. 17A-Austin McCarl ; 5. 49-Brad Sweet ; 6. 41S-Dominic Scelzi ; 7. 41G-Giovanni Scelzi ; 8. 5-Brent Marks ; 9. 13-Paul McMahan ; 10. 24W-Lucas Wolfe ; 11. 3P-Sawyer Phillips ; 12. 17B-Bill Balog 
DRYDENE Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer – 41-David Gravel ; 2. 21-Brian Brown ; 3. 15-Donny Schatz ; 4. 4-Terry McCarl ; 5. 57-Kyle Larson ; 6. 71-Shane Stewart ; 7. 24-Rico Abreu ; 8. 7S-Jason Sides ; 9. 9-Kasey Kahne ; 10. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 11. 33M-Mason Daniel ; 12. 2C-Wayne Johnson 
DRYDENE Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer – 26-Cory Eliason ; 2. 17W-Shane Golobic ; 3. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 4. 2-Carson Macedo ; 5. 7-Justin Henderson ; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 7. 15H-Sam Hafertepe ; 8. 44-Chris Martin ; 9. 2KS-Chad Boespflug ; 10. 44S-Trey Starks ; 11. 15M-Bobby Mincer ; 12. 7TAZ-Tasker Phillips 
DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash (6 Laps) – 18-Ian Madsen ; 2. 83-Daryn Pittman ; 3. 17W-Shane Golobic ; 4. 41-David Gravel ; 5. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey ; 6. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 7. 21-Brian Brown ; 8. 26-Cory Eliason 
C-Main (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer – 44S-Trey Starks ; 2. 2C-Wayne Johnson ; 3. 17B-Bill Balog ; 4. 33M-Mason Daniel ; 5. 15M-Bobby Mincer ; 6. O9-Matt Juhl ; 7. 3P-Sawyer Phillips ; 8. 24W-Lucas Wolfe ; 9. 55K-Robbie Kendall ; 10. 7TAZ-Tasker Phillips 
The $10,000-to-win Invitational presented by McKay Insurance will see 48 of the most elite Sprint Car drivers in the world, including reigning Series champion Brad Sweet, 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz, 2019 Knoxville Nationals winner David Gravel, Kyle Larson and Kasey Kahne, battle for glory at the “Sprint Car Capital of the World.”
With no fans in attendance, the event will be broadcasted live on DIRTVision with Hot Laps at 6:30 p.m. (CT), followed by qualifying and racing at 7:30 p.m. (CT).
Here are the storylines to follow throughout the night:
LARSON AND KAHNE RETURN: NASCAR stars Kyle Larson and Kasey Kahne make their highly anticipated return to the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series at Knoxville Raceway.
Larson last competed with the Series during the DIRTcar Nationals in February, with a best finish of 16th — currently sitting 24th in Series points. While he missed the Feature for the Knoxville Nationals last year, Larson has a stellar record at Knoxville. He’s finished on the podium of the Nationals in 2017 and 2018 and finished fifth at the prestigious race in 2016.
It’s been more than a year since Kahne’s last race with the Series, after getting injured in a non-World of Outlaws Sprint Car race. Now, healed up, Kahne will make a rare appearance back behind the wheel of the #9 car, with its usual driver, James McFadden stuck in Australia. He’s attempted to qualify for the Knoxville Nationals in previous years, but his last World of Outlaws Feature race at the half-mile speedway was almost 20 years ago.
BACK-TO-BACK ATTEMPT FOR GRAVEL: David Gravel, of Watertown, CT, returns for his second year with Jason Johnson Racing, after an exceptional 2019 season that saw the pair claim 21 Quick Time awards and win 12 races — including the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals. He and JJR have already picked up two Quick Time awards this year at the DIRTcar Nationals.
Gravel won every race he entered during the Knoxville Nationals week last year and has picked up a Feature win at the track for the past two years. He’ll look to continue his winning streak at the iconic track on Friday night.
SWEET GOING FOR FOUR YEAR STREAK: Brad Sweet, of Grass Valley, CA, is currently the only driver on the World of Outlaws tour who has won a Feature at Knoxville Raceway for at least the past three years — including his 2018 Knoxville Nationals title. He’ll try to extend that record to four this year and continue the strong momentum he’s built since the end of 2019.
After winning the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championship last year — by four points over Donny Schatz — Sweet spent the off-season winning Sprint Car races in Australia and then picked up his second DIRTcar Nationals title in February with Kasey Kahne Racing. Sweet is also the current point leader — leading Logan Schuchart by two points.
SCHUCHART BUILDING MOMENTUM: While David Gravel won the Knoxville Nationals last year, Logan Schuchart, of Hanover, PA, and his Shark Racing team stole the show with his 22nd to second run. He has yet to win a World of Outlaws Feature at Knoxville, but Schuchart has been on the best run of his career.
The Shark Racing driver won a career high eight races in 2019 — doubling his career win total — and picked up his first Volusia Speedway Park win February during the DIRTcar Nationals. He’s kept his momentum going during the last two months by winning the World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout at the virtual Eldora Speedway on CBS Sports Network.
SCHATZ GOING FOR 300: Ten-time Series champion Donny Schatz, of Fargo, ND, picked up his 295th career World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series win in February at the DIRTcar Nationals. The Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing driver has won 11 or more races the past eight years and is on track to reach a milestone 300 career wins this season.
Schatz has an impeccable record at Knoxville Raceway with 10 Knoxville Nationals wins and finished second or first at the Nationals from 2005 to 2018. His last win at the track came in 2018. In his second year with crew chief Steve Swenson, Schatz will be eyeing a return to Victory Lane at Knoxville.
HOME DEFENSE FOR BROWN: Reigning Knoxville Raceway track champion Brian Brown will look to claim a win with the World of Outlaws at his home track for the second year in a row in his #21 car. The Higginsville, MO native, who has 49 career Feature wins at Knoxville, won his first World of Outlaws race at the track last June.
A win Friday night would give him a milestone 50 career wins at the track in his, tying him with three-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion Sammy Swindell for fifth on the Knoxville Feature wins all-time win list.
iRACING LEADS TO BIG OPPORTUNITY: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series has hosted 11 iRacing Invitational races the past two months and Pennsylvania’s Robbie Kendall has been one of the most consistently competitive drivers of the league. Through his success — which includes an iRacing Invitational win at Williams Grove Speedway — and participation with the World of Outlaws when the Series races in PA, Kendall was given the opportunity of a lifetime in being invited to Friday’s World of Outlaws race at Knoxville. He’s made eight career starts with the Series, so far, and has a best finish of 14th in his #55k car.
CONCORD, NC – May 6, 2020 – The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars will tackle “The Sprint Car Capital of the World” Knoxville Raceway on Friday, May 8, with arguably the strongest field of 410 winged Sprint Cars front to back ever assembled on one night.
“We’re so excited to Return to Racing, and especially at a place as welcoming and comfortable as Knoxville, in such unusual times,” said Carlton Reimers, World of Outlaws Series Director. “The goal has never been to be the ‘first’ back to racing, but to work to be the ‘best.’ We hold ourselves and our teams to high standards. Everyone at Knoxville Raceway, Marion County and even at Governor Reynolds’ office, have been working so hard to make this event as safe as possible. With the best teams in the country loading up and the grader hitting the track, we can finally start to think about the racing.”
Although no spectators will be allowed at the event per State guidelines, the race will be broadcast live on DIRTVision, the world leader in live streaming. Fans can receive a 20% discount on any new FAST PASS all-access subscriptions or single-event pay-per-view purchased prior to 7:59 am ET on Thursday, May 7, using voucher: RETURNKNOXVILLE when entering their payment information. Existing DIRTVision subscribers will receive a commemorative gift.
Joining defending Champion Sweet at Knoxville Raceway will be 10-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Champion Donny Schatz, along with all of the full-time winged warriors including Sheldon Haudenschild, Logan Schuchart, Daryn Pittman, Kraig Kinser, Carson Macedo, Jason Sides, David Gravel, and Jacob Allen, along with the two 2020 Rookie of the Year contenders Mason Daniel and Wayne Johnson.
Challenging the Outlaw regulars for the $10,000 winner’s share of the $52,000 purse, will be perennial Knoxville Raceway favorite and defending track champion Brian Brown, along with other raceway regulars including the McCarls, Justin Henderson, and Matt Juhl. The infamous Pennsylvania Posse will be well-represented by the likes of Danny Dietrich, Brent Marks, Brock Zearfoss, Lucas Wolfe and iRacing sensation/Posse regular Robbie Kendall. Likewise, California hot shoes Rico Abreu, Gio and Dominic Scelzi, Cory Eliason, Shane Golobic and more West Coast winged warriors are expected.
NASCAR stars with dirt track roots, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson, will be returning to the track along with Australian natives living stateside Brooke Tatnell, Lynton Jeffrey and the Madsen brothers, Kerry and Ian. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions title holder Aaron Reutzel and Bumper-to-Bumper IRA Outlaws Sprint Series Champion, the Northpole Nightmare, Bill Balog will be on hand carrying the flag for their respective series.
“I never thought this would be how I’d be defending my 2019 World of Outlaws championship,” Brad Sweet said. “Of course, after winning the 2018 Knoxville Nationals, I’m pretty excited to be returning to Knoxville to jump start the 2020 season.”
One week later on Friday and Saturday, May 15-16, the stars of the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series will make their debut at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, MO. Two-time Champion Brandon Sheppard will have his work cut out over two nights as he continues the defense of his crown. Both nights will be broadcast live on DIRTVision and as always, FAST PASS subscribers can watch Every Race Live across both series for just $39/month.
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Roster
THREE FOR THE MONEY: Mike McKinney, Christopher Bell earn third World of Outlaws iRacing wins
Virtual Volusia Speedway Park provides thrilling action on CBS Sports Network
BARBERVILLE, FL — May 5, 2020 — The “World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout” on CBS Sports Network is the latest big event to race at Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park, the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” and home to the DIRTcar Nationals each February. On Tuesday night, it became home to a thrilling display of virtual speed and mud-slinging competition with stars from the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars and World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models battling drivers from NASCAR, the NHRA and even a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner.
DIRTcar UMP Modified ace Mike McKinney swiped the lead on the final restart in the Morton Buildings Late Model Feature with less than five laps remaining to collect his third overall World of Outlaws iRacing victory. In the second half of the doubleheader, NASCAR Cup Series star and three-time Chili Bowl winner Christopher Bell put a hurting on the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars for his second victory at virtual Volusia and third win overall in the series.
The 35-lap Morton Buildings Late Model Feature started off with a quick caution for NASCAR Cup Series star Austin Dillon, which re-stacked the field and put dirt track racers Matty Watkins and Corey Gordon on the front row. Watkins, of Atlanta, GA, led the first nine laps before giving up the lead to Gordon as he slipped up the track entering Turn 1 on Lap 10.
Gordon, of Charlotte, NC, raced into the lead out of Turn 2 as McKinney went with him under Watkins and began his pursuit of the top spot. Gordon pulled out to over a one-second advantage before the next caution flag, as another star of the race had already begun to emerge.
Two-time World of Outlaws iRacing Late Model winner Trent Ivey, of Union, SC, was flat-out on a mission, coming all the way from the 19th starting spot up to sixth before the restart. He got a great jump as the field was brought back to green and scooped up two more spots before the final caution. In the end, Ivey came home third and picked up the Penske Racing Shocks Hard Charger honors.
McKinney was still in hot pursuit of leader Gordon down the stretch, flexing his real-life dirt track muscles to set up for a wild battle to the finish with Gordon. It even impressed CBS Sports broadcast guest Kenny Wallace, a fellow DIRTcar UMP Modified competitor with McKinney, who noted the exposure McKinney was getting from racing on CBS Sports Network.
“Mike McKinney’s becoming more popular right now by showing up on national TV. What a show he’s putting on,” Wallace said.
Wallace was rewarded for his enthusiasm. With just four laps remaining, Gordon led the field to the green and appeared to have gotten the jump he needed to defend the lead heading into Turn 1, but he appeared to slip slightly up the track, just enough to leave McKinney a lane to slide by to his inside.
McKinney took the bottom lane and drag-raced Gordon down the backstretch. Gordon received contact from behind going into Turn 3 and slipped up, allowing McKinney to pull away. That sequence proved to be the deciding moment as McKinney drove his NOS Energy Drink #96 the rest of the way home to collect his third Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing victory.
“We had a heck of a race,” McKinney told Wallace in the post-race interview. “I thought I was just gonna settle in for second. Corey [Gordon] just got tight there on that restart and we were able to sneak on under and drive off with the win. I’m super pumped.”
Gordon had a similar view of his run into Turn 1 on the final restart. Ironically, he was able to recover from a bad restart while leading Monday night’s race at virtual Volusia and hang on for the win, but he was not so lucky this time around.
“I’m just the king of choking on these late-race restarts,” Gordon said. “I got a pretty good start there and then got real tight going into Turn 1. Congrats to Mike McKinney on the win.”
Two-time and defending World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series champion Brandon Sheppard piloted the studio sim rig in front of the CBS Sports camera, and had a great drive from 16th to finish ninth.
“In the very beginning, I got caught up in a wreck and I had to come into the pits and get a quick fix,” Sheppard said. “It just put me behind. I felt like I kept my nose pretty clean after that and came up through there pretty good.”
Sheppard’s got 56 career World of Outlaws Feature wins in his real car, and told Kenny Wallace how much of a difference there is from the real car to the virtual one.
“You can feel a little bit in the steering wheel. Some steering wheels are better than others. The biggest thing is you’re missing that feel in the seat that we’re all used to feeling,” Sheppard said.
In the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car portion of the eDirt Racing Shootout, Bell proved once again he’s the biggest gator in the pond at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile.”
The NASCAR Cup Series rookie won the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational at Volusia on Sunday – his second Invitational win – giving him a head of confidence for Tuesday’s CBS Sports Network event.
He started fifth and methodically worked his way up through the top-five as drivers traded slide jobs and battled three-wide at times for position.
At the start of the 35-lap Sprint Car Feature, polesitter Brian Brown jumped to the early lead, leaving Brent Marks and Bell’s fellow NASCAR competitor William Byron to duel for second. Bell rolled the bottom, while everyone else fought for real estate up high. His method put him in third after two laps.
Eight laps later, Bell’s black #21 was at Brown’s rear bumper — a predator in prime position to strike.
On a restart with 23 laps to go, Bell built momentum around the high side of the first corner and used it to launch his car underneath Brown going into Turn 3. He had the lead by the exit of the corner, but Brown was building a run behind him. By the time they reached Turn 1, Brown fired his white #21 underneath and slid up in front of him by three car lengths.
However, for what Brown gained on the entrance to the corner, he lost on exit. Bell had the stronger run down the backstretch and threw his final slide job of the night at Brown to take the lead and hold it for the remaining 22 laps. Bell, who finished second at Volusia in a real Sprint Car in 2019, used what he’d do in a real Sprint Car to guide him to the front.
“It’s crazy how realistic it has gotten,” Bell said about iRacing. “At Volusia, here on iRacing, there’s a really big cushion up against the guardrail. So, you try to run as straight as you can, and it seems to make speed up there.”
In the final 10 laps of the race, while Bell pulled away from the field, Marks, Brown and Byron traded slide jobs for second. With two laps to go, Byron made his way by Marks for the runner up spot and looked to hunt down Bell for his first World of Outlaws win. However, Bell was already a second ahead of the field.
In his self-owned virtual Sprint Car, Bell picked up his third World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing victory and earned $2,000 in a three-day period.
“That was a lot of fun,” Bell said. “I’ve really enjoyed getting to race online during this mini off season we’ve had. It’s been really cool. I’m grateful that DIRTVision and CBS Sports and everyone puts on these races. World Racing Group, World of Outlaws allows us to race. It’s cool to race in front of an audience all of the time and obviously with no racing going on.”
