Rain Cancels First Night of the National Open
Series returns Friday and Saturday as scheduled
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. - Sept. 29, 2016 - Steady precipitation throughout the area forced the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series to cancel opening night of the Champion Racing Oil National Open at Williams Grove Speedway. Friday and Saturday night will remain on schedule.
With high car counts expected, the World of Outlaws will be in the competing for Saturday's $50,000-to-win purse. Last year's finale featured 48 winged-sprints with 28 advancing to the A-Main.
Ticket holders for Thursday's show will be able to use their tickets or armbands at face value toward another show. For details regarding the track's rain-out policy, visit williamsgrove.com.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to action tomorrow for the second night of the Champion Racing Oil National Open. Tickets are still available at both the ticket office or by calling the Williams Grove Office at (717) 697-5000.
For more ticketing and event information, visit woosprint.com/national-open or williamsgrove.com/wootickets.
Schatz Settles the Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville
Schuchart records second consecutive runner-up performance
SARVER, Pa. - Sept. 24, 2016 - Donny Schatz continued his historic season Saturday night, claiming his 23rd World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series win at Lernerville Speedway. The series had not competed in the track's Commonwealth Clash presented by Classic Ink since 2014, and thousands of fans rallied behind its drivers as if they never left.
"This was a fun car to drive," Schatz said. "The racetrack changed, and I didn't know whether or not that top groove was going to come in. But it did. It was pretty decent all over. [Turns] One and two stayed really good around the bottom, and in some spots you could run through the middle. It's a great racetrack. We didn't get the win at Silver Cup, and I felt like we had a great chance. But, we got the job done tonight. I wish [my crew] was standing here instead of me."
The 26-car feature lineup was set to endure 35 laps on the famed 4/10-mile oval for a $10,000-to-win purse. Logan Schuchart, who finished second the previous night, led the field into the green flag. But similar to the night before, the opening lap was plagued by a caution that escalated into a red flag entering turn one.
Within the opening lap of the feature, a red put the race on standby. Notably, Paul McMahan's No. 7 Destiny Motorsports Maxim car somersaulted off the cushion of the first lap along with another car. However, when the red flag was upgraded to yellow, several World of Outlaws teams pitched-in to get his car back on the track. Repairing both wings and an axle, McMahan found his way back on the track. The crowd erupted and applauded the collective effort in the pits.
On the restart Schatz, who started fourth in the feature, undertook Tim Shaffer for third in turn three. Early into the next lap, another caution regrouped the field. Yet another strong restart from Schatz boosted his No. 15 Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing J&J car passed Brad Sweet for second position before another red flag. On lap 10, an "open red" allowed drivers to repair and ready their cars for the next 25 laps.
"A little bit of weight here and there but nothing major," said Schatz, when asked if he made any adjustments during the open red. "Anytime you give this race team the opportunity to change something, it's always for the better. We just had to bide our time there. Everyone put so much emphasis on the starts, but they never pay a race off the starts. You have to make sure you're good at the end. That's something these guys do an awesome job at."
Though his team made adjustments, Schatz's pursuit to the lead did not change. He used the restarts to his advantage. He was able to come within one-second of Schuchart's No. 1S Bobby Allen Triple X car on the restart. Schuhart, also using the cushion, fended-off Schatz's advances momentarily. That is, until Schatz used heavy lapped traffic to get by the race leader on lap 13.
Schatz never looked back. With 10 laps remaining, Schatz increased his lead to 3.523 seconds. In the next seven laps, he nearly doubled his lead to 6.313 seconds. The seven-time Series Champion took the checkers with by a 7.620 margin. He lapped up to eighth position.
Schuchart recorded his second consecutive runner-up performance in two nights, while Sweet's No. 49 Kasey Kahne Racing GF1 car rounded-out the podium. Schuchart recorded his best performance at Lernerville Speedway. He finished ninth in his first Commonwealth Clash as a Platinum driver in 2014.
"We got second last night and second tonight," Schuchart said. "It's hard to complain when you're running podium finishes up front. It's hard to beat the [No.] 15. I mean, I felt pretty good at times and there were other times when I didn't. Obviously, he pulled away when he passed me, and those guys are pretty good. We have a little bit to work on, but we're fast and we don't have anything to complain about. We're happy and proud of our guys, and everyone who's here."
Sweet finished the night recording his 41st top five performance of the season. He currently ranks fourth in the points race. Though Sweet has consistently finished on the podium this season, he has not won since July 2.
"Anytime you can get up here in the World of Outlaws it's good," Sweet said. "We would've liked to win one of these every now and then. It seems like we've been on the podium, but [we] haven't been able to win in a long time. We're really trying hard."
Schatz changed his paint scheme for the past couple races to pink for breast cancer awareness. Schatz's Tony Stewart Racing Bad Boy Off Road/ Chevrolet Performance team has continued this three-year tradition with the emphasis of "it takes a team to make the dream."
"It's neat when you get to do these different paint schemes," Schatz said. "Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming up, and we brought this car out a little early because we're all for it. To be able to get it in victory lane, it means a lot to me."
Lernerville Speedway Notebook
RACE NOTES: Donny Schatz used a series of restarts in Saturday night's victory to claim the No. 1 spot from a fourth place start. Schatz picked-off those in front of him one by one, ultimately claiming the lead on lap 13. Thereon, he began to pull away from pole-sitter Logan Schuchart and Brad Sweet, and won by more than a seven-second margin.
World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Lernerville Speedway, Pa.; Sept 24, 2016
Feature (35 Laps)- 1. 15-Donny Schatz  [$10,000]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart  [$5,500]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet  [$3,200]; 4. 5-David Gravel  [$2,800]; 5. 2-Shane Stewart  [$2,500]; 6. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$2,300]; 7. 83-Joey Saldana  [$2,200]; 8. 49X-Tim Shaffer  [$2,100]; 9. 5T-Travis Philo  [$2,050]; 10. 10-Carl Bowser  [$2,000]; 11. 7S-Jason Sides  [$1,500]; 12. 41-Jason Johnson  [$1,200]; 13. O7-Doug Esh  [$1,100]; 14. W20-Greg Wilson  [$1,050]; 15. 1A-Jacob Allen  [$1,000]; 16. 7W-Logan Wagner  [$900]; 17. 7-Paul McMahan  [$800]; 18. 23JR-Jack Sodeman  [$800]; 19. 7K-Dan Shetler  [$800]; 20. O8-Dan Kuriger  [$800]; 21. 33M-Brent Matus  [$]; 22. 19JK-Joe Kubiniec  [$800]; 23. 51-John Garvin  [$]; 24. 2F-A.J. Flick  [$800]; 25. 58-Jimmy Seger  [$800]; 26. 24X-Sye Lynch  [$800]
Lap Leaders:Logan Schuchart 1-13, Donny Schatz 14-35
1. Donny Schatz 10317
2. Daryn Pittman 10033
3. David Gravel 10032
4. Brad Sweet 10021
5. Joey Saldana 9842
6. Shane Stewart 9842
7. Jason Johnson 9338
8. Logan Schuchart 9216
9. Jason Sides 9006
10. Paul McMahan 8700
Stewart Walks Tall At Eldora
Schuchart slides in for second in the final laps
ROSSBURG, Ohio - Sept. 23, 2016 - Shane Stewart successfully fended off the field Friday night, ultimately winning opening night of Four Crown Nationals Weekend at Eldora Speedway. Though the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series was only scheduled to compete in a one-day, 30-lap feature that paid $10,000, Stewart and company set the tone for the track's 35th-running of the storied event.
