START-TO-FINISH: Donny Schatz Wins Season Opener & Season Finale in 2022 with World of Outlaws
Brad Sweet and Kasey Kahne Racing Clinch Fourth Consecutive World of Outlaws Championship
CONCORD, NC - November 5, 2022 - The 2022 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series campaign will end exactly how it started - with Donny Schatz standing in Victory Lane.
After topping the season-opening DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia (FL) Speedway Park in February, the 10-time Series champion also scored the season-ending World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (NC) on Saturday night - giving the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing #15 back-to-back wins to end the year.
Leading the final 20 laps of the $25,000-to-win finale, the Fargo, ND native passed Brad Sweet in similar fashion to Friday's Feature as he drove the Ford Performance, Advance Auto Parts, Carquest Auto Parts #15 to his 14th career win at the Concord, NC 4/10-mile.
"These guys are incredible considering what they've done the last couple of weeks," Schatz said after a $40,000 weekend. "We went and tested a few weeks ago and found a lot of things. I think we're back to the feel that we used to have and that showed this weekend. The World Finals were electric this year, what an awesome crowd. I can't list all the partners we have here, but there are a ton and I'm glad we could win for them."
Schatz will end the season fourth in the championship points - a $70,000 points fund payout - and hopes to return to contention for his 11th championship next year.
"I'm glad the season is over," Schatz noted. "Even though you run like that and perform so well, everybody needs a break and these teams take a beating up and down the roads. We'll do our best to continue this through the winter and into 2023. Hopefully we can race for a championship next year with these guys. We're gonna make it hard on them next year. Congrats to Brad [Sweet] and his guys, though. It's a great feeling winning these things."
Giovanni Scelzi, of Fresno, CA, followed the 10-time champion to the stripe with a runner-up run for his KCP Racing #18. It's his fifth World of Outlaws podium of the 2022 season. Rounding out the podium (for the 18th time in 2022) was Sheldon Haudenschild aboard the Stenhouse Jr. / Marshall Racing, NOS Energy Drink #17.
Closing out the top-five was Carson Macedo in the Jason Johnson Racing #41 and Brad Sweet in the Kasey Kahne Racing #49, who clinched his fourth consecutive World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championship. Rounding out the top-10 at Charlotte was Rico Abreu in sixth, Brent Marks in seventh, Spencer Bayston in eighth, Anthony Macri in ninth, and Lance Dewease in 10th.
UP NEXT (Sat) – The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will enjoy a three-month off-season until the 2023 campaign begins with the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, FL on February 9-11, 2023. Fans can BUY TICKETS HERE, or watch every lap LIVE on DIRTVision.
NOS Energy Drink Feature Results (30 Laps) – 1. 15-Donny Schatz; 2. 18-Giovanni Scelzi; 3. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild; 4. 41-Carson Macedo; 5. 49-Brad Sweet; 6. 24-Rico Abreu; 7. 19-Brent Marks; 8. 5-Spencer Bayston; 9. 39M-Anthony Macri; 10. 69K-Lance Dewease; 11. 2-David Gravel; 12. 1S-Logan Schuchart; 13. 83-James McFadden; 14. 11-Michael Kofoid; 15. 42-Sye Lynch; 16. 7BC-Tyler Courtney; 17. 71-Cory Eliason; 18. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss; 19. 9-Kasey Kahne; 20. 7S-Robbie Price; 21. 11K-Kraig Kinser; 22. 49X-Cale Thomas; 23. 1A-Jacob Allen; 24. 6-Bill Rose; 25. 20G-Noah Gass; 26. 55-Cole Macedo; 27. 13-Justin Peck. Lap Leader(s): Sweet 1-10; Schatz 11-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: McFadden +4.
FINAL 2022 Championship Standings (74 Races) – 1. Brad Sweet (9,282); 2. David Gravel (-48); 3. Carson Macedo (-114); 4. Donny Schatz (-240); 5. Sheldon Haudenschild (-264); 6. Logan Schuchart (-436); 7. James McFadden (-524); 8. Spencer Bayston (-624); 9. Jacob Allen (-788); 10. Brock Zearfoss (-1014).
