The only way to cure the Knoxville Nationals hangover is to start racing more, and that’s exactly what the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series is doing this weekend.
With the historic 60th Granddaddy of ‘Em All in the rearview mirror, The Greatest Show on Dirt returns focus to the 2021 championship battle as a triple-header through the Dakotas is next.
On Friday, August 20, the weekend begins in Grand Forks, ND at River Cities Speedway for the 2nd Leg of the Northern Tour. Before June’s rainout at the bullring, the Outlaws’ last appearance at the track was last August when recently crowned Knoxville Nationals champion Kyle Larson stunned Logan Schuchart and the whole world with his spectacular finish.
On Saturday, August 21, the Series moves to Donny Schatz‘s hometown of West Fargo, ND for a date at Red River Valley Speedway. The 3/8th-mile oval is the eighth-most visited track in Series history with 65 previous Outlaw races at the facility. Fresh off a second-place run at Knoxville, Schatz and his TSR squad look to carry that momentum to home turf and build a second-half run.
On Sunday, August 22, Huset’s Speedway will host the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars for the 50th time in history at the Pioneer Bin Buster Bash. It’ll be all eyes on David Gravel, who attempts to put the Huset’s Speedway #2 in Huset’s Speedway victory lane for the third time in 2021.
Some of the top storylines to follow include:
HOME TURF: After a season of struggling with consistency, or lack thereof, Donny Schatz and the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing #15 team could not have chosen a better time to peak if that’s what they’re indeed doing. The Fargo, ND native will head to home territory this weekend fresh off a huge $89,000 second-place payday after nearly stealing his 11th Knoxville Nationals title from Kyle Larson on the final lap.
Sitting fourth in World of Outlaws points, the Carquest, Ford Performance powered entry has one win, 27 top-fives, and 39 top-10s through 53 Features this year. The 10-time NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series champion has ruled his home state over the years, particularly River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND.
On Friday, The Greatest Show on Dirt visits the River Cities bullring for the 27th time in Series history. In 26 previous appearances, Schatz has found victory lane a staggering 12 times for a jaw-dropping winning percentage of 46%. He’s no stranger to success at Red River Valley either, a track where he’s topped three times under Outlaw sanction.
FINISH THE JOB: All but one Crown Jewel ($75,000/Win National Open at Williams Grove on October 2) are complete, so the task at hand returns to the World of Outlaws championship for many drivers, specifically Brad Sweet. With less than three months remaining, only 24 point races are available for drivers to make their moves down the homestretch.
In pursuit of a third consecutive NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championship, The Big Cat is attempting to join rarified air with Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz as the only drivers in 44 years to accomplish the three-peat. Heading into this last stretch, the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49 owns a 140-point advantage with a series-best 14 wins, 35 top-fives, and 44 top-10s.
Giving chase to Sweet and KKR is most notably Carson Macedo (-140) in the Jason Johnson Racing #41 and David Gravel (-144) in the Big Game Motorsports #2. Also in the mix inside the top-five is Donny Schatz (-256) and Sheldon Haudenschild (-266) in the Stenhouse Jr. Marshall Racing #17.
CONFIDENCE BOOST: The Knoxville Nationals is the annual measuring stick for teams and drivers to better understand where they rank amongst the best sprint car competitors in the world. Some years you leave Knoxville with your tail tucked between your legs, and other years you walk away with your head held high and a new sense of confidence. For Brock Zearfoss, he’s heading to North Dakota as the latter.
The first half of Zearfoss’ rookie campaign was a tough one. The numbers don’t back up the progress as he has led laps and been in contention for wins only for untimely incidents to strike. The 14 top-10s are not indicative of his season, especially as he sits ninth in points, even after missing two weeks due to a concussion this spring.
Qualifying for his second Knoxville Nationals A-Main, though, has Zearfoss feeling as good as he has all season long. The Jonestown Jet started 24th in the toughest Feature of the year and drove his family-owned #3Z to a career-best run of 14th, which resulted in an $11,000 payday. Plenty of on-track, monetary, and personal momentum to potentially propel Zearfoss to the results he’s capable of in the second half.