The opening day of the two-day blockbuster began with the inaugural "BeFour The Crowns Showdown," featuring the Outlaws and the region's best Sprint car drivers. In a dramatic series of cautions, the 24 determined drivers tested the limits of their winged-sprints in the race's opening laps.
On the "Big E's" half-mile, two red flags and a yellow ultimately waved the feature into an "open red," allowing teams to make certain adjustments to the car. The No. 2 Larson Marks Racing Cool racecar, which started fifth in the feature, shot out of a cannon on the final restart of the first lap. Stewart eventually solidified second place within the first three laps.
"I don't know what to say," Stewart said. "I was actually nervous in that race. I had one good restart, one bad restart and [finally] one good restart. On the open red I told my guys, 'I don't know if my car is going to be good enough or not.' Usually you're pretty good starting up-top, but the cushion was so high that if I started up there, [Pittman] would get a run on me coming out of [turn] one. It's just all about hitting your marks after that."
It did not take Stewart long to reel-in 2013 Series Champion Daryn Pittman, who led the lineup into the green flag courtesy of the Craftsman® Club Dash. Stewart, sweeping under Pittman, became the new race leader on the 11th lap. Thereon, Stewart made his time on the top of the cushion.
With 10 laps remaining, Stewart increased his advantage to 2.570 seconds, and he led by as many as 3.573 seconds. That was, until the race's final red flag regrouped the field double-wide. Stewart held-off Pittman's No. 9 Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb GF1 car once more, and Logan Schuchart got a jump on Defending Series Champion Donny Schatz for third.
"Yeah some restarts were good and some were bad," Schuchart said. "I was surprised Shane took the bottom [on the final restart]. It was better for me to start on the outside. I feel like at Eldora last time we got to run down the hill and it really helps you. I just kind of got in my own way on the restart. It felt good behind Daryn running my line, seeing where he goes for a few laps before I felt like I could make a move. We weren't good enough to beat Shane, but we're happy to get a top three."
Stewart extended his lead again to more than two seconds, finishing 2.359 seconds ahead of Schuchart. Schuchart made a last push on a fading Pittman with his No. 1S Bobby Allen Triple X car, eventually making the move in the final laps. Schuhart won his heat race earlier in the program.
"It just took forever to get going," Pittman said. "I kind of figured how the track was and the way we were going, that we were almost going to go green-checked.We had nothing for the No. 2 car. Once he was in the lead, he checked out. We'll just keep working hard and keep digging."
The victory was Stewart's second consecutive series win and his eighth of the season.
"To win two in a row, it's just very special," Stewart said. "It's obviously pretty special to win here...any time you can win here. I just have to thank Tony Stewart and all the hardworking crew that takes care of this place. They always do a great job. I just have to thank everyone who's involved with this team. Everyone puts in their little bits and pieces here, and I'm just blessed to be the driver."
Eldora Speedway Notebook
RACE NOTES: In a stretch of four restarts with no completed laps, a three-way battle between Stewart, Pittman and Schatz ensued. But it was the strong restarts at the right times that catapulted Stewart into more than a three-second lead. Though late pushes from other series drivers chipped-away at his lead, Stewart ultimately won his eighth win of the season.
World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Eldora Speedway, Sept 23, 2016
Feature - (30 Laps)- 1. 2-Shane Stewart  [$10,000]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart  [$5,500]; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$3,200]; 4. 15-Donny Schatz  [$2,800]; 5. 5-David Gravel  [$2,500]; 6. 83-Joey Saldana  [$2,300]; 7. 17W-Kerry Madsen  [$2,200]; 8. 18-Ian Madsen  [$2,100]; 9. 49-Brad Sweet  [$2,050]; 10. 10H-Chad Kemenah  [$2,000]; 11. 41-Jason Johnson  [$1,500]; 12. 35-Jac Haudenschild  [$1,200]; 13. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$1,100]; 14. W20-Greg Wilson  [$1,050]; 15. 7C-Caleb Armstrong  [$1,000]; 16. 7S-Jason Sides  [$900]; 17. 23C-Tyler Courtney  [$800]; 18. 7-Paul McMahan  [$800]; 19. 1ST-Gary Taylor  [$800]; 20. 1B-Dale Blaney  [$800]; 21. 1A-Jacob Allen  [$800]; 22. 49X-Tim Shaffer  [$800]; 23. 19-Paige Polyak  [$800]; 24. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild  [$800].
Lap Leaders: Daryn Pittman 1-10, Shane Stewart 11-30
1. Donny Schatz 10167
2. Daryn Pittman 9894
3. David Gravel 9890
4. Brad Sweet 9877
5. Joey Saldana 9706
6. Shane Stewart 9702
7. Jason Johnson 9212
8. Logan Schuchart 9070
9. Jason Sides 8878
10. Paul McMahan 8584
Flag to Flag: Shane Stewart Dominates Hartford Speedway
by Tony Veneziano
HARTFORD, Mich. - September 21, 2016 - Shane Stewart knew that the initial start and any restarts would be crucial on Wednesday night at Hartford Speedway in Michigan, as the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series returned to the "Wicked Fast Half-Mile." Stewart wound up mastering the initial start and a pair of double-file restarts en route to picking up his seventh A-Feature win and eighth overall triumph of the season. Stewart led all 25 laps of the event, which was originally postponed by rain back on July 29.
The veteran driver started on the outside of the front row in the main event and used a strong start to power his way past pole sitter Donny Schatz on the high side in turn two. Stewart quickly pulled away, after taking the lead, before the first caution flag of the night flew on the second lap.
"The starts and restarts were everything tonight, especially being beside the (No) 15 car," said Stewart, who drives the Eneos machine for Larson Marks Racing. "I didn't think I would get that good of a start on the initial start. I was off a little in the dash and we made some good changes to our Cool Chassis that brought it back to life for the feature. I can't thank my crew enough. This team has been through some trying times this summer. To finally get on a little roll feels great. We have a few races left and some big races coming up that we want to run well at."
Stewart had a close call coming off turn four on the eighth circuit, as he was about to enter lapped traffic, jumping the cushion and nearly getting sideways. He packed the right rear with mud in the process, which led to a strong vibration for the rest of the race. As the leaders negotiated lapped traffic, Schatz was able to close in on the 10th lap and stuck with Stewart in traffic for a few circuits.
"It was so dirty in the middle (of the track) that I figured if I spun my tires at all Donny (Schatz) would get a good run on me," said Stewart. "If he could get along side of me in turn one, I knew he would slide me. It just worked out good for us. Sometimes those restarts work in your benefit and sometimes they don't. Tonight we were able to get good, clean starts. When you race Donny, you know he is always going to give you enough room. He could have slid me up there on the initial start pretty heavily on the back straightaway and he never does. It's always a joy and pleasure to race with him."
Schatz had one final shot at Stewart on a lap-18 restart. He dove low in turns one and two, making a bid for the lead, but to no avail. Stewart was then able to pull away and again quickly open a several car length lead. Schatz ended up finishing second as he continues to chase his eighth series championship for his Bad Boy Off Road team.
