Carson Macedo considered himself a “mediocre” contender through the first two nights of the Sage Fruit Skagit Nationals; then the big money rolled around on Sunday night and he became a “brand new man” as he said.
He led 36 of 40 laps and completely swept the night by earning Slick Woody’s QuickTime, a Team Drydene Heat win, the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash win, and his eighth NOS Energy Drink Feature win of the season.
Cashing in for $25,000, Sunday’s score is the richest of Macedo’s 14 career World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series wins. The Jason Johnson Racing #41 visited victory lane in Steve Beitler’s final night as the promoter at Skagit Speedway, a fitting end for a man who employed Jason in his younger years.
In a non-stop, 40-lapper that took just over ten minutes to complete, fans were treated to an intense cat-and-mouse chase through thick lap traffic. Officially, two lead changes will go in the record books, but there was drama was waiting around every single corner at the 3/10-mile bullring.
At one point, four cars were under a blanket in contention for the lead. Most notably, Logan Schuchart slid by to lead Lap 19, and James McFadden challenged in the late going, but neither could keep Macedo down for long.
“I think I just knew what I needed to do tonight,” Macedo mentioned. “That was the most aggressive, yet smartest I think I’ve ever driven and that’s what I needed. I’ve lost some races lately because of lap traffic and making the wrong decisions while leading. When Logan got by, I knew I needed to kick it up a notch and drive harder. I was passing multiple lappers at a time, so I knew I was getting good. I’m getting better at reading the traffic and letting them show where to go.”
“I really didn’t feel comfortable the first two nights here, but Philip [Dietz] made some huge adjustments,” Macedo added. “We made a lot of gains from Friday to Sunday. It’s cool to win here at a track that Jason raced so much with ASCS. I’m pumped to bring this momentum back to California. I’ve missed racing there with the Outlaws.”
Following Monday’s stop at Garys Harbor Raceway in Elma, WA, The Greatest Show on Dirt will return to Macedo’s home state for the first time in two years. The Lemoore native looks to hone that momentum and start a hot streak as the Series returns to Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, the site of his first and second career wins.
Friday’s winner James McFadden offered a late charge in the Kasey Kahne Racing, Karavan Trailers #9, but could never find the right timing to truly challenge Macedo. He crossed the stripe behind the #41 by 1.291-seconds, but the Aussie was just happy to have a good time.
“Dude, it’s so wild out there in traffic,” McFadden offered. “Tracks like tonight are why we drive sprint cars. We came on really well at the end, but Carson just did a terrific job. It seemed like every time I’d catch him, he would catch a lapper and I had to balk and hold my run. Another great night at this place, though.”
After leading Laps 19-22, Schuchart slipped backward and ultimately finished in the third spot aboard the Shark Racing, Drydene Performance Products #1S. It’s the 99th podium finish of his World of Outlaws career for the Hanover, PA native.
“You just never know how to push your pace in traffic,” Schuchart said. “I wanted to make certain moves, but I just timed them wrong tonight. You have to make the right decisions in the right places at the right times or else you’re lining yourself up to get passed. There are some things I would’ve changed tonight, but that’s why we have tomorrow to bounce back better.”
Championship contenders Brad Sweet and David Gravel closed out the top-five at the Sage Fruit Skagit Nationals.
Sweet bumped his points lead to +124 with a fourth-place finish in the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49. Meanwhile, Gravel trailed him by one spot and collected KSE Hard Charger honors with the Big Game Motorsports #2.
Rounding out the top-10 on Sunday night was Sheldon Haudenschild in sixth, Donny Schatz in seventh, Kasey Kahne in eighth, Trey Starks in ninth, and Wayne Johnson in tenth.
UP NEXT (Monday): A two-hour jaunt down I-5 will lead the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series to Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, WA for a Labor Day edition of DIRTVision tomorrow night.
NOS Energy Drink Feature Results (40 Laps): 1. 41-Carson Macedo [$25,000]; 2. 9-James McFadden [$8,000]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$4,000]; 4. 49-Brad Sweet [$3,000]; 5. 2-David Gravel [$2,500]; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$2,300]; 7. 15-Donny Schatz [$2,200]; 8. 83-Kasey Kahne [$2,100]; 9. 55-Trey Starks [$2,050]; 10. 2C-Wayne Johnson [$2,000]; 11. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,600]; 12. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$1,400]; 13. 24-Rico Abreu [$1,200]; 14. 21P-Robbie Price [$1,100]; 15. 1A-Jacob Allen [$1,050]; 16. 18-Jason Solwold [$1,000]; 17. 44W-Austen Wheatley [$1,000]; 18. 7S-Jason Sides [$1,000]; 19. 18T-Tanner Holmes [$1,000]; 20. 99-Malachi Gemmer [$1,000]; 21. 22X-Brock Lemley [$1,000]; 22. 7-Tyler Thompson [$1,000]; 23. 1J-Jack Eckard [$1,000]; 24. 75-Brian Boswell [$1,000]. Lap Leaders: Carson Macedo 1-18, 23-40; Logan Schuchart 19-22. KSE Hard Charger Award: 2-David Gravel[+3]
NEW Championship Standings (64/81 races): 1. Brad Sweet (8,576); 2. David Gravel (-124); 3. Carson Macedo (-168); 4. Donny Schatz (-230); 5. Sheldon Haudenschild (-254); 6. Logan Schuchart (-324); 7. James McFadden (-720); 8. Kraig Kinser (-1,010); 9. Brock Zearfoss (-1,248); 10. Jacob Allen (-1,514).