Brad Sweet and Christopher Bell split wins over the weekend as the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series returned to the Midwest. Mother Nature also picked up a win, which adds to the record total number of rainouts this season. Sweet won in the series return to the historic Terre Haute Action Track in Indiana, while Bell took the checkered flag at the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio. The Outlaws head to Kansas this weekend for a pair of races.
Another green-white-checker finish
Brad Sweet is becoming very accustomed to green-white-checker finishes, while leading World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series events. At the Terre Haute Action track, the caution flag flew on the final lap, which necessitated a green-white-check finish, extending the race to 31-laps. In each of the last handful of races that Sweet has won, he’s had to withstand a green-white-checker finish. For Sweet, who had previously won in USAC non-wing sprint car competition at Terre Haute, it marked his first triumph in a winged race at the venerable half-mile.
Christopher Bell, who is the current point leader in the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs, took advantage of a rare off weekend to compete with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. Bell piloted the No. 14B for Tony Stewart Racing as a teammate to Donny Schatz and was victorious at Eldora Speedway on Sunday night to earn his fourth-career Outlaws win. Bell finished 11ththe night before at Terre Haute.
The Indy Race Parts team fielded three cars at Eldora for Joey Saldana, Gio Scelzi and Parker Price-Miller. Scelzi opened the night by turning the fastest lap in first flight of time trials and was fastest overall of the 40 entrants. Price-Miller led the first 13 laps of the main event and wound up finishing third, while Saldana was seventh and Scelzi 14th.
Near the front
Carson Macedo finished fourth at Eldora aboard the No. 41 for Jason Johnson Racing. The Californian ran as high as second in the 30-lap main event. Macedo opened the night as the fastest driver in the second flight of time trials. While Macedo will be racing on the West Coast next weekend, the JJR 41 will be in action with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series in Kansas with Joey Saldana behind the wheel.
After winning the previous World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series event at Eldora Speedway in September, Brent Marks followed that up with a sixth-place effort on Sunday night. The Pennsylvania native has had a solid sophomore season on the road with the series, picking up three wins and setting new career highs for top-five and top-10 finishes.
Ian Madsen, the leading contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, has had a consistent year thus far. He finished fifth at Eldora to garner his sixth top-five showing of the 2018 campaign.
Plenty of passing
Logan Schuchart continued to show his prowess at Eldora, coming from the 20thstarting position to finish ninth. That was enough to earn him another KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award. Schuchart added to his career-high total of top-10 finishes.
Donny Schatz came from the 12thstarting spot to finish second at Terre Haute to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award. The nine-time and defending series champion lined up third on the green-white-checker finish and was able to get around Tim Shaffer to take the show position. Schatz came from eighth to second at Eldora the next night.
Home state prowess
Joey Saldana turned in a solid sixth-place effort at Terre Haute, aboard one of the team cars for the Indy Race Parts team. In his first start of the season for the squad, whom he drove a number of races for in 2017, Saldana was second fastest in time trials and ran near the top-five for most of the feature race.
Giovanni Scelzi, who became the youngest winner in World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series history at the age of 16, a few weeks ago at Williams Grove Speedway, made his first start at the Terre Haute Action Track. The Californian was third-fastest in time trials, just behind his teammate Joey Saldana. Scelzi raced his way into the dash and wound up ninth in the main event.
New track record
Brian Brown set a new track record at the Terre Haute Action Track. The veteran drive shattered the previous track record, by nearly a half-a-second. The previous track record has been established in 1999, by Brown’s uncle, 2001 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion, Danny Lasoski. A total of 19 of the 32 entrants were under the previous track record, on a cool, crisp evening, which produced plenty of horsepower.
Back in the saddle
Spencer Bayston returned to action for the first time since suffering a broken leg back in late August. The Indiana native was scheduled to compete the previous weekend with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions, but that event fell to rain. Bayston qualified for the main event both nights with the Outlaws, aboard the Swindell SpeedLab machine for Kevin Swindell’s team.
Third time was not the charm
For the third time this season, the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series attempted to race at Jacksonville Speedway in Illinois and for the third time, the event was rained out. This time, it was not re-scheduled. The Outlaws look to return to the quarter-mill bullring in the future.
The entire top-10 in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series standings remained intact, following the double-header weekend. Donny Schatz leads Brad Sweet by 262 as just six point-paying events remain this season. David Gravel is third, with Daryn Pittman fourth and Shane Stewart in fifth. Logan Schuchart rides sixth, with Sheldon Haudenschild seventh, Ian Madsen eighth, Brent Marks ninth and Kraig Kinser 10th.
The final pair of races in the Midwest await the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series this weekend. First up is a trip to Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS, for the FVP Platinum Battery Shootout. Brian Brown, who hails from nearby Grain Valley, MO, was victorious in the event last year. Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet, Daryn Pittman and Kerry Madsen are all past winners at Lakeside. The Outlaws then head to the Western part of Kansas for a return to Dodge City Raceway Park for the first time since 2015. Jason Sides and Donny Schatz split wins at the three-eighths-mile that year. Joey Saldana is the winningest driver with the series at the track, with five victories, while Pittman has fourth, Schatz has three and Sides has two.