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will go from virtual to reality on Friday, May 8 when the Series returns to racing at Knoxville Raceway on DIRTVision.
Then the World of Outlaws will return its iRacing Invitationals on Sunday, May 10 with the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars and Monday, May 11 with the Morton Buildings Late Models. Both races will be at the virtual Dirt Track at Charlotte on DIRTVision at 7 p.m. (ET). And on Tuesday, May 12 will be the third round of the “World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout” on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. (ET).
World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout; May 5, 2020; Virtual Volusia Speedway Park
World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Feature (35 laps) — 1. 96-Mike McKinney  [$1,000]; 2. 0-Corey Gordon ; 3. 88-Trent Ivey ; 4. 50-Kaeden Cornell ; 5. 6-Nick Stroupe ; 6. 1-Logan Seavey ; 7. 12-Ashton Winger ; 8. 39-Kevin Swindell ; 9. 1-Brandon Sheppard ; 10. 0-Scott Bloomquist ; 11. 5-Chase Briscoe ; 12. 99-Matty Watkins ; 13. 66-Matt Cosner ; 14. 9-Devin Moran ; 15. 71-Cruz Pedregon ; 16. 1-Logan Schuchart ; 17. 2-Nick Hoffman ; 18. 3-Austin Dillon ; 19. 11-Tyler Reddick ; 20. 29-Ethan Toedter ; 21. 32-Bobby Pierce ; 22. 7-Justin Allgaier . Lap leaders: Matty Watkins 1-9; Corey Gordon 10-31; Mike McKinney 32-35. Penske Racing Shocks Hard Charger: Trent Ivey +16.
World of Outlaws Announces 16-Race Schedule through Mid-June
Sprint Cars Friday at Knoxville; Late Models May 15-16 at Federated I-55 with fans
CONCORD, NC — May 5, 2020 — The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series and the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series, together with their partner tracks, have updated schedules into mid-June in an effort to safely “Return to Racing” in a manner that allows tracks, teams, partners and fans to begin looking ahead.
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series is set to race Friday night, May 8, at Knoxville (IA) Raceway in a $10,000-to-win, “behind-closed-doors” Invitational by McKay Insurance with Nationwide. While spectators will not be able to attend in person, fans across the world can watch live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
“The Greatest Show on Dirt” will next race May 22-23 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, MO, in front of a limited, socially distanced crowd in events paying $6,000-to-win on the Friday night and $10,000-to-win on Saturday night.
On May 29-30, the world’s premier Sprint Car series will shift to Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, MO, for another $6,000/$10,000, Friday/Saturday event in front of a limited, socially distanced crowd. The previously scheduled Jason Johnson Classic will be held at a later date.
In June, the World of Outlaws will return to Knoxville Raceway, June 12-13, as originally scheduled for the Brownells Big Guns Bash, currently with no crowd, but with the hope that some fans may be permitted by that date.
Events originally scheduled for May 23 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, May 25 at Lawrenceburg Speedway, May 29 at Lake Ozark Speedway, May 30 at I-70 Motorsports Park and June 3 at I-80 Speedway have been postponed. Fans with tickets to those events will be able to use them when rescheduled dates are announced.
The always popular June 5 event at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND, and June 6 at Granite City Speedway in Sauk Rapids, MN, remain on the schedule, with a final determination being made closer to the event dates based on local guidelines.
As Friday night’s event at Knoxville Raceway will be run without fans in attendance, DIRTVision is offering a special 20%-off promotion using code RETURNKNOXVILLE, which is good through 11:59 pm ET Wednesday, May 6th. For details, visit DIRTVision.com.
The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series is also adjusting its schedule, with action resuming May 15-16 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 rather than the previously announced Boone Speedway. The fast-changing landscape has provided the opportunity to shift the Series re-opener to Pevely, MO, in front of fans on a limited basis. Federated I-55’s location also makes it convenient and cost-effective for late model teams who may compete earlier in the week at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO. The Series thanks the tireless efforts of Robert Lawton, Coty Mallicoat and Cody Sommer for their work to bring a “Return to Racing” to Boone, and is looking forward to the Series debut at Boone for the previously postponed Hawkeye 100 mega-event at the historic Iowa venue at a time when the race can be run in front of a live audience. We also wish our friends at Boone the best of luck as they prepare to get back to the track in their own unique fashion in the very near future.
The return at Pevely will feature a $6,000-to-win on Friday and $10,000-to-win on Saturday, with the Series then heading to U.S. 36 Raceway in Cameron, MO, on Monday, May 18, for $6,000-to-win event in front of a limited crowd.
Next up the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model stars will head to the magnificent Jackson (MN) Motorplex for the series debut on May 22-23 for $6,000/$10,000 events on Friday and Saturday provided Minnesota opens on schedule on May 18. Following the traditionally DIRTcar-sanctioned Dream weekend at Eldora Speedway on June 4-6, broadcast on FloSports, the Series will resume action June 12-13 in a $6,000/$10,000 Friday and Saturday event at Cochran (GA) Motor Speedway in front of a limited crowd.
The originally scheduled races May 29 at Jacksonville (IL) Speedway and May 30 at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, IN, have been postponed.
Tickets to all limited crowd events will go on sale in the very near future and be available through WorldofOutlaws.com. Participant and Spectator Guidelines will be enforced consistent with State, County, City and World of Outlaws procedures. Expectations for all attendees will be communicated in advance. The events at Knoxville and I-55 will run with the previously announced 48-car maximum field size. The events to follow will require advance registration, but field sizes will be limited only by track-specific pit area size, parking teams in every other pit stall.
All World of Outlaws events will be broadcast live on DIRTVision and all events will be included in the all-access DIRTVision FAST PASS for just $39/month.
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Schedule
KNOXVILLE, IA – May 5, 2020 – The momentum Brad Sweet was carrying seemed unstoppable.
He won the 2019 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championship – winning a career high 16 races to do so, including his second Kings Royal victory. He then went on to win several races in Australia during the off season. And when the World of Outlaws season resumed in February, he picked up another win, another DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator title and reclaimed the points lead.
Then the world shut down. Racing went on hiatus for about two months due to COVID-19 – Sweet’s longest time out of a car in a while, he said.
But now, with the Series returning to racing at Knoxville Raceway on May 8, in a participant-only and broadcast-only event on DIRTVision, “The Big Cat” is eager to pounce.
“I’m excited to go back to Knoxville,” said Sweet, who has five wins at the half-mile track, including the 2018 Knoxville Nationals and a win their last June. “Obviously, it’s a great track for us. We love that track. We had a great Volusia. That’s another half-mile. We talked about going with what we’ve been doing. It’ll be nice to get to the track and get a night under our belts. Hopefully it leads to a lot more."
The reigning champion has stayed busy during the off time, spending time with his family in California, iRacing, watching race videos and learning new things, like the stock market. He tried to keep his regular workout routine to stay sharp for when racing returned and not overdo it so he could still “attack and be ready,” he said.
But while the gym helped keep him in shape, there are other traits like hand-eye coordination and reaction times it doesn’t maintain. iRacing helped keep Sweet sharp in that category. He doesn’t have a sim rig himself, so a friend in California allowed Sweet to use his rig for when he participated in the “World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootouts” on CBS Sports Network.
“It’s a whole nother world,” Sweet said about iRacing. “There’s a lot of similarities to real racing and then there’s a lot of things that don’t necessarily transition into what we train ourselves for. You have to put a lot of time into it. There’s a lot of guys that spend a lot of time with their setups and stuff. So, that’s pretty neat to be able to put the time in and be really good.”
Sweet picked up on the virtual racing quick. He finished 17th in his first race, ninth in his second and then battled for the win and finished fourth last week at the virtual Eldora Speedway.
“I had a lot of help,” Sweet said. “Nelson Webster, who lives near me and is a really good iracer, he has a really nice sim rig. He allowed me to come into his house even during these times. Let me use his setups, showed me his lines and worked with me one on one. That’s how I was able to do so much better so much quicker. There’s no way I would have been able to have picked up on it without him.”
While he could use similar racing lines and tactics, he’d use in real life on iRacing, the biggest adjustment was not being able to feel the car through his body. He had to learn to “feel” how his car was handling by watching what it did on the screen and through the sim racing steering wheel. It helped keep him sharp with the use of hand-eye coordination and the competitiveness of each event – something Sweet said was surprised to feel.
“Doing those races, I was up on the edge of my seat and just as nervous as real races at times,” he said. “That was kind of unexpected. You want to keep every skill you have sharp. You can work out in the gym all you want but there’s a whole nother skill set that goes into racing.”
He’s scheduled to compete in the “World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout” Tuesday, May 12, at 8 p.m. (ET) on CBS Sports Network.
On Friday, May 8 he’ll be back in his real NAPA Auto Parts #49 car, along with car owner Kasey Kahne, who is stepping back behind the wheel of his Karavan Trailers #9 at Knoxville Raceway. With the June races at Knoxville still scheduled, Sweet and his team see this May Invitational race as an extra opportunity to prepare for the Knoxville Nationals in August.
“We love laps at Knoxville,” Sweet said. “Knoxville and Eldora are two of the best facilities and obviously anytime we can get laps at those types of track where the biggest races are it’s a bonus. We’re excited to go to Knoxville and get those laps in. Hopefully still get to go there in June and hopefully get to go there in August. Me and my crew chief were talking earlier, and you can tell in both of our voices that we’re excited to get back to the track. It’s hard to have the NAPA car sitting in the garage knowing that you could be out winning races.”
He and crew chief Eric Prutzman stayed in touch during the down time. However, Sweet admitted over time there was only so much for them to talk about. They already shared the same sentiment. They want to go back racing and go after another championship.
“At a certain point we were getting kind of discouraged knowing we have everything in place, and we were supposed to be out, we feel like, winning lots of races this year,” Sweet said. “It’s been discouraging a little. But we’ve stayed positive and obviously looked forward to the day we get back to the track. We stayed in touch somewhat and obviously with Kasey and all of the crew guys really, they’ve been sticking together and social distancing themselves from everybody else. Still kind of getting some work done around the shop. It’s been tough on them I know, probably even more than me because they’re chomping at the bit at the shop ready to go. Everyone is looking forward to it.”
(RELATAED: World of Outlaws announces 16-race schedule through mid-June)
THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE
AROUND THE TURN: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series on Friday, May 22, and Saturday, May 23, will race at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 with a limited crowd and broadcasted on DIRTVision. The first night will be $6,000-to-win and the second night will be $10,000-to-win.
LAPS LED (5
CONCORD, NC – May 3, 2020 – Christopher Bell had an eventful iRacing Sunday.
After finishing second in the NASCAR Pro Invitational race earlier in the day, Bell made the long journey from the virtual Dover International Speedway to the virtual Volusia Speedway Park. He made it just in time to survive a wild 35-lap NOS Energy Drink Feature that saw three-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational winner Logan Seavey get disqualified and Bell pick up his second Invitational win.
“I felt pretty good in the middle,” Bell said. “In the practice race I got to work on my car a little bit to see what was a little bit better and what was a little bit worse. It got interesting there at the end. Hopefully it was a good race.”
The thousands of fans watching on DIRTVision were given a plethora of excitement throughout the night. About every Heat Race featured close battles for the lead and transfer positions.
Bell was the benefactor of a three-way battle for the lead and charged to the win in Comp Cams Heat #3. Then, at the start of the 35-lap NOS Energy Drink Feature, Bell, from third, followed leader Kevin Swindell to open air as they cleared the swarm of cars behind them.
The duo held the top two spots for the early laps with Swindell holding the lead and Bell putting pressure on him every corner. About a quarter way into the NOS Energy Drink Feature, Swindell couldn’t find traction off the top of Turn 4, allowing Bell to get a run underneath him. Bell threw a hopeful slider at Swindell in Turn 1 but couldn’t clear his #39 car and the two raced side by side down the backstretch.
Bell, again, threw a slide job into the corner and this time made it work. He cleared Swindell off Turn 4 to take the lead. However, “The Bulldog” charged back and threw his own slide job back at Bell into Turn 1 to reclaim the top spot. Bell then put a period on their battle when he once again slid back by Swindell in Turn 3 and pulled away with the lead.
Swindell was left to fight off the hungry hoard of Seavey, two-time World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing Invitational winner Mike McKinney and former World of Outlaws driver Brent Marks. Seavey and Swindell touched wheels while battling for second off Turn 2, sending Seavey backwards. The next lap Swindell got sideways off Turn 2 and collided with McKinney’s NOS Energy Drink #17 car. McKinney was able to continue without issue, but Swindell had to bring his car to the pit area for repairs.
With 17 laps to go, Troy Wagaman Jr., Marks and Seavey bounced off each other while battling three-wide in Turn 3. Wagaman snuck underneath Marks going into the turn and the two touched, pushing Marks up into Seavey who lost momentum and ended up colliding with Carson Macedo off Turn 4. The incident brought out a caution and while the field was slowing, Seavey drove into Marks's car, putting him in the wall and taking him out of the Feature. Race Director Mike Hess then made the call to black flag Seavey from the race.
“It’s a video game but the adrenaline is still there for the drivers when they’re racing and what not,” Hess said. “They had a little bump in three and four. I think Troy Wagaman got in below Brent Marks and bumped him a little bit, which pushed him up into Seavey and Seavey just thought he ran down in there and did it on purpose. He didn’t. It was just a racing deal. In real life under yellow, if anything is taken out under yellow that’s an automatic DQ. So, I booted him.”
Bell held the field at bay for the remainder of the race until a late caution caused a green-white-checkered finish. He got sideways off Turn 4 when the race resumed, putting second-place McKinney and third-place Wagaman on his bumper. However, McKinney and Wagaman’s side by side battle for second helped Bell pull away.
On the final lap, coming to the checkered flag, Bell had a mirror full of McKinney and Wagaman. McKinney poked his nose high, while Wagaman looked low. A car stopped sideways at the bottom of the track on the front stretch hindered Wagaman’s run and allowed Bell to pull ahead of the two drivers for the $1,000 win.
“I knew that they were going to be trying to attack corner entry pretty hard,” Bell said. “I was basically giving up my entry to make a good exit. That’s how I was able to make good lap times. I knew on the green-white-checkered I was going to have to charge the entry a little harder to not give them the advantage.”
McKinney’s runner-up finish was his second, so far, in the Sprint Car Invitational races.
“I can’t complain,” McKinney said. “I come to this deal to have some fun and kind of get away from the Late Model side where I’m super competitive. I was a threat to win. I came in there not thinking I had a shot to win. These last couple of weeks we’ve been getting a lot better and doing pretty good. Happy we could come in here for NOS Energy Drink and put on a good show.”
With his win tonight, Bell proclaimed he’s ready to race in Tuesday’s “World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout” on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. (ET).
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars iRacing Invitational; May 3, 2020; Volusia Speedway Park
NOS ENERGY DRINK Feature (35 laps) — 1. 21-Christopher Bell  [$1,000]; 2. 117-Mike McKinney ; 3. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. ; 4. 99-Tony Gualda ; 5. 21-Brian Brown ; 6. 41-David Gravel ; 7. 17-Austin McCarl ; 8. 46-Michael Bauer ; 9. 11-Zeb Wise ; 10. 73-Brett Michalski ; 11. 7-Justin Allgaier ; 12. 37-Michael Faccinto ; 13. 18-Ian Madsen ; 14. 2-Carson Macedo ; 15. 55-Robbie Kendall ; 16. 7-Justyn Cox ; 17. 10-Joe Kata ; 18. 39-Kevin Swindell ; 19. 5-Chase Briscoe ; 20. 1-Logan Schuchart ; 21. 84-Tom Harris ; 22. 88-Trent Ivey ; 23. 5-Brent Marks ; 24. 19-Logan Seavey . Lap leaders: Kevin Swindell 1-5; Christopher Bell 6-35. KSE Hard Charger: Tony Gualda +14.
