GRAND FORKS, ND-The home stretch of the 2023 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car season heats up this week with two nights in North Dakota.
The Greatest Show on Dirt’s final trip through “The Peace Garden State” first brings a visit to one of the country’s most exciting bullrings – River Cities Speedway – in Grand Forks, ND on Friday, Aug. 25 for the Gerdau Presents The 2nd Led of The Northern Tour. The next night an 80-mile drive to the south leads the tour to West Fargo, ND’s Red River Valley Speedway where the track hosts the Gerdau Presents The Duel in The Dakotas.
So many factors contribute to make this a weekend that promises to deliver a ton of action. The hotly contested championship battle ramps up with each passing race as points become more and more important. Of all the hundreds of tracks that longtime Series announcer – Johnny Gibson – has visited, he calls River Cities his favorite because of intense racing it always produces. And Red River Valley has seen its share of barn burners as well.
Let’s look at the weekend’s top storylines:
EVEN MORE MOVEMENT: The battling at the top of the World of Outlaws standings will not slow down. The latest jockeying is Carson Macedo rising into the second position after a strong weekend at Jackson Motorplex. A 50-point gap sits between Macedo and current points leader – Brad Sweet.
Looking at who may have an advantage between the top two in North Dakota, Sweet owns the edge at River Cities with a remarkable eight podiums in his last 12 starts including a pair of wins. Macedo has been solid with a win and five top fives in seven starts but hasn’t quite matched “The Big Cat’s” recent consistency.
The nod goes to Macedo when it comes to Red River Valley success. In three Series starts at the West Fargo facility, Macedo hasn’t finished worse than eighth and won last year. Sweet is yet to visit Victory Lane there but does own a pair of runner-ups – one with the World of Outlaws (2020) and the other with the All-Star Circuit of Champions (2011).
BIG GAME BOUNCEBACK: Last week at the Jackson Nationals was a tough trio of races for David Gravel and Big Game Motorsports. Gravel missed the top 10 in three consecutive races for the first time in four years. The championship contender slipped a spot to third in points, but he’ll be looking to bounce back over the North Dakota weekend.
Gravel enters as the most recent River Cities victor, topping the June race, and owns a 3.6 average finish in his last seven starts at the bullring.
The Watertown, CT native has never been to Victory Lane at Red River Valley, but he’s been in the top five in his two most recent attempts including a 2021 second place run. Gravel also podiumed there in 2011 with the All Stars.
HEADIN’ HOME: The final trip to North Dakota for the year means the final opportunity for Donny Schatz to race in front of his home state fans. The Saturday visit to Red River Valley is especially meaningful for Schatz as its where he grew up watching races and made his World of Outlaws debut in 1993.
The 10-time Series champion has been plenty prolific at the pair of tracks on the schedule this weekend. The two ovals have combined to account for 18 of his 310 career Series triumph – 12 at River Cities and six at Red River Valley.
Schatz’s résumé is especially remarkable at River Cities. In 30 career World of Outlaws starts, not only does he own the dozen victories, but he’s also picked up 21 podiums and never finished worse than eighth.
Saturday will be a special night for Schatz for a reason beyond driving a Sprint Car, too. The support class, IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars, will be partaking in the inaugural Danny Schatz Memorial to honor Schatz’s father who passed away last year. Danny was a hugely impactful figure for his son in both life and racing.
A HOT START: Plenty of eyes were on Shark Racing last weekend in Jackson, MN as Tanner Holmes began his time on the World of Outlaws tour behind the wheel of the #1T. And the Jacksonville, OR native took no time getting acclimated to his new seat.
Holmes began the trio of races with his first career Simpson QuickTime on Thursday and followed it with his first Series podium in the Feature. The next two nights saw him post top 10s to earn his first three World of Outlaws top 10 finishes consecutively.
Those impressive results came during his Jackson Motorplex debut, and Holmes will look to maintain momentum this weekend at two more new tracks in River Cities and Red River Valley.
ROBBIE’S ROLL: It was this very same weekend last year that kicked off Robbie Price’s strongest stretch of the season after taking over driving duties of the Sides Motorsports #7S.
First, he posted his third top 15 of 2022 at River Cities. Then the next night at Red River Valley, Sides came away with his first career Series top five. That led to two more top 15s and another run within the top five at Skagit Speedway the following week.
Now in his first full campaign, Price already owns two more top 10s than he did at this point last year and looks for another boost in North Dakota before heading to the west coast.
NOSA NAMES: As always when The Greatest Show on Dirt invades North Dakota, there will be a handful of routine competitors with the Northern Outlaw Sprint Association (NOSA) looking to impress on a national level.