"Shane was definitely better tonight," said Schatz. "I knew we were going to be a little off the first couple laps. About eight laps in, I thought we would get going and just never did. It felt like the left rear was flat, but the tire is not flat. We have something going on there, but it was a respectable finish."
After winning the Craftsman Club Dash, Schatz started on the pole for the 25-lap race, with Stewart to his outside. On each of the double-file restarts, Schatz lined up on the outside of the sprawling half-mile. For Schatz, the runner-up performance was his 53rdtop-five finish of the season.
"It was a fast track and you just had to get up there and hammer down," Schatz noted. "We got on the bottom a few times and just weren't able to finish the corner. I guess sometimes when you get going and something doesn't feel quite right, it's better to not push the issue, with how fast you are going around here and get yourself in trouble. We've definitely torn up enough stuff in the last month. It was a respectable finish for these guys and a great job. We'll go on to Friday and try to win one."
Tim Shaffer finished third to record his best World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series finish of the season. The native of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania started sixth and gained a couple of spots on the opening lap. He then worked his way around Ian Madsen for the third position. At one point, Shaffer, Madsen and Daryn Pittman were three-wide, battling for the third spot.
"The team has given me great cars," said Shaffer. "Cody Jacobs came along tonight and really turned the wrenches well and we were fast. We had three crew guys and they all did their job. It was up to me to do my job, too. You had to make something happen on the restart. The car was very good on the restarts. We got strung out a bit in open track, but everyone on the team did a great job."
David Gravel finished fourth in the Big Game Treestands machine as he kept pace in the battle for the second spot in points. Pittman crossed the line fifth in the Great Clips No. 9 and holds a single-point advantage over Gravel. Brad Sweet was sixth aboard the Ollie's Bargain Outlet car. Jason Sides worked his way from the 19th starting spot to finish seventh. Ian Madsen was eighth, followed by Joey Saldana in ninth and Jason Johnson rounding out the top-10.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series returns to action on Friday at the famed Eldora Speedway for the opening night of the Four Crown Nationals.
Hartford Speedway Raceway Notebook
RACE NOTES: Shane Stewart in the Larson Marks Racing machine fends off a late-race charge from Donny Schatz to lead all 25-laps at Hartford Speedway. The race got excited with just under 10-laps remaining when a great three-wide battle for third-place took shape between Brad Sweet, David Gravel, Daryn Pittman and Tim Schaffer. It was Schaffer winning that battle to round out the podium behind Stewart and Schatz as your top-three finishers. This win marks number seven on the 2016 World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series for Stewart.
World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Hartford Speedway; Sept 21, 2016
Feature - (25 Laps)1. 2-Shane Stewart  [$10,000]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz  [$5,500]; 3. 49X-Tim Shaffer  [$3,200]; 4. 5-David Gravel  [$2,800]; 5. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$2,500]; 6. 49-Brad Sweet  [$2,300]; 7. 7S-Jason Sides  [$2,200]; 8. 18-Ian Madsen  [$2,100]; 9. 83-Joey Saldana  [$2,050]; 10. 41-Jason Johnson  [$2,000]; 11. 7-Paul McMahan  [$1,500]; 12. 1S-Logan Schuchart  [$1,200]; 13. 20N-Hunter Schuerenberg  [$1,100]; 14. 19-Paige Polyak  [$1,050]; 15. 11R-Chase Ridenour  [$1,000]; 16. 2M-Dustin Daggett  [$900]; 17. W20-Greg Wilson  [$800]; 18. 10V-Matt Vandervere  [$800]; 19. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$800]; 20. 1A-Jacob Allen  [$800]; 21. 25M-Kenny Mackey  [$800]; 22. 13-Clyde Knipp  [$800]; 23. 4-Danny Smith  [$800]; 24. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild  [$800]
Lap Leaders:Shane Stewart 1-25
1. Donny Schatz 10025
2. Daryn Pittman 9750
2. David Gravel 9750
4. Brad Sweet 9745
5. Joey Saldana 9568
6. Shane Stewart 9552
7. Jason Johnson 9084
8. Logan Schuchart 8924
9. Jason Sides 8760
10. Paul McMahan 8470
Hard-Fought Win: Joey Saldana victorious for second straight time in FVP Missouri High Banked Nationals
OSBORN, Mo. - Sept. 17, 2016 - Joey Saldana has long been known as one of the most fit drivers on the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series. All of that fitness came in handy on Saturday night as Saldana was victorious over Jason Johnson, another driver that puts a large emphasis on physical training. The pair waged a thrilling duel late in the race on a blazing fast and very physically demanding track at U.S. 36 Raceway in the FVP Missouri High Banked Nationals for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and National Sprint League.
The win for Saldana was his second straight at U.S. 36 Raceway and the fifth of the 2016 season. Also, it was his first victory since June 22. Saldana now has 99 career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series as he looks to become just the sixth driver in series history to cross the century mark. The win was also special for Saldana as it was his son, Ragan's, sixth birthday.
"This is unbelievable," said Saldana. "I've been struggling as of late. Actually, I've been struggling all year, not as of late. We' had some really good cars and Dennis and Teresa Roth give me great equipment to come out here and compete at a high level. This is what I wanted I just haven't been doing a good enough job. At least tonight, we did a good job and finished the whole night off. I'm here racing and he's not here at least I can take him home a trophy."
Saldana started second and took the lead from Danny Lasoski on a lap-five double-file restart. He charged to the high side in turns one and two, after restarting on the top-side of the ultra-high-banked three-eighths-mile. Saldana then encountered lapped traffic for much of the remainder of the 35-lap contest.
The final caution of the night came out on lap-16, with Saldana choosing the high line for the double-file restart. Lasoski dove low in turns one and two and nearly took the lead on the restart. A couple of laps later, Johnson closed on Lasoski and the pair battled for second.
Once Johnson moved to second, he quickly closed on Saldana and nearly took the lead a couple of times, while bouncing through some holes in turns one and two. Over the final five laps, Johnson nearly took the top spot from Saldana on several occasions. Both drivers were very complimentary of each other in terms of their physical prowess.
"Jason Johnson has been working out this year, and I've been working out quite a bit, and I've always worked out a lot since I got hurt," noted Saldana. "It definitely pays off in situations like this. Really, the biggest thing was making sure you didn't make a mistake. At the end, I knew if I tried too hard and did something stupid I would lose the race. I just to be patient, be smart and got it done tonight."
The win for Saldana was the first since veteran crew chief Tyler Swank joined the Roth Motorsports team towards the end of the West Coast Swing. Swank previously had a successful run with Kerry Madsen, who was Saldana's teammate in the Gold Cup Race of Champions last weekend at Silver Dollar Speedway in California.
"We're actually running the KPC that [Kerry] Madsen ran at Chico [Silver Dollar Speedway]," said Saldana. "I think it's a little better fit for Tyler Swank, who we have turning the wrenches on this thing. Tonight it paid off and it definitely was a nice piece to drive."
Johnson continued his strong second half of the season in the Priority Aviation/ Mesilla Valley Transportation machine, finishing second. The native of Eunice, Louisiana, started fourth and ran among the top-four for the entire 35-lap distance. At some points in the late going, he had a couple of wheels off the ground as he battled the challenging track.
