Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet Open 2019 With Wins Down Under

Donny Schatz and Brad Sweet were the two winningest drivers on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series circuit in 2018 and opened 2019 on the same note, as each was victorious on New Year’s Day in Australia.

Schatz scored a dominant win at Archerfield Speedway, taking the checkered flag over Logan Schuchart. The margin of victory in the 50-lap contest was over eight-seconds. One of Schatz’s crew members for the race was fellow Outlaws competitor Jason Sides.

“It was a good night,” said Schatz. “We got ourselves qualified well, tried to stay out of trouble in those heat races and took our opportunity in the dash to try a little something. “Lannie (Nichols), Jason Sides, these guys did a great job making adjustments all night long and got me a race car that was capable of winning the feature.”

For Schatz, the win was his second in three starts this off-season Down Under. With a victory at Archerfield Speedway on December 26, Schatz extended his streak of winning at least one race in Australia each and every off-season, dating back to 1999. The North Dakota native also rebounded from some bad luck on December 28 as he got upside while running second, which led to a DNF (Did not finish).

Schatz will wrap up his stay Down Under this weekend as the World Series Sprintcars visit Archerfield Speedway for the running of the Australian Open. The 10-time World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion is the defending winner of the 50-lap race. Also entered in the event are fellow World of Outlaws drivers Logan Schuchart and Carson Macedo as well as perennial contenders Kerry Madsen and James McFadden.

Sweet won at Valvoline Raceway, also in a 50-lapper, over Aussie Lynton Jeffrey. The victory for the California native was redemption, after Jeffrey stole the win from Sweet in the previous race on December 30 on the final lap.

“I’m pleased to get a win for Mark Cooper (Car Owner) before we go home,” said Sweet. “We’ve had to work real fast on getting this car where we needed it to be and I still think we could have got even more speed from it if we’d had a couple more nights.”

Sweet has won each of the last two 50-lap races he has competed in, with the other being the biggest of his career last August, the $150,000-to-win Knoxville Nationals at the famed Knoxville Raceway in Iowa. The veteran driver also claimed a $20,000 triumph in a 49-lap race last fall in the 49er Gold Rush Classic, an event he promoted at his home track of Placerville Speedway in California.

During his three-race stint at Valvoline Raceway in Australia, Sweet finished in the top-five in all three races. Sweet was the story of the night on December 28, as he ran the alphabet, charging all the way from the C-main to eventually garner a fifth-place showing in the A-Feature. 

With his Australian trip complete, Sweet will return to the United States to begin preparing for the 33rdAnnual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, OK, January 14-19. Sweet will be part of a two-car team for Rusty Kunz for whom he finished second on a preliminary night last year and sixth in the finale.

Guardino Wins Ventura's Battle of the Beach #1

After trading the lead with Jake Swanson, Tristan Guardino (Fremont, CA) sailed to his first USAC West Coast Sprint Car victory of the year at Ventura Raceway. Racing the family owned #15T Dorso’s Automotive / Allied Auto Stores Maxim, Tristan’s earned $1,500 for his efforts.

Swanson Perseveres in Memphis 100 Win

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Swanson Debuts with Nolen at the Top in Memphis Practice

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Master Sprint Wrench Jack French Passes

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Gordon the Most Experienced in Memphis Field

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Leary Heads to Memphis to Begin Triple Crown Pursuit

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Dyson Races Uncommon Road to Silver Crown

Chris Dyson’s road to becoming a regular on the USAC Silver Crown circuit is quite unique.  Born into road racing heritage as the son of Sports Car racer and owner Rob Dyson, Chris eventually found his way to the top, capturing a pair of American Le Mans Series titles - the LMP675 driver's title in 2003 and the LMP1 championship in 2011.

Ventura Hosts Battle at the Beach Saturday

After last Saturday’s battle at Bakersfield, the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars will clash with the Ventura Racing Association (VRA) this Saturday, March 23rd at Ventura Raceway.

Swanson Begins New Era at Memphis 100

After finishing off the most successful run between a driver and team in the history of the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series with DePalma Motorsports, Kody Swanson is preparing for this coming season nearly from scratch, with a new team, new cars, new engines and a new home with Nolen Racing, beginning with this weekend’s “Memphis 100” at Tennessee’s Memphis International Raceway on March 22-23.

10-Time USAC Sprint Winning Owner Hillin Passes

Bobby Hillin, whose Longhorn Racing team notched 10 USAC National Sprint Car victories with drivers Bruce Walkup, Jackie Howerton, Jan Opperman and Bubby Jones between 1975 and 1977, passed away last weekend.  He was 79 years old.