A pair of historic racetracks await the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series this weekend.
First up is the highly anticipated return to Granite City, IL’s Tri-City Speedway on Friday, April 28. The World of Outlaws haven’t circled the Illinois 3/8 mile in 15 years. Then, a two-and-a-half-hour drive east takes the tour to Haubstadt, IN’s Tri-State Speedway on Saturday, April 29.
Both facilities own the honor of being the most visited by The Greatest Show on Dirt for their respective states. Tri-City Speedway has hosted the World of Outlaws on 55 occasions. Tri-State Speedway’s 42 trips outrank all fellow Hoosier state facilities. Both ovals first hosted a race during the World of Outlaws’ second year of existence – 1979.
Let’s look at some of the weekend’s top storylines:
TRI-CITY RETURN: Despite being the 14th most visited track in Series history, Friday at Tri-City Speedway will present a new challenge for many drivers. The World of Outlaws haven’t competed in Granite City since 2008.
Schatz’s extensive experience may prove to be an advantage as the 10-time champion owns 16 starts. During the last visit in 2008 it was none other than Schatz coming out on top. The driver of the Tony Stewart/Curb Agajanian Racing #15 also has podiumed in half of his six most recent races at Tri-City.
Rose has made a pair of Tri-City appearances with the World of Outlaws (’01 & ’05). The Plainfield, IN native posted a top 10 in Granite City with the MOWA Sprints in 2013. He’s also been productive there without a wing – earning two USAC National Sprint Car top fives, including a podium effort in 2005.
The Lemoore, CA native could continue to cement himself as one of the best to race around the paperclip shaped track this Saturday. Only Steve Kinser (8 wins), Sammy Swindell (5 wins), and Craig Dollansky (4 wins) have won more at Haubstadt. A victory Saturday would equal him with Dollansky.
Macedo and his Jason Johnson Racing crew enter the weekend atop the championship standings and hope to add to the lead.
GRAVEL EYES REBOUND: After appearing invincible early in the season, misfortune has struck David Gravel in recent weeks. A crash at U.S. 36 Raceway resulted in a 21st place finish, and contact with Carson Macedo in Pevely turned a potential win into a 10th. The Watertown, CT native sits third in points after leading through the first 10 races.
Fortunately for Gravel, this weekend presents a prime opportunity to rebound. The Big Game Motorsports driver’s only Tri-City experience is a 2010 American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) race, but he’s been one of the best at Tri-State. Gravel has won twice and podiumed on five occasions in 13 Haubstadt starts.
The Wooster, OH native always has the speed to contend for a win at the Indiana bullring, but Victory Lane has eluded him despite leading laps in three different Features. In 2017, Haudenschild looked poised for victory until an incident with a lapped car. The next year a crash while fighting for the lead ended his bid. Fast forward to 2021 when Haudenschild rocketed from the ninth starting spot to the lead before a flat tire with less than 10 laps to go extinguished his hopes.
Despite the misfortune keeping him from the top spot, the Stenhouse Jr./Marshall Racing driver’s results in Haubstadt are still impressive with three podiums and a 7.78 average finish in nine starts. “Haud” hopes to seal the deal on that elusive victory this Saturday.
In his last 10 starts at the quarter mile, Sweet has finished no worse than eighth aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing #49 and owns a 5.4 average finish over that stretch. Two of his last three attempts have resulted in second-place finishes.
“The Big Cat” enters the weekend as the most recent winner this year and sits tied for the Series lead in victories with three.
FIRST TIMERS: The unique oval that is Tri-State Speedway has proven to present an opportunity at first career World of Outlaws wins.
A new Series winner has arisen twice in the last seven visits to Haubstadt. In 2017, it was Kokomo, IN’s Parker Price-Miller experiencing the thrill of his inaugural triumph. Three years later, Marion, IL native Carson Short bested The Greatest Show on Dirt in only his 11th career Feature start.
In total, Tri-State Speedway has produced six first time winners through its 42 World of Outlaws races.
MOWA MOTORS: The World of Outlaws may have not competed recently at Tri-City, but the track has still hosted some Sprint Car action over the last few years – mainly the Midwest Open Wheel Association (MOWA) Sprints.
Drivers such as Ayrton Gennetten, Joe B. Miller, Zach Hampton, and others have all performed well with MOWA in Granite City recently and could be factors on Friday with the benefit of added experience.
This weekend is also expected to attract a stout crop of invaders with Anthony Macri, Tyler Courtney, Buddy Kofoid, and more all planning to be in action.
If you can’t make it to the track, catch all the action on DIRTVision.
