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SURGING SHARK: Logan Schuchart Tops Final Huset’s High Bank Nationals Prelim, Leads Points Entering Finale
Huset’s win puts the Shark Racing driver in prime position for Saturday’s $250,000 finale
BRANDON, SD (June 23, 2023) - Logan Schuchart has put himself in a position to make Sprint Car history.
Entering this week, the Hanover, PA native didn’t own a top-five finish at Huset’s Speedway. On Thursday night he changed that with a strong fourth. And then on Friday the driver of the Shark Racing #1S turned in a masterful drive to top the final prelim night of the Billion Auto Huset’s High Bank Nationals presented by Menards.
Schuchart slipped around the outside of Spencer Bayston on lap five, fended off a few challenges from Buddy Kofoid, and cruised to his second World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car victory of 2023 and the 37th of his career and pocketed $20,000. That mark gives him sole possession of 19th on the all-time Series win list. Huset’s is now the 21st different track he’s won at in World of Outlaws competition.
But the larger picture is the more important one for Schuchart and his Shark Racing crew. The back-to-back effective prelim outings positioned them atop the points heading into Saturday’s finale where a $250,000 payday – the largest in World of Outlaws history – awaits the winner. He’s guaranteed a spot in the King of the Hill that will line up the front four rows of the Feature. The Pennsylvania team that joined the World of Outlaws tour in 2014 with an uncertain future ahead now has a chance at the biggest paycheck in the World of Outlaws’ more than 45 years of history.
“Happy we were able to hold on. $20,000 is a lot of money, but we’re focused on $250,000 tomorrow,” Schuchart said. “I feel like I roll this racetrack really good right now when everything is right. I feel like we have as good of a shot as anybody. For any big race, it feels good to roll into with confidence.”
Schuchart began the 35-lap main event next to pole-sitter Spencer Bayston. When the green lights flashed, Bayston was able to slide ahead for the early advantage. But Schuchart didn’t let him get far away.
Bayston worked the bottom line aboard his CJB Motorsports #5 while Schuchart explored the high line. Almost immediately, Schuchart began to close in. The 30-year-old ripped around the cushion and moved in on Bayston’s tail tank. On the fifth circuit, Schuchart found the run he needed to power into the lead.
For Schuchart, he actually felt that not getting the lead on the initial start was beneficial to knowing where he needed to be on the track and moving into the top spot.
“There in the beginning I was kind of happy to not get the lead there at the start,” Schuchart explained. “I wanted to see how the racetrack was moving around for a little bit. Then once we got to the top, I could kind of gauge how I wanted to do my starts, and once we got going, I could get to the top and start making momentum.”
Once Schuchart snagged the lead, he pulled ahead while behind him, Buddy Kofoid rolled into the runner-up spot by Bayston.
As the laps clicked away, Kofoid stayed roughly a second behind Schuchart within striking distance. When Schuchart would clear a lapped car, Kofoid would follow suit. Each time there was restart, Kofoid didn’t let Schuchart get too far ahead.
One last stoppage in the race set up a three-lap dash to the finish, and Schuchart saved perhaps his best restart for last. He roared away from Kofoid and drove with a comfortable advantage to the checkered flag for the win and the High Bank Nationals points lead.
“Yeah, it’s huge,” Schuchart said of being atop the standings. “It’s big. We want to be able to be there at the end of the night, put ourselves in position. If you’re starting 10th or 15th or wherever it’s going to be tough, but we have a great shot.”
For the second straight night, Buddy Kofoid wound up on the podium with Roth Motorsports. The Penngrove, CA native improved his finish from Thursday by a spot to claim the runner-up position for his sixth World of Outlaws top-three of the season. Only one spot on the podium remains for Kofoid to stand on this week. And if he can do it, he’ll be $250,000 richer.
“Dennis and Teresa Roth gave me a really good opportunity to drive such a prestigious car,” a grateful Kofoid said. “I feel pretty good about my odds. We were third yesterday, second today, and I hope we can be one better tomorrow.”
Rounding out the podium was the race’s pole-sitter – Spencer Bayston. It marked the Lebanon, IN native’s second podium of the year aboard the CJB #5. His efforts through the week have landed him fourth in points, and he’s entirely focused on the major prize that awaits on Saturday.
