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BESTING THE BIG O: Carson Macedo Rolls to Victory in World of Outlaws Ogilvie Debut
The 27-year-old collects his third win of the season and takes over the points lead
OGILVIE, MN (June 3, 2023) - After a 19-race gap between his first and second wins of the season, Carson Macedo had no intentions of waiting as long for a third.
Aside from a couple missteps here and there, Macedo and his Jason Johnson Racing crew’s consistency hasn’t slipped this year. But while the podiums and top fives have been nice, they want to win.
And win is exactly what they did on Saturday night as the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars made their debut at Minnesota’s Ogilvie Raceway for The Wagamon Brothers Presents The ‘Big O’ Showdown.
The Lemoore, CA native took the lead on the opening lap from the outside-pole starting spot and went on to display how fast his Albaugh #41 was. Macedo held off one challenge from Logan Schuchart and mastered traffic on his way to a margin of victory of nearly five seconds – his second triumph in the last four races.
“My guys did an incredible job,” said an ecstatic Macedo. “This thing was a dream to drive. I knew I was in pretty good shape. I was trying to pace myself in lap traffic and not do anything stupid… I had an idea of where other guys were and was just trying to pace my race as best as I could. Hats off to Philip Dietz, Clyde Knipp, and Nate Repetz. They gave me a hot rod there.”
Macedo now owns 31 career World of Outlaws victories. He’s also the winner of the two most recent Series races in Minnesota after topping last year’s Jackson Nationals finale. And perhaps most importantly, Macedo’s recent consistency – 2.6 average finish in last seven races – has vaulted him back atop the point standings.
The race began with Logan Schuchart leading the field to green from the pole. The driver of the Shark Racing #1S drifted across the track in front of Macedo in the opening set of corners, and Macedo darted underneath him as they rocketed down the backstretch.
Macedo was able to pull ahead in the early going, but behind him battles broke out all over the 3/8-mile oval. A gaggle of cars including Schuchart, Gio Scelzi, Spencer Bayston, David Gravel, James McFadden, and more threw haymakers and crossovers as they swapped spots all throughout the top 10.
A major wrench was thrown in the World of Outlaws championship chase when an early caution saw Tim Estenson spin and collect both Brad Sweet and David Gravel. Sweet entered the night atop the points with Gravel tied with Macedo for second only two points behind “The Big Cat.”
Sweet rejoined after quick trip to the Federated Car Care Work Zone while Gravel didn’t make it back on track in time for the restart. Fortunately for him, the caution flew again prior to the next lap being completed, allowing him to rejoin on the lead lap.
On the restart, Schuchart took one more big swing at Macedo with a slider in Turns 1 and 2. He managed to clear him but couldn’t hold back Macedo’s run down the backstretch as he returned the favor in Turns 3 and 4.
“I’m thankful I went back to the bottom on the restarts,” Macedo said. “That one restart Logan got a really good start next to me and was able to slide across, but it just broke his momentum enough to where I was able to square him up and get off the corner in front of him again.”
After Schuchart’s challenge, Macedo escaped and began to open up his advantage as the laps waned. Behind him, the brawl for positioning continued and intensified as time ticked away. Up front, it was all Macedo as he claimed the checkered flag with a 4.9 second advantage to notch his third win of the season and reclaim the points lead.
“It’s not going to be easy,” Macedo said of chasing a title. “Those two (Sweet and Gravel) are incredibly good, and there’s a lot of good cars in the field. We’ll just keep plugging away and work on the process. That’s the main thing.”
Logan Schuchart managed to arise with the runner-up spot after partaking in a wild battle with many competitors inside the top five. The result marked his first appearance on the podium since his win at Eldora in early May and his fifth of the season. The Hanover, PA native is up to 125 career World of Outlaws podiums and came away satisfied with the effort.
“Happy to get back on the podium,” Schuchart said. “We struggled a little bit on the restarts getting going. I just felt like I couldn’t get back to the top and get going as good as I needed to. The few times I started right behind Carson I didn’t want to follow him right into the corner. I felt like I had to stick the bottom in (Turns) 1 and 2 or slide up in front of him. In the Dash, I could run through the bottom and up to the top and really stick the car. I tried it a few times during the Feature and just backed it the whole way across the track.”
A huge charge on the final circuit saw Donny Schatz surge from fifth to claim the final step on the podium. He and his Tony Stewart/Curb Agajanian Racing team continued to flex their recent muscle with a seventh top three in the last 11 races. While Schatz was happy to get a strong result, he felt a little uncomfortable in the car during the main event.