"That was a lot of fun," said Johnson. "Look at Joey, he's as fit as can be. He does CrossFit and works out. He wasn't going to lay down for sure. I stuffed it in there a few times and gave it my best effort. I want to thank all of the great Missouri fans as well for coming out tonight."
Dating back to the end of July, Johnson has now finished in the top-10 in 16 of the last 17 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series races. During that stretch he has three wins and six top-three finishes.
"Everyone has worked their tails off all year and it seems like we have come into form the last month and have been picking up speed," noted the winner of this year's Knoxville Nationals. :It's a lot of fun from our standpoint. I couldn't be more of my entire team."
David Gravel used a late race charge to finish on the podium in the third position aboard the Big Game Treestands machine on Saturday night. The 24-year-old had a close call on the opening lap as he got some airtime, with his left rear wheel getting off the ground. He recovered from that and was able to run consistent laps to stay among the lead pack.
"It was real physical tonight," said Gravel. "I normally don't get tired with my hands and tonight I was gripping (the steering wheel) so hard to just not let go. We did a lot to free up the car and it seemed like we did it all. The crew gave me an awesome car. You just had to 'Man up' there. It was just one of those things where you had to 'Man up' and drive the car. We'll take third after where we ran last night and move on."
Shane Stewart finished fourth on Saturday night, using a strong surge on the final restart to work his way into the top-five. Brad Sweet finished fifth and is now tied with Gravel for the third spot in points. Lasoski, who led the first four laps finished sixth, with Donny Schatz seventh, and Kraig Kinser eighth. Daryn Pittman crossed the line ninth and holds a slim three-point edge over Gravel and Sweet in the battle for second in points. Kerry Madsen rounded out the top-10.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series returns to action on Wednesday, September 21 at Hartford Speedway in Michigan, for an event that was postponed by rain back in July.
U.S. 36 Raceway Notebook
RACE NOTES: Joey Saldana repeats what he did the last time the World of Outlaws Craftsman@ Series was at U.S. 36 Raceway in 2009, and wins the FVP Missouri High-Banked Nationals. From the very start Saldana battled Danny Lasoski for the lead, taking it from him on a restart 4 laps in. Jason Johnson and David Gravel followed him into Victory Lane.
World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; U.S. 36 Raceway; Sept 17, 2016
A-Main - (35 Laps) 1. 83-Joey Saldana  [$10,000]; 2. 41-Jason Johnson  [$5,500]; 3. 5-David Gravel  [$3,200]; 4. 2-Shane Stewart  [$2,800]; 5. 49-Brad Sweet  [$2,500]; 6. 2L-Danny Lasoski  [$2,300]; 7. 15-Donny Schatz  [$2,200]; 8. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$2,100]; 9. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$2,050]; 10. 17W-Kerry Madsen  [$2,000]; 11. 18-Ian Madsen  [$1,500]; 12. 21-Brian Brown  [$1,200]; 13. 2KS-Craig Dollansky  [$1,100]; 14. 7S-Jason Sides  [$1,050]; 15. 55-Brooke Tatnell  [$1,000]; 16. W20-Greg Wilson  [$900]; 17. 1S-Logan Schuchart  [$800]; 18. 17-Josh Baughman  [$800]; 19. 87-Aaron Reutzel  [$800]; 20. 75-Glen Saville  [$800]; 21. 1A-Jacob Allen  [$800]; 22. 20N-Hunter Schuerenberg  [$800]; 23. 7W-Tasker Phillips  [$800]; 24. 2C-Wayne Johnson  [$800];
Lap Leaders: Danny Lasoski 1-4, Joey Saldana 5-35;
Unofficial World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Championship Standings
Pos. Car Driver Total Diff Wins Top 5's Top 10's QT
1. Donny Schatz 9879
2. Daryn Pittman 9610
3. David Gravel 9607
3. Brad Sweet 9607
5. Joey Saldana 9436
6. Shane Stewart 9402
7. Jason Johnson 8954
8. Logan Schuchart 8798
9. Jason Sides 8624
10. Paul McMahan 8342
Johnson King of the Mountain at El Paso
Schatz recovers from early trouble for second
CALHAN, Colo. - Sept. 14, 2016 - Jason Johnson dominated the 24-car field Wednesday night, winning The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series' inaugural stop at El Paso County Raceway. Johnson led all 40 laps to take home the $10,000 purse.
In the series' first stop in the state of Colorado since 2005, Johnson's consistent performance landed him in the Craftsman Club® Dash. By virtue of the invert, Johnson's No. 41 Jason Johnson Racing Maxim car led the six-car dash into the green flag; he did not forfeit his top-spot, which put him in the lead spot for the feature.
"I'm surrounded by a great group of guys..." said Johnson, beaming ear-to-ear. "...including Tim Engler. Because the altitude is so different here, we worked with Tim all last week preparing for tonight. He definitely helped us out to get our Kistler engine running pretty good."
In a 40-lap thriller that had the track's record-breaking crowd on the edge of their seats, the 2015 World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year held his ground. But it was the unexpected that had the crowd in awe on the opening lap of the race. In a five caution showdown, the first caution included one of the series' top juggernauts.
Defending Series Champion and current points leader Donny Schatz had a rare miscue barreling into turn four, overshooting the cushion. This set Schatz back. Schatz, who had 64 top ten finishes entering the day, was an outsider looking into the top ten at 15th place.
On the restart, Brad Sweet catapulted his No. 49 Kasey Kahne Racing GF1 racecar into second position from fourth. Sweet became the utmost threat for Johnson at this point in the race, as he began to chip away at Johnson's lead. Like a teeter-totter, Johnson recovered his lead. He led by a 1.261-second margin 10 laps into the feature.
Sweet again charged ahead, diminishing Johnson's lead to .657 seconds on lap 18. Schatz, who made his way to 12th, continued to rise up to seventh position before the race's third caution. On the restart, the swiftness of Schatz's No. 15 Tony Stewart/ Curb-Agajanian Racing J&J machine landed him a podium spot. While Schatz moved through the field, Johnson fended-off Sweet's advances.
"I just stayed consistent and changed-up where I started," Johnson said. "Brad was doing a hell of a job. Hats off to his race team. I saw Brad there the first restart in turns three and four, and he raced me clean. He's a class-act. I can't thank him enough. I want to thank the crowd. It's nice to come to Colorado."
With 15 laps remaining, 1.527 seconds separated Johnson from Sweet. Schatz, still gaining ground, was a within .400 seconds of Sweet. Though the race's fourth caution regrouped the field - and more importantly the podium - the splits foreshadowed the impending battle between Sweet and Schatz.
"Jason always got a good run, and for the time we waited off turn two, with the angle of the track we just about ran into him," Sweet said. "Then Donny snuck up on us at the end. We were just a little bit off. We didn't know it was going to be this slick. [The track] slicked-off pretty early."
Sweet and Schatz found themselves in a battle for the runner-up position. The two drag-raced side-by-side down the stretches of the quarter-mile oval, but it took Schatz seven more laps to get under Sweet. Schatz solidified second, while Johnson was on his way to a victory.
"I'm stuck in West Coast mode, I guess," Schatz said. "I just made a mistake getting in there, and I'm lucky I didn't go into the wall. I got back going, and it would have been nice to see that go without all the yellows. I started to pick them off pretty good. You make mistakes like that, and you get fired for mistakes like that. But, we got to rebound."