RACING ELECTRONICS Qualifying — 1. 39-Kevin Swindell [14.971]; 2. 2-Carson Macedo [15.017]; 3. 37-Michael Faccinto [15.019]; 4. 5-Chase Briscoe [15.022]; 5. 117-Mike McKinney [15.059]; 6. 22-Jock Goodyer [15.077]; 7. 66-Matt Cosner [15.092]; 8. 23-Cole Macedo [15.114]; 9. 69-Lance Dewease [15.169]; 10. 99-Larry Wight [15.175]; 11. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya [15.178]; 12. 11-Zeb Wise [15.201]; 13. 55-Robbie Kendall [15.226]; 14. 1-Logan Schuchart [15.233]; 15. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. [15.246]; 16. 19-Logan Seavey [15.285]; 17. 18-Ian Madsen [15.311]; 18. 21-Christopher Bell [15.355]; 19. 46-Michael Bauer [15.362]; 20. 1-Jacob Allen [15.383]; 21. 88-Trent Ivey [15.384]; 22. 5-Brent Marks [15.401]; 23. 99-Tony Gualda [15.405]; 24. 7-Justin Allgaier [15.428]; 25. 73-Brett Michalski [15.490]; 26. 47-Eric Riggins [15.502]; 27. 2-Kerry Madsen [15.513]; 28. 17-Austin McCarl [15.522]; 29. 3-Cale Conley [15.533]; 30. 35-Mike Mahaney [15.540]; 31. 41-David Gravel [15.548]; 32. 21-Brian Brown [15.612]; 33. 2-WJ Johnson [15.612]; 34. 69-Brady Bacon [15.677]; 35. 28-Ron Capps [15.692]; 36. 84-Tom Harris [15.700]; 37. 17-Max Mclaughlin [15.707]; 38. 71-Cruz Pedregon [15.722]; 39. 52-Blake T Hahn [15.731]; 40. 7-Justyn Cox [15.772]; 41. 555-Dylan Cisney [15.806]; 42. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer [15.864]; 43. 10-Joe Kata [16.017]; 44. 27-Carson McCarl [16.091]; 45. 13-Paul McMahan [16.356].
DRYDENE Heat 1 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 39-Kevin Swindell ; 2. 19-Logan Seavey ; 3. 88-Trent Ivey ; 4. 41-David Gravel ; 5. 84-Tom Harris ; 6. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya ; 7. 555-Dylan Cisney ; 8. 47-Eric Riggins ; 9. 22-Jock Goodyer 
DART MACHINERY Heat 2 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 5-Brent Marks ; 2. 11-Zeb Wise ; 3. 2-Carson Macedo ; 4. 21-Brian Brown ; 5. 66-Matt Cosner ; 6. 18-Ian Madsen ; 7. 17-Max Mclaughlin ; 8. 2-Kerry Madsen ; 9. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer 
COMP CAMS Heat 3 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 21-Christopher Bell ; 2. 37-Michael Faccinto ; 3. 55-Robbie Kendall ; 4. 17-Austin McCarl ; 5. 10-Joe Kata ; 6. 2-WJ Johnson ; 7. 99-Tony Gualda ; 8. 23-Cole Macedo ; 9. 71-Cruz Pedregon 
HOOSIER RACING TIRE Heat 4 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 5-Chase Briscoe ; 2. 46-Michael Bauer ; 3. 1-Logan Schuchart ; 4. 7-Justin Allgaier ; 5. 3-Cale Conley ; 6. 69-Brady Bacon ; 7. 52-Blake T Hahn ; 8. 27-Carson McCarl ; 9. 69-Lance Dewease 
ARP FASTENERS Heat 5 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 117-Mike McKinney ; 2. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. ; 3. 73-Brett Michalski ; 4. 7-Justyn Cox ; 5. 99-Larry Wight ; 6. 35-Mike Mahaney ; 7. 1-Jacob Allen ; 8. 28-Ron Capps ; 9. 13-Paul McMahan 
VP RACING FUELS C-Main (8 laps) — Top 4 Transfer — 1. 69-Brady Bacon ; 2. 35-Mike Mahaney ; 3. 17-Max Mclaughlin ; 4. 99-Tony Gualda ; 5. 1-Jacob Allen ; 6. 22-Jock Goodyer ; 7. 47-Eric Riggins ; 8. 52-Blake T Hahn ; 9. 28-Ron Capps ; 10. 555-Dylan Cisney ; 11. 27-Carson McCarl ; 12. 23-Cole Macedo ; 13. 13-Paul McMahan ; 14. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer ; 15. 69-Lance Dewease ; 16. 2-Kerry Madsen ; 17. 71-Cruz Pedregon 
laps) — Top
9 Transfer —
Cox ; 7.
iTEACHER: iRacing Champ Alex Bergeron helping real life drivers adjust to sim racing Brad Sweet, Logan Schuchart, Christopher Bell and others turn to Bergeron for iRacing advice
CONCORD, NC – May 3, 2020 – Alex Bergeron stood at the podium during the 2019 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series banquet in November, thanking his parents, thanking his sponsors and collecting his $15,200 check.
Some drivers in the crowd wore a baffled expression. Many didn’t know who he was or that he won the 2019 iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car World Championship.
Four months later, he’s one of the top guys drivers call for help with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitationals.
The 20-year-old Canadian has been working with 2019 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Champion Brad Sweet, 17-time World of Outlaws winner Logan Schuchart, NASCAR-star Christopher Bell and Super DIRTcar Series driver Mike Mahaney to help them with their Sprint Car iRacing setups, he said. He’s even helped DIRTcar Summer Nationals Champion Bobby Pierce with his Late Model iRacing setup.
“It’s been quite a ride in the last few weeks,” Bergeron said about working with the group of drivers he’s helped. “I’ve had fun doing it and working with them. Being able to help these guys out is pretty awesome.”
Before a race, Bergeron said he’ll get on iRacing with a driver and run practice laps with him to show him the correct lines and what it takes to be fast in the simulation. So far, they’ve all been quick learners, he said.
Bell won a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational at the virtual Dirt Track at Charlotte and Sweet, Schuchart and Mahaney all had strong runs during the World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout debut on CBS Sports Network. Schuchart won the event, Sweet finished fourth and Mahaney finished ninth.
“Alex is one of the best or the best from what I have heard and since I have started following him, he seems to always be winning,” Schuchart said. “Alex helped me with the differences from a real car to an iRacing car and some tips on how to make myself better at iRacing. Great guy and very helpful.”
Sweet was impressed with Bergeron’s talent, as well.
“I was just amazed at how good he was at his discipline and how much time and effort he puts in to be the best,” Sweet said. “He knew every aspect and was able to share some of his unbelievable setups. I have no doubt that he would be a great Sprint Car driver if he ever got the right opportunity.”
Bergeron started racing on iRacing in 2013 but has been sim racing since he was 5 years old, playing racing games on PlayStation such as the 2002 World of Outlaws Sprint Car game. When he first started on iRacing, Bergeron said it took time for him to be as good as he is now. iRacing is reliant on a good setup to be fast and it took time for him to find what worked best. Once he did, he became one of the top sim racers.
His degree of success on iRacing allowed him the opportunity to participate in the NASCAR iRacing Series in 2017 and then the iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car World Championship and World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model World Championship in 2018. He’s finished third in points in the Late Model league for the last two years and in the Sprint Car league he finished second in his first year before winning the championship last year.
Bergeron currently leads the points in the Sprint Car World Championship league with two wins and four races to go. The next iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car World Championship event is Monday, May 4, at the virtual Kokomo Speedway.
“It’s definitely tougher than last year,” Bergeron said about his 2020 season. “There’s more competition than last year. We’ve got two wins so far. We had the bad luck at Knoxville, with connection issues, while going for the win. I think we’re doing pretty good. Went from the back to the front a couple of times. Our car is pretty fast.”
His iRacing success has led to opportunities to drive a real Sprint Car, too. In 2017, with the Virtual2Reality team, Bergeron got to run a 305 Sprint Car at Castrol Raceway in Alberta, Canada. He started 18th and finished sixth, earning the Hard Charger award for the night.
Last year he ran a couple of 360 Sprint Car races at tracks in Upstate New York and hopes to be able to do more if he can find sponsorship for his team.
It may not be long before Bergeron is standing at a podium, thanking his parents, thanking his sponsors and accepting the check for a real Sprint Car championship.
Schuchart will be going for back to back iRacing Invitational wins on Sunday, May 3, when the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational returns to the virtual Volusia Speedway Park on DIRTVision at 7 p.m. (ET). Drivers will then compete in the World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout again on CBS Sports Network, Tuesday, May 5, at 8 p.m. (ET).
The iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car World Championship can be seen on iRacing.com/live on Monday, May 4, at 9 p.m. (ET).
CONCORD, NC – May 1, 2020 – Tony Stewart was a big influence on Danny Lasoski. The three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion helped Lasoski throughout his career and helped him claim a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championship.
That gratitude inspired Lasoski. The 2001 Series champion and 122-time Series winner knew when he retired from Sprint Car racing he wanted to do the same for another young up and coming driver.
Then entered Springville, CA’s Mason Daniel. Lasoski was still racing at the time when he met the teenager and not yet ready to retire. However, he saw Daniel’s passion for wanting to be a World of Outlaws Sprint Car driver. It was the same passion he had when he was younger.
“Every driver, they’re not going to plan their retirement,” said Lasoski, who will be featured Saturday night during the DIRTVision Watch Party. “It just seemed to happen. At this stage, to run with the Outlaws, you have to have every single duck in a row and every single aspect covered.
“It just so happened I got introduced to the Daniel family and the second that I met them, I thought this is what I wanted to do. At the time I wasn’t ready to retire, yet. But now I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done because now I have the fire back to win again and we have all of the resources to get it done. Now it’s up to me to get this get this kid going and get our whole team better.”
Daniel, who only has about three years of Sprint Car racing under his belt, is running his rookie season with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars this year. Lasoski is at the helm of Daniel’s team as crew chief and mentor, trying to use his years of experience to shorten his learning curve.
(RELATED: On Saturday at 7 p.m. (ET), DIRTVision will air the Sprint Car #DVWatchParty presented by NOS Energy Drink, featuring the June 19, 1999 race at Heartland Park in Topeka, KS with commentary from Lasoski and NHRA Funny Car champion Ron Capps, and the May 24, 2006 race at the Dirt Track at Charlotte – Kevin Swindell’s first World of Outlaws win – with commentary from Swindell and Roger Slack.)
Lasoski, “The Dude” of Dover, MO, ran his first race with the World of Outlaws in 1983 and his last in 2017 – making more than 1,200 starts. In that time span he won four Knoxville Nationals, was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2011 and drove for some of the Series top team owners like Casey Luna, Dennis Roth and Tony Stewart.
He won the Series championship and his second Knoxville Nationals victory in his first year with Tony Stewart’s team in 2001.
“Tony was not only my car owner, but he was my buddy,” Lasoski said. “When we started his whole Tony Stewart Racing back in the day. We were traveling together… He grew up like I did. I had my helmet bag and my seat and that’s all we had. We’ve both slept on people’s floors. We’ve both slept in the back on a car to race. He was basically trying to help me out to start a racing career with having my own team and controlling my own destiny. The proof is there. We won a lot of races together.”
Fabled crew chief Jimmy Carr was at the helm of Lasoski’s car at TSR. Like Lasoski and Stewart’s relationship, the two were friends, but they were also perfectly synced in knowing what the car needed.
“We had the relationship to the point where I could come in and before I could speak, he was going to tell me almost word for word what I was going to say,” Lasoski said. “When you get a relationship like that, it is very hard to beat.”
Using what he learned from Stewart and Carr and other owner and crew members he’s worked with, Lasoski is trying to establish a similar relationship with Daniel. Several of the tracks Daniel will be racing at and the drivers he’ll be racing around on the World of Outlaws tour, Lasoski already has experience with.
He knows how certain drivers drive and how tracks will change. With Daniel only having 12 World of Outlaws starts, so far, Lasoski tries to paint a picture for Daniel before every race of what he can expect.
“Every place you go is so different,” Lasoski said about the World of Outlaws tour. “No matter if we go to Knoxville or Eldora or Williams Grove, there’s immediately things that go through my head about each racetrack. ‘Oh, I felt this at this time. We need to pay attention to this. This may happen to you.’ Everywhere we go, we discuss it when we go there of everything that’s happened to me in the past.”
So far this year, due to the COVID-19, the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars have only had the opportunity to race the DIRTcar Nationals triple-header at Volusia Speedway Park in February. There, Daniel finished 15th in the first event – tying his career best finish – didn’t qualify for the second and finished 23rd in the final race.
The half-mile Florida track is one of Lasoski’s favorites, he said. He was able to tell Daniel what would happen throughout the night and when. When Daniel got out of the car, he relayed to Lasoski exactly what he told him would happen. That advice has been most helpful, so far, Daniel said.
“He’s always helpful when we go to a new track no matter where it is,” he said. “Just kind of looks at you and goes, ‘Alright, the car’s going to roll around the track, just hold it wide open.’ Just taking advice from him any time you show up somewhere new.”
The World of Outlaws Sprint Cars will return to racing on May 8 for a team and participant invite-only event at Knoxville Raceway — a track where they’ve both had success.
Along with his Knoxville Nationals wins, Lasoski is an 11-time track champion at the iconic raceway and has the most Feature wins in a 410 Sprint Car there with 112 wins. Daniel won a 360 Sprint Car race at the track in 2018.
However, it doesn’t matter what track they go to, Lasoski said their goals always remain the same. Consistently make races. Then consistently work on top-10 finishes and then top-five finishes. Then wins will come.
“When we started, we crawled,” Lasoski said. “He (Daniel) ran 360 (Sprint Cars) and he’s really came a long way in a short period of time. But we still have a lot of work to do. He’s open minded enough to say, ‘We’re going to do this as long as it takes. We’re going to take our ass whippings and keep going.’ That goes hand in hand the way I was brought up. You’re going to get your tail kicked. You just keep coming back harder because that’s what’s going to make for a good season. If you keep that mentality, the sky is the limit. You keep fighting and digging and it’ll come true for you.”
Like Stewart did for him, Lasoski hopes help Daniel throughout his racing career and one day claim a championship.
World of Outlaws Postpone Events at Lincoln, Williams Grove & Bridgeport
CONCORD, NC – April 30, 2020 – World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series officials, together with track officials and in accordance with mass gathering restrictions from local and state authorities surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, are postponing upcoming events in Pennsylvania May 13 at Lincoln Speedway and May 15-16 at Williams Grove Speedway, as well as the May 19 event at Bridgeport Motorsport Park in Swedesboro, NJ.
Fans with tickets to these events should hold onto them for the rescheduled event date.
For more on the Lincoln Speedway Gettysburg Clash presented by Drydene, click Lincoln Speedway.
For more on the Williams Grove Speedway Morgan Cup, click Williams Grove Speedway.
For more on the Bridgeport Motorsports Park event, click Bridgeport Speedway.
For the latest on the World of Outlaws, visit WorldofOutlaws.com, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
BACK IN THE GAME: Bobby Allen eyes World of Outlaws return through iRacing Shark Racing keeping busy with sim racing builds and iRacing events
CONCORD, NC – April 29, 2020 – At 76 years old, Bobby Allen has the urge to drive a Sprint Car again after stepping out of the car more than 20 years ago.
