WISELY DONE: Zeb Wise Rolls to First World of Outlaws Victory in Port Royal’s Nittany Showdown

Angola, IN driver holds off Friday’s winner – Tyler Courtney – to complete Hoosier sweep of weekend

PORT ROYAL, PA (October 7, 2023) - Zeb Wise is continuing along a path to Sprint Car stardom.

Only a few weeks ago, the Angola, IN native finalized his first All-Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) title. But even with 13 ASCoC wins and a championship under his belt, a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car win had eluded him. 

Until Saturday night.

Entering the World of Outlaws vs. PA Posse battle as an Indiana invader, Wise earned the pole for the 30-lap Feature at Port Royal Speedway. The 20-year-old slipped to second early before rallying to move by a Pennsylvania legend and held off one of his closest friends to make his first trip to Victory Lane with The Greatest Show on Dirt and pocket $15,000.

As with any first time World of Outlaws winner, emotion spilled over after the checkered flag. In only his 23rd career Feature start with the Series, Wise drove the Rudeen Racing #26 to his first win. And not only did Wise collect his first victory, he also brought Kevin Rudeen’s team their first Series triumph since 2011, 4,418 days ago, when Sam Hafertepe Jr. topped a World of Outlaws visit to Skagit Speedway.

“It’s been a long road,” Wise said. “I remember my first few Outlaw races. One of them was actually here, and I had no clue what I was doing. I was definitely out in left field. And coming back here as many times as I’ve been here, I’ve gotten really comfortable here. And this is always a place I love coming to but always seemed to struggle at… Last night we didn’t really have a good showing. We came back and were really strong out of the gate, so I’m just very proud of our team.”

Wise’s win completed an Indiana invader sweep of the weekend at “The Speed Palace” as fellow Hoosier and ASCoC competitor – Tyler Courtney – topped Friday’s portion of the Nittany Showdown. Wise also became the third first time World of Outlaws winner this season, joining Brady Bacon and Corey Day. With Wise’s triumph, 152 different drivers have now won a World of Outlaws Feature, and Wise is the 12th to do so from the state of Indiana.

The path to Victory Lane was by no means an easy one. After winning the Toyota Racing Dash, Wise started the main event on the pole, but it was Lance Dewease rolling by Wise on the bottom to lead the first lap.

After Dewease grabbed the top spot, the Fayetteville, PA native established a solid gap between himself and Wise in the early going, and the margin stabilized around one second. As Dewease rolled the bottom and middle aboard the Macri Motorsports #39M, the distance between the two stayed roughly the same through much of the first half of the race. It was just before the halfway mark when Wise began to flex his muscle.

Wise started to build momentum by ripping the cushion through Turns 1 and 2 to create a massive run down the back straightaway. On the 16th lap, that line allowed Wise to close on Dewease’s tail tank. Three laps later, Wise used the high side to blast by Dewease exiting Turn 2.

“I knew Lance wasn’t going to go to the top in (Turns) 1 and 2, but he was just high enough on entry where it was really hard for me to get into the corner good enough to clear him off of (Turn) 2. I got close multiple times and just didn’t want to show my nose too early and put us in a bad spot for later. So, I kind of took my time, and I knew we had a really fast race car. Even right after Lap 1 when I was in second, I figured we’d have a shot at it for sure.” 

Wise might’ve had the lead with only 10 laps to go, but the race was far from over. Dewease surged back to his inside over the next couple laps in a bid to regain the lead. And when those efforts came up short, a new challenger arose.

All the way from the 10th starting spot, Tyler Courtney passed Dewease on the 25th circuit as the Indianapolis, IN native was eying a weekend sweep. Wise had to fend off Courtney to secure an All-Star title with Rudeen Racing, and he’d be forced to hold off the same driver with his first World of Outlaws win on the line.

Courtney began to close in aboard the Clauson Marshall Racing/NOS Energy Drink #7BC, trimming Wise’s lead from a second nearly down to half a second in two laps. But with two laps to go, Wise pieced together a strong enough trip around the half mile to pull slightly ahead and make for a comfortable final lap as he locked up a win he’ll never forget with his close friend following him to the line.

“It’s really cool,” Wise said. “Me and Tyler have an awesome relationship. Obviously, we were teammates a handful of years back. It makes it even more special to be able to battle toe to toe like this it seems like every night. He was way ahead of us last night. But tonight I looked up and saw he was in third of fourth on one of those restarts and figured he was going to be coming. It’s really cool for us to be able to go head-to-head like this and have fun.”

Courtney came home second, narrowly missing a weekend sweep after his Friday victory. While he would’ve liked to go back to back, he was happy to run second to Wise and see him reach the major career accomplishment.