Schatz, who cut Johnson's lead from .665 seconds to .371 seconds in two laps, took a shot at the checkers. The fans cheered on the two 900-horsepower cars thundering down the front-stretch. But it was Johnson who got the best of Schatz. Sweet rounded-out the podium. Johnson was able to scale his car in victory lane with his son Jaxx, slapping a big smooch on the side of his face. The victory was Johnson's third of the season.
"It's fun to compete with the World of Outlaws and guys like Donny Schatz," said Johnson. "The guys you look up to. It's a great honor, and I want to thank you all for coming out."
El Paso County Raceway Notebook
RACE NOTES: Jason Johnson led every lap of the 40-lap feature Wednesday night, enjoying his third win of the season. The victory was Johnson's 16th top-five performance of 2016. His last victory was on August 13 at the famed 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals, where he also survived a push by Schatz.
Feature - (40 Laps) - 1. 41-Jason Johnson  [$10,000]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz  [$5,500]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet  [$3,200]; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart  [$2,800]; 5. 7S-Jason Sides  [$2,500]; 6. 5-David Gravel  [$2,300]; 7. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$2,200]; 8. 9X-Jake Bubak  [$2,100]; 9. W20-Greg Wilson  [$2,050]; 10. 7-Parker Price-Miller  [$2,000]; 11. 83-Joey Saldana  [$1,500]; 12. 2-Shane Stewart  [$1,200]; 13. 1A-Jacob Allen  [$1,100]; 14. 21-Brian Brown  [$1,050]; 15. OJ-Jeremy McCune  [$1,000]; 16. 24-Rich Martin  [$900]; 17. O5-Justin Wolfe Medlock  [$800]; 18. 13-Clyde Knipp  [$800]; 19. 77-Damon McCune  [$800]; 20. 4P-JR Nelson  [$800]; 21. 14J-Jeff Hefner  [$800]; 22. 24X-Leroy Brush  [$800]; 23. 2N-Shad Peterson  [$800]; 24. 4N-John Nelson  [$800].
Lap Leaders: Jason Johnson 1-40;
1. Donny Schatz 9593
2. David Gravel 9337
3. Daryn Pittman 9332
4. Brad Sweet 9323
5. Joey Saldana 9170
6. Shane Stewart 9120
7. Jason Johnson 8672
8. Logan Schuchart 8540
9. Jason Sides 8366
10. Paul McMahan 8072
Outlaws and Posse will Settle the Score at the National Open
CONCORD, N.C. - Sept. 12, 2016 - The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series returns to the Keystone State September 29 through October 1 for the historic Champion Racing Oil National Open. With 54 years of history, this three-day showdown brings some of the biggest names in motorsports to the half-mile legendary Williams Grove Speedway to settle a timeless rivalry between the Outlaws and the Pennsylvania Posse.
The Champion Racing Oil National Open is Williams Grove Speedway's cornerstone event, with more than 40 winged-beasts soaring on the famed half-mile oval, battling side-by-side for three straight nights, all vying for the east coast's best 3-day purse, with $275,000 in total payouts. Last year's finale featured 48 of the best wheelmen in the business, and they mean business at the tail-end of the 2016 Outlaws season.
The Outlaws-PA Posse rivalry is currently even, 2-2, and this culminating three-day spectacular will decide where the bragging rights fall. Lance Dewease has led the charge with two Posse victories, but Dewease and company will clash with current points leader Donny Schatz and a star-studded group of Platinum drivers in just over two weeks. With more reward and a chance at the ultimate payback, who will take this round on the Outlaws' final trip to The Grove in 2016?
Last year, Steve Smith picked up his third career event win - his first in 24 years - with Schatz coming in second. But the year before he was beat out by David Gravel in his first track win, with Schatz in second again.
The three-day program ends Saturday night with the big 40-lap feature paying $50K-to-win. Thursday and Friday feature a pair of 25-lap, $10,000-to-win mains. But more money is on the line for some special competitors.
2016 Champion Racing Oil National Open - On Track Events:
Thursday, September 29th:
World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series
Complete Program including Time Trials
25 Lap Feature paying $10,000 to win
Gates open at 5:00 with racing at 7:30
Friday, September 30th:
World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series
Complete Program including Time Trials
25 Lap Feature paying $10,000 to win
Awesome Fireworks Display
Gates open at 5:00 with racing at 7:30
Saturday, October 1st: (rain date Sunday, October 2nd)
World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series
No Time Trials - Heat races set up by combined Thursday & Friday point values.
40 Lap Feature paying $50,000 to win
Awesome Fireworks Display
Final 2016 Williams Grove Point Race - $16,000 Speedway Champion will be crowned.
Gates open at 4:00 with racing at 6:30
California Native Rico Abreu Wins a Wild Gold Cup Race of Champions Finale at Silver Dollar Speedway
CHICO, Calif. - Sept. 10, 2016 - For the sixth time in seven years the Gold Cup Race of Champions trophy is staying in the Golden State after Rutherford, California's Rico Abreu dominated much of the feature on Saturday, before holding off a late charge from Daryn Pittman to score his first career win in the 63rd running of the prestigious event.
A wild and intense 40-lap Gold Cup finale was presented to fans on Saturday night in Chico. The victory marked Abreu's fifth career World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series triumph aboard the Abreu Vineyards No. 24 machine. It was his second win of the season to go along with his victory at the Ironman 55 in Pevely during the month of August.
"This is pretty awesome and a special feeling to win the Gold Cup," Abreu commented with a big smile after the race. "Hats off to my guys for all their hard work and for giving me a great car tonight. The track changed a lot over the course of the race and the cautions definitely fell our way. Daryn [Pittman] was fast and gave me a good run there at the end. Moving up top on those later restarts helped us win this race. I'm glad to be back home racing in California and excited we could park it tonight in Chico."
The main event started out with pole sitter and dash winner Paul McMahan of Nashville, Tennessee jumping into the lead of the race. Abreu showed his muscle early on however, by moving into second on lap-two and then claimed the top-spot on a lap five restart. Pittman battled his way forward at the same time to overtake McMahan for the runner up position on lap 12, before setting his sights on the leader. The track had widened out nicely for the main event and featured multi-groove racing throughout the field.
Pittman would challenge Abreu for the lead on lap 17, prior to a caution waving, which took the leaders out of traffic.
A number of stoppages plagued the flow of the feature, but through it all Abreu kept his composure out front. Towards the end of the race Pittman did find new life though and made a few bids at the lead, only to have the yellow flag wave on three separate occasions. Abreu wisely moved up to run the high-line on the final two restarts, giving him the chance to pull out to a large enough lead, ultimately coming out on top by just under half a second for the victory.
Dating back to 2010, he becomes the fourth different driver from California to win the Gold Cup Race of Champions.
Pittman crossed the stripe in second to cap a solid night for the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 9 team. The 2006 Gold Cup winner came close to adding a second victory at the event. The finish also moved him to third in the World of Outlaws standings and he now sits just three-points out of second.
"We kept making gains on those restarts, but the cautions just didn't fall my way tonight. Rico [Abreu] did a great job on the restarts though throughout the race so I have to congratulate him on the win. My guys gave me a great car tonight ,and I gave it my all in the feature, but just came up a little short. We've been working hard all year, and I'm just trying to keep up with these kids out here. Huge thanks to everyone with KKR for allowing me to drive this car."
