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WHAT TO WATCH FOR: 81, Lakeside Welcome World of Outlaws for Final Midwest Visit of 2023

A pack of Sprint Cars races out of Turn 4 at 81 Speedway
Sweet and Gravel’s title battle headline The Greatest Show on Dirt’s Kansas invasion

The home stretch of the 2023 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car campaign hits the Heartland this week.

The Midwest is set to welcome The Greatest Show on Dirt one last time this year for a Kansas doubleheader. First up is the second and final trip of the season to Wichita, KS’s 81 Speedway on Friday, Oct. 13. The next night brings the year’s lone appearance at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City for the Micro-Lite Harvest Rumble.

This year’s World of Outlaws campaign is down to only seven races to go, and the intensity heats up more and more as that tally dwindles. The championship is still up for grabs. Battles throughout the standings are ongoing. And everyone wants at least one more trip to Victory Lane before the season wraps up in a month. The “Sunflower State” is the place to be this weekend as these stories continue to unfold.

BUY 81 TICKETS

BUY LAKESIDE TICKETS

Let’s look at the weekend’s top storylines:

A BATTLE BREWING: Right when it looked as if Brad Sweet might comfortably pull away to his fifth consecutive World of Outlaws championship, David Gravel said not so fast. Two nights at Port Royal Speedway saw Gravel knock 22 markers off Sweet’s advantage, bringing the gap down to a manageable 68.

Sweet’s brief history at 81 Speedway has been up and down. The Grass Valley, CA native posted a top five in his first attempt there in 2017, but a Feature accident there earlier this year left him with a 14th place run, his fourth lowest finish of the season. Over at Lakeside the Kasey Kahne Racing pilot has been incredibly consistent with top 10s in all 10 of his Series attempts highlighted by a 2016 victory.

Gravel has been stout at 81 Speedway in limited appearances with a pair of podiums to his credit in two Feature starts. In his last six Series starts at Lakeside, the Watertown, CT driver has missed the top 10 only once and notched his best finish at the track (third) in the most recent World of Outlaws visit last season.

The duo will battle this weekend as Gravel looks to close in even more with the title-deciding World Finals on the horizon (Nov. 1-4).

HOT SAUCE: Kansas City may be known for BBQ sauce, but the city’s dirt track – Lakeside Speedway – has been all about Hot Sauce recently. The driver who goes by the spicy moniker – Giovanni Scelzi – has been on fire (pun intended) at the 4/10-mile.

Two years ago, Scelzi topped the World of Outlaws at Lakeside for his third career win with The Greatest Show on Dirt and first since joining his current team – KCP Racing. The Fresno, CA native followed up that performance by leading 15 laps before finishing second in the 2022 appearance. Scelzi also topped a Lakeside race this year back in April.

Scelzi and KCP roll into the Kansas weekend amid one of the best rookie campaigns in Series history. They currently reside fourth in points, and if they stay where they’re at, Scelzi will equal Jeff Swindell (1981) and Brad Doty (1982) for the best Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year season.

Giovanni Scelzi
Gio Scelzi and KCP Racing have proven to be a fast combination at Lakeside Speedway (Trent Gower Photo)

DOUBLE DONNY: Only one active World of Outlaws competitor has won at both 81 Speedway and Lakeside Speedway, and it comes as no surprise that the driver is Donny Schatz.

The pilot of the Tony Stewart/Curb Agajanian Racing #15 has not only been to Victory Lane at both facilities, he’s done so twice at each. Schatz collected checkered flags at 81 Speedway in 2006 and 2017. At Lakeside, his two victories came four years apart in 2015 & 2019.

The Fargo, ND native will look to continue his winning ways at the Kansas tracks to bounce back from an fortunate weekend at Port Royal.

J-MAC’S BACK: Last year leading into this weekend of racing, James McFadden was still in search of his first victory of the season aboard the Roth Motorsports #83. The Alice Springs, NTR, Australia native finally found Victory Lane in the 65th race of the season at Lakeside to deliver Dennis Roth’s 99th Series win as a car owner.

Fast forward a year, and McFadden’s season looks entirely different than it did a year ago. The 34-year-old enters Kansas having already more than doubled his career World of Outlaws win total. McFadden is currently tied for the third most victories this season (six).

McFadden will look to repeat at Lakeside and become the first since Steve Kinser in 2010-2011 to top back-to-back races at the Kansas City oval. A win at either track this weekend would give him sole possession of the most wins (seven) for an Australia native in a single World of Outlaws campaign.