“We had, really, two good first nights,” Bayston said. “And coming here tonight it’s one of those to see if we can pick up on a few little things and improve and we certainly did that. We should be sitting really good for points. There’s a lot on the line tomorrow, so I felt like we made a really good gain tonight the Heat Race with our balance and my feel and then again in the Feature.”
Brad Sweet and David Gravel completed the top five.
A run from 24th to eighth earned Tyler Courtney his third KSE Racing Hard Charger of 2023.
Sheldon Haudenschild began the night by earning his second Simpson Performance Products QuickTime Award of the season and the 27th of his career.
CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat One went to Ryan Timms (first Heat Race win of career). NOS Energy Drink Heats Two through Six were topped by Spencer Bayston (16th of career), Tim Estenson (first of career), Jacob Allen (56th of career), Sam Hafertepe Jr. (50th of career), and Gio Scelzi (29th of career).
Donny Schatz won the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.
UP NEXT: History will be made as the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars will race for $250,000 on the final night of the Huset’s High Bank Nationals on Saturday, June 24. 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 (35 Laps): 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart; 2. 83JR-Michael Kofoid; 3. 5-Spencer Bayston; 4. 49-Brad Sweet; 5. 2-David Gravel; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild; 7. 21-Brian Brown; 8. 7BC-Tyler Courtney; 9. 41-Carson Macedo; 10. 9R-Chase Randall; 11. 5X-Kerry Madsen; 12. 24-Rico Abreu; 13. 88-Austin McCarl; 14. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss; 15. 5T-Ryan Timms; 16. 15-Donny Schatz; 17. 17B-Bill Balog; 18. 7S-Robbie Price; 19. 83H-Justin Henderson; 20. 52-Blake Hahn; 21. 9-Kasey Kahne; 22. 22K-Kaleb Johnson; 23. 29-Sye Lynch; 24. 18-Giovanni Scelzi
ROTH REBOUND: James McFadden Tops Night Two of Huset’s High Bank Nationals After Disappointing Opener
The Roth Motorsports pilot holds off David Gravel’s final lap challenge for win number four of 2023
BRANDON, SD (June 22, 2023) - When adversity presents itself, James McFadden doesn’t allow self-doubt to overtake him. Instead, he brings out his best behind the wheel.
Back at the beginning of April, McFadden and his Roth Motorsports crew faced the troubling circumstances of four straight finishes of 13th or worse including a pair of DNFs. Their response? A win the very next race at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
Heading into this week’s Billion Auto Huset’s High Bank Nationals presented by Menards, McFadden carried a strong streak of nine consecutive top 10s that was ended in discouraging fashion. On Wednesday’s opening night, McFadden didn’t qualify for the Huset’s Speedway main event and was forced to watch from the sidelines. His response? Driving to Victory Lane the very next night at Huset’s to bank $20,000.
McFadden raced around his Roth teammate – Buddy Kofoid – in the middle of the 35-lap main event and held off David Gravel’s last gasp on the final lap to claim the checkered flag. The Australian is now up to nine career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car victories. His total of four this season is double his previous best for any past season. McFadden is the eighth different winner in the last eight World of Outlaws races contested at the Brandon, SD oval.
“After last night, I was contemplating if I could drive a Sprint Car anymore,” McFadden said. “Hats off to Brent (Ventura), Wood (Gary Patellaro), and Rob (Beattie). I didn’t do a very good job last night. I couldn’t figure out whether I wasn’t comfortable or it was me not doing my job right. We worked hard. I felt really good all night, and it shows. These deals are tough to win, so anytime you can win one is great.”
Leading the field to green in the Feature was Buddy Kofoid and Carson Macedo. Kofoid powered ahead of Macedo but couldn’t pull away from him as they worked through the early laps.
As the lead duo began to approach traffic, Macedo made a costly mistake, getting loose in the middle of Turns 1 and 2 and looping the Jason Johnson Racing #41 before coming to a stop and bringing out the race’s first yellow flag.
Macedo’s misfortune moved McFadden to the second spot, making a Roth front row for the ensuing restart. Kofoid drove ahead of his teammate when the green flag waved and began to build the gap.
By the time Kofoid met the tail of the field, he’d constructed a sizeable advantage. But as he began to battle lapped cars, McFadden quickly began to close. Lap by lap Kofoid’s lead shrank until McFadden found himself right behind his tail tank. On lap 18, Kofoid looked low trying to pass a lapped car, and McFadden seized on the opportunity – ripping around the outside to take the top spot.