Mark Dobmeier stands out as the obvious candidate for a strong showing. River Cities is his home track, and he’s already added four wins to his lengthy list of victories there this season including against a stout field when the Interstate Racing Association (IRA) came to town.
Another trio of Grand Forks, ND natives in Brendan Mullen, Austin Pierce, and Jade Hastings have also been to River Cities Victory Lane with NOSA this year and are likely to face off against the country’s best drivers this weekend.
If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action live on DIRTVision.
THIS WEEKEND AT A GLANCE
WHEN AND WHERE
Friday, August 25 at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND
Saturday, August 26 at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, ND
ON THE INTERNET
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CURRENT CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (50/75 Races):
1. 49 – Brad Sweet (6568PTS) 2. 41 – Carson Macedo (-50PTS) 3. 2 – David Gravel (-60PTS) 4. 1S – Logan Schuchart (-288PTS) 5. 18 – Gio Scelzi (-318PTS) 6. 15 – Donny Schatz (-346PTS) 7. 17 – Sheldon Haudenschild (-398PTS) 8. 5 – Spencer Bayston (-516PTS) 9. 3Z – Brock Zearfoss (-878PTS) 10. 1A – Jacob Allen (-1224PTS)
NOS ENERGY DRINK FEATURE WINNERS (13 Drivers):
10 wins – David Gravel (Big Game Motorsports #2)
6 wins – Brad Sweet (Kasey Kahne Racing #49), James McFadden (Roth Motorsports #83), Carson Macedo (Jason Johnson Racing #41)
4 wins – Rico Abreu (Rico Abreu Racing #24), Kyle Larson (Silva Motorsports #57)
3 wins – Donny Schatz (Tony Stewart/Curb Agajanian Racing #15), Logan Schuchart (Shark Racing #1S)
2 wins –Sheldon Haudenschild (Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing #17)
1 win – Buddy Kofoid (CMS Racing #11), Brady Bacon (TKH Motorsports #21), Anthony Macri (Macri Motorsports #39), Brian Brown (Brian Brown Racing #21), Gio Scelzi (KCP Racing #18), Spencer Bayston (CJB Motorsports #5)
FEATURE LAPS LED (19 Drivers):
221 laps – Brad Sweet
202 laps – James McFadden
195 laps – Carson Macedo
193 laps – David Gravel
174 laps – Rico Abreu
118 laps – Kyle Larson
110 laps – Logan Schuchart
102 laps – Donny Schatz
93 laps – Buddy Kofoid
70 laps – Sheldon Haudenschild
43 laps – Brent Marks
40 laps – Spencer Bayston
39 laps – Gio Scelzi
24 laps – Brian Brown
11 laps – Anthony Macri
10 laps – Cory Eliason
4 laps – Cole Macedo
3 laps – Brady Bacon, Danny Varin
1 lap – Austin McCarl
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS QUICKTIME AWARDS (17 Drivers):
13 QuickTimes – Carson Macedo
8 QuickTimes – David Gravel
5 QuickTimes – Logan Schuchart
3 QuickTimes – Sheldon Haudenschild
2 QuickTimes – Anthony Macri, Rico Abreu, Bill Balog, Justin Peck, Gio Scelzi
1 QuickTime – Brian Brown, Donny Schatz, Buddy Kofoid, James McFadden, Jacob Allen, Kyle Larson, Brad Sweet, Tanner Holmes
HEAT RACE WINNERS (39 Drivers):
