The Breakdown: World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Granite City Speedway
By Tony Veneziano
SAUK RAPIDS, MN — June 13, 2017 — Granite City Speedway will host the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series for the third consecutive year on Tuesday, June 20 in an event presented by Marthaler Chevrolet of Glenwood. The event, at the three-eighths-mile in Sauk Rapids, Minn., is part of a busy swing through the Upper Midwest in the month of June. The Outlaws raced earlier this month in the state of Minnesota, with Brad Sweet, Kerry Madsen and Ian Madsen all picking up wins at the Jackson Motorplex. This edition of the The Breakdown sets the stage for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series visit to Granite City Speedway.
Granite City Speedway is a semi-banked three-eighths-mile. The track record of 10.720-seconds was established by Sammy Swindell in time trials on June 17, 2015.
Shane Stewart is the defending winner at Granite City Speedway in World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series competition. Stewart took the lead in last year’s race from Kerry Madsen on the 11th lap and led the rest of the way to capture the win in the 30-lap contest.
Donny Schatz won the inaugural World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series event at Granite City Speedway in 2015. Schatz took the top spot from Stewart on lap-28 of that race and stayed out front for the final three circuits to capture the win. Danny Lasoski led the first 26 laps of the race, before Stewart moved to the point on lap-27, for a single lap.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series has 16 card-carrying members this year, led by Schatz, the eight-time and defending series champion. David Gravel and Brad Sweet are currently tied for second in points, with 2013 series titlist Daryn Pittman fourth and Shane Stewart fifth. Jason Johnson, the reigning Knoxville Nationals champion, rides sixth in points, with rookie Sheldon Haudenschild seventh, Logan Schuchart eighth, Joey Saldana ninth and Jason Sides 10th.
Paul McMahan, Kraig Kinser and Greg Wilson are all on the road again this season, as well as young drivers Jacob Allen, Clyde Knipp and rookie Brent Marks.
A solid group of veteran drivers is following the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series full-time in 2017. This group includes Joey Saldana, who is just one win shy of 100 in his career with the series. Saldana has a pair of top-10 finishes at Granite City Speedway in his career. Brad Sweet, who finished second last year at Granite City, also has a pair of top-10 runs. Daryn Pittman, Paul McMahan and Jason Sides each have one top-10 finish at the track.
Jason Johnson made his first start at Granite City Speedway last year, finishing fifth. The veteran driver missed the inaugural series race at the track in 2015, due to injury, though his car was present for that race. Greg Wilson, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner, also made his first start at the track last year.
The next generation
A group of young drivers is leading the next wave of World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series competitors. Led by David Gravel, who has eight wins this season, the Connecticut native will be making his third start at Granite City Speedway, as will Logan Schuchart, who finished fifth at the track in 2015 and Jacob Allen. Schuchart already has three wins this season. Clyde Knipp will be making his second visit to Granite City Speedway, after his debut there in 2016.
Sheldon Haudenschild from Ohio and Brent Marks from Pennsylvania will each be making their first ever visit to Granite City Speedway. Haudenschild has had a very strong rookie season thus far, racking up 16 top-10 finishes.
The Madsen brothers, Kerry and Ian, who each have World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series wins already this season, are two of the “invaders” expected. Other drivers tentatively expected to challenge the Outlaws at Granite City Speedway include fellow Australian Brooke Tatnell, who now calls Minnesota home, as well as young Californian Dominic Scelzi, son of multi-time NHRA drag racing champion Gary Scelzi.
Tickets for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series presented by Marthaler Chevrolet of Glenwood at Granite City Speedway on Tuesday, June 20, can be purchased online or by calling 815-344-2023 and at the track on race day.
Fans can also save $5 on General Admission tickets when purchased at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores. Tickets buyers will exchange their NAPA receipt for a race ticket at the Main Grandstand ticket booth on race day.
For more information, please see our event page.