“They just kind of pulled over and went, and I just went the other way,” Schatz said of his final lap rise to third. “I just struggled all race, just cannot get the balance. I just stuck so hard on the right-rear (tire). We fought it all night. We’ve kind of been fighting it the last couple nights, but we got a respectable finish out of it.”
Gio Scelzi and James McFadden completed the top five.
For the second time in the last three races, Sheldon Haudenschild claimed the KSE Hard Charger. After winning the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown, Haudenschild wheeled the Stenhouse Jr./Marshall Racing #17 from 19th to seventh in the Feature.
Macedo’s lead in the standings is 10 markers over Sweet, who recovered to finish sixth after his trip to the Work Zone. Gravel is 22 points behind Macedo after salvaging an 11th.
Macedo began the night by collecting his fourth consecutive Simpson Performance Products QuickTime and his Series-high ninth of the season.
CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat One was topped by Carson Macedo (99th Heat Race win of career). NOS Energy Drink Heats Two and Three were claimed by Donny Schatz (515th of career) and David Gravel (224th of career).
UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars head to Knoxville Raceway for a pair of nights (June 9-10) at “The Sprint Car Capital of the World.” For tickets, CLICK HERE.
If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action on DIRTVision.
RESULTS:NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps): 1. 41-Carson Macedo; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart; 3. 15-Donny Schatz; 4. 18-Giovanni Scelzi; 5. 83-James McFadden; 6. 49-Brad Sweet; 7. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild; 8. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss; 9. 5-Spencer Bayston; 10. 7S-Robbie Price; 11. 2-David Gravel; 12. 1A-Jacob Allen; 13. 13-Mark Dobmeier; 14. 20G-Noah Gass; 15. 7-Brooke Tatnell; 16. 9-Kasey Kahne; 17. 6-Bill Rose; 18. 199-Ryan Bowers; 19. 105-Cody Ihlen; 20. (DNF) 17M-Zach Omdahl; 21. (DNF) 14T-Tim Estenson; 22. (DNF) 8-Jack Croaker; 23. (DNF) 11M-Brendan Mullen; 24. (DNF) 2K-Kevin Ingle
PRIME POSITION: David Gravel Hunts Down McFadden for River Cities World of Outlaws Win
The Watertown, CT native tightens the championship battle even more with fifth win of the season
GRAND FORKS, ND (June 2, 2023) - In Sprint Car racing, the lead isn’t always the best place to be.
Track conditions can change quickly. The preferred line can shift in a lap. Before you know it, the second place car can power ahead leaving the former leader scrambling to switch grooves.
That was exactly the case Friday night at River Cities Speedway as the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars invaded the Grand Forks oval. After running second a majority of the 40-lap Feature, David Gravel crept up on James McFadden and slipped by on the 36th circuit before holding on to seal the victory.
“I think running second there all race was the best place to be,” Gravel said. “I knew the top was the fastest, but it’s hard to get there when you start on the bottom. That last restart when I was in the lead there, I probably should’ve started on the outside. But I fell back to third or second there, and then I was letting James go. It was one lane around the top, so he could go wear stuff out or maybe he was conserving, too. I just let him go and get to lap traffic, and I knew that was my only chance. I searched down there (Turns 3 and 4) for two laps. It was a little slower, but I felt it coming. Once it came in, it latched up really good.”
Gravel’s win was his fifth of the 2023 campaign with Big Game Motorsports, enough to equal him for the most this season. It also marked his second career Victory Lane visit at River Cities, making him the sixth driver through 30 Series visits to the North Dakota bullring to own multiple wins.
The Watertown, CT native began the race from the pole after topping the Toyota Racing Dash. Gravel took the lead at the drop of the green, but a caution flag after a lap allowed outside pole-sitter – Brad Sweet – to have another shot at him.
“The Big Cat” would not be denied on the next attempt as he drove ahead of Gravel to secure the top spot. Over the next handful of laps, Gravel stayed within striking distance as the lead duo neared traffic. When Sweet’s slider on a slower car in Turns 1 and 2 didn’t clear, the door opened again for Gravel.