HUNGRY FOR W’S: For Carson Macedo (7 wins), Logan Schuchart (3 wins), Donny Schatz (1 win), and James McFadden (1 win), it’s been too long since that last trip to victory lane. All four drivers produced strong showings at the Knoxville Nationals with all four placing inside the top-1o of Saturdays’ 50-lap finale to build some momentum. Now they just want back in victory lane.
Although second in points and a model of consistency, Macedo hasn’t won since July 17 at Eldora Speedway, which is nearly his longest drought of the year. Schuchart has been missing victory lane ever since he banked $50,000 at Jackson Nationals on June 27. Schatz has been chasing win #301 since his 300th breakthrough at Dubuque, Iowa on June 18, and McFadden’s lone win came back in April at Indiana’s Tri-State Speedway.
Those four drivers will have three chances this weekend to return to the win column and build some second-half steam.
WHO’S GOT NEXT: Since Aaron Reutzel’s suspension, Roth Motorsports has welcomed Parker Price-Miller to drive at I-55 and Kasey Kahne to wheel the Beef Packers throwback at Knoxville. Both substitutes recorded excellent results with PPM earning two QuickTimes, a hard-charging top-ten, and leading laps at the Ironman 55, while Kahne was QuickTime at the Nationals and earned an eighth-place finish in the 50-lap finale.
The Roth #83, which is in a battle for eighth in the World of Outlaws owner championship, will compete in all three races through the Dakota’s this weekend. The only question is who will fill the seat next. An official announcement from the team is expected to come in the next few days.
This Week at a Glance – When and Where
Friday, August 20 at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND
Saturday, August 21 at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, ND
Sunday, August 22 at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, SD
On the Internet
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
Twitter – @WorldofOutlaws
Instagram – @WoOSprint
Facebook – Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsSprintCarSeries
YouTube – Youtube.com/WorldofOutlaws
DIRTVision – DIRTVision.com – Platinum annual FAST PASS for $299 or monthly FAST PASS for $39/month
Around the Turn: Following this weekend, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will remain in Mid-America with a stop at Nebraska’s I-80 Speedway on Friday, August 27 and a return to South Dakota’s Black Hills Speedway on Sunday, August 29.
NOS ENERGY DRINK FEATURE WINNERS (14 Drivers):
14 wins – Brad Sweet, Kasey Kahne Racing w/ Mike Curb #49
7 wins – Carson Macedo, Jason Johnson Racing #41
7 wins – David Gravel, Big Game Motorsports #2
7 wins – Sheldon Haudenschild, Stenhouse Jr. Marshall Racing #17
4 wins – Aaron Reutzel, Roth Motorsports #83
3 wins – Kyle Larson, Silva Motorsports #57
3 wins – Logan Schuchart, Shark Racing #1S
2 wins – Kerry Madsen, Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing #14
2 wins – Brent Marks, Brent Marks Racing #19
1 win – James McFadden, Kasey Kahne Racing w/ Mike Curb #9
1 win – Dave Blaney, Dave Blaney #10
1 win – Donny Schatz, Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing #15
1 win – Spencer Bayston, Sam McGhee Motorsports #11
1 win – Tyler Courtney, Clauson-Marshall Racing #7BC
FEATURE LAPS LED (25 Drivers):
296 laps – Brad Sweet
256 laps – Sheldon Haudenschild
188 laps – Aaron Reutzel
185 laps – Carson Macedo
175 laps – David Gravel
172 laps – Donny Schatz
154 laps – Logan Schuchart
72 laps – Kyle Larson
63 laps – Kerry Madsen
57 laps – Tyler Courtney
36 laps – James McFadden
33 laps – Spencer Bayston
29 laps – Giovanni Scelzi
27 laps – Brent Marks, Sam Hafertepe Jr.