25 Heat Wins – Carson Macedo
22 Heat Wins – David Gravel
13 Heat Wins – Brad Sweet
11 Heat Wins – Donny Schatz
10 Heat Wins – Sheldon Haudenschild, Gio Scelzi
9 Heat Wins – Buddy Kofoid, Logan Schuchart
8 Heat Wins – James McFadden
6 Heat Wins – Rico Abreu
5 Heat Wins – Jacob Allen, Spencer Bayston
4 Heat Wins – Brent Marks, Justin Peck, Cory Eliason
3 Heat Wins – Anthony Macri, Brian Brown, Bill Balog, Parker Price-Miller
2 Heat Wins – Brock Zearfoss, Noah Gass, Kerry Madsen, Robbie Price, Tim Kaeding, Sam Hafertepe Jr.
1 Heat Win – Danny Dietrich, Freddie Rahmer, Mark Dobmeier, Kasey Kahne, Austin McCarl, Lachlan McHugh, Ryan Timms, Tim Estenson, Kyle Larson, Shane Stewart, Lance Dewease, Cole Macedo, Chase Randall, Ian Madsen
TOYOTA DASH APPEARANCES (42 Drivers):
35 Dashes – Carson Macedo
33 Dashes – David Gravel
30 Dashes – Brad Sweet
23 Dashes – Logan Schuchart
22 Dashes – Gio Scelzi
18 Dashes – Sheldon Haudenschild
17 Dashes – Donny Schatz
16 Dashes – James McFadden
15 Dashes – Rico Abreu
13 Dashes – Spencer Bayston
11 Dashes – Buddy Kofoid
8 Dashes – Jacob Allen, Brent Marks, Cory Eliason, Brock Zearfoss
5 Dashes – Anthony Macri, Justin Peck
4 Dashes – Brian Brown, Robbie Price
3 Dashes – Danny Dietrich, Parker Price-Miller, Tyler Courtney, Kyle Larson
2 Dashes – Garet Williamson, Austin McCarl, Kasey Kahne, Bill Balog, Cole Macedo
1 Dash – Freddie Rahmer, Devon Borden, Aaron Reutzel, Brady Bacon, Chad Trout, Dylan Norris, Cap Henry, Stuart Brubaker, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Shane Stewart, Danny Varin, Tanner Holmes, Justin Sanders, Ian Madsen
MICROLITE LAST CHANCE SHOWDOWN WINS (32 Drivers):
4 LCS Wins – Sheldon Haudenschild, Spencer Bayston
2 LCS Wins – Robbie Price, Parker Price-Miller, Noah Gass, Logan Schuchart, Carson Macedo, Brock Zearfoss
1 LCS Win – Gio Scelzi, Hunter Schuerenberg, James McFadden, Wayne Johnson, Ryan Timms, Ayrton Gennetten, Kraig Kinser, Freddie Rahmer, Henry Malcuit, Cole Macedo, Tim Estenson, Aaron Reutzel, Kerry Madsen, Sye Lynch, Cory Eliason, Donny Schatz, Tyler Courtney, Rico Abreu, Jacob Allen, Daryn Pittman, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Jamie Veal, Kaleb Johnson, Lachlan McHugh
KSE HARD CHARGER AWARDS (35 Drivers):
4 Hard Chargers – Sheldon Haudenschild
3 Hard Chargers – Tyler Courtney, Brad Sweet, James McFadden, Logan Schuchart, Rico Abreu
2 Hard Chargers – Brock Zearfoss, Donny Schatz, Danny Dietrich, Justin Peck, David Gravel, Spencer Bayston
1 Hard Charger – Gio Scelzi, Robbie Price, Blake Hahn, Buddy Kofoid, Joe B. Miller, Kyle Larson, Hunter Schuerenberg, Kyle Moody, Freddie Rahmer, Skylar Gee, Cole Duncan, Austin Pierce, Brenham Crouch, Tim Kaeding, Jacob Allen, Caden Englehart, Zeb Wise, Carson Macedo, Dale Blaney, Corey Day, Tasker Phillips, Brent Marks, Kaleb Johnson
PODIUM FINISHES (23 Drivers):
25 Podiums – David Gravel
22 Podiums – Brad Sweet
16 Podiums – Carson Macedo
11 Podiums – Rico Abreu, Donny Schatz
10 Podiums – Logan Schuchart
7 Podiums – Sheldon Haudenschild, James McFadden
6 Podiums – Buddy Kofoid, Kyle Larson
5 Podiums – Brent Marks
4 Podiums – Spencer Bayston, Gio Scelzi
3 Podiums – Brian Brown, Jacob Allen
1 Podium – Danny Dietrich, Kasey Kahne, Devon Borden, Parker Price-Miller, Brady Bacon, Anthony Macri, Garet Williamson, Dave Blaney, Tanner Holmes
TOP 10 FINISHES (56 Drivers):
44 Top 10s – Carson Macedo, Brad Sweet
42 Top 10s – David Gravel
35 Top 10s – Logan Schuchart, Gio Scelzi
32 Top 10s – Sheldon Haudenschild
30 Top 10s – Spencer Bayston
29 Top 10s – James McFadden, Donny Schatz
24 Top 10s – Rico Abreu
20 Top 10s – Buddy Kofoid
14 Top 10s – Jacob Allen
11 Top 10s – Justin Peck, Brent Marks
9 Top 10s – Cory Eliason
8 Top 10s – Kyle Larson
7 Top 10s – Tyler Courtney
6 Top 10s – Brian Brown, Kasey Kahne, Danny Dietrich, Brock Zearfoss
3 Top 10s – Anthony Macri, Bill Balog, Tanner Holmes, Justin Sanders
2 Top 10s – Aaron Reutzel, Blake Hahn, Brady Bacon, Parker Price-Miller, Robbie Price, Zeb Wise, Freddie Rahmer, Cole Macedo
1 Top 10 – Devon Borden, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Joe B. Miller, Hunter Schuerenberg, Brandon Rahmer, Chad Trout, Lance Dewease, Cap Henry, Stuart Brubaker, Skylar Gee, Cole Duncan, Austin McCarl, Garet Williamson, Tim Kaeding, Chase Randall, Shane Stewart, Dave Blaney, Larry Wight, Dale Blaney, Noah Gass, Rusty Hickman, Corey Day, Kerry Madsen