THIS WEEKEND AT A GLANCE
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CURRENT CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (13/81 Races)
- 41 – Carson Macedo (1826PTS) 2. 49 – Brad Sweet (-12PTS) 3. 2 – David Gravel (-20PTS) 4. 1S – Logan Schuchart (-56PTS) 5. 11 – Michael Kofoid (-72PTS) 6. 17 – Sheldon Haudenschild (-108PTS) 7. 83 – James McFadden (-134PTS) 8. 5 – Spencer Bayston (-148PTS) 9. 15 – Donny Schatz (-162PTS) 10. 18 – Gio Scelzi (-172PTS)
NOS ENERGY DRINK FEATURE WINNERS (7 Drivers):
3 wins – David Gravel (Big Game Motorsports #2), Brad Sweet (Kasey Kahne Racing #49)
2 wins – James McFadden (Roth Motorsports #83), Rico Abreu (Rico Abreu Racing #24)
1 win – Carson Macedo (Jason Johnson Racing #41), Buddy Kofoid (CMS Racing #11), Sheldon Haudenschild (Stenhouse Jr./Marshall Racing #17)
FEATURE LAPS LED (11 Drivers):
79 laps – Brad Sweet
77 laps – David Gravel
60 laps – James McFadden
46 laps – Buddy Kofoid
43 laps – Rico Abreu
41 laps – Carson Macedo
21 laps – Sheldon Haudenschild
10 laps – Anthony Macri, Cory Eliason
9 laps – Gio Scelzi, Brent Marks
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS QUICKTIME AWARDS (8 Drivers):
HEAT RACE WINNERS (17 Drivers):
7 Heat Wins – David Gravel
6 Heat Wins – Buddy Kofoid, Carson Macedo
4 Heat Wins – Brent Marks
3 Heat Wins – Logan Schuchart, Sheldon Haudenschild, Brad Sweet
2 Heat Wins – Spencer Bayston, Gio Scelzi, Jacob Allen
1 Heat Win – James McFadden, Brian Brown, Donny Schatz, Danny Dietrich, Freddie Rahmer, Rico Abreu, Brock Zearfoss
TOYOTA DASH APPEARANCES (24 Drivers):
10 Dashes – David Gravel
9 Dashes – Carson Macedo
8 Dashes – Logan Schuchart, Brad Sweet
6 Dashes – Buddy Kofoid, Jacob Allen
5 Dashes – Spencer Bayston, Gio Scelzi
4 Dashes – Brent Marks, Rico Abreu, Sheldon Haudenschild, Donny Schatz
3 Dashes – James McFadden, Brock Zearfoss
2 Dashes – Brian Brown, Danny Dietrich
1 Dash – Anthony Macri, Robbie Price, Cory Eliason, Justin Peck, Kasey Kahne, Freddie Rahmer, Devon Borden, Garet Williamson
MICRO-LITE LAST CHANCE SHOWDOWN WINS (11 Drivers):
KSE HARD CHARGER AWARDS (10 Drivers):
PODIUM FINISHES (15 Drivers):
7 Podiums – Brad Sweet
6 Podiums – David Gravel
5 Podiums – Carson Macedo
4 Podiums – Buddy Kofoid
3 Podiums – James McFadden
2 Podiums – Jacob Allen, Sheldon Haudenschild, Rico Abreu, Logan Schuchart
1 Podium – Danny Dietrich, Brian Brown, Kasey Kahne, Devon Borden, Spencer Bayston, Brent Marks
TOP 10 FINISHES (26 Drivers):
13 Top 10s – Carson Macedo
11 Top 10s – Brad Sweet, David Gravel, Logan Schuchart
9 Top 10s – Sheldon Haudenschild, Michael Kofoid
7 Top 10s – James McFadden, Spencer Bayston, Gio Scelzi,
6 Top 10s – Rico Abreu
5 Top 10s – Donny Schatz
4 Top 10s – Brent Marks, Jacob Allen, Justin Peck, Kasey Kahne
3 Top 10s – Tyler Courtney
2 Top 10s – Aaron Reutzel, Brian Brown, Danny Dietrich, Brock Zearfoss, Blake Hahn
1 Top 10 – Cory Eliason, Robbie Price, Zeb Wise, Devon Borden, Sam Hafertepe Jr.
2023 WORLD OF OUTLAWS SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE & WINNERS:
No. / Day, Date / Track / Location / Winner (Total Wins)
- Thurs, Feb 9 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / David Gravel (1)
- Fri, Feb 10 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / David Gravel (2)
- Sat, Feb 11* / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / James McFadden (1)
- Sun, March 5 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Carson Macedo (1)
- Mon, March 6 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / David Gravel (3)
- Sat, March 18 / Lincoln Speedway / Abbottstown, PA / Rico Abreu (1)
- Fri, March 24 / Talladega Short Track / Eastaboga, AL / Buddy Kofoid (1)
- Sat, March 25 / Magnolia Motor Speedway / Columbus, MS / Brad Sweet (1)
- Fri, March 31 / Devil’s Bowl Speedway / Mesquite, TX / Brad Sweet (2)
- Sat, April 1 / Devil’s Bowl Speedway / Mesquite, TX / James McFadden (2)
- Fri, April 7 / U.S. 36 Raceway / Osborn, MO / Sheldon Haudenschild (1)
- Sat, April 8 / 81 Speedway / Wichita, KS / Rico Abreu (2)
- Fri, April 14 / Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 / Pevely, MO / Brad Sweet (3)