20 WINNERS?: This past weekend Tyler Courtney and Zeb Wise gave us 19 different Feature winners with the World of Outlaws in 2023, moving the Series within one of a mildly rare milestone.

It’s been six years (2017) since 20 different competitors have topped a main event with The Greatest Show on Dirt. The feat has only been reached nine times in the Series’ 45 seasons of history.

As far as contenders to potentially push the total to 20, a trio of current full-time Series competitors are without a win this year including two-time career Feature winner – Brock Zearfoss.

Other strong competitors without a win this year that are still expected to compete again before the season’s end include Justin Peck, Cory Eliason, Parker Price-Miller, and more.

If you can’t make it to the track this weekend, catch all of the racing live on DIRTVision.

THIS WEEKEND AT A GLANCE

WHEN AND WHERE

Friday, Oct. 13 at 81 Speedway in Wichita, KS

Saturday, Oct. 14 at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS 

ON THE INTERNET

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CURRENT CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (65/72 Races):

1. 49 – Brad Sweet (8802PTS) 2. 2 – David Gravel (-68PTS) 3. 41 – Carson Macedo (-128PTS) 4. 18 – Gio Scelzi (-442PTS) 5. 1S – Logan Schuchart (-446PTS) 6. 15 – Donny Schatz (-508PTS) 7. 17 – Sheldon Haudenschild (-536PTS) 8. 5 – Spencer Bayston (-742PTS) 9. 3Z – Brock Zearfoss (-1270PTS) 10. 7S – Robbie Price (-1782PTS) 

NOS ENERGY DRINK FEATURE WINNERS (19 Drivers): 

10 wins – David Gravel (Big Game Motorsports #2), Brad Sweet (Kasey Kahne Racing #49)
6 wins – James McFadden (Roth Motorsports #83), Carson Macedo (Jason Johnson Racing #41), Logan Schuchart (Shark Racing #1S), Rico Abreu (Rico Abreu Racing #24)
4 wins – Kyle Larson (Silva Motorsports #57)
3 wins – Donny Schatz (Tony Stewart/Curb Agajanian Racing #15), Sheldon Haudenschild (Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing #17)
2 wins – Buddy Kofoid (CMS Racing #11, Roth Motorsports #83JR)
1 win – Brady Bacon (TKH Motorsports #21), Anthony Macri (Macri Motorsports #39), Brian Brown (Brian Brown Racing #21), Gio Scelzi (KCP Racing #18), Spencer Bayston (CJB Motorsports #5), Corey Day (Jason Meyers Racing #14), Brent Marks (Murray-Marks #19), Tyler Courtney (Clauson Marshall Racing #7BC), Zeb Wise (Rudeen Racing #26)

FEATURE LAPS LED (25 Drivers): 

335 laps – Brad Sweet
239 laps – James McFadden
234 laps – Rico Abreu
195 laps – Carson Macedo
193 laps – David Gravel
172 laps – Logan Schuchart
118 laps – Kyle Larson
114 laps – Buddy Kofoid
108 laps – Sheldon Haudenschild
102 laps – Donny Schatz
62 laps – Brent Marks
57 laps – Gio Scelzi
40 laps – Spencer Bayston, Corey Day
24 laps – Brian Brown
19 laps – Tyler Courtney
18 laps – Lance Dewease
15 laps – Cole Macedo
11 laps – Anthony Macri, Daryn Pittman
10 laps – Cory Eliason
3 laps – Brady Bacon, Danny Varin, Justin Peck
1 lap – Austin McCarl

SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS QUICKTIME AWARDS (17 Drivers): 

14 QuickTimes – Carson Macedo
13 QuickTimes – David Gravel
5 QuickTimes – Logan Schuchart, Rico Abreu
3 QuickTimes – Sheldon Haudenschild, Buddy Kofoid, Brad Sweet
2 QuickTimes – Anthony Macri, Bill Balog, Justin Peck, Gio Scelzi, Tanner Holmes
1 QuickTime – Brian Brown, Donny Schatz, James McFadden, Jacob Allen, Kyle Larson

HEAT RACE WINNERS (46 Drivers): 

