Column: Points Battle Tightens As World of Outlaws Sprints Get Ready To Face PA Posse

Column By: NICK GRAZIANO / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – SARVER, PA – The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series invades Pennsylvania for the first time in 2020 this week with four races in five days.

The PA Swing will kick off with the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway on Tues., July 21. Then the World of Outlaws will enter PA Posse territory for the Gettysburg Clash presented by Drydene at Lincoln Speedway on Thurs., July 23 and the Champion Racing Oil Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway on Fri., July 24 and Sat., July 25.

With half of the season down and several drivers in contention for the Series championship, the four Pennsylvania races could further shake up the epic points battle.

Here are the top storylines to follow this week:

POINTS BATTLE HEATING UP: With half of the World of Outlaws season remaining, the top-five in points are all within 100 points from leader Brad Sweet. The reigning champion, of Grass Valley, CA, is on a rare streak of three DNFs in a row – the first time since 2013 that’s happened in his career – bringing the competition within striking distance.

Ten-time Series champion Donny Schatz is now only two points behind Sweet in second and Logan Schuchart is 14 points back in third. Former Rookie of the Year winners Carson Macedo and Sheldon Haudenschild have also found themselves in striking distance now with Macedo 56 points back in fourth and Haudenschild 74 points back in fifth.

Sweet and his Kasey Kahne Racing team will be poised to end their string of bad luck during the PA Swing, starting with Lernerville Speedway where Sweet earned his 50th career win in September. He has yet to win at Lincoln Speedway or Williams Grove Speedway but had top-five and top-10 runs at both tracks in 2019.

SCHATZ RETURNING TO FORM: Ten-time Series champion Donny Schatz, of Fargo, ND, had also found himself on a rare streak of four finishes outside the top-10 and struggled to find consistency. He and his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team have recently broken that streak and are now on a run of four top-fives in a row – three of them runner-up finishes.

There may be no slowing him down during the PA Swing with Schatz having previously won at all three track. He has eight wins at Lernerville Speedway, most recently the 2017 Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup. He has one win at Lincoln Speedway in 2016 – however Schatz had to use a provisional to start the race at the 3/8-mile track last year. And he’s one of the most success drivers at Williams Grove Speedway with 20 wins at the historic track, including a win during the Champion Racing Oil Summer Nationals last year.

SHARKS SWIM HOME: The Hanover, PA team of Shark Racing will be on the hunt for its first World of Outlaws win in its home state this week. Logan Schuchart and Jacob Allen have had a strong 2020 season, so far, with Schuchart currently at five wins and Allen finding more consistency and sitting in the top-10 in points.

Both Allen and Schuchart finished inside the top-10 at all three Pennsylvania tracks last year. With the run of consistently strong finishes they’ve both been putting together; this could be the year the Drydene-backed Shark Racing wins at home.

GRAVEL EYES REPEAT WINS: After struggling to find the consistency he had with his Jason Johnson Racing team last year, David Gravel, of Watertown, CT, and JJR have found their groove again. They’re on a streak of eight top-10s in a row – including their second win of the year at Wilmot Raceway.

They’ll look to keep that streak going during the PA Swing at three tracks Gravel has had success at before. He has one win at Lincoln Speedway in 2017 – the last Outlaw to beat the PA Posse at the 3/8-mile. And last year, he won the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway and won twice at Williams Grove.

MACEDO TARGETS PA SUCCESS: Pennsylvania tracks were Carson Macedo’s Achilles heel last year. In one start at Lincoln Speedway, two at Lernerville Speedway and six at Williams Grove Speedway, the Lemoore, CA native collected one top-10 at Williams Grove in July.

While he’s yet to run a World of Outlaws event at the PA tracks this year, Macedo looks to have the Posse territory figured out. He won the season opening race at Williams Grove Speedway and won the Outlaw Tune-Up last Saturday at Lincoln Speedway. The California kid could find himself back in Victory Lane with is Kyle Larson Racing team – his first win coming at Tri-State Speedway – and make big gains in the points.

THE LARSON RUN: Kyle Larson, of Elk Grove, CA, is on one of the best hot streaks in all of Sprint Car racing. In his last 33 dirt racing events – which includes midgets and Sprint Cars – he has 20 wins and hasn’t finished worse that 6th. Included in that list are his four World of Outlaws wins this year. He’s won the last three Series events he’s entered – most recently the Brad Doty Classic at Attica Raceway Park.

He’s expected to participate in the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway on Tuesday to go for his fifth Series win this year, fourth win in a row and second Silver Cup victory.

OUTLAWS V.S. PA POSSE: The historic battle between the World of Outlaws Sprint Car stars and the eastern Pennsylvania locals known as the PA Posse picks back up this week at Lincoln Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway.

The Outlaws just about shut out the Posse in the eight races at their tracks last year, beating them 5-2 – Tim Shaffer, neither an Outlaw nor Posse member, won one of the Williams Grove events.

Pennsylvania’s Lance Dewease won at Lincoln Speedway and the second event at Williams Grove Speedway. David Gravel won twice at Williams Grove. Brent Marks – who was a full-time Outlaw last year – won the Nationals Open. And 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz won the Champion Racing Oil Summer Nationals finale and at Port Royal Speedway.
Will that Outlaw dominance continue this week?