Auburn, California's Andy Forsberg had a tremendous run in the main event to round out the podium at the helm of the A&A Stepping Stone No. 92 mount. The former Silver Dollar Speedway track champ pressured Pittman at one point for second, before claiming third at the finish. It marked his second career podium result at the Gold Cup.
"This is almost unreal to be up here on the podium again at the Gold Cup Race of Champions," Forsberg said. "To do this with the World of Outlaws is a big deal. I can't thank my car owners enough for letting me come out and have fun with these guys. Thanks also to the fans that came out and supported this event."
Bixby, Oklahoma's Shane Stewart earned the KSE Hard Charger Award with a fine run from 16th to fourth in the feature, while Washington driver Austen Wheatley recorded his best career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series finish in fifth. The top-10 was rounded out by Watertown, Connecticut's David Gravel; Wooster, Ohio's Jac Haudenschild; St. Mary's NSW, Australia's Kerry Madsen; Hanover, Pennsylvania's Logan Schuchart and Hanford, California's DJ Netto.
The most serious incident during the feature occurred on lap 35 when McMahan got upside down in turn one after contact from another competitor. He emerged from the car alert, but complaining of neck pain. McMahan was then transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
Paradise, California's Kyle Hirst won the night's Last chance Showdown, with British Columbia driver Robbie Price bringing home the win in the C-main. Four 10-lap heat races were held during the night and claimed by Rico Abreu, Brad Sweet, Paul McMahan and Austen Wheatley. Sweet's night would come to a premature end when he lost a motor while battling in the top-five during the feature. Abreu started out the night by setting fast time with a blistering lap of 11.150 around the quarter-mile.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will return to action this coming Wednesday night at the El Paso County Raceway in Calhan, Colorado.
Silver Dollar Speedway Notebook - Gold Cup Race of Champions, Night Two
RACE NOTES: California native Rico Abreu added his name to the list of Gold Cup Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway Saturday night after a long, collision-filled race. Daryn Pittman, all over Abreu for much of the 40-lap feature, finished second, bringing him back up to third in points standings. Local driver Andy Forsberg finished third.
World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Silver Dollar Speedway, Calif.; Sept 10, 2016
Feature - (40 Laps) - 1. 24-Rico Abreu  [$12,000]; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$5,700]; 3. 92-Andy Forsberg  [$3,500]; 4. 2-Shane Stewart  [$3,000]; 5. 44W-Austen Wheatley  [$2,600]; 6. 5-David Gravel  [$2,400]; 7. 57-Jac Haudenschild  [$2,300]; 8. 83JR-Kerry Madsen  [$2,200]; 9. 1S-Logan Schuchart  [$2,150]; 10. 3C-DJ Netto  [$2,100]; 11. 83-Joey Saldana  [$1,600]; 12. M21-Kalib Henry  [$1,350]; 13. 29-Willie Croft  [$1,300]; 14. 31BC-Justyn Cox  [$1,200]; 15. 7S-Jason Sides  [$1,100]; 16. OO-Cory Eliason  [$1,000]; 17. 77-Kyle Hirst  [$900]; 18. 15-Donny Schatz  [$850]; 19. 7-Paul McMahan  [$800]; 20. 49-Brad Sweet  [$800]; 21. 41-Jason Johnson  [$800]; 22. OOX-Jason Statler  [$800]; 23. 1A-Jacob Allen  [$800]; 24. O-Bud Kaeding  [$800].
Lap Leaders: Paul McMahan 1-5, Rico Abreu 6-40;
1. Donny Schatz 9447
2. David Gravel 9199
3. Daryn Pittman 9196
4. Brad Sweet 9178
5. Joey Saldana 9042
6. Shane Stewart 8994
7. Jason Johnson 8522
8. Logan Schuchart 8398
9. Jason Sides 8226
10. Paul McMahan 8072
Bixby, Oklahoma's Shane Stewart Kicks Off Gold Cup Race of Champions in Victory Lane at Silver Dollar Speedway
By Gary Thomas
CHICO, Calif. - Sept. 9, 2016 - Putting a recent string of bad luck behind him Bixby, Oklahoma's Shane Stewart proceeded to score an emphatic victory on opening night of the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series sanctioned Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway on Friday.
Stewart has shown immense speed during the Western Swing, and it paid off with his sixth victory of the 2016 season aboard the Larson Marks Racing No. 2 machine. It was also the second straight season he opened the Gold Cup Race of Champions in victory lane.
"This has always been one of those events that I've wanted to win, so hopefully we can come back tomorrow and do the same," Stewart commented following the race. "We've had some tough luck, but have gained a lot of speed lately, which has given me a lot of confidence. These races are so hard to win with the competition that it's always a big deal when you can do it. My guys have worked really hard so I can't thank them enough. We got through traffic pretty well in the main event, and the cautions fell our way. We'll now try and do it again tomorrow."
Stewart took the lead from Brownsburg, Indiana's Joey Saldana on lap 11 in traffic and led the remaining distance without worries, except for one slight moment with a couple laps left when he got over the back stretch. It allowed Saldana to close, but Stewart was able to hang on and take the checkered flag by 0.680 seconds.
Saldana himself was locked in a closely fought battle with Wooster, Ohio's Jac Haudenschild. The two former Gold Cup champions ran closely together the final half of the race, which ended with Saldana claiming second at the stripe.
Saldana had taken the lead at the waving of the green flag over pole sitter Mason Moore of Princeton, California. "My guys worked really hard tonight and it's nice to be back up here on the front stretch," said the driver of the Roth Motorsports No. 83 mount.
"Having a shot to win is all you can ask for and we were right there tonight. Shane [Stewart] did a good job in traffic and he had some really nice restarts. We'll come back tomorrow and try to get one spot better."
Haudenschild came home in third to continue what has been a solid week driving for California car owner Paul Silva. He hounded Saldana's rear bumper for a number of laps, but couldn't quite find a way by.
"Paul Silva gave me a great car again, so I want to give him a huge thanks. It's nice to be back at the Gold Cup. I've always loved coming here to Chico over the years. It would mean a lot if we can get another one tomorrow."
Owasso, Oklahoma's Daryn Pittman claimed a fourth place finish for the second race in a row, with Fargo North, Dakota's Donny Schatz rounding out the top-five. The remainder of the top-10 was completed by Grass Valley, California's Brad Sweet; Fremont, California's Shane Golobic; St. Mary's NSW, Australia's Kerry Madsen; Eunice, Louisiana's Jason Johnson and Watertown, Connecticut's David Gravel.
One red flag period occurred during the feature when a multi-car pileup was seen in turn three on lap 12. Rutherford, California's Rico Abreu and Nashville, Tennessee's Paul McMahan both got upside down during the melee, but were okay. Also involved were Jacob Allen, Logan Schuchart, Kyle Hirst and Jason Johnson.
As noted, Mason Moore won the Craftsman Club® Dash, while Hanford, California's DJ Netto captured the C-main and Clarksburg, California's Justyn Cox claimed the Last Chance Showdown. Four 10-lap heat races were held during the night, with victories going to Joey Saldana, Mason Moore, Jac Haudenschild and Shane Stewart.
With 38 cars signing in for opening night of the Gold Cup, split qualifying was used. Daryn Pittman set fast time in the opening group, while Rico Abreu set fast time in group two. Abreu's lap of 11.652 was the overall quick time for the night.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will return to action tomorrow night for the finale of the 63rd annual Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico.