“This is probably the hardest track we come to for dirty air. I think it’s because the air is so thick,” McFadden noted. “It’s super hard to get yourself in a position to slide someone to pass them. I was hoping Buddy would do what he did and go to the bottom there to try to get a lapped car. It was enough for us to get a run.”
Shortly after McFadden grabbed the lead, a hungry David Gravel moved around Kofoid to take second. Gravel, who entered Thursday with a streak of three straight second place finishes, went to work cutting into McFadden’s lead.
The two were nearly nose to tail when a yellow flag flew in the closing stages setting up a five-lap dash to the finish.
With the luxury of clean air, McFadden initially roared away from Gravel when the green lights came back on. But then Gravel again began to close. On the final lap, McFadden tripped up on the cushion in Turns 1 and 2. Gravel looked to capitalize by going low on corner exit and driving side by side down with McFadden the backstretch. McFadden protected in the final set of corners by sliding himself, and Gravel couldn’t quite find the traction to pull alongside off of Turn 4 as McFadden crossed the finish line first.
“I thought I threw it away there on that last lap,” McFadden admitted. “I had my wing back a ways, and after that caution my left rear tire went down a little bit and kept pushing, and I knew if I didn’t keep my wing back I’d lose some drive. Just messed up there on that last lap and was lucky enough I was racing a guy like David. He’s super respectful.”
Gravel notched his fourth consecutive runner-up finish. A second straight strong outing to begin the High Bank Nationals placed he and his Big Game Motorsports/Billion Auto team atop the standings in combined points with a wide 20-point gap back to second. Gravel remains encouraged with their speed, but the hunger for a win continues to intensify.
“Man, I really wanted to win that race,” Gravel said. “James made that car about as wide as possible. It wasn’t anything dirty. He was protecting the win, but me made that wide. I really want to win for these guys.”
Rounding out the podium was early race leader – Buddy Kofoid. With McFadden claiming the win and Kofoid finishing third, Thursday marked the first time that two cars powered by Toyota Racing Engines both wound up on the World of Outlaws podium on the same night. Kofoid couldn’t help but regret leaving McFadden a lane while the two navigated traffic.
“That’s close to the best that I’ve felt here in any Sprint Car,” Kofoid said. “Happy about that. I guess if I could’ve done it over again, I would’ve stayed committed to the top. I tried the bottom to get by a lapper because I felt like I wasn’t gaining much on him, and I just should’ve stayed up and got my momentum up.”
Shark Racing teammates – Logan Schuchart and Jacob Allen – completed the top-five.
It was also Schuchart who claimed the night’s Simpson Performance Products QuickTime Award – his fourth of the season and the 35th of his career.
For the fourth time in 2023, Sheldon Haudenschild earned the KSE Racing Hard Charger with a run from 22nd to ninth.
CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat One went to Noah Gass (third Heat Race win of career). NOS Energy Drink Heats Two through Six were topped by James McFadden (40th of career), Lachlan McHugh (first of career), Bill Balog (fifth of career), Kerry Madsen (191st of career), and Carson Macedo (103rd of career).
UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars are back at Huset’s Speedway for the final prelim night of the Billion Auto High Bank Nationals presented by Menards on Friday, June 23. For tickets, CLICK HERE.
If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action live on DIRTVision.
RESULTS:NOS Energy Drink Feature (35 Laps): 1. 83-James McFadden; 2. 2-David Gravel; 3. 83JR-Michael Kofoid; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart; 5. 1A-Jacob Allen; 6. 7BC-Tyler Courtney; 7. 5-Spencer Bayston; 8. 49-Brad Sweet; 9. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild; 10. 24-Rico Abreu; 11. 41-Carson Macedo; 12. 20G-Noah Gass; 13. 18-Giovanni Scelzi; 14. 9-Kasey Kahne; 15. 7S-Robbie Price; 16. 21-Brian Brown; 17. 5X-Kerry Madsen; 18. 15-Donny Schatz; 19. 88-Austin McCarl; 20. 6C-Carson McCarl; 21. 11S-Parker Price Miller; 22. 57-Kyle Larson; 23. 11-Cory Eliason; 24. 9R-Chase Randall