However, the car he’ll be driving is a little different than the one he was used to. It’s not real.
Allen plans to eventually join his grandson Logan Schuchart and son Jacob Allen in competing in the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitationals. It allows him to feel the thrill of racing with no consequences and please the fans that want to see him do it. Although, he’s not expecting to return to his winning ways right away.
“I think it’s funny everybody says, ‘Hey, Bobby, you should run that,’” Allen said. “They miss [me] racing. They want to see [me] back there racing. I always called it like being a prize fighter who’s been out for 30 years. Alright, I’ll come back and get in that fight. You know what’s going to happen? You’re going to get the shit beat out of you. So, I look at the iRacing the same because I haven’t done it. These kids have done it. I’m going to get one and try to get some practice.”
In traditional Allen fashion of always building his own racing equipment, he’s constructing his own custom sim rig to compete. He and other members of the Shark Racing team are trying to build a cheap simulator setup out of aluminum for not only him to use, but to also potentially replicate and sell.
Schuchart and Jacob Allen also have their own custom sim rigs. Schuchart cut up the chassis of his Drydene #1s Ironman 55 winning car and turned it into a rig with three monitors directly in front of the cockpit and sim racing pedals and steering inside. He’s already earned two fourth-place finishes in a row with it. And while it wasn’t in his custom rig, Schuchart won the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car eDirt Racing Shootout at Eldora Speedway on CBS Sports Network.
Allen debuted his custom rig, which is almost identical to Schuchart’s, during the April 17 Invitational race at Eldora Speedway. His Shark Racing crew member Tyler Garber helped him build it during the team’s down time.
“There’s not a whole lot going on at the shop and he’s been wanting to learn how to weld and things like that, so I kind of let him do his own thing with it and build it up the way he wanted to,” Allen said. “I’ve just been focusing on exercising and eating healthy and just kind of preparing myself for whenever they give us the green light to go racing and jumping on that simulator so I can get laps and still have that feeling of racing in some sort of sense.”
To him, and Schuchart, iRacing has become another method for them to stay sharp. They’ve become the new race day for the Shark Racing team. It’s keeping the team busy and keeping Bobby Allen busy. Instead of thinking about tires and engines, Allen is now focused on what computers and monitors will best help his drivers’ efforts.
“He’s pretty into it,” Jacob Allen said. “I’m excited for him to do it. He’s been keeping pretty busy and has been pretty focused on finding the best computers and things like that. I’m glad that he’s staying busy that way and it’s something to entertain him.”
Bobby Allen is looking forward to getting to race against his son and grandson but wouldn’t say just yet that he’d beat them. He joked that the three of them will go to a go-kart track and Allen, a world champion go-kart racer, said he’ll think he’s putting down good laps, but then Allen and Schuchart will drive by him 2mph faster in the corner.
“I said, ‘Bobby, you might want to forget about it. You’re a little bit old now,” he said with a chuckle.
In his first time trying a simulator, Allen said he was about a second off of Schuchart’s time. Although, he acknowledged Schuchart has been using iRacing for a while. The experience gave him a new level of respect for the drivers that are good at the simulator. To him, it would probably be easier to get back into a real race car.
“What’s funny about that, because I haven’t raced a race car in 20 years, it’s actually pretty stressful to try and keep them things straight and not be all over the place,” Allen said about iRacing. “You can throw them against the wall as hard as you want because you’re not going to get hurt crashing them, but you still don’t want to hit the wall anyway. I don’t see how them guys do it. I ran the laps with nobody else on the racetrack and the only place I could run was high. Everywhere else I was zig zagging. That’s why when they showed Bubba Wallace (on national TV) sweating, that’s how it is. It’s real stressful to try and keep the car right and go fast. It’s definitely the closest thing to real racing.”
While it can be stressful, iRacing gives the 30-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series winner the same thrill he felt when driving his real #1a Sprint Car. At 76 years old, Allen is ready to have fun racing again.
“It’s fun doing it for the boys,” he said. “It’s fun doing it for me.”
Next Tuesday, the World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout goes to virtual Volusia Speedway Park in Florida, better known as the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. Sunday and Monday World of Outlaws iRacing Invitationals will take place on DIRTVision, while the eDirt Racing Shootout returns to CBS Sports Network.
FIRST 'WON': Schuchart, Cornell Score First eDirt Racing Shootout Wins in CBS debut
World of Outlaws aces outduel elite racers from NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car star Logan Schuchart brought the virtual crowd and those watching at home to their feet, trading slide jobs with Kevin Swindell for the final five laps and edging him at the finish line to win his first World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Feature … using the DIRTVision studio simulator no less. But before all that excitement, 19-year-old Kaeden Cornell picked up his first World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing win in a barn burner race, kicking off the doubleheader.
The two drivers beat star-studded fields that included a host of dirt aces taking on high-profile invaders like Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Juan Pablo Montoya, William Byron, Ron Capps, Chase Briscoe, Justin Allgaier and Cruz Pedregon.
The start of the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car eDirt Racing Shootout Feature saw NASCAR Xfinity Series standout Briscoe pulled away from the field as drivers behind him went three and four wide, arguing over positions second through fifth.
Swindell became the benefactor of the battle, splitting the gap between Brad Sweet, Max McLaughlin and Robbie Kendall to launch his #39 Swindell Speedlab car into second. The two-time World of Outlaws iRacing Invitational winner was then on the hunt for Briscoe.
Twelve laps into the 35-lap Feature, Briscoe pounced off the wall off Turn 2 and slid down into Swindell, who was underneath him going for the lead. The two cars locked and slid sideways going into Turn 3, stacking up the field and bringing out the caution.
Swindell and Briscoe held their positions up front, but Swindell now had the lead. He, like Briscoe before him, pulled away from the field while the top-five traded positions amongst themselves every lap.
With 15 laps to go, as Briscoe, Sweet and Balog slowed each other’s momentum while battling for second, Schuchart held the throttle to the floor and fired his Drydene #1a car into the runner-up spot.
Schuchart, a two-time World of Outlaws winner in real life at Eldora, knew exactly what to do to catch Swindell.
“I just kind of used the same line that I used in real life last year at the Kings Royal,” said Schuchart, who powered from 12th to second in the 2019 Kings Royal at Eldora. “It seems to work on this thing.”
He ran the top, putting his right rear tire on the cushion, inches from the wall. That helped him run down Swindell in seconds. Once he caught him, he tried a slide job on Swindell in the first corner, but Swindell charged back by him the next turn.
A couple of cautions got in the way of their battle, but on a restart with five laps to go, the two drivers put on a Sprint Car racing clinic, virtual or not. Schuchart would launch his car ahead of Swindell one corner and Swindell would slide back by him the next. They crossed the finish line separated by thousandths of a second each lap.
With two laps to go, Swindell bounced off the cushion just enough to give Schuchart the advantage to clear him off Turn 4. However, Swindell wasn’t finished. “The Bulldog” stayed close to Schuchart and looked underneath him coming to the checkered flag.
Schuchart had the better momentum off Turn 4 and edged Swindell at the line by 0.25 seconds.
As fast as everyone’s heart was beating by watching the spectacular finish, Schuchart’s adrenaline was up just as high.
“My heart is going, I feel like I just got out of a real car,” said an out of breath Schuchart. “That was a great race with Kevin. That was really cool. We were able to race each other real clean. It was a lot of run. It’s real cool to win one of these things.”
After the race Swindell took to Twitter to say, “Cushion: 1, Me: 0.”
For Cornell, his victory came one night after coming so close in an Invitational race at Eldora. On Tuesday night, he took advantage of a mistake by the late-race leaders and swiped the top spot away with just a pair of laps remaining to collect his long-awaited first World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing victory.
Cornell, known to the Outlaws iRacing circuit for his always-happy attitude and gleeful post-race interviews, was immediately overjoyed with the big victory.
When asked about the winning move by CBS Sports host Dave Rieff in the post-race interview, Cornell excitedly replied, “I have no clue! I don’t know what it looked like, but it was chaos from my screen.”
In fact, the on-track action was rather chaotic throughout the entire 35-lap contest. Right from the drop of the green, the yellow flags flew, and Cornell was caught right in the middle of it.
After spending most of the first 10 laps under caution for two multi-car wrecks on the backstretch, Cornell got an excellent run off the top side of Turn 2 on a Lap 10 restart and thread the needle between then-leader Matt Cosner and Ashton Winger down the backstretch for the lead. But, some contact between the three was made in the process and Cornell was left almost completely sideways, heading for the outside wall as the field raced into Turn 3.
But Cornell was able to gather it back in without bringing out the yellow or losing wholesale positions, and immediately put it back on the top side and began his charge to the front. At his lowest point, Cornell sat as deep as 13th in the running order. But as the laps clicked off, Cornell began to pass more and more cars.
By the final restart with four laps to go, Cornell had come all the way back up to fourth. He stuck his DirtDraft #50 on the top side for one final dash to the finish and made the most of it, passing Mike McKinney for third with three-to-go, then taking advantage of wrecking leaders Winger and Nick Stroupe one lap later for the lead, and the eventual win.
With the epic comeback complete, Cornell was only beginning to soak-in what had happened on-track as he explained to Rieff and fellow announcers Kenny Wallace and Johnny Gibson in the post-race interview what was actually happening outside his house.
“I’m in Willard, Missouri, and we just went through a tornado warning! I was just praying the lights didn’t come off my dang house,” Cornell again said with excitement. “This is awesome! What a deal! I’m pumped!”
Thankful the strong storm didn’t damage his house, Cornell had only a brief, yet energetic explanation to Gibson of what was going through his mind on the final restart.
“Just full send, just gotta go,” he said. “I got wrecked earlier but I think it was just a racing deal, no one’s fault, really. But you just gotta get after it here, I love it. Up on the wheel, it was awesome!”
Coming from 12th to seventh in his first iRacing Late Model Feature start, eventual Sprint Car winner Schuchart said he really had a blast in the full-fendered cars.
“You gotta get through the carnage first, but hey, I’ll take it for my first time in a Late Model, it was fun. Definitely gotta stay away from the crashes,” Schuchart said.
Logano also had a blast for his first time with the Outlaws in the iRacing Late Model, and even gave a shot to his other NASCAR buddies in a post-race reaction video he posted on his Twitter account.
“Here’s the main thing I took away from this – Austin Dillon finished 16th. So, of the NASCAR guys, not that bad,” Logano added with a lighthearted smirk into the camera after besting Dillon by one spot.
Next Tuesday, the World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout goes to virtual Volusia Speedway Park in Florida, better known as the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. Sunday and Monday World of Outlaws iRacing Invitationals will take place on DIRTVision, while the eDirt Racing Shootout returns to CBS Sports Network.
World of Outlaws: eDirt Racing Shootout; April 28, 2020; Virtual Eldora Speedway
World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Feature (35 laps) — 1. 50-Kaeden Cornell  [$1,000]; 2. 96-Mike McKinney ; 3. 12-Ashton Winger ; 4. 32-Bobby Pierce ; 5. 45-Nick Stroupe ; 6. 11-Tyler Reddick ; 7. 1-Logan Schuchart ; 8. 66-Matt Cosner ; 9. 29-Ethan Toedter ; 10. 7-Justin Allgaier ; 11. 1-Brandon Sheppard ; 12. 2-Nick Hoffman ; 13. 88-Trent Ivey ; 14. 9-Devin Moran ; 15. 22-Joey Logano ; 16. 3-Austin Dillon ; 17. 0-Corey Gordon ; 18. 99-Matty Watkins ; 19. 39-Kevin Swindell ; 20. 0-Scott Bloomquist ; 21. 1-Logan Seavey ; 22. 71-Cruz Pedregon ; 23. 5-Chase Briscoe . Lap leaders: Matt Cosner 1-10; Ashton Winger 11-32; Nick Stroupe 33; Kaeden Cornell 34-35. Penske Racing Shocks Hard Charger: Bobby Pierce +18.
World of Outlaws Sprint Car NOS Energy Drink Feature (35 laps) — 1. 1-Logan Schuchart  [$1,000]; 2. 39-Kevin Swindell ; 3. 170-Bill Balog ; 4. 49-Brad Sweet ; 5. 7-Tyler Courtney ; 6. 17-Austin McCarl ; 7. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya ; 8. 5-Chase Briscoe ; 9. 35-Mike Mahaney ; 10. 1-Jacob Allen ; 11. 17-Max McLaughlin ; 12. 2-Wayne Johnson ; 13. 41-David Gravel ; 14. 5-Brent Marks ; 15. 25-William Byron ; 16. 28-Ron Capps ; 17. 18-Ian Madsen ; 18. 21-Brian Brown ; 19. 2-Carson Macedo ; 20. 55-Robbie Kendall ; 21. 2-Kerry Madsen . Lap leaders: Chase Briscoe 1-11; Kevin Swindell 12-33; Logan Schuchart 34-35. KSE Hard Charger: Juan Pablo Montoya +13.
World of Outlaws Return to Racing Begins at Knoxville, Boone
‘Behind Closed Door’ events for Sprint Cars & Late Models will air on DIRTVision
CONCORD, NC — April 28, 2020 — The World of Outlaws, widely known as “The Greatest Show on Dirt,” announced plans today for its official “Return to Racing” with a pair of “Behind Closed Doors” events, the first being a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series race on Friday, May 8 at the “Sprint Car Capital of the World,” Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, IA. The very next weekend, the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series will make its return Friday, May 15 at “Iowa’s Action Track” Boone Speedway in Boone, IA. Both events will feature Hot Laps at 6:30pm CT (7:30pm ET), followed by qualifying and racing at 7:30pm CT (8:30pm ET) and include Saturday rain dates.
The events will be by invitation-only and all full-time World of Outlaws drivers are expected to be in attendance. Each race will feature a 48-car field, filled out with a mix of local, regional and national stars following a process guided by the World of Outlaws utilizing the Top 18 in each of the following: World of Outlaws point standings (’19 & ’20) along with Knoxville Raceway (’19), DIRTcar Late Model National (’19) and DIRTcar Summer Nationals (’19) point standings. Any eligible driver will be listed on the initial roster and will have 48 hours to contact Series officials to accept their invitation. The field will be rounded out using World of Outlaws Promoter’s Choice, current iRacing DIRTVision standings and current series standings.
The World of Outlaws working together with its series sponsors NOS Energy Drink and Morton Buildings, along with the support of several patrons of the sport, are also pleased to announce that these will be full-purse, $10,000-to-win races, expected to award full points and count towards the 2020 series championship standings.
Although no spectators will be allowed at the events, the entire night will be broadcast live on DIRTVision, the world leader in live streaming. DIRTVision will be offering a 20% discount on any new FAST PASS all-access subscription or single-event pay-per-view purchased at least 3 days prior to each event using Vouchers Codes: RETURNKNOXVILLE and RETURNBOONE. Existing subscription holders will receive a commemorative gift.
The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series Hawkeye 100 at Boone Speedway remains postponed and the series is hopeful to reschedule the event. The upcoming Brownell’s Big Guns Bash in June at Knoxville Raceway featuring World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car remains on the series schedule.
“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic we have been working diligently with partner tracks and City, County, and State government officials across the country to be prepared for our Return to Racing and we will follow a strict set of guidelines that exceed local requirements, including social distancing, utilization of every other pit stall, health screening, hand washing stations and the distribution of masks and bottles of hand sanitizer to everyone in attendance,” explained Brian Carter, Chief Executive Officer for the World of Outlaws.
Complete guidelines can be viewed at the World of Outlaws COVID-19 Resource Center at www.worldofoutlaws.com.