29 Heat Wins – Carson Macedo
28 Heat Wins – David Gravel
19 Heat Wins – Brad Sweet
15 Heat Wins – Logan Schuchart
14 Heat Wins – Donny Schatz, James McFadden
13 Heat Wins – Buddy Kofoid
12 Heat Wins – Sheldon Haudenschild, Gio Scelzi, Rico Abreu
7 Heat Wins – Spencer Bayston
5 Heat Wins – Jacob Allen, Justin Peck, Brent Marks, Brian Brown
4 Heat Wins – Cory Eliason
3 Heat Wins – Anthony Macri, Bill Balog, Parker Price-Miller
2 Heat Wins – Brock Zearfoss, Noah Gass, Kerry Madsen, Robbie Price, Tim Kaeding, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Tyler Courtney
1 Heat Win – Danny Dietrich, Freddie Rahmer, Mark Dobmeier, Kasey Kahne, Austin McCarl, Lachlan McHugh, Ryan Timms, Tim Estenson, Kyle Larson, Shane Stewart, Lance Dewease, Cole Macedo, Chase Randall, Ian Madsen, Tanner Holmes, Dominic Scelzi, Kalib Henry, Dylan Bloomfield, Justin Sanders, Zeb Wise

TOYOTA DASH APPEARANCES (51 Drivers): 

44 Dashes – Carson Macedo

42 Dashes – David Gravel
40 Dashes – Brad Sweet
30 Dashes – Logan Schuchart
28 Dashes – Gio Scelzi
25 Dashes – James McFadden
24 Dashes – Sheldon Haudenschild
22 Dashes – Donny Schatz, Rico Abreu
18 Dashes – Spencer Bayston
17 Dashes – Buddy Kofoid
9 Dashes – Brent Marks
8 Dashes – Jacob Allen, Cory Eliason, Brock Zearfoss
7 Dashes – Justin Peck
6 Dashes – Tyler Courtney, Brian Brown
5 Dashes – Anthony Macri, Robbie Price, Kasey Kahne, Corey Day
4 Dashes – Justin Sanders, Parker Price-Miller
3 Dashes – Danny Dietrich, Kyle Larson, Cole Macedo, Tanner Holmes
2 Dashes – Garet Williamson, Austin McCarl, Bill Balog, Dominic Scelzi, Aaron Reutzel, Freddie Rahmer, Lance Dewease, Devon Borden
1 Dash – Brady Bacon, Chad Trout, Dylan Norris, Cap Henry, Stuart Brubaker, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Shane Stewart, Danny Varin, Ian Madsen, Shane Golobic, Kalib Henry, Dylan Bloomfield, Daryn Pittman, Sye Lynch, Zeb Wise

MICROLITE LAST CHANCE SHOWDOWN WINS (36 Drivers): 

4 LCS Wins – Sheldon Haudenschild, Spencer Bayston, Robbie Price
3 LCS Wins – Noah Gass, James McFadden, Gio Scelzi
2 LCS Wins – Parker Price-Miller, Logan Schuchart, Carson Macedo, Brock Zearfoss, Tim Estenson, Donny Schatz, Kerry Madsen
1 LCS Win – Hunter Schuerenberg, Wayne Johnson, Ryan Timms, Ayrton Gennetten, Kraig Kinser, Freddie Rahmer, Henry Malcuit, Cole Macedo, Aaron Reutzel, Sye Lynch, Cory Eliason, Tyler Courtney, Rico Abreu, Jacob Allen, Daryn Pittman, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Jamie Veal, Kaleb Johnson, Lachlan McHugh, Tanner Holmes, Austen Wheatley, Buddy Kofoid, Danny Dietrich

KSE HARD CHARGER AWARDS (35 Drivers):

6 Hard Chargers – Sheldon Haudenschild
5 Hard Chargers – James McFadden, Donny Schatz
4 Hard Chargers – Brock Zearfoss, Rico Abreu, Tyler Courtney
3 Hard Chargers – Brad Sweet, Logan Schuchart, Danny Dietrich
2 Hard Chargers – Justin Peck, David Gravel, Spencer Bayston, Corey Day, Robbie Price
1 Hard Charger – Gio Scelzi, Blake Hahn, Buddy Kofoid, Joe B. Miller, Kyle Larson, Hunter Schuerenberg, Kyle Moody, Freddie Rahmer, Skylar Gee, Cole Duncan, Austin Pierce, Brenham Crouch, Tim Kaeding, Jacob Allen, Caden Englehart, Zeb Wise, Carson Macedo, Dale Blaney, Tasker Phillips, Brent Marks, Kaleb Johnson, Tanner Holmes

