When February rolls around that means one thing for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. It’s time to head to Florida and get another season underway for the drivers who compete on the most grueling motorsports series in the world. The nearly 90-race campaign kicks off at the recently renovated Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals. The Outlaws will crisscross the country a couple of times this year en route to wrapping up the campaign at the World Finals in Charlotte in November. The 2019 season is shaping up to again be a very competitive one for the Outlaws.
Changes at the top
One of the keys to Donny Schatz’s dominance over the last decade with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series has been the continuity and consistency of his Tony Stewart Racing team. This season, the team has made a few changes, the biggest of which is shifting longtime Car Chief, Steve Swenson to the role of Crew Chief, which had been held for many years by Ricky Warner, who has moved his focus to helping develop the Ford 410-sprint car engine. Also, new crew member Jakob Weaver has joined the team. Schatz will be chasing his 11thseries title in 2019.
One more spot
Brad Sweet, who has finished in the runner-up spot in points in each of the last two years with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, begins 2019 in search of his first series title. The Californian scored the biggest victory of his career last year, in the $150,000-to-win Knoxville Nationals. Sweet enters the season with his team intact from last year, led by crew chief Eric Pruztman.
Familiar faces in new places
Two of the most high profile teams and drivers on the circuit will sporting new looks this season. David Gravel, who has finished third in points for each of the last three years, will be the driver of the No. 41 machine for Jason Johnson Racing. Shane Stewart, who drove for Kyle Larson Racing since the team’s debut in 2014, will shift over to the CJB Motorsports No. 5, which Gravel had previously piloted.
The Shark Racing duo of Logan Schuchart and Jacob Allen will hit the road for their sixth season with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. The team will be sporting the Drydene Performance colors this season, including their recently wrapped Toter Home and Trailer. Last year, Schuchart finished a career-best sixth in points and won the $20,000 Ironman 55, while Allen picked up a handful of runner-up finishes as he chases his first Outlaws win.
Brent Marks, who had a breakout year in 2018, during his sophomore season with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, will be back on the tour again this season. The Pennsylvania earned his first-career win with the series in early June at Wilmot Raceway in Wisconsin in dominant fashion and followed that up later in the year with two more wins.
Kraig Kinser and Jason Sides are two of the most hands-on and hardest working drivers on the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series tour. Kinser will log another tour with the Outlaws this season with crew chief Mike Kuemper. Kinser has finished in the top-10 in the Outlaws standings in nine straight seasons. Sides, who is tentatively slated to follow the Outlaws tour again in 2019, is one of the true “Independents” in the sport. The veteran driver often is a one-man band, driving the truck and trailer, working on the race car and driving the No. 7S.
Back for more
Ian Madsen, who claimed the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award last season, returns for his sophomore campaign with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. The Australian was victorious during the World Finals to close the 2018, en route to finishing eighth in points. Madsen enters the 2019 season with three-career Outlaws wins.
Carson Macedo opens the 2019 season as the only driver contending for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award. The California native, who spent the last couple of seasons on the All Stars Tour, will drive the No. 2 for Kyle Larson Racing. Macedo will have Joe Gaerte, who he drove for on the All Stars tour, as his crew chief. The young driver has one-career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win as the 2019 campaign opens.
On the road
Mason Daniel, who is being mentored by 2001 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series champion Danny Lasoski, will start the season with the series and run through early April. The teenager from California, moved from the Golden State to Missouri before the 2018 season to pursue a career as a sprint car driver. Daniel won his first-career sprint car race at the famed Knoxville Raceway last year in weekly 360-competition. The Californian made his first two Outlaws starts toward the end of last season at the Terre Haute Action Track in Indiana and Lakeside Speedway in Kansas.