“In conjunction with the management team at Knoxville Raceway we have been working with the Honorable Governor Kim Reynolds in Iowa to determine if and when a Return to Racing would be possible,” said Ben Geisler, Chief Marketing Officer for the World of Outlaws. “Governor Reynolds’ exceptional leadership during this crisis has been crucial during these talks, and her measured approach to opening Iowa back up for business has led us to this point.”
In late April, the World of Outlaws and DIRTcar Racing published a set of Operational Procedures and Guidelines to assist dirt-track operators in better understanding protocols established by the CDC and local Public Health Departments as it relates to returning to business in line with the Federal Government’s three-phase approach to Opening Up America Again.
“The World of Outlaws put together Operational Procedures for this kind of event and approached us about making it happen, their plan gave us and our local officials a lot of confidence and we hope that we can set an example for dirt tracks across the country by setting a good example,” said Robert Lawton, Boone Speedway.
“While racing without fans will be hard for all of us, these events at Knoxville Raceway and Boone Speedway mark an important step in getting the country back on track. Governor Reynolds, along with our City and Marion County officials have been key in making that happen,” said John McCoy, Knoxville Raceway Race Director and Promoter.
While the World of Outlaws will not return to the real track until Friday, May 8 and Friday, May 15, both series make their virtual debut at 8:00pm ET (7pm CT) on Tuesday, April 28 at the “World’s Greatest Dirt Track,” Eldora Speedway, live on CBS Sports Network. CBS Sports Network coverage continues on Tuesday, May 5 and Tuesday, May 12.
CONCORD, NC – April 26, 2020 – The virtual Eldora Speedway trophy was already having Logan Seavey’s name etched into the plate with three laps to go in Sunday night’s World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational.
Seavey had been the dominate force of the night. Untouchable. However, he almost let a mistake cost him a win for the second race in a row.
He missed his marks enough times to allow Pennsylvania’s Brett Michalski to catch him in the closing laps. Michalski fired a slide job at Seavey in Turn 1 and took the lead with two laps to go.
However, his moment of glory was for a brief second. Seavey charged back underneath him and reclaimed the lead by the next corner. He couldn’t pull away, though. Michalski rushed back underneath Seavey into Turn 1; the two cars close enough for the drivers to grab each other’s shoulders.
Both cars charged off the corner, with Seavey having the advantage. Focused and intent on winning, the Sutter, CA driver pulled ahead of Michalski and claimed the win at the virtual Eldora Speedway – his third Sprint Car Invitational win. He also became the third different winner in three races.
(RELATED: The World of Outlaws is bringing its fan-favorite style of live virtual racing to CBS Sports Network starting 8 PM ET Tuesday when the dirt track specialists of “The Greatest Show on Dirt” take on some of the world’s greatest racers in a series of one-hour doubleheader eDirt Racing Shootouts.)
“Brett was incredibly good there at the very, very end,” Seavey said. “I felt like I was a little too good early. I was driving away from the field there and I knew that my car was really good. I didn’t know if it would stay good. We just kept having cautions which puts you in a bad spot and lets everyone attack real hard on restarts. Luckily, I was able to get some good jumps. At the end I seen Brett there behind me and I made a few mistakes and almost gave one away there.”
Seavey was on track to potentially pick up the win last Tuesday at the virtual Williams Grove Speedway. But by focusing on where drivers where running in his rear-view mirror – an iRacing feature – he misjudged where the best line was and allowed Robbie Kendall to charge by him for the victory.
At Eldora, Seavey was prepared to leave with the $1,000 winnings. He set Cometic Gaskets Quick Time in Radio Electronics Qualifying and went on to win Drydene Heat Race #1. That put him on the pole for the 30-lap NOS Energy Drink Feature.
He was the class of the field the entire race, pulling away to about a three second lead at times. Behind him was an epic duel for second between Troy Wagaman Jr., Tony Gualda and Carson Macedo. Logan Schuchart and NASCAR star William Byron, who ran the NASCAR iRacing event at Talladega early in the day, also poked their nose into the battle at times. Michalski, who started fourth, fell back early on, but eventually worked his way back up through the field.
Three cautions flew throughout the night. Seavey was able to pull away from the 24-car field each time. On the final restart, with about five laps to go, Michalski made quick work of Macedo and Wagaman to take the runner up spot and hunt down Seavey.
Michalski was then on a mission to give the PA Posse two wins in a row as he dueled with Seavey for the lead. His final shot at Seavey was on the last lap, going into Turn 1 when he dove underneath him and the two raced inches apart. When they exited Turn 2, Seavey knew he had the race won.
“I knew when we got off of Turn 2 and I was in the moisture and he wasn’t I figured I had a pretty good enough run to be able to just protect and not give up much time,” Seavey said. “I think the race was kind of over going down the backstretch once he didn’t clear me through one and two. That was really big. He got a huge run and I was able to block just enough to where we weren’t able to crash, and he couldn’t clear me either. That was a heck of a finish.”
While Seavey crowded Michalski’s #73 car a little going into Turn 1, Michalski said it was good, clean, hard racing.
“We were rolling tonight,” Michalski said. “I gave him (Seavey) something. Let him know I was there. He did everything right. Zero mistakes. When I did get by him, he drove back by and slid me and ran nice and clean. Hats off to him for the win there. We definitely, hopefully, put on a good show for everyone and see you at the next one.”
After the 30-lap duel in the top-five for position, Tony Gualda rounded out the podium with Logan Schuchart finishing fourth for the second race in-a-row and Wagaman ended up fifth.
While real racing continues to be on hold for now, the iRacing Invitationals are allowing drivers a chance to stay fresh, have fun and earn some money. Between his Sprint Car and Late Model iRacing Invitational wins, Seavey has collected $4,000 dollars in the past month.
“Definitely when you win a thousand bucks it’s not a bad deal,” he said. “We’ve got a couple more this week to try and win. I just can’t thank the Outlaws for putting these things on. It’s just fun to come race and have something to do.”
Seavey will compete in the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing Invitational Monday, April 27, at 7 p.m. (ET) on DIRTVision.
The World of Outlaws iRacing Invitationals will then make its debut on CBS Sports Network Tuesday, April 28, at 8 p.m. (ET). The hour-long program will feature the World of Outlaws Sprint Car and Late Model iRacing Invitationals. World of Outlaws drivers like Logan Schuchart and David Gravel will take on the likes of William Byron and Juan Pablo Montoya in the Sprint Car event, while dirt racing aces like Scott Bloomquist and Logan Seavey will battle stars that include Team Penske driver and NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano in the Late Model event.
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational Results; April 26, 2020; Eldora Speedway
NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 laps) — 1. 19-Logan Seavey  [$1,000]; 2. 73-Brett Michalski ; 3. 99-Tony Gualda ; 4. 1-Logan Schuchart ; 5. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. ; 6. 117-Mike McKinney ; 7. 5-Chase Briscoe ; 8. 37-Mitchell Faccinto ; 9. 39-Kevin Swindell ; 10. 23-Cole Macedo ; 11. 2-Carson Macedo ; 12. 41-David Gravel ; 13. 7-Justyn Cox ; 14. 5-Brent Marks ; 15. 91-Cale Thomas ; 16. 11-Zeb Wise ; 17. 25-William Byron ; 18. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya ; 19. 17-Austin McCarl ; 20. 21-Brian Brown ; 21. 43-Seth Bergman ; 22. 17-Max McLaughlin ; 23. 55-Robbie Kendall ; 24. 46-Michael Bauer . Lap leaders: Logan Seavey 1-30. KSE Hard Charger: Kevin Swindell +10.
Racing Electronics Qualifying — 1. 19-Logan Seavey [13.843]; 2. 1-Logan Schuchart [13.946]; 3. 99-Tony Gualda [13.946]; 4. 73-Brett Michalski [13.948]; 5. 25-William Byron [14.014]; 6. 2-Carson Macedo [14.041]; 7. 17-Max McLaughlin [14.056]; 8. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. [14.062]; 9. 37-Mitchell Faccinto [14.123]; 10. 17-Austin McCarl [14.127]; 11. 55-Robbie Kendall [14.128]; 12. 5-Brent Marks [14.137]; 13. 117-Mike McKinney [14.148]; 14. 41-David Gravel [14.153]; 15. 35-Mike Mahaney [14.183]; 16. 1-Robert Allen [14.188]; 17. 69-Brady Bacon [14.224]; 18. 50-Max Stambaugh [14.238]; 19. 39-Kevin Swindell [14.239]; 20. 47-Eric Riggins [14.258]; 21. 7-Justyn Cox [14.274]; 22. 91-Cale Thomas [14.275]; 23. 43-Seth Bergman [14.281]; 24. 21-Brian Brown [14.289]; 25. 11-Zeb Wise [14.301]; 26. 46-Michael Bauer [14.316]; 27. 5-Chase Briscoe [14.334]; 28. 7-Justin Allgaier [14.417]; 29. 4-Justin Grant [14.420]; 30. 23-Cole Macedo [14.505]; 31. 55-Trey Starks [14.549]; 32. 69-Lance Dewease [14.561]; 33. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya [14.593]; 34. 3-Cale Conley [14.618]; 35. 27-Brad Lamberson [14.662]; 36. 27-Carson McCarl [14.668]; 37. 10-Joe Kata [14.695]; 38. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer [14.723]; 39. 87-Ryan Bernal [14.767]; 40. 66-Matt Cosner [14.773]; 41. 555-Dylan Cisney [14.795]; 42. 48-Danny Dietrich [14.814]; 43. 44-Stewart Friesen [14.898]; 44. 99-Larry Wight [14.951]; 45. 210-Thomas Kennedy [15.071]; 46. 28-Ron Capps [15.089]; 47. 2-Wayne Johnson [15.111]; 48. 84-Tom Harris [15.134]; 49. 71-Cruz Pedregon [15.174]; 50. 5-Jamie Ball [NT]; 51. 18-Ian Madsen [NT].
Drydene Heat 1 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 19-Logan Seavey ; 2. 117-Mike McKinney ; 3. 17-Max McLaughlin ; 4. 39-Kevin Swindell ; 5. 11-Zeb Wise ; 6. 55-Trey Starks ; 7. 10-Joe Kata ; 8. 44-Stewart Friesen ; 9. 71-Cruz Pedregon .
DART Machinery Heat 2 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. ; 2. 1-Logan Schuchart ; 3. 41-David Gravel ; 4. 46-Michael Bauer ; 5. 47-Eric Riggins ; 6. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer ; 7. 99-Larry Wight ; 8. 69-Lance Dewease ; 9. 5-Jamie Ball .
COMP Cams Heat 3 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 99-Tony Gualda ; 2. 5-Chase Briscoe ; 3. 37-Mitchell Faccinto ; 4. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya ; 5. 7-Justyn Cox ; 6. 18-Ian Madsen ; 7. 210-Thomas Kennedy ; 8. 35-Mike Mahaney ; 9. 87-Ryan Bernal .
Hoosier Racing Tire Heat 4 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 73-Brett Michalski ; 2. 17-Austin McCarl ; 3. 91-Cale Thomas ; 4. 7-Justin Allgaier ; 5. 3-Cale Conley ; 6. 66-Matt Cosner ; 7. 28-Ron Capps ; 8. 1-Robert Allen .
ARP Fasteners Heat 5 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 25-William Byron ; 2. 55-Robbie Kendall ; 3. 43-Seth Bergman ; 4. 2-Wayne Johnson ; 5. 27-Brad Lamberson ; 6. 69-Brady Bacon ; 7. 4-Justin Grant ; 8. 555-Dylan Cisney .
EZ-GO Heat 6 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 2-Carson Macedo ; 2. 5-Brent Marks ; 3. 23-Cole Macedo ; 4. 21-Brian Brown ; 5. 27-Carson McCarl ; 6. 84-Tom Harris ; 7. 50-Max Stambaugh ; 8. 48-Danny Dietrich .
FVP Batteries D-Main (8 laps) — Top 4 Transfer — 1. 4-Justin Grant ; 2. 50-Max Stambaugh ; 3. 1-Robert Allen ; 4. 35-Mike Mahaney ; 5. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 6. 87-Ryan Bernal ; 7. 28-Ron Capps ; 8. 555-Dylan Cisney ; 9. 71-Cruz Pedregon ; 10. 5-Jamie Ball ; 11. 44-Stewart Friesen ; 12. 210-Thomas Kennedy ; 13. 69-Lance Dewease .
VP Racing Fuels C-Main (10 laps) — Top 4 Transfer — 1. 27-Brad Lamberson ; 2. 27-Carson McCarl ; 3. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer ; 4. 50-Max Stambaugh ; 5. 55-Trey Starks ; 6. 35-Mike Mahaney ; 7. 84-Tom Harris ; 8. 99-Larry Wight ; 9. 10-Joe Kata ; 10. 18-Ian Madsen ; 11. 4-Justin Grant ; 12. 69-Brady Bacon ; 13. 66-Matt Cosner ; 14. 1-Robert Allen .
laps) — Top
6 Transfer —
Wise ; 4.
Cox ; 6.
SPRINT CAR ZEST: Montoya hooked on World of Outlaws Sprint Car iRacing Indy 500 winner will join World of Outlaws Sprint Car iRacing Invitational at Eldora on DIRTVision and CBS
CONCORD, NC – April 26, 2020 – Juan Pablo Montoya is a two-time Indianapolis 500 champion, three-time NASCAR winner, seven-time Formula 1 winner and the 2019 IMSA SportsCar Champion. This year, he could add a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win to that long list, too – a virtual win.
Montoya joined the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational league at the virtual Knoxville Raceway event in early April. He enjoyed it so much that he’s now a regular to the series.
“I had never run a dirt race on iRacing until that World of Outlaws invite,” Montoya said. “I was always a PC racer and I did some online dirt racing when I was younger, but nothing recently. That race has me excited to do more because it was a lot of fun. I always finish with a smile after these races.”
Growing up in Bogota, Columbia, go-karts and open-wheel racing were his prime connection to motorsports. Dirt racing wasn’t yet on his radar. It wasn’t until he began his NASCAR career in the early 2000s that he was introduced to the dirt track world.
Montoya got his first taste of dirt in 2007 when he participated in the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway, driving a Late Model. He had a respectable run, finishing 15th after starting 25th. The taste for dirt racing stuck in his tongue even since.
“I love it,” Montoya said. “I really enjoy driving the heck out of those (dirt) cars. There is something about it, but I can’t tell you exactly what it is. It’s just a lot of fun because you can just throw them around. It’s so different than asphalt.”
When NASCAR went to Watkins Glen International Raceway in Watkins Glen, NY every August, Montoya said he would always go watch Tony Stewart race his Sprint Car around the state.
“I went to them just for fun,” Montoya said. “It was insane but very cool.”
When given the opportunity to join the World of Outlaws iRacing Invitational at Knoxville Raceway, he didn’t hesitate to get behind the wheel of a virtual 900hp World of Outlaws 410 Sprint Car.
After spending most of the Feature in the top-10, he got caught up in a wreck and ended the 35-lap race in 17th. The result didn’t diminish his interest in Sprint Car racing, though. It increased it. He’s so far raced every race after.
He didn't qualify for the Feature at Lernerville Speedway, but after a thrilling Last Chance Showdown battle, Montoya made the Feature at the challenging Williams Grove Speedway and finished 15th. On Sunday, April 26, he’ll get the chance to compete at a track he’s already made laps at before – the virtual half-mile Eldora Speedway.
Montoya continues to improve every time he signs on to an iRacing event. He recently won an eSports racing event with The Race series. Before this year, Montoya had little iRacing experience. He was into it more years ago, he said, but hadn’t used it much until the racing world went on pause.
“We do a lot of simulator work but not a lot of iRacing work,” Montoya said. “I do have a professional unit at home with a brand-new computer so that makes a world a difference.”