PODIUM FINISHES (30 Drivers): 

31 Podiums – David Gravel
27 Podiums – Brad Sweet
18 Podiums – Carson Macedo
15 Podiums – Rico Abreu
14 Podiums – Logan Schuchart
13 Podiums – Donny Schatz
10 Podiums – Sheldon Haudenschild, James McFadden
9 Podiums – Buddy Kofoid
7 Podiums – Gio Scelzi
6 Podiums – Kyle Larson, Brent Marks
4 Podiums – Spencer Bayston
3 Podiums – Brian Brown, Jacob Allen, Corey Day
2 Podiums – Tyler Courtney
1 Podium – Danny Dietrich, Kasey Kahne, Devon Borden, Parker Price-Miller, Brady Bacon, Anthony Macri, Garet Williamson, Dave Blaney, Tanner Holmes, Justin Sanders, Dominic Scelzi, Daryn Pittman, Zeb Wise

TOP 10 FINISHES (62 Drivers):

57 Top 10s – Brad Sweet
55 Top 10s – Carson Macedo
54 Top 10s – David Gravel
43 Top 10s – Gio Scelzi
42 Top 10s – Logan Schuchart
41 Top 10s – Sheldon Haudenschild
38 Top 10s – Donny Schatz
37 Top 10s – Spencer Bayston
35 Top 10s – James McFadden
33 Top 10s – Rico Abreu
25 Top 10s – Buddy Kofoid
15 Top 10s – Justin Peck
14 Top 10s – Jacob Allen, Brent Marks
11 Top 10s – Tyler Courtney
10 Top 10s – Kasey Kahne, Cory Eliason
8 Top 10s – Kyle Larson
7 Top 10s – Brock Zearfoss, Danny Dietrich
6 Top 10s – Brian Brown, Corey Day, Tanner Holmes
5 Top 10s – Dominic Scelzi, Justin Sanders
4 Top 10s – Zeb Wise, Lance Dewease
3 Top 10s – Anthony Macri, Bill Balog, Cole Macedo, Chase Randall, Freddie Rahmer, Parker Price-Miller
2 Top 10s – Aaron Reutzel, Blake Hahn, Brady Bacon, Robbie Price, Tim Kaeding, Shane Golobic, Dave Blaney, Dale Blaney, Cole Duncan, Daryn Pittman
1 Top 10 – Devon Borden, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Joe B. Miller, Hunter Schuerenberg, Brandon Rahmer, Chad Trout, Cap Henry, Stuart Brubaker, Skylar Gee, Austin McCarl, Garet Williamson, Shane Stewart, Larry Wight, Noah Gass, Rusty Hickman, Kerry Madsen, Jason Solwold, Chase Johnson, T.J. Stutts

2023 WORLD OF OUTLAWS SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE & WINNERS: 

No. / Day, Date / Track / Location / Winner (Total Wins)