Heading down the backstretch, Gravel went under Sweet and cleared him with a slide job in Turns 3 and 4. But Gravel and Sweet opened themselves up to attack in the next set of corners. Gravel went low to protect, and Sweet followed him around the bottom. Behind them, a hard-charging James McFadden nailed the cushion and ripped around both of them to take the top spot.
From there, McFadden began to distance himself in the Roth Motorsports #83. The Alice Springs, NT native survived a flurry of cautions by driving every restart perfectly. McFadden appeared to be in control and heading toward back to back World of Outlaws wins for the first time in his career.
Then Gravel began to chip away at the advantage. Lap by lap the gap continued to shrink until Gravel neared the tail tank of the Roth #83. Coming to four laps to go, Gravel pulled the trigger and rolled through the middle of Turns 3 and 4 right by McFadden.
In the closing couple circuits, Gravel struggled with a lapped car allowing McFadden to close back in. But a lane to regain the lead never opened, allowing Gravel to take the checkered flag with a three tenths of a second gap.
“I felt urgency like I had to pass that lapped car with two (laps) to go,” Gravel explained. “I couldn’t clear him. Then I heard J-Mac right on me, and I was like I’ve got to run it as hard as I can as close as I can, and if he was going to pass me, he was going to have to go around me.”
Behind Gravel, it was McFadden claiming the runner-up position after leading 25 laps of the main event. With holding the top spot a majority of the race, McFadden couldn’t help but be a little disappointed with losing the lead late. But after a win on Monday and the second place effort Friday, McFadden walked way encouraged with the performance.
“I still felt pretty decent on the top,” McFadden said of the closing stages of the race. “I felt like I could run it in pretty hard. It was sketchy, but I didn’t feel like I was spinning the tires a lot and struggling for grip. I got super tight behind a lapped car there, and that was probably enough for him to sneak by us. Nothing to hang our heads about. Sometimes it’s nice to be in second place.”
After leading early then slipping back nearly outside the top five, Brad Sweet rallied to bring the Kasey Kahne Racing #49 home third. The four-time and defending champion is now up to 11 podiums on the season, and his latest helped him narrowly regain sole possession of the championship lead. Sweet felt that a couple laps early in the Feature changed the trajectory of his race as he struggled with traffic.
“That first lapped car just threw me for a loop,” Sweet said. “He did a 360 and got me slowed up. I thought I had enough of a run to slide him, but then he kind of gained some speed, and it kind of made me a sitting duck. I needed to clear him, and I didn’t get it done. It was really top dominant tonight, so once I got (tire) spinning and David got me, we raced down there and he went to the bottom of (Turn) 1 and we were both sitting ducks. I just felt like there were a couple things I didn’t do good, and it set me up for a few bad laps.”
Carson Macedo and Logan Schuchart completed the top five.
Grand Forks’ own Austin Pierce earned the KSE Hard Charger Award with a run from 23rd to 14th.
The battle at the top of the standings is now incredibly tight with Sweet leading both Gravel and Macedo by only two points.
Carson Macedo claimed his Series-leading eighth Simpson Performance Products QuickTime Award to begin the night, marking his third consecutive QuickTime.
CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat One was topped by Carson Macedo (92nd Heat win of career). NOS Energy Drink Heat Races Two and Three were claimed by David Gravel (215th of career) and Gio Scelzi (26th of career).
Tim Estenson topped the MicroLite Last Chance Showdown.
UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars make their debut at Ogilvie Raceway in Ogilvie, MN on Saturday, June 3. For tickets, CLICK HERE.
If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action on DIRTVision.
RESULTS:NOS Energy Drink Feature (40 Laps): 1. 2-David Gravel; 2. 83-James McFadden; 3. 49-Brad Sweet; 4. 41-Carson Macedo; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart; 6. 18-Giovanni Scelzi; 7. 1A-Jacob Allen; 8. 15-Donny Schatz; 9. 5-Spencer Bayston; 10. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild; 11. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss; 12. 13-Mark Dobmeier; 13. 7S-Robbie Price; 14. 2A-Austin Pierce; 15. 11M-Brendan Mullen; 16. (DNF) 14T-Tim Estenson; 17. (DNF) 9-Kasey Kahne; 18. (DNF) 8-Jack Croaker; 19. (DNF) 8H-Jade Hastings; 20. (DNF) 26-Blake Egeland; 21. (DNF) 20G-Noah Gass; 22. (DNF) 17M-Zach Omdahl; 23. (DNF) 0-Nick Omdahl; 24. (DNF) 99-Jordan Graham