He joked that one of the most challenging aspect of racing in the World of Outlaws iRacing events is you can’t just hold the cars “wide open.” He added that he’s back to using “NASCAR terms” suck as “slick” and “snug” when describing how his car is handling.
“I really learn a lot by watching the Heats of the other guys racing, so that is helping tremendously,” he said. “You have to put in the time to be good.”
While he has a season of IMSA SportsCar racing with Team Penske to look forward to once racing resumes, for now, he’s enjoying his time as a virtual Sprint Car driver.
“I always look forward to the next one after I’m done,” Montoya said. “You can just hustle these cars so much.”
Don’t expect to see his virtual love of racing Sprint Cars translate to the real thing anytime soon. He joked that he doesn’t think his wife would let him. However, he wouldn’t be opposed to testing one.
The next World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational will be Sunday, April 26, at 7 p.m. (ET) on DIRTVision at the virtual Eldora Speedway.
Then, on Tuesday, April 28, the World of Outlaws iRacing Invitationals will make its debut on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. (ET). The eDIRT Shootout doubleheader at Eldora Speedway will feature the World of Outlaws Late Models and Sprint Cars. Montoya will be among the field of Sprint Car drivers and his Team Penske teammate Joey Logano will compete in a Late Model.
Calling the action will be veteran motorsports broadcaster Dave Rieff, NASCAR and DIRTcar UMP Modified star Kenny Wallace, and of course, the Voice of the Outlaws Johnny Gibson.
CONCORD, NC – April 24, 2020 – Ten minutes. The time it takes to heat a pizza in the oven and at times the length of a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Feature.
That’s how long it took for Dave Blaney’s World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car career to go from moderate to elite.
His 1992 season in the #7c Sprint Car — his fourth year in the car — was going poorly. Coming off a six-win season the year prior, Blaney picked up a couple of wins at the beginning of the year and juggled top-five and top-10 finishes for the remainder of it.
At 30 years old, in his prime, Blaney said he was desperate to run better. He knew he had to do something different.
Coincidentally, Casey Luna’s team, crew chiefed by Kenny Woodruff, was looking for a new driver. Knowing Woodruff already, Blaney called him to ask if he could drive Luna’s #10 car.
“He said, ‘Heck yeah.’ He called Luna and 10 minutes later it was done,” Blaney said. “Nothing elaborate. Let’s go race. We were both ready to run good.
“It was one phone call.”
That one call took Blaney from a three-to-six-wins-a-year driver, to a 10-to-15-wins-a-year driver for the rest of his full-time World of Outlaws career. And made him a champion in 1995.
The pair hit the ground running in their first season together in 1993, winning the first race of the year at Houston Motorsports Park and 14 more after, ending the year second in points to then 12-time champion Steve Kinser. Blaney finished 107 points behind Kinser, which was a major feat, considering Kinser had won the championship for the three previous seasons by more than 500 points.
“I think we surprised a lot of people in 1993, honestly,” Blaney said. “We stayed close to Steve all year in points. We ran better than even I expected, as far as winning big races, running up front a lot.”
Blaney attributed a lot of that success to his compatibility with Woodruff. They fit well, together. Woodruff wasn’t one to chit chat – much like his father Lou Blaney, he said. So, he was used to that and comfortable with that. The two were equally focused on winning.
There were about four to five events Blaney considered the echelon of races each year due to their significance and payout. In 1993 he won two of them – his first Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway and second victory at the Syracuse Mile at the New York State Fairgrounds.
(RELATED: On Saturday, April 25, at 7 pm (ET) DIRTVision will air the 1993 and 1994 World of Outlaws Sprint Car races at the Syracuse Mile during the #DVWatchParty presented by NOS Energy Drink with Blaney, Jac Haudenschild, Billy Pauch and Jeff Swindell as special guests.)
He lucked into the Kings Royal victory, he said. On the final lap, going into the last corner, he was side by side with Jac Haudenschild. However, Haudenschild had the top while Blaney was in the middle.
“He had me beat,” Blaney said.
As they were rounding the turn something happened to Haudenschild’s engine. He fell and Blaney went on to secure the $50,000 win. While he didn’t feel like he fully earned the win, in 1995 Blaney said he came back and “whipped” the field to win his second Kings Royal. That made up for it.
CONQUERING THE MILE
Then in October of 1993, he earned his second big win of the year at the historic Syracuse Mile – no longer in existence. The track held sentimental value to Blaney. His father raced there for several years in a Modified. Most of those races, Blaney was there with him.
“For me it was one of the big ones,” Blaney said. “It was also cool for me too that my dad raced up there in a Modified every year. That was a cool one to win, no doubt.”
It was not an easy one to win, though. The Mile was one of the most difficult tracks to just make a lap around by yourself, Blaney said.
“Just the way the wings are on the Sprint Cars, you just got buffeted around so badly,” he said. “It was actually harder to drive down the straightaways than it was in the corners. If you showed up and in your first lap of warmups your car drove nice and straight down the straightaway, you were halfway toward having a good day by just going down the straightaway, as odd as that sounds.”
That turned passing into a mathematical equation. Not only was it difficult to pass a car that matched your speed, it was even more difficult to pass a car that was “way” slower than you, Blaney said. He had to time every pass perfect, calculate it yards ahead of time.
“If you were 10 car lengths behind a lap car going into a corner, you might slow down just to get a run on them and get by them at the flag stand or something,” Blaney said. “It was just a timing thing.”
Blaney proved to be one of the best at it. So good that he almost won the big Super DIRT Week Modified race that same weekend. He was passing cars with ease and dominating the race before a broken radius rod ended his race. Not winning the iconic Modified race in Syracuse is one of the biggest regrets of his career, he said.
YEARS OF SUCCESS
There are no regrets when it comes to his Sprint Car career. He won the championship in 1995. Finished second in points in 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997. And has 94 career World of Outlaws victories – currently sitting eighth on the all-time wins list.
He’s not done racing, either. Blaney still has one Sprint Car he plans to run in about 10 races this year, including the May 23 Patriot Nationals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. He’s also planning on painting it as a red and white throwback scheme to his father and putting a #10 back on it.
He joked that maybe he should’ve stayed with the World of Outlaws instead of going to NASCAR in 1998 but said he wouldn’t trade that experience – especially since it has helped his son Ryan get a prime opportunity to drive for Roger Penske in the Cup Series.
“My dad raced, and I grew up watching and had no idea if I would race,” Dave Blaney said. “I did and it took off. I guess I’m saying it’s all gravy to me. I had no expectations at all. I won a lot of good races. And raced for a lot of good people. Yeah, there are guys that won more (World of Outlaws) races than I did, but I still thought it was pretty good. I think my first win was in ’85 and last win was ’97. I thought that was kind of OK.”
All it took
most of that
DIRT ZEN – William Byron finding joy in challenge of learning World of Outlaws iRacing NASCAR star and Sprint Car fan taking to challenge of virtual dirt track racing
CONCORD, NC – April 23, 2020 – After winning Sunday’s NASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational, William Byron was eager to get back to racing – virtual dirt racing.
The young NASCAR star, who drives the famed #24 for Hendrick Motorsports, made his World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational debut at Lernerville Speedway the week before and became hooked.
“I just enjoy the challenge of something completely different for my brain to process,” Byron said. “A completely different challenge. A lot of things are opposite of what you do on asphalt and I like that challenge of being able to adapt and try to learn what is going on.”
Byron’s career progression to NASCAR – which includes a NASCAR Truck Series and Xfinity Series championship – has been well documented of starting with iRacing. The 22-year-old has more than 300 iRacing wins on pavements tracks. He has a handful of virtual dirt wins, too, but not near the years of experience he’s spent on asphalt.
“I did some dirt racing, maybe five or six times when it first came out (on iRacing),” Byron said. “Honestly, I haven’t really done much since then. Getting back into it now is really fun for me.”
Unlike other professional drivers who have also joined the World of Outlaws iRacing Invitational league, such as Ron Capps, Cruz Pedregon and Juan Pablo Montoya, Byron has never driven an actual dirt race car. However, he has run one NASCAR Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway.
Byron’s always been a fan of Sprint Car racing, though. He’s attended World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series races at Calistoga Speedway, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Eldora.
Now that he’s stepped behind the wheel of a virtual World of Outlaws Sprint Car, he can’t get enough of it.
“The structure of the race is pretty cool, having qualifying not dictate a whole lot of your race,” he said. “You have qualifying, but then that puts you in your own Heat Race. I really like that because you can overcome your qualifying effort pretty easily if you have a good Heat Race. Or vice versa. You can screw up a good qualifying effort if you have a bad heat race. So, it’s kind of really evens the playing field where the strongest guys come to the front. So, I like that.”
His biggest challenge, so far, has been predicting and figuring out the ever-changing track conditions in dirt racing. While asphalt track conditions can be predictable, dirt tracks tend to change week to week.
“I feel like my line changes every lap,” Byron said. “You can never really do the same thing and expect the same result. It’s hard to practice in this sport, too, because the track is never the same in every race. It’s just tough to wrap your arms around it. There’s no practice for it, you just have to race.”
He's been putting in the laps in an effort to get better. Byron said he’s done a “heavy amount” of Sprint Car racing on iRacing to prepare for the World of Outlaws iRacing Invitationals. He wants to be competitive. But it’s also a chance for him to just have fun racing.
While there’s pressure on him every Sunday to perform in NASCAR’s Pro Invitational events – which he’s won twice, so far – the Sprint Cars are a chance for him to relax.
“I can just go out there and do my thing and try to overachieve whatever my goal was,” he said. “I like that aspect of it.”
Byron has picked up on Sprint Car racing rather quick, too. He finished 15th in his World of Outlaws debut at Lernerville and then had an impressive charge from 19th to seventh in the latest Feature at the challenging William Grove Speedway – beating previous Invitational winners Kevin Swindell and Christopher Bell.
Being able to race around actual Sprint Car drivers has helped him learn a lot in a short period of time.
“It’s cool to get to know those guys,” Byron said. “I’ve really gained a lot of respect for how good they are. That’s been the fun part for me.”
As he continues to integrate himself in the Sprint Car community more, Byron said he hopes to be able to try a real World of Outlaws Sprint Car at some point. He doesn’t have any connections in that area at the moment, he said, but if he could put something together that doesn’t interfere with his asphalt racing, he could see himself doing something in the off-season next year.
For now, he’s enjoying the challenge of learning a new discipline and becoming a new face in the Sprint Car world.
The next World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational will be Sunday, April 26, at 7 p.m. (ET) on DIRTVision presented by Drydene at the virtual Eldora Speedway.
CONCORD, NC – April 21, 2020 – An elusive victory was finally in hand for Robbie Kendall.
A victory at his home track Williams Grove Speedway. A victory in front of thousands of fans on DIRTVision presented by Drydene. And a redeeming victory after six previous attempts slipping through his fingers in the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitationals.
However, his grip looked to be slipping with two laps to go. He found himself trapped in the middle of a three-wide battle for the lead with eSports phenom Logan Seavey to his outside and two-time World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing Invitational winner Mike McKinney to his inside.
While worry set in, Kendall kept his poise. With his right foot easing on the throttle with caution as if it would break under too much pressure, he propelled his virtual #55k ahead of his competitors and earned the victory and $1,000 prize he’s been after for the past month.
“I’m happy to get the win for the PA Posse and defend the home turf,” said Kendall, who has lived in Pennsylvania for the past two years and regularly runs local 410 Sprint Car races in the state. “I’m glad for that.”
Before the start of the Tuesday night 35-lap NOS Energy Drink Feature, Kendall didn’t have much confidence in his car. While he’s turned several laps at Williams Grove Speedway in real life, he said he couldn't get his car to stick in Turn 3 like he could in reality. And while he had a respectable third-place Racing Electronics qualifying run, Kendall was disappointed that he was still about three tenths of a second off from Quick Time.
He went on to win the Comp Cams Heat Race and then methodically worked his way forward in the 35-lap NOS Energy Drink Feature.
Polesitter Logan Seavey darted to the early lead and Kendall worked on Tony Gualda for second. It took Kendall less than 10 laps to best Gualda for the position. He then crept his way to Seavey’s bumper every lap.
Behind the top three, drivers were racing two-wide and three-wide all over the slick half-mile track. Full-time World of Outlaws driver Logan Schuchart – in his home built iRacing simulator, made out of his Ironman 55 winning car – was on the move in his Drydene #1s car, fighting his way into the top five in the early stage of the race.
Up front, Kendall was wearing Seavey down. While Seavey ran the middle and high side of the track, Kendall kept to the bottom, easing his way around every corner – the previous missing ingredient to his speed.
“I just focused on trying to get better in the slick,” Kendall said. “In the practice race I learned I was way too free. So, I just tightened it up just enough. I was actually really good there in the middle of the race. Logan (Seavey) slid up there just enough and I found the bottom before he did.”
His finesse around the bottom of the track – inches away from the inside fence – helped him sneak by Seavey with 15 laps to go. Seavey blamed a benefit in the simulation that he normally wouldn’t have in real life for losing the lead.
“Unfortunately for me these things (virtual Sprint Cars) have mirrors,” Seavey said. “I saw, I think (Tony) Gualda running the top and I didn’t want to get drove by on the top, so I tried to move up. It just took me way too long to get comfortable up there. That’s what ended it for me.”
A late caution with six laps to go put Seavey and a hard charging McKinney – who made his way from 14th to third – on Kendall's bumper. The two drivers tested Kendall’s stamina, poking their nose to his inside and outside each corner. And while they battled, Schuchart lurked behind them in fourth, waiting for the prey to fall to him.
With a gentle touch to the throttle and finite movements of the steering wheel through each corner, Kendall withstood every attack. He was finally victorious with the World of Outlaws.
“I was a little worried,” Kendall said. “I saw McKinney was coming on the bottom there at the end. I was too tight to rotate it like he could. I’m just happy it held off there. Happy for my Fatheadz Eyewear guys and try again next week.”
McKinney, a DIRTcar UMP Modified driver in real racing who has won a couple of World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing events, ended up second, earning himself the KSE Hard Charger award by coming from 14th. NASCAR star William Byron had a similar impressive charge, driving from 19th to seventh.
“I run these Sprint Car races for fun to try and get away from all the pressure I put on myself on the Late Model side,” McKinney said. “Didn’t know what we had there starting 14th. I was just able to run that thing straight and smooth how I like it. … As soon as I got up to third or second there and realized I had a shot to win this thing, I’m not going to lie, I started shaking pretty bad and started hitting my marks. It was a lot of fun. Glad we could get this NOS Energy Drink Stenhouse (Jr.-Marshall Racing) car to the front.”
Seavey ended the night third and not far behind him in fourth was Schuchart, who was happy to get a good finish, again.
“While we’re lined up there for the four wide I said, ‘I feel like we’re lining up for the National Open or something,’ because my nerves are going and all of that,” Schuchart said. “But it was a little better than the last couple of weeks. We were a little dangerous the last couple weeks. But it’s fun. It’s cool to be able to do this.”
The next World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational will be Sunday, April 26, at 7 p.m. (ET) on DIRTVision presented by Drydene. Drivers will take on the virtual Eldora Speedway.
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational Results; April 21, 2020; Williams Grove Speedway
NOS Energy Drink Feature (35 laps) — 1. 55-Robbie Kendall [$1,000]; 2. 117-Mike McKinney ; 3. 19-Logan Seavey ; 4. 1-Logan Schuchart ; 5. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. ; 6. 73-Brett Michalski ; 7. 25-William Byron ; 8. 39-Kevin Swindell ; 9. 5-Chase Briscoe ; 10. 37-Mitchell Faccinto ; 11. 43-Seth Bergman ; 12. 46-Michael Bauer ; 13. 3-Cale Conley ; 14. 47-Eric Riggins ; 15. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya ; 16. 66-Matt Cosner ; 17. 21-Christopher Bell ; 18. 99-Tony Gualda ; 19. 10-Joe Kata ; 20. 1-Randy Hannagan ; 21. 21-Brian Brown ; 22. 17-Austin McCarl ; 23. 11-Zeb Wise ; 24. 17-Max McLaughlin . Lap Leaders: Logan Seavey 1-19; Robbie Kendall 20-35. KSE Hard Charger: Mike McKinney +12.
