DIRTcar Nationals
Volusia Speedway Park | Barberville, FL
Friday, February 05, 2021
Race Recap  

OPENING ACT: Sweet Starts Pursuit of Three-Peat with Volusia Victory

It’s like The Big Cat said himself: “The cream rises to the top.”

Just as they did one year ago, the most predominant trio in the current landscape of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series rose to the occasion in Friday’s 2021 season opener at Volusia Speedway Park; setting the stage for another potentially historic championship chase.

Brad Sweet / Logan Schuchart / Donny Schatz

You can’t say one without the other these days. They controlled the podium of the 2020 season opener, the entire 2020 championship bout, and now again the 2021 season opener. When you’re good, you’re good; and these guys are great.

“We’re going to have a heck of a battle between three, four, maybe even five of us this year,” Sweet noted on the title fight. “Logan is putting pressure on us, Donny is putting pressure on us, and those other guys are just as good too. It’s only night one, but I feel like I had to drive my ass off to get this win. I think as long as we stay focused, we should have a lot of confidence moving forward. Obviously excited to start the season with a win, but we know this one doesn’t mean a whole lot. We’ve still got 90 some other races to go.”

Sweet and Schatz share a moment in victory lane. (Trent Gower)

Starting the 30-lap, $10,000-to-win NOS Energy Drink Feature from the fourth spot, Sweet would have to overcome a motivated front row of Sunnyvale, TX native Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Shark Racing’s Jacob Allen. For Hafertepe, he had a perfect night going with hopes of ending a nine-year dry spell in Outlaws competition; for Allen, it’s about proving his new outlook can continue to deliver more victories with The Greatest Show on Dirt.

When the first green flag of the year flew, it was Allen jetting to the early lead over Hafertepe. The Hanover, PA native, son to legendary Bobby Allen, commanded the opening eight laps aboard his Drydene Performance Products #1A before The Big Cat came pouncing.

Sweet maneuvered his Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49 around Hafertepe on lap four, and then set his sights on Allen. Just five laps later, he sped to the race lead and cruised by Allen to take the top spot on the ninth circuit. Lap traffic would present a few tricky challenges, but it was never enough to deter Sweet’s momentum on this opening night.

“We struggled in the heat race, but tried a little something in the dash and it hit, then we went even further for the feature,” Sweet said on his setup by KKR’s Eric Prutzman, Joe Mooney, and Andrew Bowman. “The race track was a lot more grueling tonight. It was high speed and the bottom was super technical. You had to miss the hole, then slow yourself down to get off on exit, and you had to get to the inside wall or it was super slick. I wasn’t sure where to be sometimes and I was trying to judge off lap cars, but they’re tough to read. I felt like I drove a really good race, but we can always make some improvements.”

Shark Racing’s Logan Schuchart [1S] and Jacob Allen [1A] battle for second. (Trent Gower)

While Sweet snuck through traffic, the most exciting battle on track was brewing behind him. Schuchart passed teammate Allen for second on lap 12, and shortly after came David Gravel to the third spot in the Big Game Motorsports #2. However, further back at halfway, was a hard charging Donny Schatz storming his way into fifth from the 18th starting position.

At one point, Gravel grabbed the runner-up spot on lap 20, but one bobble sent him falling backwards and opened the door for Schuchart and Schatz. For a brief moment, the Shark Racing #1S and Tony Stewart Racing #15 were certainly closing on Sweet’s #49, but the two-time and defending Series champion picked up the pace and ran the hour glass out on Logan and Donny’s pursuit.

“I felt like we could catch Brad [Sweet] at times, but I just didn’t get by the lappers as good as I needed to,” Schuchart mentioned. “It’s huge starting off the season like this though. After the first two nights, I really wished they were Outlaw shows. We’ve got two more nights though, and we feel really good. These Drydene Performance Products guys are working hard to deliver some amazing race cars.”

Following Sweet and Schuchart to the stripe was Schatz, who at one point looked like he was going to make the improbable run from 18th-to-1st. Down the stretch, however, his run halted and the ten-time World of Outlaws champion settled for KSE Hard Charger honors with a +15 performance to put the Tony Stewart Racing, Ford Performance, Carquest #15 on the podium.

“We were decent,” Schatz said, knowing qualifying hurt his run. “The guys weren’t happy, I wasn’t happy, but all you can do is rally back. They made the car better and I felt like we had a chance there at the end. I zigged when I probably should’ve zagged in lap traffic, but that’s the way it goes somedays.”

Schuchart [1S] and Schatz [15] race down the backstretch. (Trent Gower)

Behind the podium of Sweet, Schuchart and Schatz was top five finishers David Gravel in the Huset’s Speedway #2 and Carson Macedo driving the Jason Johnson Racing #41.

Closing out the top ten in Friday’s season opener was Aaron Reutzel aboard the Roth Motorsports #83, Jacob Allen in the Shark Racing #1A, Brent Marks in his CJB Motorsports #5, Kasey Kahne in the Karavan Trailers #9, and the Brownsburg Bullet Joey Saldana driving Ed Neumeister’s #12.

Sam Hafertepe Jr. earned the Slick Woody’s Cornhole Company Quick Time Award, led a quartet of Team Drydene heat winners including Schuchart, Reutzel and Allen, and also won the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash. For full results CLICK HERE.

The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car season continues on Saturday with another night at the 50th DIRTcar Nationals held at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, FL. Fans can BUY TICKETS HERE or purchase them at the gate.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision with the annual Platinum FAST PASS subscription for $299/year or the monthly FAST PASS subscription for $39/month.

NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps): 1. 49-Brad Sweet [4][$10,000]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [7][$6,000]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz [18][$3,500]; 4. 2-David Gravel [6][$2,800]; 5. 41-Carson Macedo [3][$2,500]; 6. 83-Aaron Reutzel [8][$2,300]; 7. 1A-Jacob Allen [2][$2,200]; 8. 5-Brent Marks [5][$2,100]; 9. 9-Kasey Kahne [10][$2,050]; 10. 12N-Joey Saldana [12][$2,000]; 11. 26-Cory Eliason [14][$1,600]; 12. 13-Justin Peck [11][$1,400]; 13. 15H-Sam Hafertepe [1][$1,200]; 14. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [15][$1,100]; 15. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [9][$1,050]; 16. 18-Gio Scelzi [16][$1,000]; 17. 48-Danny Dietrich [13][$1,000]; 18. 11K-Kraig Kinser [25][$]; 19. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [19][$1,000]; 20. 7S-Jason Sides [22][$1,000]; 21. 19-Parker Price-Miller [21][$1,000]; 22. 33M-Mason Daniel [24][$1,000]; 23. 3C-Cale Conley [17][$1,000]; 24. 2C-Wayne Johnson [26][$]; 25. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [23][$1,000]; 26. 27C-Craig Pellegrini [20][$1,000]. Lap Leaders: Jacob Allen 1-8, Brad Sweet 9-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: 15-Donny Schatz [+15]

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DIRTVision Highlights  
Event Info  

DIRTcar Nationals
February 2, 2021 to February 13, 2021
Volusia Speedway Park
1500 East State Road 40
Barberville, FL 

Event Description
The biggest event in DIRTcar racing kicks off the season at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile!

Series Racing
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds

Sprint Car Track Record
12.569s by Paul McMahan on 2-10-11; Non-Wing: 16.559s by Steve Kinser on 2-9-81

Late Model Track Record
Super: 15.645s by Tim McCreadie on 2-14-18; 602: 17.948s by Bud Chancey on 1-14-21; 604: 17.018s by Trever Taylor on 1-18-20

To Win Amount
$10,000.00

Event Schedule
10:00 a.m. — Pit gates open
11:00 a.m. — Transporter parking
1:00 p.m. — Pit Pass sales begin (noon on Feb. 2 & 8, 10am on Feb 7) & Will Call opens
3:00 p.m. — Pit areas secured, credentials & Pit Passes required
5:00 p.m. — Grandstand gates open & Fan Pit Pass booth opens in Midway
5:15 p.m. — Hot Laps followed by Qualifying
6:50 p.m. — Opening Ceremonies
7:00 p.m. — Racing

SUNDAY FEB 7 TIMES HAVE MOVED UP SO THAT FANS CAN WATCH THE SUPER BOWL:

7:00 a.m. — Pit gates open & transporter parking resumes
10:00 a.m. — Pit Pass sales begin & Will Call opens
10:45 a.m. — Pit areas secured, credentials & Pit Passes required
1:00 p.m. — Grandstand gates open & Fan Pit Pass booth opens in Midway
2:00 p.m. — Hot Laps followed by Qualifying
3:00 p.m. — Opening Ceremonies, followed by Racing


*All times Eastern

Event Hashtag
#FLinFeb

Sponsors
NOS Energy (Official Energy Product), Fox Shox, Wrisco (Exclusive Racing Aluminum), iRacing (Official Online Racing Game), COMP Cams, Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux, E-Z-GO Golf Carts (Official Golf Cart), Reliable Painting, Cometic Gasket, Whelen, Penske Racing Shocks, Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Racing Electronics, Integra Shocks, Bicknell Racing Products, SIS Insurance (Official Insurance Provider), Drydene (Official Motor Oil), West Volusia, Quarter Master, Chevy Performance Parts, Morton Buildings (Official Building), ARP Automotive Racing Products, DIRTVision, Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), TNT Rescue, KSE Racing Products, DART, FireAde, VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel), Intercomp, ASI Race Wear, Rocket Chassis

Frequently Asked Questions  
To Win Amount
$10,000.00

Reserved Seating
Reserved seating offers the best and highest seats in the house.

Type of Grandstand
Bleachers, Chairbacks

Stadium Seating
Stadium seats are allowed as long as they don't conflict with the aisle behind you.

Handicapped Seating
All Handicap seating is the first rows of each section

Handicapped Parking
there are many handicap parking spots available. All spots are first come first serve.

Pit Age Limit
There is no age restriction in the pits. Anyone 17 years of age or younger will need to fill out a minor waiver form and be accompanied by an adult.

Pit Gate Location
East or West side of the Track.

Personal Coolers
Six-pack maximum cooler size. No alcohol. No glass.

ATMs
1

Credit Card Use
Pit Gate, Ticket Window

Alcohol Sales
Beer is available for purchase at the track.

Smoking Policy
No smoking in the Grandstands.


Parking Cost
Free

Camping Availability
electric hookup, non-electric, onsite, sanitary facility, showers

Camping Cost
$25 a day for dry camping, $50 for hook-up, $75 for electric/water/sewer. Battle in Barberville and Southern Sprint Car Shootout will be Weekend camping. $30 Dry Camping (General), $75 Electric/Water (Reserved), $100 Electric/Water/Sewer (Executive). (no hook-ups available for DIRTcar Nationals)

Closest Airport
Daytona International Airport

Other Airport
Orlando Sanford

Track Info  

Volusia Speedway Park
1500 East State Road 40
Barberville, FL 

Track Phone
(386) 985-4402

Ticket Phone
(844) 347-8849

Track Email
[email protected]

Track Size & Type
0.500; dirt oval

Sprint Car Track Record
12.569s by Paul McMahan on 2-10-11; Non-Wing: 16.559s by Steve Kinser on 2-9-81

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