“Every time I’d get to him with my wing that far back I would kind of just lose my nose just a little bit right at the entry of the corner just kind of slip by grip a little bit,” Courtney said. “I tried the middle there coming to the checkered, and I should’ve moved up there about five laps before that. But I had made all my ground there on the bottom and felt like if I could hit my marks I was better than him down there, but it wasn’t meant to be tonight. It’s cool to see him win. He’s had a hell of a year. I know how special those first ones are.”

And rounding out the top three was Shark Racing’s Logan Schuchart as he led the way for the World of Outlaws regulars. The result marked Schuchart’s 14th Series podium of the season as he methodically worked his way forward from eighth.

“We just slowly but surely moved the wing back and were able to run through the middle,” Schuchart said. “It wasn’t like you could just pound the fence or anything, so I don’t know what the cars were doing behind me or even the cars up front. I just felt like I had to pull the wing back, float through the middle, and just work on each car that was in front of us lap by lap. Slowly, we just kind of picked them off.”

David Gravel and Lance Dewease completed the top five.

David Gravel grabbed his 13th Simpson Performance Products QuickTime of the year and 110th of his career.

CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat Race One was claimed by Zeb Wise. NOS Energy Drink Heats Two through Four were topped by Brad Sweet, Logan Schuchart, and Brian Brown.

Danny Dietrich won the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.

After an early Feature crash, Donny Schatz was awarded the Smith Titanium Brake Systems Break of the Race.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars head back to the heartland next weekend for a Kansas doubleheader. First up is a stop at 81 Speedway in Wichita, KS on Friday, October 13. The next night is a trip over to Kansas City’s Lakeside Speedway for the Micro-Lite Harvest Rumble. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the racing live on DIRTVision.


NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps): 1. 26-Zeb Wise[1]; 2. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[10]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart[8]; 4. 2-David Gravel[9]; 5. 39M-Lance Dewease[2]; 6. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[5]; 7. 24-Rico Abreu[15]; 8. 41-Carson Macedo[4]; 9. 1T-Tanner Holmes[16]; 10. 19-Brent Marks[11]; 11. 49-Brad Sweet[3]; 12. 21-Brian Brown[6]; 13. 45-Jeff Halligan[14]; 14. 91-Kyle Reinhardt[18]; 15. 23-Devon Borden[7]; 16. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[19]; 17. 9P-Parker Price Miller[17]; 18. 11T-TJ Stutts[25]; 19. 5-Spencer Bayston[13]; 20. 20G-Noah Gass[26]; 21. 5W-Lucas Wolfe[23]; 22. (DNF) 48-Danny Dietrich[21]; 23. (DNF) 47K-Kody Lehman[27]; 24. (DNF) 13-Justin Peck[12]; 25. (DNF) 1-Hunter Schuerenberg[20]; 26. (DNF) 15-Donny Schatz[22]; 27. (DNF) 83JR-Michael Kofoid[24]

SUNSHINE ON A CLOUDY DAY: Tyler Courtney Constructs Masterful Port Royal Drive for First World of Outlaws in Two Years

“Sunshine” becomes second Hoosier to tame Port Royal with The Greatest Show on Dirt

On a night that rain clouds were threatening to wash out the race, Sunshine broke through. But it wasn’t the literal sun gleaming on Port Royal Speedway Friday at the Nittany Showdown. It was the driver who goes by the bright nickname – Tyler Courtney.

The native of Indianapolis, IN started fourth in the 25-lap Feature, drove the Clauson Marshall Racing (CMR) #7BC to the lead in 12 laps, and pulled away on the path to his first World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car victory in more than two years. Back in July of 2021, Courtney claimed his first win with The Greatest Show on Dirt in grand fashion by topping the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway. “Sunshine” had to wait 811 days, but that second triumph finally arrived at “The Speed Palace.”

In Victory Lane, Courtney erupted with emotion. His celebratory shouts filled the air as he climbed atop the CMR machine and sprayed a can of NOS Energy Drink. At long last, Courtney again found himself a World of Outlaws winner. 

“When it takes you two years to win another Outlaw race, that just shows how tough it is to win an Outlaw race and how special it is to win these races,” Courtney said. “Jake (Argo), Luke (Vaughn), Camron (Burley), they bust their tails. We’ve obviously had an up and down year, but to close out the year I feel like we’ve been pretty consistent here to end the year. We ran up front with the Outlaws at Williams Grove and Port Royal now. This is just awesome, man.”

The night made Courtney the 15th different driver to win a World of Outlaws main event at Port Royal and only the second from the state of Indiana, the other being Spencer Bayston (2021). The 29-year-old also became the 18th competitor to top a race with the Series in 2023.

A fourth place effort in the Toyota Racing Dash slotted Courtney outside the second row in the lineup for the Feature. Right when the green flag dropped, Courtney made it known that he was hungry for a win. The NOS Energy Drink #7BC rocketed from fourth to the runner-up spot on the opening circuit by driving right between Carson Macedo and Logan Schuchart.