2023 WORLD OF OUTLAWS SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE & WINNERS:
No. / Day, Date / Track / Location / Winner (Total Wins)
1. Fri, Feb 10 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / David Gravel (1)
2. Fri, Feb 10 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / David Gravel (2)
3. Sat, Feb 11* / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / James McFadden (1)
4. Sun, March 5 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Carson Macedo (1)
5. Mon, March 6 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / David Gravel (3)
6. Sat, March 18 / Lincoln Speedway / Abbottstown, PA / Rico Abreu (1)
7. Fri, March 24 / Talladega Short Track / Eastaboga, AL / Buddy Kofoid (1)
8. Sat, March 25 / Magnolia Motor Speedway / Columbus, MS / Brad Sweet (1)
9. Fri, March 31 / Devil’s Bowl Speedway / Mesquite, TX / Brad Sweet (2)
10. Sat, April 1 / Devil’s Bowl Speedway / Mesquite, TX / James McFadden (2)
11. Fri, April 7 / U.S. 36 Raceway / Osborn, MO / Sheldon Haudenschild (1)
12. Sat, April 8 / 81 Speedway / Wichita, KS / Rico Abreu (2)
13. Fri, April 14 / Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 / Pevely, MO / Brad Sweet (3)
14. Fri, April 28 / Tri-City Speedway / Granite City, IL / David Gravel (4)
15. Sat, April 29 / Tri-State Speedway / Haubstadt, IN / Brady Bacon (1)
16. Fri, May 5 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Logan Schuchart (1)
17. Sat, May 6 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Rico Abreu (3)
18. Wed, May 10 / Lincoln Speedway / Abbottstown, PA / Anthony Macri (1)
19. Fri, May 12 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Brad Sweet (4)
20. Fri, May 19 / Attica Raceway Park / Attica, OH / Donny Schatz (1)
21. Sat, May 20 / Sharon Speedway / Hartford, OH / Donny Schatz (2)
22. Fri, May 26 / Atomic Speedway / Chillicothe, OH / Brad Sweet (5)
23. Sat, May 27 / Atomic Speedway / Chillicothe, OH / Carson Macedo (2)
24. Mon, May 29 / Lawrenceburg Speedway / Lawrenceburg, IN / James McFadden (3)
25. Fri, June 2 / River Cities Speedway / Grand Forks, ND / David Gravel (5)
26. Sat, June 3 / Ogilvie Raceway / Ogilvie, MN / Carson Macedo (3)
27. Fri, June 9 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / Brian Brown (1)
28. Sat, June 10 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / David Gravel (6)
29. Fri, June 16 / Beaver Dam Raceway / Beaver Dam, WI / Gio Scelzi (1)
30. Sat, June 17 / Beaver Dam Raceway / Beaver Dam, WI / Sheldon Haudenschild (2)
31. Wed, June 21 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / Kyle Larson (1)
32. Thurs, June 22 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / James McFadden (4)
33. Fri, June 23 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / Logan Schuchart (2)
34. Sat, June 24 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / David Gravel (7)
35. Fri, June 30 / Cedar Lake Speedway / New Richmond, WI / Brad Sweet (6)
36. Sat, July 1 / Cedar Lake Speedway / New Richmond, WI / David Gravel (8)
37. Sat, July 8 / Wilmot Raceway / Wilmot, WI / Carson Macedo (4)
38. Tues, July 11 / Attica Raceway Park / Attica, OH / Kyle Larson (2)
39. Fri, July 14 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Carson Macedo (5)
40. Sat, July 15 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Donny Schatz (3)
41. Thurs, July 20 / BAPS Motor Speedway / York Haven, PA / David Gravel (9)
42. Fri, July 21 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Logan Schuchart (3)
43. Sat, July 22 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Rico Abreu (4)
44. Sun, July 30 / Weedsport Speedway / Weedsport, NY / David Gravel (10)
45. Fri, Aug 4 / Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 / Pevely, MO / Spencer Bayston (1)
46. Sat, Aug 5 / Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 / Pevely, MO / Kyle Larson (3)
47. Sat, Aug 12 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / Kyle Larson (4)
48. Thurs, Aug 17 / Jackson Motorplex / Jackson, MN / James McFadden (5)
49. Fri, Aug 18 / Jackson Motorplex / Jackson, MN / James McFadden (6)
50. Sat, Aug 19 / Jackson Motorplex / Jackson, MN / Carson Macedo (6)