11 laps – Sye Lynch
10 laps – Jacob Allen, Brock Zearfoss, Parker Price-Miller
3 laps – Ian Madsen
1 lap – Kasey Kahne, Kraig Kinser, Brandon Spithaler, Dave Blaney, Brian Brown
SLICK WOODY’S QUICKTIME AWARDS (20 Drivers):
10 QuickTimes – David Gravel
7 QuickTimes – Sheldon Haudenschild
5 QuickTimes – Brad Sweet, Logan Schuchart
4 QuickTimes – Kerry Madsen
3 QuickTimes – Aaron Reutzel
2 QuickTimes – James McFadden, Cory Eliason, Giovanni Scelzi, Parker Price-Miller, Sam Hafertepe Jr.
1 QuickTime – Carson Macedo, Kraig Kinser, Danny Dietrich, Anthony Macri, Kasey Kahne, Brian Brown, Brock Zearfoss, Rico Abreu, Sye Lynch
DRYDENE HEAT RACE WINNERS (39 Drivers)
24 Heat Wins – David Gravel
19 Heat Wins – Carson Macedo
16 Heat Wins – Aaron Reutzel
15 Heat Wins – Donny Schatz
13 Heat Wins – Sheldon Haudenschild
12Heat Wins – Brad Sweet
11 Heat Wins – Logan Schuchart
9 Heat Wins – James McFadden
6 Heat Wins – Brian Brown
5 Heat Wins – Kerry Madsen
4 Heat Wins – Giovanni Scelzi, Tyler Courtney
3 Heat Wins – Brock Zearfoss, Jason Sides, Kraig Kinser, Ian Madsen, Anthony Macri, Sam Hafertepe Jr.
2 Heat Wins – Jacob Allen, Wayne Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Larson, DJ Netto, Parker Price-Miller
1 Heat Win – Danny Dietrich, Hunter Schuerenberg, Lance Dewease, Brandon Spithaler, Tim Kaeding, Jack Dover, Scotty Thiel, Paul McMahan, Daryn Pittman, Justin Peck, Jac Haudenschild, Sye Lynch, Chad Trout, TJ Stutts, Brent Marks
PODIUM FINISHES (25 Drivers):
27 Podiums – Brad Sweet
18 Podiums – Carson Macedo
16 Podiums – Sheldon Haudenschild, Donny Schatz
15 Podiums – David Gravel
12 Podiums – Logan Schuchart
10 Podiums – Aaron Reutzel
6 Podiums – James McFadden, Kerry Madsen, Brent Marks
5 Podiums – Giovanni Scelzi
3 Podiums – Brian Brown, Lance Dewease, Kyle Larson
2 Podiums – Kraig Kinser, Cory Eliason, Anthony Macri, Danny Dietrich, Tyler Courtney
1 Podium – Justin Peck, Brian Brown, Anthony Macri, Dave Blaney, Spencer Bayston, Daryn Pittman, Paulie Colagiovanni, Sam Hafertepe Jr.