LUCKY NUMBER 13: Donny Schatz Strikes Again in Charlotte, Takes World Finals Prelim
Brad Sweet Extends Championship Lead Entering Saturday's Season Finale
CONCORD, NC - November 4, 2022 - Where Donny Schatz is good, Donny Schatz is great. The 10-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series champion has proven that on multiple occasions in 2022 with the latest coming in Friday's Feature at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
In his 60th start at the Concord, NC 4/10-mile, the Fargo, ND native won his 13th Feature at the track in a dominating $15,000 World Finals rout. Currently amid his 26th full-time season with The Greatest Show on Dirt, Schatz has now conquered three of the five winningest venues of his career this year including Knoxville (18 wins), Volusia (14 wins), and now Charlotte (13 wins).
At 45-years-old, the driver of the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing, Ford Performance, Advance Auto Parts #15 is now up to 306 career wins with Friday's being his fourth of the season and first since August, when he won his 11th Knoxville Nationals. It's been a trying year with multiple DNFs, but there has been no quit out of the TSR camp as they've rallied back to fourth in the championship points.
"These guys have been kicked down in the dirt, but keep finding ways to pull ourselves out of it," Schatz said on his season. "It's pretty cool to have so many partners here with us in Victory Lane and we've got some future ones out here, too. I tried to salvage a decent points night. We're not exactly in the championship race, but you always keep the numbers in the back of your mind and I'm battling Sheldon [Haudenschild] for fourth now. I also didn't want to do anything silly racing with Brad [Sweet] there, you never want to be the guy to change the outcome for someone else."
From May 2000 to November 2022, things have certainly changed at Charlotte, with Schatz, and in the world, but the #15 parking in Victory Lane in the 704 continues to remain a trend.
"We've been blessed here," Schatz noted on his success at the track. "I've always liked this place since the beginning. It's changed a lot, but we've changed with it. I'm not very superstitious, but I'm happy with that lucky number #13 tonight."
Finishing behind Schatz with his second, second-place finish of the season was Cory Eliason, of Visalia, CA, in the Indy Race Parts #71. The two-time World of Outlaws winner experienced a unique night after blowing an engine in the Dash, quickly thrashing to make the Feature, and then nearly offering a challenge for the win on the final restart.
"It was eventful to say the least," Eliason said after his runner-up outing. "I guess on one hand I'm glad that the engine let go in the Dash and not the Feature, that was kind of a blessing in disguise. We barely made it on track after getting it changed and firing off while the double horn sounded. It feels great to be back on the podium against a field like this; it's getting me back to where I feel like I should be. Bernie [Stuebgen] has give me everything I could ask for in this car."
Championship leader Brad Sweet controlled the opening four circuits of Friday's Feature, but slipped back to finish third in his Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49. Although "The Big Cat" remains winless through 31 starts at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, his consistency this week has extended his championship lead to 36-points over David Gravel entering the season finale.
"My car was actually really good tonight and I think we made a ton of ground from Wednesday," Sweet said on the Eric Prutzman-wrenched #49. "We did a greta job to put ourselves in a position to contend for the win after how tonight started. I felt greta about my car, but I think I got a little conservative. We were capable of racing against him, but I kind of got caught up in the big picture and wanted to finish. There's a lot on your mind when you're racing for these championships. We'll finish this deal out strong tomorrow."
After battling for a podium position all throughout the 30-lapper, Lemoore, CA's Cole Macedo settled for a career-best fourth-place finish aboard the Alex Bowman owned Ally Racing #55. The 22-year-old younger brother of World of Outlaws superstar, Carson Macedo, recorded his first-career top-five with the Series and beat his sibling for the second time this season.
Tyler Courtney enjoyed his own version of a career-best performance, earning his first top-five finish at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. After many years of struggles at World Finals, "Sunshine" finally clicked off an impressive fifth-place outing aboard the Clauson-Marshall Racing, NOS Energy Drink #7BC to claim his fourth World of Outlaws top-five this year.