Racing Electronics Qualifying — 1. 19-Logan Seavey [17.952]; 2. 99-Tony Gualda [18.129]; 3. 55-Robbie Kendall [18.132]; 4. 21-Christopher Bell [18.273]; 5. 11-Zeb Wise [18.401]; 6. 17-Max McLaughlin [18.420]; 7. 5-Chase Briscoe [18.426]; 8. 117-Mike McKinney [18.448]; 9. 3-Cale Conley [18.452]; 10. 73-Brett Michalski [18.469]; 11. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. 18.498]; 12. 1-Logan Schuchart [18.501]; 13. 46-Michael Bauer [18.536]; 14. 43-Seth Bergman [18.550]; 15. 21-Brian Brown [18.570]; 16. 39-Kevin Swindell [18.576]; 17. 37-Mitchell Faccinto [18.591]; 18. 17-Austin McCarl [18.598]; 19. 1-Randy Hannagan [18.599]; 20. 35-Mike Mahaney [18.660]; 21. 5-Brent Marks [18.666]; 22. 41-David Gravel [18.672]; 23. 55-Max Stambaugh [18.681]; 24. 7-Justyn Cox [18.689]; 25. 170-Bill Balog [18.754]; 26. 2-Wayne Johnson [18.762]; 27. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer [18.783]; 28. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya [18.804]; 29. 69-Lance Dewease [18.819]; 30. 47-Eric Riggins [18.831]; 31. 88-Trent Ivey [18.855]; 32. 25-William Byron [18.908]; 33. 69-Brady Bacon [18.931]; 34. 89-Landon Cassill [18.956]; 35. 66-Matt Cosner [19.009]; 36. 84-Tom Harris [19.025]; 37. 2-Kerry Madsen [19.057]; 38. 91-Cale Thomas [19.100]; 39. 5-Jamie Ball [19.109]; 40. 7-Justin Allgaier [19.130]; 41. 91-Anthony Fiore [19.207]; 42. 27-Carson McCarl [19.267]; 43. 71-Cruz Pedregon [19.310]; 44. 48-Danny Dietrich [19.395]; 45. 10-Joe Kata [19.411]; 46. 18-Ian Madsen [19.414]; 47. 99-Larry Wight [19.512]; 48. 210-Thomas Kennedy [19.524]; 49. 555-Dylan Cisney [19.526]; 50. 28-Ron Capps [19.542]; 51. 13-Paul McMahan [20.076]; 52. 14-Parker Price-Miller [NT].
Drydene Heat Race #1 (8 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 19-Logan Seavey ; 2. 5-Chase Briscoe ; 3. 1-Randy Hannagan ; 4. 46-Michael Bauer ; 5. 88-Trent Ivey ; 6. 170-Bill Balog ; 7. 2-Kerry Madsen ; 8. 71-Cruz Pedregon ; 9. 555-Dylan Cisney .
Dart Machinery Heat Race #2 (8 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 99-Tony Gualda ; 2. 43-Seth Bergman ; 3. 117-Mike McKinney ; 4. 25-William Byron ; 5. 91-Cale Thomas ; 6. 35-Mike Mahaney ; 7. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 8. 28-Ron Capps ; 9. 2-Wayne Johnson .
Comp Cams Heat Race #3 (8 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 55-Robbie Kendall ; 2. 21-Brian Brown ; 3. 3-Cale Conley ; 4. 10-Joe Kata ; 5. 5-Brent Marks ; 6. 5-Jamie Ball ; 7. 69-Brady Bacon ; 8. 13-Paul McMahan ; 9. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer .
Hoosier Racing Tire Heat Race #4 (8 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 21-Christopher Bell ; 2. 73-Brett Michalski ; 3. 39-Kevin Swindell ; 4. 41-David Gravel ; 5. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya ; 6. 7-Justin Allgaier ; 7. 18-Ian Madsen ; 8. 89-Landon Cassill ; 9. 14-Parker Price-Miller .
ARP Fasteners Heat Race #5 (8 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. 2]; 2. 11-Zeb Wise ; 3. 37-Mitchell Faccinto ; 4. 66-Matt Cosner ; 5. 55-Max Stambaugh ; 6. 69-Lance Dewease ; 7. 99-Larry Wight ; 8. 91-Anthony Fiore .
EZ-GO Heat Race #6 (8 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 1-Logan Schuchart ; 2. 17-Max McLaughlin ; 3. 47-Eric Riggins ; 4. 84-Tom Harris ; 5. 27-Carson McCarl ; 6. 210-Thomas Kennedy ; 7. 17-Austin McCarl ; 8. 7-Justyn Cox .
FVP Batteries D-Main (8 laps) — Top 4 Transfer — 1. 69-Brady Bacon ; 2. 17-Austin McCarl ; 3. 18-Ian Madsen ; 4. 71-Cruz Pedregon ; 5. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer ; 6. 13-Paul McMahan ; 7. 99-Larry Wight ; 8. 2-Wayne Johnson ; 9. 555-Dylan Cisney ; 10. 91-Anthony Fiore ; 11. 89-Landon Cassill ; 12. 28-Ron Capps ; 13. 7-Justyn Cox ; 14. 14-Parker Price-Miller .
VP Racing Fuels C-Main (10 laps) — Top 4 Transfer — 1. 55-Max Stambaugh ; 2. 170-Bill Balog ; 3. 17-Austin McCarl ; 4. 5-Jamie Ball ; 5. 7-Justin Allgaier ; 6. 18-Ian Madsen ; 7. 69-Brady Bacon ; 8. 2-Kerry Madsen ; 9. 27-Carson McCarl ; 10. 210-Thomas Kennedy ; 11. 35-Mike Mahaney ; 12. 69-Lance Dewease ; 13. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 14. 71-Cruz Pedregon .
laps) — Top
3 Transfer —
MAKING A NAME: Pennsylvania racer Kendall gaining fans through iRacing Nationally broadcast events on DIRTVision elevating profiles of weekly racers
CONCORD, NC – April 21, 2020 – Up until the past few weeks, Robbie Kendall was a quiet part of the Pennsylvania racing community. Now, even with motorsports world on pause, Kendall has used his iRacing skills to become a household name with World of Outlaws fans around the country.
In the first six rounds of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitationals the 28-year-old from Catonsville, MD has found himself at the front of the field each time.
While bad luck has kept him from a win, so far, he’s been able to market himself and his sponsors through national broadcasts.
“It was awesome,” Kendall said. “I was thankful that everyone with the Outlaws gave me the chance to run with them. Probably the nervous I’ve ever been on an online game was those two races (on national TV). We were competitive.”
Like many drivers, amateur and professional, Kendall started out racing quarter midgets. He then moved up to Micro Sprints before eventually becoming a 410 Sprint Car driver, which he’s done for the last six years. He and his low budget, family owned, HKB Motorsports team commonly race at Pennsylvania tracks like Port Royal Speedway, Williams Grove Speedway and Lincoln Speedway — including World of Outlaws at those tracks and Lernerville Speedway.
“I try to hit them all,” Kendall said. “Anywhere there’s a big race. We’re not married to one racetrack.”
His iRacing experience began in 2017 when he first got on sim racing. He spent a year using the simulator before putting it aside when he bought a house and had a child.
When the World of Outlaws announced it would it would be hosting weekly iRacing Invitationals for its Sprint Car and Late Model Series, Kendall got back on and joined both leagues for “a little fun.”
He’s led laps in three of the six Sprint Car Invitationals — including the virtual Knoxville Raceway event on national television – and finished runner up in the inaugural event.
While the lack of picking up a win can get frustrating at times, just like in real life, it has yet to diminish the fun he’s been having.
“Keeps your head in the game,” Kendall said. “It’s competitive. I like it. I’ve been having a lot of fun. The guys on there are pretty good. Keeps you on your toes. It’s been a blast so far.”
In the first two races he was able to give his real-life sponsor Goofy’s Eatery & Spirits and then has sported to colors of a new sponsor about each week after. He’s hopeful that his iRacing success could turn into more sponsorship opportunities for his real #55k car and more exposure for the sponsors he’s highlighting.
“I started off the first couple of weeks running my own car,” Kendall said. “That was my Goofy’s car that I ran once last year. We had a deal to run it a couple of times this year at big races this year. I asked around a little bit, try to show off people who are shown off in the real world but not showed off in the game. I got a couple of deals worked out. It’s been a blast. Hopefully I’m helping them out a little bit.”
Tuesday night’s World of Outlaws Sprint Car iRacing Invitational on DIRTVision will see drivers take on the virtual Williams Grove Speedway – a track Kendall has several laps around. However, he’s yet to feel as comfortable at the virtual Williams Grove as he does at the real one.
“I actually kind of struggle there in the game,” Kendall said. “I’m going to have my work cut out for me. As long as I put a good lap down, I’ll be alright during time trials. I just can’t get the car stuck in Turn 3 like I can in real life.”
Among the names David Gravel, Logan Schuchart, Christopher Bell, Kevin Swindell, William Byron and Juan Pablo Montoya, Kendall has found his place among that list as a top competitor in the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational.
Once racing resumes, you’ll also see his name among those of the Outlaws when the Series returns to Pennsylvania and he plans to try and run the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway and Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway.
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational at the virtual Williams Grove Speedway will be Tuesday, April 21, on DIRTVision at 7 p.m. (ET).
SCRUFFY’S WAY: Bobby Allen talks about how he beat the heavy hitters at Eldora Hear the Hall-of-Famer talk more on Eldora Saturday night at 7 p.m. (ET) on DIRTVision
The second in a two-part feature on legendary World of Outlaws racer Bobby Allen.
CONCORD, NC – Bobby Allen felt like he had an advantage over the rest of the field going into the 1986 Eldora Nationals. He had what many drivers struggle to find – confidence.
However, despite his notion of being the driver to beat at the Aug. 9, 1986 event, he still considered himself a dark horse. Or a “many more.”
“They’d always make in the announcement, ‘This week you’ll see Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell, Doug Wolfgang and many more.’ Well, I always called myself a “many more,” he said with a chuckle.
By that point, Kinser and Swindell had dominated the championship points battle since the birth of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car in 1978. Kinser already had six championships and Swindell had two. And when it came to Eldora, Kinser already had 15 wins at the half-mile track, while Swindell had 11.
Allen wasn’t a stranger to victory lane there, though. He holds the title of winning the inaugural World of Outlaws Sprint Car race at Eldora Speedway. He always felt like he ran well at the Ohio track and could have had more wins there if it weren’t for mechanical issues, he said. He almost won the 1988 Kings Royal before his motor blew and he ended up second.
Winning at Eldora was special. Like Knoxville, Eldora had a distinction to it, Allen said. It was always one of his favorite tracks to go to — as a driver and a fan.
“At Eldora, as far as I was concerned, even when I ran the race car in the race, I was a fan of them other guys,” Allen said. “Back then, you could go into the corner running third and do a slide job and end up being first. I never did that. But the other guys did that, and I’d watch them in front of me sometimes. I’d be like, ‘Oh man, here we go again.’ It almost felt like dive bombers or planes diving in there, sliding across each other because you ran wide open. If you got off the gas for a second, you’d get passed by two or three cars. Eldora was always exciting. It was definitely a racer’s racetrack.”
He didn’t need to pull fancy slide jobs to win at Eldora in 1986. In his own car, that he built himself, with his own team, he simply had all of the right pieces in the right place.
(RELATED: DIRTVision presented by Drydene will re-air the 1986 Eldora Nationals during its #DVWatchParty presented by NOS Energy Drink on Saturday, April 18 at 7 p.m. (ET). Special guests Bobby Allen, Greg Stephens, Kenny Jacobs, Ron Shuman and Danny Smith will be providing commentary about the event, as well.)
Through building his own chassis, he learned what kind of chassis worked best on certain tracks. At Eldora, he said you wanted a little bit of flex.
“You wanted to have flex where it would return,” Allen said. “Or kind of like a frame that was like a torsion bar itself. If the frame would give up and it wouldn’t hold its weight right, then you know that was no good. Back then they didn’t have rules, so you could build them out of thin tubing, etc.”
While teams nowadays have a special motor for certain tracks, Allen used the same motor he ran everywhere else. And like the chassis, he built that, too.
“You wanted a motor that didn’t give you trouble,” Allen said. “They were basically all the same to run good there or anywhere else.”
One of the key elements that helped him win the race was the set of tires you used — Hoosier’s softer compound tire. While others ran a harder compound, and Hoosier wanted him to do the same, Allen knew the softer compound was the right tool for the job. (See Part I for more on that story).
Those elements, combined with a good setup, allowed Allen to drive his #1a car the way he was most comfortable — straight.
“Guys would try to run the same tire I run but couldn’t because they drove their car sideways, where I drove my car straight,” Allen said. “That’s why they needed the Goodyear. If you ran it sideways it seemed to work better. Where the Hoosier, if you ran it straight the car stuck. They were actually faster.
“I raced the car with the front end and kept the backend stuck. Most other guys ran the car going in with the backend and gassing it. You like to have the feeling of the right front when you drive in. You like to have the right front stuck and the rear end catches it. To me, that feels like the best way when it’s slick. I feel like (Donny) Schatz drives (straight) that way, too. Schatz drives with the front end.”
He learned to drive that way from his early career in go-karts and asphalt modifieds. He learned to drive his car “stuck,” he said.
With his self-built chassis and self-built motor and soft compound tires, he kept his car stuck to the bottom and middle lanes to drive away from the likes of Kinser, Swindell and Wolfgang to pick up his second and final career World of Outlaws win at Eldora Speedway.
At the end of the night, he was no longer the “many more.” He was the victorious Bobby “Scruffy” Allen.
At 7 p.m. ET on DIRTVision Saturday night, three separate roundtable discussions remember the 1986 Eldora Nationals and the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series in the mid-1980s. First up are legendary racers Ron Shuman and Danny Smith, followed by Hall of Famers Brad Doty and Greg Stephens talking racing and how it’s presented, finally wrapping up with two of the key racers that weekend, Bobby Allen and Kenny Jacobs.
The broadcasts and roundtable driver discussions, with host Dillon Welch, are included as part of the DIRTVision FAST PASS subscription, or available for $4.99 pay per view.
SCRUFFY’S WAY: Bobby Allen’s Self-Sufficient Ways Led to World of Outlaws Success Shark Racing Hall-of-Famer reveals challenges and rewards of driving for himself and building his own race cars
CONCORD, NC – April 16, 2020 – Bobby Allen knew he was on a path to victory at Eldora Speedway on Aug. 9, 1986. He sensed it weeks prior.
His setup was dialed in. His tire selection was on point. His confidence was high. Every detail that produces a win was there.
However, Hoosier, his tire sponsor, wasn’t on the same level. While Allen wanted to run the company’s softer compound tire for the race, Hoosier wanted him to use its harder compound — meant to be comparable to Goodyear’s harder compound tire other teams ran.
Initially, he told them, “no way.” He knew that would be the wrong choice for the track conditions. He wasn’t going to lose another race due to the wrong tire call.
Allen remembered a previous race in Dallas, TX where he was on his way to the win before a red flag came out. Hoosier had him change a tire during the open red, citing it would work better. When the race resumed, he went backwards.