1. Fri, Feb 10 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / David Gravel (1)
2. Fri, Feb 10 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / David Gravel (2)
3. Sat, Feb 11* / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / James McFadden (1)
4. Sun, March 5 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Carson Macedo (1)
5. Mon, March 6 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / David Gravel (3)
6. Sat, March 18 / Lincoln Speedway / Abbottstown, PA / Rico Abreu (1)
7. Fri, March 24 / Talladega Short Track / Eastaboga, AL / Buddy Kofoid (1)
8. Sat, March 25 / Magnolia Motor Speedway / Columbus, MS / Brad Sweet (1)
9. Fri, March 31 / Devil’s Bowl Speedway / Mesquite, TX / Brad Sweet (2)
10. Sat, April 1 / Devil’s Bowl Speedway / Mesquite, TX / James McFadden (2)
11. Fri, April 7 / U.S. 36 Raceway / Osborn, MO / Sheldon Haudenschild (1)
12. Sat, April 8 / 81 Speedway / Wichita, KS / Rico Abreu (2)
13. Fri, April 14 / Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 / Pevely, MO / Brad Sweet (3)
14. Fri, April 28 / Tri-City Speedway / Granite City, IL / David Gravel (4)
15. Sat, April 29 / Tri-State Speedway / Haubstadt, IN / Brady Bacon (1)
16. Fri, May 5 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Logan Schuchart (1)
17. Sat, May 6 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Rico Abreu (3)
18. Wed, May 10 / Lincoln Speedway / Abbottstown, PA / Anthony Macri (1)
19. Fri, May 12 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Brad Sweet (4)
20. Fri, May 19 / Attica Raceway Park / Attica, OH / Donny Schatz (1)
21. Sat, May 20 / Sharon Speedway / Hartford, OH / Donny Schatz (2)
22. Fri, May 26 / Atomic Speedway / Chillicothe, OH / Brad Sweet (5)
23. Sat, May 27 / Atomic Speedway / Chillicothe, OH / Carson Macedo (2)
24. Mon, May 29 / Lawrenceburg Speedway / Lawrenceburg, IN / James McFadden (3)
25. Fri, June 2 / River Cities Speedway / Grand Forks, ND / David Gravel (5)
26. Sat, June 3 / Ogilvie Raceway / Ogilvie, MN / Carson Macedo (3)
27. Fri, June 9 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / Brian Brown (1)
28. Sat, June 10 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / David Gravel (6)
29. Fri, June 16 / Beaver Dam Raceway / Beaver Dam, WI / Gio Scelzi (1)
30. Sat, June 17 / Beaver Dam Raceway / Beaver Dam, WI / Sheldon Haudenschild (2)
31. Wed, June 21 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / Kyle Larson (1)
32. Thurs, June 22 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / James McFadden (4)
33. Fri, June 23 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / Logan Schuchart (2)
34. Sat, June 24 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / David Gravel (7)
35. Fri, June 30 / Cedar Lake Speedway / New Richmond, WI / Brad Sweet (6)
36. Sat, July 1 / Cedar Lake Speedway / New Richmond, WI / David Gravel (8)
37. Sat, July 8 / Wilmot Raceway / Wilmot, WI / Carson Macedo (4)
38. Tues, July 11 / Attica Raceway Park / Attica, OH / Kyle Larson (2)
39. Fri, July 14 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Carson Macedo (5)
40. Sat, July 15 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Donny Schatz (3)
41. Thurs, July 20 / BAPS Motor Speedway / York Haven, PA / David Gravel (9)
42. Fri, July 21 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Logan Schuchart (3)
43. Sat, July 22 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Rico Abreu (4)
44. Sun, July 30 / Weedsport Speedway / Weedsport, NY / David Gravel (10)
45. Fri, Aug 4 / Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 / Pevely, MO / Spencer Bayston (1)
46. Sat, Aug 5 / Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 / Pevely, MO / Kyle Larson (3)
47. Sat, Aug 12 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / Kyle Larson (4)
48. Thurs, Aug 17 / Jackson Motorplex / Jackson, MN / James McFadden (5)
49. Fri, Aug 18 / Jackson Motorplex / Jackson, MN / James McFadden (6)
50. Sat, Aug 19 / Jackson Motorplex / Jackson, MN / Carson Macedo (6)
51. Fri, Aug 25 / River Cities Speedway / Grand Forks, ND / Logan Schuchart (4)
52. Sat, Aug 26 / Red River Valley Speedway / West Fargo, ND / Logan Schuchart (5)
53. Thurs, Aug 31 / Skagit Speedway / Burlington, WA / Sheldon Haudenschild (3)
54. Fri, Sept 1 / Skagit Speedway / Burlington, WA / Rico Abreu (5)
55. Sat, Sept 2 / Skagit Speedway / Burlington, WA / Brad Sweet (7)
56. Mon, Sept 4 / Grays Harbor Raceway / Elma, WA / Logan Schuchart (6)
57. Sat, Sept 9 / Silver Dollar Speedway / Chico, CA / Corey Day (1)
58. Fri, Sept 15 / Kings Speedway / Hanford, CA / Brad Sweet (8)
59. Sat, Sept 16 / Placerville Speedway / Placerville, CA / Buddy Kofoid (2)
60. Fri, Sept 22 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Rico Abreu (6)
61. Sat, Sept 23 / Sharon Speedway / Hartford, OH / Brad Sweet (9)
62. Fri, Sept 29 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Brad Sweet (10)
63. Sat, Sept 30 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Brent Marks (1)
64. Fri, Oct 6 / Port Royal Speedway / Port Royal, PA / Tyler Courtney (1)
65. Sat, Oct 7 / Port Royal Speedway / Port Royal, PA / Zeb Wise (1)

Alex Nieten

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