“Summer vacation” is a phrase seldom used by race car drivers in the middle of their season.

But for World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series competitors, the Fourth of July weekend was left open, giving drivers and teams a week to reset and recharge before a busy stretch that leads to the championship determining World of Outlaws World Finals in November.

Many are taking the opportunity to spend time with family and friends away from the track, while others are doing what they know best – racing.

For championship points leader David Gravel, it’s a chance to step away from the pressure of the title fight – currently 58 points ahead of 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz – and spend a few extra days at his Florida home.

“Definitely looking forward to a weekend off,” Gravel said. “I’ll be going home and having a pool party. It was my birthday last week, so we’ll be having a little party down there. Hop on the boat and ride around in the coastal.”

Carson Macedo, who is currently 80 points behind Gravel in third, admitted he’s usually one to always race, even during the off season, spending most of it racing Midgets and Sprint Cars in Australia. But even he is taking the “off week” to recharge with family.

“Obviously, it’s very busy when we come back, especially with Beaver Dam (Raceway) getting rescheduled,” Macedo said. “I think it is a good thing for all these race teams. It’s good to spend the Fourth of July off and spend time with family, something us racers don’t get to do that often. I think it’s good.

“The Tarlton family always usually [celebrates] Fourth of July, so I’ll probably hang out with them. My parents are going to be in town, my cousins and everybody, my brother.”

Series officials allowed teams to compete in any pre-existing race this week and a few are taking the opportunity to do so. Logan Schuchart already picked up a win at Grandview Speedway Tuesday night during Pennsylvania Speedweek – three days after winning his first World of Outlaws race of 2024 at Cedar Lake Speedway.

Fellow Pennsylvania-native Brock Zearfoss will also make an appearance during PA Speedway and Giovanni Scelzi will compete at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday, July 6 – live on DIRTVision – for more practice laps before the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals, Aug. 7-10.

Rookie of the Year contender Bill Balog considered making his way to a track this week, but with a new shop waiting and the World of Outlaws racing close to home next week, he opted to pause and reset.

“I think I’m still way behind since November,” Balog said. “I’m just going to keep hammering on it. We’ve got another car we have to start putting together in case something happens. Hopefully, as soon as we get back, I can move into my new shop. I’m pretty excited about that. It’ll cut down on some of the clean-up time. I’d like to go fishing once or twice maybe in the next week or two. Just work as much as we can.”

The World of Outlaws will spend next week in Wisconsin, returning to action at Beaver Dam Raceway – the site of Balog’s sole World of Outlaws win in 2016 – on Wednesday, July 10, for the $20,000-to-win Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial finale. Then, they’ll spend two days at Wilmot Raceway for the Federated Auto Parts Larry Hillerud Memorial Badger 40, Friday-Saturday, July 12-13.

All three races are a short drive for the Wisconsin resident, who is searching for his first win this season.

“Oh man, it is definitely a blessing for us,” Balog said about racing close to home. “We definitely needed this right now. It would be nice to go to a race this weekend and try something a little different with the car. But I think I’m just going to hold myself back as much as I can and take the weekend off and get ready to move. Being back in Wisconsin, we have a short drive home and Beaver Dam in Wisconsin is close to my house, so it couldn’t be any better for our team.”

To keep up with the remainder of the 2024 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series season and purchase tickets, click here.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch every race live on DIRTVision.