Donny Schatz outran 50 other competitors as well as Mother Nature to pick up the win in the 51st Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal Speedway in Pennsylvania, which was sanctioned for the first time ever by the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. Schatz started fifth and methodically worked his way forward, taking the top spot from Brad Sweet on lap-32, then pulled away over the final 18 laps to score the $51,000 victory. The Outlaws head south this weekend to wrap up the season with the running of the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in North Carolina.
Another crown jewel
The Tuscarora 50 was about the only marquee event that Donny Schatz had never won in his career. Originally scheduled for September as an Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champion race, rain forced its postponement until October, with the sanction being switched to the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. While it was his first Tuscarora 50 win, it was the third win of Schatz’s career at the half-mile. He also added to his series-leading win total, which sits at 21, with a pair of race nights remaining this season.
Plenty of passing
Freddie Rahmer and Daryn Pittman passed more than their fair share of cars during the Tuscarora 50 en route to podium finishes. Rahmer started 16thand powered his way to a runner-up finish. Pittman, who advanced from the B-main into the main event, worked his way from 23rdto third, which earned him the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award. David Gravel also worked his way through the field, coming from 17thto finish fifth.
Outlaws vs. Posse
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series won the final battle of 2018 with the Pennsylvania Posse as Outlaws drivers took six spot in the top-10 at the Tuscarora 50. For the season, the PA Posse won three times, while Schatz’s win at Port Royal was the lone Outlaws victory. Gio Scelzi, who is neither an Outlaw nor Posse member, also won in Central PA this year. Mother Nature was the biggest winner, picking up four wins in Central Pennsylvania this season.
Danny Dietrich was running in the top-five when he suffered a flat tire on lap-17 of the Tuscarora 50. After a trip to the work area to change the tire, the Pennsylvania Posse member charged back through the field to finish seventh.
New track record
After two days of rain at Port Royal Speedway, a crisp afternoon greeted competitors on Sunday afternoon, which led to some blazing fast laps in time trials. Brian Brown turned the fastest of the 51 entrants, during the second flight of time trials. A total of seven drivers broke the previous track record, which had stood since 2014. For his efforts, Brown received a $500 Fast Time Award, along with a special trophy, which he gave to a young fan.
Port Royal debut
The Scelzi brothers, Dominic and Gio, both made their Port Royal Speedway debut aboard team cars for the Indy Race Parts team. After racing their way into main event, both had bad luck during the 50-lapper, which ended their races early. The brothers will be teammates against next weekend at the World Finals.
Tyler Reeser made his World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series debut in the Tuscarora 50. The young driver finished third in the fifth heat race to transfer to the main event. In the main event, unfortunately, he was disqualified for not lining up in the proper positon on a restart, after being told several times by the Race Director over the driver radio.
Lance Dewease, who was one of the favorites coming into the Tuscarora 50, had a tough afternoon. He timed in just 16th-fastest in the first flight of time trials of the 26 drivers in that group. Then, in the first heat race, he got into the wall and upside, which caused too much damage to continue on, ending his race and season. Dewease did win four times at Port Royal this season aboard the No. 69K for Don Kreitz’s team.
Pacing the field
The No. 27 Heffner Racing machine paced the field for the Tuscarora 50 as a tribute to the late Greg Hodnett, who was a four-time winner of the event. Hodnett had over 50 wins in his career at the half-mile. The Missing Man Formation was also in effect during the 4-Wide Salute, as the Outlaws honored both Hodnett and Jason Johnson.
Adding a second car
The CJB Motorsports team ran a second car for veteran driver Kerry Madsen at Port Royal Speedway and will do so again at the World Finals. The Australian normally drives for the Big Game Treestands tree, which its parent company, Mainstream Holdings brand: Muddy Outdoors, is a sponsor of the No. 5 CJB machine that David Gravel drives. Madsen won earlier this season with the Outlaws at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin.
Back in the saddle
After missing a large part of the season, due to hand surgery for a non-racing related injury, Dale Blaney will compete at the World Finals. The multi-time Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions title winner, will pilot the No. 5B machine for Chase Briscoe Motorsports. The team has competed in a handful of winged sprint car events this season, including a couple with Briscoe, himself, behind the wheel.
Due to having a different format than a standard World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series event, the Tuscarora offered all drivers “Show up” points for the event. Donny Schatz only needs to sign in at the World Finals to clinch his 10thWorld of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion. Brad Sweet will finish second for the second straight season. David Gravel currently has a 24-point lead over Daryn Pittman in the battle for third. Shane Stewart is fifth, followed by Logan Schuchart in sixth, Sheldon Haudenschild in seventh, rookie Ian Madsen in eighth, Brent Marks in ninth and Kraig Kinser in 10th.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series wraps up the 2018 season with the running of the World Finals at the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Thursday-Saturday. Also in action will be the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series and Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds. Thursday will consist of time trials for the World of Outlaws, which will set the heat race lineups for Friday and Saturday.
Donny Schatz, who has 11 career wins at Charlotte, was victorious at the track back in May. Schatz and David Gravel split wins at the World Finals last year. Joey Saldana has four wins at Charlotte, while Paul McMahan has three wins at the track and Daryn Pittman has two victories. Logan Schuchart, Brian Brown, Dale Blaney and Greg Wilson all have one win in their respective careers at the state-of-the-art four-tenths-mile.