By CLAYTON JOHNS (WORLD OF OUTLAWS PR)
OHSWEKEN, ONT – Logan Schuchart hunted down Donny Schatz in heavy lapped traffic and then dominated the second half of the Six Nations Showdown at Ohsweken Speedway for his fourth World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series win of 2017 on Tuesday night.
The victory was a much-needed confidence boost for Schuchart and his Shark Racing team who had struggled of late. The slick Ohsweken surface was exactly to the liking of the Hanover, Pa. native in the Outlaws only visit to Canada this season.
“I love these type of racetracks, not just because we ran well on it tonight. I love slick racetracks,” Schuchart said in Victory Lane. “I love when you have to drive the car straight and smooth. I feel like it makes it fun. Obviously if you’re not running good it’s not fun, but if you can glide around the racetrack, be smooth and have forward drive, it’s fun.”
Schuchart had all of those ingredients at Ohsweken. While Schatz grabbed an early lead from the pole and drove away from the majority of the field, Schuchart was the only driver able to keep pace. The top duo wandered into heavy lapped traffic by lap nine and as Schatz was forced to give up his preferred line on the bottom to move past a slower car, Schuchart capitalized when he found room on the bottom of turn two and down the backstretch to take the lead.
“I was having trouble catching Donny when we were in an open run,” Schuchart admitted. “It wasn’t until we got to lapped traffic, I felt like, that some lapped cars made him go where he didn’t want to. I could just move around a little bit more than he could and go through the middle. When some lapped cars took his line away, I just felt like I was able to get the forward drive off the corners to get by him.”
One lap after Schuchart took the lead, the caution flag waved for Sheldon Haudenschild, who suffered a flat right-rear tire. He made the repairs in the work area and returned to the rear of the field. Schuchart held the point on the lap nine restart while Greg Wilson and Kyle Larson battled tooth and nail for the third spot.
Schuchart led the top-five into traffic again on lap 16 of the 30-lap main event, but was able to run the bottom the lane the whole time to continue pulling away from Schatz. His advantage with 10 laps to go was 2.6 seconds but grew each lap until he achieved the eventual 5.984-second margin of victory.
Schatz was openly disappointed he was not able to capitalize on his pole starting position to claim his 16th win of the season. His runner-up finish was his 40th top-five finish of the season.
“We got beat,” Schatz stated bluntly. “Logan was really good. He could go all over. Obviously, we got to traffic and you have to move around. We did that a little bit and he found the better groove. Those guys rolled pretty good and I couldn’t stay down there very well. I had to roll the middle and do what I could. These guys did a great job, Logan was just that good tonight.”
Schuchart was ecstatic to score his fourth Outlaw win of the season and to beat the current Series point leader to achieve the feat.
“Anytime you can beat Donny Schatz on any type of racetrack, but especially a slick racetrack, it’s saying something,” Schuchart said. “We’ve had a car for a while that’s given us some trouble and this is the first night on this new XXX (chassis) and it was hooked up on this slick surface. I felt like it was just gliding around the racetrack and I was just guiding it.”
Wilson rounded out the podium finishers after holding off Kyle Larson in the second half of the race. It was Wilson’s fifth top-five finish of the season on a surface he raved about in his post-race interview.
“We’ve been struggling pretty bad lately, so I can’t thank the folks at Hercules Tires, Ohio Logistics, DNC Hydraulics, Gear Alloy and Weikel Sportswear for staying with us,” Wilson said. “This is always an amazing show. (Track Owner) Glenn (Styres) and the whole crew gave us an excellent racetrack. It’s fun. I wish some other tracks in the country would take a look at this. I realize we’re not going 100mph, but there’s racing all over the racetrack and that’s what it’s about.”
Larson settled for a fourth-place finish and 19-year-old Dylan Westbrook, who was making his first career Outlaw start in his first night with a 410ci motor, rounded out the top-five after starting 16th. Jacob Allen was the KSE Hard Charger award winner after he advanced 13 positions from 24th to 11th.
Brad Sweet was the night’s fast qualifier with a lap of 12.280 seconds. Sweet, Schuchart, Larson and Wilson all won heat races in some of the most thrilling qualifying action all season. Schatz won the Craftsman Club Dash from the pole, but had to take the lead back from Brent Marks midway through the race to gain the pole. Kraig Kinser came out on top of a three-car battle for the lead with Jared Zimbardi and Steve Lyons to win the Last Chance Showdown.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series now has two days off before returning to competition for the Battle of Michigan at Hartford Speedway in Hartford, MI on Friday, July 28. The Outlaws will see the track’s new 3/8-mile configuration for the first time. For additional event information, including advanced reserved ticket purchases, visit www.slspromotions.com.