Rounding out the top-10 on Friday was Giovanni Scelzi in the KCP Racing #18, Justin Peck in the Buch Motorsports #13, Spencer Bayston in the CJB Motorsports #5, Carson Macedo in the Jason Johnson Racing #41, and David Gravel in the Big Game Motorsports #2.
NOS NOTEBOOK (THE DIRT TRACK AT CHARLOTTE, 11/4/22)
Donny Schatz's 13th win at The Dirt Track at Charlotte puts the Concord, NC 4/10-mile oval into a tie as the fifth-winningest track of his World of Outlaws career - following Williams Grove (PA) Speedway at 21 wins, Knoxville (IA) Raceway at 18 wins, Eldora (OH) Speedway at 17 wins, Volusia (FL) Speedway Park at 14 wins, and The Dirt Track at Las Vegas (NC) at 13 wins.
With Friday's victory, Schatz is the ninth driver to win at least four NOS Energy Drink Features in 2022, joining Carson Macedo (11), Sheldon Haudenschild (9), David Gravel (7), Brad Sweet (5), Logan Schuchart (5), Brent Marks (5), Jacob Allen (4), and Kyle Larson (4).
Cory Eliason is the only driver this season to record World of Outlaws podium finishes with different teams - finishing second at Cotton Bowl (TX) on March 4 aboard the Rudeen Racing #26 and finishing second at Charlotte (NC) on November 4 aboard the Indy Race Parts #71. Sheldon Haudenschild's +11 run from 23rd-to-12th officially secured a season-high mark, giving the Stenhouse Jr. / Marshall Racing, NOS Energy Drink #17 up to 11 KSE Hard Charger Awards on the year.
Brad Sweet's back-to-back third-place efforts have increased his championship advantage to 36-points over David Gravel entering Saturday's season finale. Meaning, the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49 only needs to finish 17th or better to officially clinch a fourth-consecutive crown in the final Feature.
Topping the event points and landing on the front row of Saturday Heat Races is a group that includes Brad Sweet (288), Carson Macedo (278), Giovanni Scelzi (278), David Gravel (268), Tyler Courtney (262), Sheldon Haudenschild (258), Donny Schatz (256), and Cole Macedo (256).
UP NEXT (Sat) – The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will conclude the 2022 campaign with the 74th and final event on Saturday, November 5, paying $25,000-to-win the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, NC. Fans can BUY TICKETS HERE, or watch every lap LIVE on DIRTVision.
NOS Energy Drink Feature Results (30 Laps) – 1. 15-Donny Schatz; 2. 71-Cory Eliason; 3. 49-Brad Sweet; 4. 55-Cole Macedo; 5. 7BC-Tyler Courtney; 6. 18-Giovanni Scelzi; 7. 13-Justin Peck; 8. 5-Spencer Bayston; 9. 41-Carson Macedo; 10. 2-David Gravel; 11. 19-Brent Marks; 12. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild; 13. 83-James McFadden; 14. 69K-Lance Dewease; 15. 42-Sye Lynch; 16. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss; 17. 26-Zeb Wise; 18. 11-Michael Kofoid; 19. 24W-Garet Williamson; 20. 11K-Kraig Kinser; 21. 49X-Cale Thomas; 22. 24-Rico Abreu; 23. 1A-Jacob Allen; 24. 20G-Noah Gass; 25. 7S-Robbie Price; 26. 39M-Anthony Macri; 27. 1S-Logan Schuchart. Lap Leader(s): Sweet 1-4; Schatz 5-30. KSE Hard Charger: Haudenschild +11.
NEW Championship Standings (73/74 Races) – 1. Brad Sweet (9,142); 2. David Gravel (-36); 3. Carson Macedo (-116); 4. Donny Schatz (-250); 5. Sheldon Haudenschild (-268); 6. Logan Schuchart (-422); 7. James McFadden (-508); 8. Spencer Bayston (-618); 9. Jacob Allen (-752); 10. Brock Zearfoss (-988).