Silver Dollar Speedway Notebook
RACE NOTES: Shane Stewart scored his sixth win of the season on the first night of the Gold Cup Race of Champions at the Silver Dollar Speedway. The battle with Joey Saldana was on from the getgo, with Stewart taking the lead on lap 11 and holding it for the remaining 19 laps with numerous cautions throughout. "Wild Child" Jac Haudenschild takes third.
World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Silver Dollar Speedway, Calif.; Sept 9, 2016
Feature - (30 Laps) - 1. 2-Shane Stewart  [$8,000]; 2. 83-Joey Saldana  [$4,000]; 3. 57-Jac Haudenschild  [$2,500]; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$2,200]; 5. 15-Donny Schatz  [$2,100]; 6. 49-Brad Sweet  [$2,000]; 7. 22-Shane Golobic  [$1,800]; 8. 83JR-Kerry Madsen  [$1,600]; 9. 41-Jason Johnson  [$1,500]; 10. 5-David Gravel  [$1,300]; 11. 41X-Dominic Scelzi  [$1,200]; 12. OO-Cory Eliason  [$1,100]; 13. O-Bud Kaeding  [$1,000]; 14. 7S-Jason Sides  [$700]; 15. 92-Andy Forsberg  [$600]; 16. 1S-Logan Schuchart  [$600]; 17. 31BC-Justyn Cox  [$600]; 18. 22M-Mason Moore  [$600]; 19. M21-Kalib Henry  [$600]; 20. 1A-Jacob Allen  [$600]; 21. 24-Rico Abreu  [$600]; 22. 77-Kyle Hirst  [$600]; 23. 7-Paul McMahan  [$600]; 24. 29-Willie Croft  [$600].
Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1-11, Shane Stewart 12-30; .
1. Donny Schatz 9333
2. Brad Sweet 9068
3. David Gravel 9061
4. Daryn Pittman 9050
5. Joey Saldana 8914
6. Shane Stewart 8852
7. Jason Johnson 8414
8. Logan Schuchart 8266
9. Jason Sides 8106
10. Paul McMahan 7960
Schatz Picks Up World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Season Win 21 during a Non-Stop Affair at Willamette Speedway
LEBANON, Ore. - Sept. 7, 2016 - After taking the lead early on, Fargo, North Dakota's Donny Schatz proceeded to dominate the final half of the feature on Wednesday night at Willamette Speedway to score his World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series leading 21st victory of the season.
With the win Schatz has now captured five of the seven World of Outlaws events held since the Knoxville Nationals aboard his Tony Stewart Racing/ Bad Boy Off Road No. 15 machine. The triumph came during a non-stop 30-lap affair that was completed in just over seven minutes.
"What a great job by this whole Tony Stewart Racing team once again so I can't say enough about them," Schatz commented. "I felt like I wasted a little time in traffic early, but then started getting through it really well. I know that if you stumble at any moment the guys we race with are so good that they will pounce on you. It's always special to come back to Oregon also, since I won my first World of Outlaws race in this state back in 1998. It was definitely a demanding track, and going 30-laps non-stop is never easy to do. I know that I can definitely use a drink about right now."
Schatz started on the outside of the front row, but lost the early lead at the waving of the green flag to pole sitter Brad Sweet. The Grass Valley, California driver rolled the bottom side, while Schatz utilized the high-line to sweep around for the lead on lap four. Once entering traffic Sweet stayed close and made a bid for the lead on lap 11. Schatz was able to hang on though and stretched his lead from there on out, leading much of the time by a full straightaway.
The battle for second turned out to be an entertaining one between Sweet and Bixby, Oklahoma's Shane Stewart in traffic.
Stewart sliced his way past Sweet at the halfway point of the 30-lap contest, only to have him return the favor for the spot four-laps later. The duo continued to race closely together while battling through the slower cars, until Stewart took back the runner up position that he would never relinquish on lap 22. The second place result was a great rebound for Stewart and his Larson Marks Racing team after tough luck has plagued them in recent weeks.
"We had a really good car in the feature and this is a great finish for our whole team," Stewart said. "We've been real good lately, but have fought through a lot of bad luck, so hopefully this will get the monkey off our backs. We've worked really hard to gain speed over the course of the season and I think we have done that, so I definitely want to thank all my guys for their support. I wish I would have moved up a little quicker, but hats off to Donny [Schatz] and his guys because they are always tough. Hopefully we can carry this momentum into Chico this weekend."
Sweet's bid at a clean sweep for the night came up just short, with him crossing the stripe in third at the helm of the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 49 mount. He began the evening by setting a new Willamette Speedway track record in qualifying, before winning his heat race and the dash. It marked Sweet's second straight podium finish in World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series competition.
"We would have liked to win the feature tonight, but that's racing," Sweet commented following the race. "It was a lot of fun battling with Shane [Stewart] through lapped traffic. We just needed to be a little bit better on the top, but I can't complain about a podium finish. We had really fast car all night long, so I want to thank my whole team for giving me great stuff again. I look forward to heading back home to California this weekend for the Gold Cup in Chico. That's one event I definitely want to get under my belt so we'll give it our best shot."
Owasso, Oklahoma's Daryn Pittman gave second & third a strong run in traffic, before settling for a fourth place finish at the checkered. The former Outlaw champ looked solid in the feature aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 9 Sprinter. After winning the last two events Watertown, Connecticut's David Gravel brought home a fifth place finish on Wednesday behind the wheel of the CJB Motorsports No. 5.
The remainder of the top-10 was completed by Bartlett, Tennessee's Jason Sides; Eunice, Louisiana's Jason Johnson; Fresno, California's Dominic Scelzi; Brownsburg, Indiana's Joey Saldana and Hanover, Pennsylvania's Logan Schuchart.
As noted, Sweet captured the dash and the opening heat race, while Daryn Pittman claimed the other heat race held. Paul McMahan won the night's 10-lap qualifying race. Sweet's new Willamette Speedway track record of 11.513 to open the night was also his series-leading 12th fast time of the season.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will now head south to California for the 63rd annual Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico this Friday & Saturday September 9 & 10. Get more info on the prestigious event.
Willamette Speedway Notebook
RACE NOTES: Donny Schatz scored his first-ever win at Willamette Speedway in a non-stop, 7:03-minute, 30-lap feature. Meanwhile, a tough battle was fought for second and third, with 2014 Willamette winner Shane Stewart taking second, and Brad Sweet finishing behind him for third.
World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Willamette Speedway, Ore.; Sept 7, 2016
A-Main - (30 Laps) 1. 15-Donny Schatz  [$6,000]; 2. 2-Shane Stewart  [$3,500]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet  [$2,000]; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$1,800]; 5. 5-David Gravel  [$1,500]; 6. 7S-Jason Sides  [$1,400]; 7. 41-Jason Johnson  [$1,350]; 8. 41X-Dominic Scelzi  [$1,300]; 9. 83-Joey Saldana  [$1,250]; 10. 1S-Logan Schuchart  [$1,200]; 11. 7-Paul McMahan  [$900]; 12. 44W-Austen Wheatley  [$800]; 13. 33V-Henry VanDam  [$700]; 14. 55-Trey Starks  [$650]; 15. 18-Jason Solwold  [$600]; 16. 21-Robbie Price  [$550]; 17. W20-Greg Wilson  [$500]; 18. 1A-Jacob Allen  [$500]; 19. 13-Clyde Knipp  [$500].