The memory haunted him. He wasn’t going to let it happen again. Not at Eldora.
But while he was a smart racer, he was also a smart businessman. As the owner of his team with a limited budget, he knew the importance of keeping sponsors happy. So, he gave in and agree with Hoosier’s call.
“I agreed with them, but I put on what I wanted to put on,” Allen said. “I went ahead and agreed with them, so I didn’t have to argue about it.”
He kept the softer compound tire on his #1a car and went on to earn his second and final World of Outlaws Eldora Speedway win.
(RELATED: DIRTVision will re-air the 1986 Eldora Nationals during its #DVWatchParty presented by NOS Energy Drink on Saturday, April 18 at 7 p.m. (ET). Special guests Bobby Allen, Greg Stephens, Kenny Jacobs, Ron Shuman and Danny Smith will be providing commentary about the event, as well.)
“(Former Eldora Speedway owner Earl) Baltes always wet the racetrack right before the races and I could run down there and make the car stick where [the softer tires] wouldn’t burn up because they stuck so hard,” Allen said. “It felt like the motor was blowing up they stuck so hard. I ran them tires and they got me going where I ran up through there and won the race.”
Allen, a Sprint Car Hall-of-Famer from Hanover, PA, has always found success through his self-sufficiency. He drove for himself his entire career and built his own race cars the way he wanted. He built his own motors the way he wanted. And ran his races the way he wanted.
That led to 30 career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series wins — including the 1990 Knoxville Nationals. He’s currently ranked 20th on the all-time wins list.
Despite that success, Allen considered himself a dark horse. However, Allen’s dark horse mentality only classified his feelings as a competitor. He felt like the Steve Kinser of the field when it came to the equipment he built.
“I always felt like I had the best race cars the way I built them,” Allen said. “I was good at figuring out things, figuring out tires, etc. When you built your own car and it worked good, you definitely liked it because you were fast. And every time I sold a car to somebody it seemed to make them faster. It was definitely a good thing.”
Knowing how to build the right chassis came from his days of go-kart racing, which included winning the 1960 World Championship karting event in the Bahamas and 1961 100cc karting World Championship in Italy.
“I always told people that the chassis made a difference,” Allen said. “Just like if you ever race go-karts, they don’t have any suspension. But by the way the frames are put together and how they flex, some go good when it is tacky. Some go good when it’s dry. Then you learn how to build that chassis until it works that way. In a Sprint Car, you usually could maybe do the same thing with the chassis and then you have the shocks and bars for fine tuning.”
There was always a fine line to how much flex the chassis should have. If it was too stiff there was a small window of what you could do with it, Allen said. Too flexible and it could hurt the chassis or wear it out in a handful of races. If you got it just flexible enough, it could work everywhere with the right setup. Finding that fine line was sometimes a matter of luck, Allen said.
His self-sufficient methods have stayed with Shark Racing, even as his drivers — son Jacob Allen and grandson Logan Schuchart — grow as veteran World of Outlaws drivers backed by Drydene Performance Products. The pair have followed his lead, taking charge of their own cars each race weekend and spending hours with their team working on them.
With the 80-plus race World of Outlaws schedule, Allen, now 76 years old, has had to outsource some aspects of the cars he and the team don’t have time to build, such as getting their chassis from Triple X Race Co. Building their own motors is still in the family, though.
Allen’s nephew, Michael Newman, started building Sprint Car engines about seven years ago and is now one of the top engine builders. Newman’s Racing Engines power several Sprint Car teams around Pennsylvania and are the heart of the Shark Racing cars. His engines have propelled Schuchart to 17 career Series wins, including two wins at Eldora Speedway — tying him with Allen’s win count at the iconic half-mile track.
“He does a really good job putting them together,” Allen said. “He’s learned a lot. I showed him how to insert things and find certain things and gave him some rough ideas. We talk on the phone every day. He has a good concept of why they run good. What makes them run. And we seem to do well with them. And I’m proud of him because he does a good job putting them together and figuring out things that could help, too.”
Allen has always paved his own road to success and built the equipment to do it with. That’s made every win equally special to him. Although, Knoxville and Eldora held a higher distinction. When he knew he had a car to win, he was going get it done his own way. Even if it meant having to make a small fib to a sponsor.
(In Part II, out Friday, Allen talks about what it took to beat drivers like Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell at Eldora Speedway.)
CONCORD, NC – April 14, 2020 – Kevin Swindell was reminded what victory with the World of Outlaws tastes like last week and even though it was virtual, he showed Tuesday night he craved more.
After a heartwarming win at the virtual Knoxville Raceway last Wednesday — Swindell’s first World of Outlaws win since enduring a career ending spinal injury at the track in 2015 — he was no longer an underdog going into the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational at Lernerville Speedway on DIRTVision. “The Bulldog” was back in full force in a race he said was the “most fun one so far.”
Swindell was aggressive in his pursuit to another victory by dominating the Comp Cams Heat Race and making an early charge to the lead in the 35-lap NOS Energy Drink Feature.
Pennsylvania’s Robbie Kendall was on the pole after setting Cometic Gaskets Quick Time and winning the Drydene Heat Race. He’s been knocking on the door of a Feature win for the past few races but can never find the luck to get it done.
Swindell made an early charge for the lead, dueling with Kendall and two-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car iRacing winner Logan Seavey for the top spot. On Lap 5, while racing wheel to wheel with Kendall, the two made contact going into Turn 1, turning Kendall’s car sideways and then hit off track. Swindell was the benefactor and inherited the lead.
Kendall took to Twitter after the race and said, “One of these races I’m going to catch a break! I had the Fatheadz car rolling tonight. On to next week!”
The race then turned to Swindell, Seavey and Tony Gualda. Seavey proved to be the biggest challenge at first, staying on Swindell’s bumper for the next three laps as Swindell ran the middle lane and Seavey ran the top. However, Seavey made a rare mistake and slid off the banking in Turn 2.
The next 20 laps were a duel between Swindell and Gualda. While Swindell led, Gualda ran wherever he could find the virtual moisture to close on the #39 Swindell Speedlab car. His best line was up top and Swindell knew it. Once Gualda caught him, Swindell moved high to take his line away, forcing Gualda to try and make the pass down low. While he could get side by side with Swindell each corner, Gualda could never best Swindell’s run off the turn.
On a restart with 10 laps to go, Gualda dove ahead of Swindell into Turn 1 to take the lead, but “the Bulldog” was not going to let Gualda pull away. He charged to the inside of Gualda’s #99 car and threw a slide job at him in Turn 3 to take the lead back.
Gualda wasn’t done, either. He, again, dove his car ahead of Swindell’s into Turn 1. And like his last attempt, he couldn’t make it stick. Swindell charged back underneath him down the backstretch and the two made contact while racing side by side back into Turn 3.
That allowed Swindell to reclaim the lead, but Gualda came after him with a head of steam down the front stretch. While closing on Swindell and going to make a move to his inside, Gualda hit the rear of the #39 car. That caused Gualda to turn into the wall and go off track, ending his night.
“The restart I just didn’t get going very good,” Swindell said. “I ran at least a good entry to one and found some grip to get me back up next to him (Gualda) and I think he went to try and protect down the back and didn’t really know I was there. I maybe got lucky with him making a mistake there and not having to race him to the end.”
NASCAR-star Chase Briscoe lined up second behind Swindell on the final restart but couldn’t make a similar charge as Gualda. Swindell ran away with his second World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational win in-a-row.
“At the end I felt like I was a little bit better than Tony (Gualda) before that last caution,” Briscoe said. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to pass Kevin running the same (bottom) line, so I tried to search around for some stuff. I just wasn’t as good. Ended up losing too much ground to Kevin trying to slide him at the end. Kevin has been really good in all of these races. I’m just glad to see someone other than Logan (Seavey) win one of these things.”
Swindell admitted it was not an easy win, though.
“It felt like I was running maybe quarter throttle the whole lap,” Swindell said about dealing with the track conditions. “Not really in my comfort zone, but a lot of fun. Really enjoyed having to search and race. That’s probably been the most fun race we’ve had so far with no one line better than the other. You kind of had to go all over. It was a lot of fun.”
Justyn Cox rounded out the podium in third and Troy Wagaman Jr. earned the KSE Hard Charger award with a strong run from 22nd to ninth.
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Invitational will return Tuesday, April 21, on DIRTVision at 7 p.m. (ET).
NOS Energy Drink Feature (35 laps) — 1. 39-Kevin Swindell [$1,000]; 2. 5-Chase Briscoe ; 3. 7-Justyn Cox ; 4. 88-Trent Ivey ; 5. 73-Brett Michalski ; 6. 37-Mitchell Faccinto ; 7. 23-Seth Bergman ; 8. 19-Logan Seavey ; 9. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. ; 10. 11-Zeb Wise ; 11. 41-David Gravel ; 12. 97-Max Stambaugh ; 13. 35-Mike Mahaney ; 14. 50-Anthony Perrego ; 15. 25-William Byron ; 16. 5-Brent Marks ; 17. 32-Brett Brunkenhoefer ; 18. 17-Austin McCarl ; 19. 96-Mike McKinney ; 20. 21-Christopher Bell ; 21. 99-Tony Gualda ; 22. 55-Robbie Kendall ; 23. 39-Anthony Macri ; 24. 1-Randy Hannagan . Lap leaders: Robbie Kendall 1-2; Logan Seavey 3; Kevin Swindell 4-35. KSE Hard Charger: Troy Wagaman Jr. +13.
Racing Electronics Qualifying — 1. 55-Robbie Kendall [12.352]; 2. 19-Logan Seavey [12.386]; 3. 39-Kevin Swindell [12.393]; 4. 7-Justyn Cox [12.417]; 5. 17-Austin McCarl [12.421]; 6. 5-Brent Marks [12.426]; 7. 99-Tony Gualda [12.437]; 8. 88-Trent Ivey [12.441]; 9. 21-Christopher Bell [12.443]; 10. 17-Max McLaughlin [12.450]; 11. 1-Logan Schuchart [12.457]; 12. 39-Anthony Macri [12.459]; 13. 41-David Gravel [12.463]; 14. 96-Mike McKinney [12.472]; 15. 5-Chase Briscoe [12.487]; 16. 23-Seth Bergman [12.489]; 17. 21-Brian Brown [12.491]; 18. 97-Max Stambaugh [12.498]; 19. 11-Zeb Wise [12.504]; 20. 190-Chris Windom [12.525]; 21. 47-Eric Riggins [12.534]; 22. 10-Joe Kata [12.559]; 23. 73-Brett Michalski [12.575]; 24. 91-Cale Thomas [12.597]; 25. 27-Brad Lamberson [12.601]; 26. 37-Mitchell Faccinto [12.607]; 27. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. [12.616]; 28. 3-Cale Conley [12.624]; 29. 32-Brett Brunkenhoefer [12.653]; 30. 99-Larry Wight [12.657]; 31. 46-Michael Bauer [12.664]; 32. 18-Ian Madsen [12.675]; 33. 1-Randy Hannagan [12.686]; 34. 25-William Byron [12.692]; 35. 2-Kerry Madsen [12.709]; 36. 7-Justin Allgaier [12.715]; 37. 990-Brady Bacon [12.720]; 38. 44-Stewart Friesen [12.751]; 39. 2-Wayne Johnson [12.751]; 40. 35-Mike Mahaney [12.770]; 41. 27-Carson McCarl [12.773]; 42. 66-Matt Cosner [12.778]; 43. 50-Anthony Perrego [12.805]; 44. 16-Chris Andrews [12.854]; 45. 52-Blake Hahn [12.890]; 46. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya [12.896]; 47. 9-Kyle Schuett [12.914]; 48. 69-Lance Dewease [12.947]; 49. 555-Dylan Cisney [13.005]; 50. 40-George Hobaugh [13.014]; 51. 28-Ron Capps [13.214]; 52. 13-Paul McMahan [13.235]; 53. 71-Cruz Pedregon [13.824]; 54. 5-Jamie Ball [NT]; 55. 35-Skylar Prochaska [NT].
Drydene Heat #1 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 55-Robbie Kendall ; 2. 99-Tony Gualda ; 3. 11-Zeb Wise ; 4. 41-David Gravel ; 5. 50-Anthony Perrego ; 6. 27-Brad Lamberson ; 7. 46-Michael Bauer ; 8. 35-Skylar Prochaska ; 9. 990-Brady Bacon ; 10. 555-Dylan Cisney .
Dart Machinery Heat #2 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 19-Logan Seavey ; 2. 37-Mitchell Faccinto ; 3. 88-Trent Ivey ; 4. 96-Mike McKinney ; 5. 190-Chris Windom ; 6. 40-George Hobaugh ; 7. 18-Ian Madsen ; 8. 44-Stewart Friesen ; 9. 16-Chris Andrews .
Comp Cams Heat #3 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 39-Kevin Swindell ; 2. 5-Chase Briscoe ; 3. 21-Christopher Bell ; 4. 1-Randy Hannagan ; 5. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. ; 6. 2-Wayne Johnson ; 7. 28-Ron Capps ; 8. 52-Blake Hahn ; 9. 47-Eric Riggins .
Hoosier Racing Tire Heat #4 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 7-Justyn Cox ; 2. 23-Seth Bergman ; 3. 25-William Byron ; 4. 35-Mike Mahaney ; 5. 6-Juan Pablo Montoya ; 6. 13-Paul McMahan ; 7. 10-Joe Kata ; 8. 3-Cale Conley ; 9. 17-Max McLaughlin .
ARP Fasteners Heat #5 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 17-Austin McCarl ; 2. 73-Brett Michalski ; 3. 32-Brett Brunkenhoefer ; 4. 9-Kyle Schuett ; 5. 71-Cruz Pedregon ; 6. 21-Brian Brown ; 7. 27-Carson McCarl ; 8. 1-Logan Schuchart ; 9. 2-Kerry Madsen .
EZ-GO Heat #6 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 5-Brent Marks ; 2. 97-Max Stambaugh ; 3. 39-Anthony Macri ; 4. 99-Larry Wight ; 5. 91-Cale Thomas ; 6. 7-Justin Allgaier ; 7. 66-Matt Cosner ; 8. 69-Lance Dewease ; 9. 5-Jamie Ball .
FVP Batteries D-Main (10 laps) — Top 4 Transfer — 1. 17-Max McLaughlin ; 2. 47-Eric Riggins ; 3. 52-Blake Hahn ; 4. 44-Stewart Friesen ; 5. 555-Dylan Cisney ; 6. 3-Cale Conley ; 7. 16-Chris Andrews ; 8. 990-Brady Bacon ; 9. 1-Logan Schuchart ; 10. 35-Skylar Prochaska ; 11. 2-Kerry Madsen ; 12. 69-Lance Dewease ; 13. 5-Jamie Ball .
VP Racing Fuels C-Main (12 laps) — Top 4 Transfer — 1. 46-Michael Bauer ; 2. 21-Brian Brown ; 3. 7-Justin Allgaier ; 4. 10-Joe Kata ; 5. 66-Matt Cosner ; 6. 17-Max McLaughlin ; 7. 2-Wayne Johnson ; 8. 44-Stewart Friesen ; 9. 13-Paul McMahan ; 10. 40-George Hobaugh ; 11. 27-Carson McCarl ; 12. 47-Eric Riggins ; 13. 52-Blake Hahn ; 14. 28-Ron Capps ; 15. 18-Ian Madsen .
Morton Buildings Last Chance Showdown (14 laps) — Top 4 Transfer — 1. 96-Mike McKinney ; 2. 41-David Gravel ; 3. 1-Randy Hannagan ; 4. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr. ; 5. 50-Anthony Perrego ; 6. 35-Mike Mahaney ; 7. 27-Brad Lamberson