Ohsweken Speedway Notebook
Feature (30 Laps) – 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$10,000]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [$5,500]; 3. W20-Greg Wilson [$3,200]; 4. 57-Kyle Larson [$2,800]; 5. 47X-Dylan Westbrook [$2,500]; 6. 5-David Gravel [$2,300]; 7. 18-Ryan Susice [$2,200]; 8. 49-Brad Sweet [$2,100]; 9. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$2,050]; 10. 67X-Parker Price-Miller [$2,000]; 11. 1A-Jacob Allen [$1,500]; 12. 9-Daryn Pittman [$1,200]; 13. 19-Brent Marks [$1,100]; 14. 9X-Steve Lyons [$1,050]; 15. 2-Shane Stewart [$1,000]; 16. O-Max Johnston [$900]; 17. 87-Jason Barney [$800]; 18. 10-Mitch Brown [$800]; 19. 4-Paul McMahan [$800]; 20. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild [$800]; 21. 7S-Jason Sides [$800]; 22. OO-Dane Lorenc [$800]; 23. 35-Jared Zimbardi [$800]; 24. 13-Clyde Knipp [$800]. Lap Leaders:Donny Schatz 1-8. Logan Schuchart 9-30; KSE Hard Charger Award: 1A-Jacob Allen[+13]
For complete results from the Six Nations Showdown at Ohsweken Speedway, click here.
CONTINGENCY WINNERS: MSD Ignitions ($25 cash): Clyde Knipp; MSD Ignitions ($50 cash): Logan Schuchart; JE Pistons ($50 cash): Ryan Susice; VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash): Brad Sweet; Edelbrock ($50 cash): Kraig Kinser; Comp Cams ($50 cash): Jacob Allen; Extended Stay America ($50 cash): Jacob Allen; Cometic Gasket ($50 cash): Daryn Pittman; Super Flow ($50 cash): Shane Stewart; Craftsman Club Fast Five ($100 cash): Brent Marks, Logan Schuchart, Daryn Pittman, Greg Wilson, Brad Sweet; Craftsman/Sears: Max Johnston; KSE Hard Charger: Jacob Allen; Comp Cams ($50 product certificate): Logan Shuchart; JE Pistons (Set of Rings): Paul McMahan; JE Pistons (Set of Rings): Jason Sides.
Donny Schatz – 15 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19, Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19, LoneStar Speedway on March 3, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 10, Thunderbowl Raceway on March 18, Missouri State Fair Speedway on May 5, 81 Speedway on May 6, Eldora Speedway May 13, Knoxville Raceway on June 10, Granite City on June 20, Dirt Oval at Route 66 on June 27, Dakota State Fair Speedway on July 1, Eldora Speedway on July 15, Lernerville Speedway on July 18)
David Gravel – 10 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 17, Placerville Speedway on March 29, Perris Auto Speedway on April 1, Gator Motorplex on April 13, Plymouth Speedway on April 28, Lincoln Speedway on May 17, Williams Grove on May 19, New Egypt Speedway on May 24, River Cities Speedway on June 16, Attica Raceway Park on July 11)
Brad Sweet – 4 (Stockton Dirt Track on March 25, Devil’s Bowl on April 15, Jackson Motorplex on June 3, Knoxville Raceway on June 9)
Shane Stewart – 4 (Williams Grove Speedway on May 20, Lawrenceburg Speedway on May 29, West Liberty Raceway on June 23, Beaver Dam Raceway on June 24)
Kerry Madsen – 4 (Jackson Motorplex on June 2, Cedar Lake Speedway on July 7, Cedar Lake Speedway on July 8, Eldora Speedway on July 13)
Logan Schuchart – 4 (Keller Auto Speedway on March 31, Eldora Speedway on May 12, Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26, Ohsweken Speedway on July 25)
Jason Johnson – 2 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 17, Devil’s Bowl on April 14)
Brian Brown – 1 (Cocopah Speedway on April 7)
Rico Abreu – 1 (Arizona Speedway on April 8)
Parker Price-Miller – 1 (Tri-State Speedway on May 14)
Ian Madsen – 1 (Jackson Motorplex on June 1)
Kyle Larson – 1 (Eagle Raceway on June 13)
Kraig Kinser – 1 (Deer Creek Speedway on July 6)
Christopher Bell – 1 (Eldora Speedway on July 14)
Brock Zearfoss – 1 (Williams Grove Speedway on July 21)