Lap Leaders: Brad Sweet 1-2, Donny Schatz 3-30;
1. Donny Schatz 9193
2. David Gravel 8931
3. Brad Sweet 8930
4. Daryn Pittman 8908
5. Joey Saldana 8768
6. Shane Stewart 8702
7. Jason Johnson 8282
8. Logan Schuchart 8148
9. Jason Sides 7984
10. Paul McMahan 7856
David Gravel Gets Out the Broom & Sweeps the Outlaw Energy Showdown at Skagit Speedway
ALGER, Washington - September 3, 2016 - After winning on opening night at the Skagit Speedway, Watertown, Connecticut's David Gravel returned on Saturday with confidence and raced to an entertaining late-race victory for the second evening in a row with the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series.
The opener of the Outlaw Energy Showdown on Friday had seen Gravel claim a final corner thriller, and on Saturday he was able to take advantage of heavy lapped traffic with just six-laps remaining, scooping up the lead that he would never relinquish. It marked the ninth triumph of the season for the CJB Motorsports/ Big Game Tree Stands No. 5 team. The 35-lap feature went green for 33-laps and showcased some outstanding racing in traffic on the well prepared Skagit oval.
"The track was awesome tonight, I don't think you can ask for anything better," Gravel commented. "It's been such a great year for us that it almost feels unreal. I want to thank the whole CJB Motorsports team for giving me the opportunity to drive the 5 car this season. Tonight I could put this thing anywhere on the track and that's a testament to Barry Jackson and my team. The cushion was the place to be, but to win these races you have to be capable of moving around. Luckily we had a break when Joey (Saldana) got caught up in traffic and were able to take advantage it."
Gravel started on the inside of the second row during the feature and settled into third on the start. He then hounded the rear bumper of Grass Valley's Brad Sweet, before making the move around him on lap 11. The duo proceeded to then tussle for the runner up spot, all the while racing closely behind leader Joey Saldana. The Brownsburg, Indiana competitor was looking for his fifth victory of the season and held the field at bay for much of the contest.
On lap 27 Gravel & Sweet exchanged the second position, which saw Gravel get the better of it. Two-laps later the complexion of the race changed when Saldana got slowed up by a lapped car on the front stretch, giving Gravel the opportunity he needed to pounce for the lead. Sweet was also able to come through for second, as Saldana regained his momentum in third.
The only stoppage of the race then occurred with 33-laps complete, when fifth running Shane Stewart got upside down in turn three. Just ahead of that, a multiple-car pileup also occurred, that saw Austen Wheatley get upside down. Paul McMahan, Trey Starks and Jacob Allen were also involved.
The green white checkered restart was all Gravel as he rocketed away to claim the victory by 1.284 seconds over Sweet, who earned another solid finish aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing/ Ollie's Bargain Outlets No. 49 machine. Both Sweet & Gravel are locked in an ultra close race for the second spot in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series standings.
"The track was really good tonight and definitely a lot of fun racing through traffic," said Sweet, who earned his 38th top-five finish of the season. "David (Gravel) did a great job in traffic so I have to congratulate him on winning again. He got by me early in the race and I knew it would be hard to get back by him. We had a great car tonight and showed a lot of speed all weekend. Huge thanks to my team for all their support. We're certainly out here to win races, but it's hard to be disappointed with a second place finish. We just have to get a little better and we'll move on to Elma Monday."
After leading the first 28-laps in the feature Saldana was forced to settle for a third place finish at the helm of the Roth Motorsports/ HR Livestock No. 83 Sprinter. Like the other two drivers the veteran also commented on the well prepared surface, which saw track crews stay up till 2am the night before to help get it into shape.
"The track was awesome and we did pretty much everything right tonight, but just got a bad break in traffic. I hate it for my guys, because we were really good in the main event. These races are often won or lost in traffic and unfortunately for us it didn't go our way tonight. We'll look forward to Elma now on Monday. I want to thank Dennis & Teresa Roth for giving me the chance to drive this car. Hopefully we can give them a win real soon."
Eunice, Louisiana's Jason Johnson had a great restart on lap 33 to go from sixth to fourth, making a couple of strong moves to get around Owasso, Oklahoma's Daryn Pittman & Hanover, Pennsylvania's Logan Schuchart, who finished fifth & sixth respectively.
Fargo, North Dakota's Donny Schatz earned the KSE Hard Charger Award by carving his way from 20th to seventh. The current point leader was stuck deep in the field after getting upside down and suffering a DNF in his heat race. Mount Vernon, Washington's Jason Solwold; Puyallup, Washington's Trey Starks and Jacob Allen completed the top-10.
Joey Saldana captured the night's dash, while the three 10-lap heat races were picked off by David Gravel, Saldana and Brad Sweet. Gravel opened the night by setting his sixth fast time effort of the season by touring the Skagit Speedway in 10.967 seconds.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will return to action on Monday night at the Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Washington for the Lucky Eagle Casino Grays Harbor Grudge Match presented by NAPA Auto Parts.
Skagit Speedway Notebook
RACE REPORT: After winning on opening night at the Skagit Speedway, Watertown, Connecticut's David Gravel returned on Saturday with confidence and raced to an entertaining late-race victory for the second evening in a row with the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series. Outlaws Brad Sweet and Joey Saldana shared the spotlight with second and third place.
World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Skagit Speedway, Wash.; Sept 3, 2016
A-Main - (35 Laps) - 1. 5-David Gravel  [$12,000]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet  [$5,700]; 3. 83-Joey Saldana  [$3,500]; 4. 41-Jason Johnson  [$3,000]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart  [$2,600]; 6. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$2,400]; 7. 15-Donny Schatz  [$2,300]; 8. 18-Jason Solwold  [$2,200]; 9. 55-Trey Starks  [$2,150]; 10. 1A-Jacob Allen  [$2,100]; 11. 7-Paul McMahan  [$1,600]; 12. 7S-Jason Sides  [$1,350]; 13. 41X-Dominic Scelzi  [$1,300]; 14. 33V-Henry VanDam  [$1,200]; 15. 39C-Travis Rilat  [$1,100]; 16. W20-Greg Wilson  [$1,000]; 17. 21-Robbie Price  [$900]; 18. 13-Clyde Knipp  [$850]; 19. 2-Shane Stewart  [$800]; 20. 44W-Austen Wheatley  [$800]; 21. 9A-Luke Didiuk  [$800]; 22. 22X-Trevor Cook  [$800]
Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1-29, David Gravel 30-35;
Unofficial World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Championship Standings
1. Donny Schatz 9043
2. David Gravel 8791
3. Brad Sweet 8785
4. Daryn Pittman 8766
5. Joey Saldana 8636
6. Shane Stewart 8556
7. Jason Johnson 8146
8. Logan Schuchart 8018
9. Jason Sides 7846
10. Paul McMahan 7728
1. Donny Schatz 10317
2. Daryn Pittman 10033
3. David Gravel 10032
4. Brad Sweet 10021
5. Joey Saldana 9842
6. Shane Stewart 9842
7. Jason Johnson 9338
8. Logan Schuchart 9216
9. Jason Sides 9006
10. Paul McMahan 8700