After taking over second, the pursuit began as Courtney locked his sights on the race’s pole sitter and early leader – James McFadden. As they navigated the opening portion of the race, McFadden managed to put a little distance between himself and Courtney. The Roth Motorsports pilot grew his advantage up to as much as a second and a half. 

But when lapped traffic came into view, Courtney began to erase the margin. A 1.6 second lead on Lap 6 was slashed nearly in half on the next circuit. Two more laps later, and the gap between the two dipped under half a second. Then on the 12th lap, Courtney made his move.

Heading into Turn 1, Courtney threw a slide job at McFadden and cleared him. The Australian rallied on the exit of Turn 2 with a crossover to slip under Courtney and reclaim the top spot. In the next set of corners, McFadden went to the cushion while Courtney went to the bottom. The low side proved to the right choice as Courtney rolled by McFadden and cleared him down the front straightaway.

“We did everything that we wanted to do there for the Feature,” Courtney explained. “I was able to get my wing back there just about halfway and kept inching her back as we went. Man, the more I got it back the better we were.”

After taking the lead, Courtney quickly began to build a gap. Two laps after moving ahead of McFadden, Courtney’s advantage ballooned over a second as he began to slice through traffic.

A potential challenger to Courtney arose in the form of a fast-charging David Gravel. The Big Game Motorsports pilot moved around McFadden for second on Lap 17. While Gravel was over two seconds behind Courtney when he took the runner-up spot, thick traffic ahead of him gave Gravel hope.

But it was hope that was quickly extinguished when Courtney put a pair of lapped cars between himself and Gravel. And once he did so, the margin began to grow quickly. On Lap 22, Courtney crossed the line four seconds in front of Gravel. And then a few laps later, Courtney took the checkered flag comfortably for his second career World of Outlaws win.

“It’s just unbelievable man,” Courtney said. “Winning Outlaw races is really, really hard, and this one feels good. 

Coming home second was David Gravel for his Series-leading 31st World of Outlaws podium of the year. The Watertown, CT native is staying hot with his fourth runner-up in the last seven races as he looks to chip away at Brad Sweet’s point lead. Gravel chopped the gap down to 82 markers.

“Cody (Jacobs) kept working on this thing and gave us a really good race car there in the A-Main,” Gravel said. “It felt like in the beginning to the middle of the race we were really, really good, and I felt like probably one of the best cars. And I felt like at the end we just kind of ran out of grip, and Sunshine was running a really good pace, and I never really good close to him.”

Rounding out the top three was early leader – James McFadden. The result made the Roth Motorsports driver the eighth to reach double digit World of Outlaws podiums in 2023 as he notched his 10th. 

“I didn’t know where to run there for the first bit,” McFadden said. “Normally at Port Royal, you pound the top of (Turns) 1 and 2 and float around (Turns) 3 and 4. I felt okay doing that, and then Tyler went by us like we were standing still, so he whooped our butts tonight. But that’s about as good as I’ve ever felt at Port Royal. Happy to be competitive, just need to be a little better”

Logan Schuchart and Lance Dewease completed the top five.

A 22nd to 14th drive netted the KSE Racing Hard Charger for Rico Abreu.

In Low-E Insulation Qualifying, Brad Sweet earned his third Simpson Performance Products QuickTime and the 72nd of his career. 

CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat One went to Brad Sweet. NOS Energy Drink Heats Two through Four were topped by David Gravel, Tyler Courtney, and Logan Schuchart.

James McFadden won the Toyota Racing Dash.

Giovanni Scelzi topped the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.

The Smith Titanium Brake Systems Break of the Race went to Sye Lynch after slipping from fifth to 11th, narrowly missing his second career World of Outlaws top 10.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars conclude the Nittany Showdown at Port Royal Speedway with a $15,000 to win finale on Saturday, October 7. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action live on DIRTVision.


NOS Energy Drink Feature (25 Laps): 1. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[4]; 2. 2-David Gravel[7]; 3. 83-James McFadden[1]; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart[2]; 5. 39M-Lance Dewease[11]; 6. 49-Brad Sweet[6]; 7. 9P-Parker Price Miller[8]; 8. 41-Carson Macedo[3]; 9. 13-Justin Peck[9]; 10. 11-Cory Eliason[10]; 11. 42-Sye Lynch[5]; 12. 48-Danny Dietrich[18]; 13. 23-Devon Borden[12]; 14. 24-Rico Abreu[22]; 15. 5-Spencer Bayston[15]; 16. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[21]; 17. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[17]; 18. 26-Zeb Wise[16]; 19. 19-Brent Marks[20]; 20. 83JR-Michael Kofoid[13]; 21. 45-Jeff Halligan[23]; 22. 20G-Noah Gass[27]; 23. 15-Donny Schatz[25]; 24. 11T-TJ Stutts[24]; 25. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[19]; 26. 9-Kasey Kahne[14]; 27. 47K-Kody Lehman[26]