2021 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Schedule & Winners
No. / Day, Date / Track / Location / Winner (Total Wins)
1. Fri, Feb. 5 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Brad Sweet (1)
2. Sun, Feb. 7 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Logan Schuchart (1)
3. Fri, March 5 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Carson Macedo (1)
4. Sat, March 6 / East Bay Raceway Park / Tampa, FL / Aaron Reutzel (1)
5. Fri, March 12 / Magnolia Motor Speedway / Columbus, MS / Sheldon Haudenschild (1)
6. Sat, March 13 / The Rev / Monroe, LA / David Gravel (1)
7. Fri, March 19 / Cotton Bowl Speedway / Paige, TX / Sheldon Haudenschild (2)
8. Sat, March 20 / Cotton Bowl Speedway / Paige, TX / Brad Sweet (2)
9. Sat, March 27 / Lake Ozark Speedway / Eldon, MO / Brad Sweet (3)
10. Fri, April 2 / I-55 Raceway / Pevely, MO / Brad Sweet (4)
11. Sat, April 3 / I-55 Raceway / Pevely, MO / Brad Sweet (5)
12. Fri, April 9 / Kokomo Speedway / Kokomo, IN / James McFadden (1)
13. Sat, April 10 / Tri-State Speedway / Haubstadt, IN / Carson Macedo (2)
14. Fri, April 22 / Bristol Motor Speedway / Bristol, TN / David Gravel (2)
15. Sun, April 24 / Bristol Motor Speedway / Bristol, TN / David Gravel (3)
16. Thur, April 29 / Jacksonville Speedway / Jacksonville, IL / Brad Sweet (6)
17. Fri, April 30 / I-70 Motorsports Park / Odessa, MO / Brad Sweet (7)
18. Sat, May 1 / I-70 Motorsports Park / Odessa, MO / Brad Sweet (8)
19. Sat, May 8 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Brent Marks (1)
20. Sat, May 8 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Sheldon Haudenschild (3)
21. Wed, May 12 / Lincoln Speedway / Abbottstown, PA / Brad Sweet (9)
22. Fri, May 14 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Carson Macedo (3)
23. Sat, May 15 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Aaron Reutzel (2)
24. Tues, May 18 / Bridgeport Speedway / Swedesboro, NJ / Logan Schuchart (2)
25. Fri, May 21 / Attica Raceway Park / Attica, OH / David Gravel (4)
26. Sat, May 22 / Sharon Speedway / Hartford, OH / Dave Blaney (1)
27. Mon, May 31 / Lawrenceburg Speedway / Lawrenceburg, IN / Kyle Larson (1)
28. Sat, June 5 / Granite City Speedway /Sauk Rapids, MN / David Gravel (5)
29. Fri, June 11 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / Carson Macedo (4)
30. Sat, June 12 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / Carson Macedo (5)
31. Thur, June 17 / 34 Raceway / West Burlington, IA / Brad Sweet (10)
32. Fri, June 18 / Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway / Dubuque, IA / Donny Schatz (1)
33. Sat, June 19 / Beaver Dam Raceway / Beaver Dam, WI / Sheldon Haudenschild (4)
34. Mon, June 21 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / David Gravel (6)
35. Tues, June 22 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / Aaron Reutzel (3)
36. Thur, June 24 / Jackson Motorplex / Jackson, MN / Kerry Madsen (1)
37. Fri, June 25 / Jackson Motorplex / Jackson, MN / Kerry Madsen (2)
38. Sat, June 27 / Jackson Motorplex / Jackson, MN / Logan Schuchart (3)
39. Fri, July 2 / Cedar Lake Speedway / New Richmond, WI / Brad Sweet (11)
40. Sat, July 3 / Cedar Lake Speedway / New Richmond, WI / Brad Sweet (12)
41. Sat, July 10 / Wilmot Raceway / Wilmot, WI / Brad Sweet (13)
42. Tues, July 13 / Attica Raceway Park / Attica, OH / Spencer Bayston (1)
43. Wed, July 14 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Carson Macedo (6)
44. Sat, July 17 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Tyler Courtney (1)
45. Sat, July 17 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Kyle Larson (2)
46. Sun, July 18 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Carson Macedo (7)
47. Tues, July 20 / Lernerville Speedway / Sarver, PA / Brad Sweet (14)
48. Fri, July 23 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Sheldon Haudenschild (5)
49. Sat, July 24 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Brent Marks (2)
50. Fri, July 30 / Ransomville Speedway / Ransomville, NY / Aaron Reutzel (4)
51. Sat, July 31 / Weedsport Speedway / Weedsport, NY / David Gravel (7)
52. Fri, August 6 / I-55 Raceway / Pevely, MO / Sheldon Haudenschild (6)
53. Sat, August 7 / I-55 Raceway / Pevely, MO / Sheldon Haudenschild (7)
54. Sat, August 14 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / Kyle Larson (3)