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ONE FOR THE ROAD: Brad Sweet Crowned Champion; Logan Schuchart Wins Season Finale
CONCORD, NC — Nov. 7, 2020 — Brad Sweet and Logan Schuchart closed out the 2020 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series season the same way they opened it.
Schuchart won the DIRTcar Nationals finale in February, while Sweet claimed the event’s title. Saturday night, during the World of Outlaws Last Call season finale at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Schuchart won the race, while Sweet was officially crowned the 2020 champion.
“We overcame a lot of adversity to have four DNFs and to still win the points,” said Sweet, of Grass Valley, CA, about his 2020 season. “I thought we showed our resilience this week and we came here and executed, I thought, perfectly.
“We did everything we needed to do to win the points and get Kasey Kahne Racing the team championship. Hats off to our competitors. Logan (Schuchart) gave me a good run for my money all season long and the 41 (Jason Johnson Racing) bunch… nothing but respect from all of us here. Obviously, we want to win and stay on top of the mountain.”
Schuchart and his Shark Racing team kept the pressure on Sweet for the championship all year long. The two swapped the points lead twice during the season, but Schuchart’s effort came up short Friday night at The Dirt Track. By Sweet finishing ahead of him, the reigning champion secured enough points to clinch his second consecutive title.
However, that did little to diminish Schuchart’s hunger for another win. His last trip to Victory Lane was in September. So, with a championship mentality no longer needed, Schuchart went full king shark Saturday night.
He set Quick Time in his Qualifying flight; finished second in his Drydene Heat Race; finished second in the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash; and dusted Sweet in the 30-lap Feature to earn his seventh win of the season and third win at The Dirt Track.
“We came into this weekend saying we just wanted to end strong,” said Schuchart, of Hanover, PA. “We knew certain things were out of our control. Last night was a challenge, but we made up for it a little bit. To end the World of Outlaws season with a win is awesome.
“We weren’t able to get the champion. But fifth last year and second this year (in points). This Shark Racing team is coming. We’re going to continue to try and get better and move forward.”
Sweet was the early contender for the win, claiming the pole for the Feature and led the three opening laps. But Schuchart had the NAPA Auto Parts #49 in sight the entire time, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. With a run down the front stretch, Schuchart pulled the trigger and shot a slide job underneath Sweet into Turn 1 and cleared him for the lead by Turn 2.
From then on, the Drydene #1S held command out front. Sweet closed on him in traffic but could never get close enough to attempt a pass.
“I wish I wouldn’t have lost the lead to Logan because I felt like the way the race played out I never really got another great opportunity to get by him,” Sweet said. “Just started out the race just a little off. But it came to me. I felt like we were just as good as Logan in open air. And that says a lot, because he’s usually really good at this place.”
Aside from trying to run down Schuchart for the win, Sweet still had a championship to worry about, other than his own. His Kasey Kahne Racing team entered the night 22 points ahead of Jason Johnson Racing. And JJR’s driver David Gravel didn’t help ease the pressure off Sweet throughout the night.
Gravel set overall Quick Time for the second night in a row and beat Sweet for the win in their Drydene Heat Race. By the luck of the draw, Sweet started on the pole for the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash and won, claiming the Feature’s pole position. Gravel finished fourth.
In the Feature, Gravel stole third on the first lap and kept Sweet in sight throughout the entire event. Gravel could close on him after a restart, but Sweet pulled away over time in clean air. To have any shot at bringing JJR the team title, he needed to beat Sweet and hope that "The Big Cat" fell at least 11 positions behind him.
He came up short on that goal and ended the season with a third-place finish.
“I knew we had a chance (at beating Sweet),” said Gravel, of Watertown, CT. “Just lacked a little bit there. We were pretty good, but Brad and Logan were really really good there. We could hang with them on the restart and I had some good runs and Brad made a move and blocked my lane. That was kind of my only chance.”
The race was also Gravel’s final drive behind the wheel of the JJR #41 car. He’ll join Big Game Motorsports in 2021 for a championship run.
Ten-time Series champion Donny Schatz ended the night with a sixth-place finish and ended the year third in the championship standings. That breaks his 14-year streak of finishing first or second in points.
Sheldon Haudenschild had a career best season, finishing fourth in points with a career-high seven wins in a single season. Carson Macedo also had a new career achievement by finishing fifth in points with Kyle Larson Racing. Macedo will join Jason Johnson Racing in 2021 as KLR closes this year.
The Last Call was 2013 World of Outlaws champion Daryn Pittman’s final race as a full-time Series driver. He capped off his career with a ninth-place run at The Dirt Track and finished seventh in the championship standings.
Now, with the 2020 season completed, the World of Outlaws will look to 2021 and, again, open the season in February at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals. A new beginning to Sweet and Schuchart’s budding competitive tale.
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will kick off the 2021 season Feb. 5-7 at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals. For tickets, click here.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all of the action live on DIRTVision.
NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps) – 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$12,000]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [$5,500]; 3. 41-David Gravel [$3,200]; 4. 2M-Kerry Madsen [$2,800]; 5. 21-Brian Brown [$2,500]; 6. 15-Donny Schatz [$2,300]; 7. 10-Dave Blaney [$2,200]; 8. 57-Kyle Larson [$2,100]; 9. 72-Daryn Pittman [$2,050]; 10. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$2,000]; 11. 9-James McFadden [$1,500]; 12. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,200]; 13. 39-Spencer Bayston [$1,100]; 14. 71-Shane Stewart [$1,050]; 15. 71P-Parker Price-Miller [$1,000]; 16. 26-Cory Eliason [$1,000]; 17. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$1,000]; 18. 2-Carson Macedo [$1,000]; 19. 13-Justin Peck [$1,000]; 20. 39M-Anthony Macri [$1,000]; 21. 83-Dominic Scelzi [$]; 22. 5-Brent Marks [$1,000]; 23. 7S-Jason Sides [$1,000]; 24. 1A-Jacob Allen [$1,000]; 25. 33M-Mason Daniel [$]; 26. 11-Ian Madsen [$1,000]; 27. 6-Bill Rose [$]; 28. 2C-Wayne Johnson [$]; Lap Leaders: Brad Sweet 1-2, Logan Schuchart 3-30; KSE Hard Charger Award: 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[+7]
Qualifying Flight-A – 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 12.69; 2. 2-Carson Macedo, 12.779; 3. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 12.786; 4. 21-Brian Brown, 12.831; 5. 39M-Anthony Macri, 12.831; 6. 10-Dave Blaney, 12.841; 7. 15-Donny Schatz, 12.86; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen, 12.91; 9. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 12.927; 10. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 12.927; 11. 72-Daryn Pittman, 12.929; 12. 5-Brent Marks, 12.935; 13. 26-Cory Eliason, 13.024; 14. 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 13.053; 15. 44S-Trey Starks, 13.099; 16. 33M-Mason Daniel, 13.136; 17. 6-Bill Rose, 13.247; 18. 7NY-Matt Farnham, 13.273; 19. 2X-Bill Balog, 13.278; 20. W20-Greg Wilson, 13.388; 21. 40-George Hobaugh, 13.448; 22. 70-Nick Tucker, 13.858Qualifying Flight-B – 1. 41-David Gravel, 12.688; 2. 71P-Parker Price-Miller, 12.856; 3. 49-Brad Sweet, 12.873; 4. 39-Spencer Bayston, 12.879; 5. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 12.886; 6. 57-Kyle Larson, 12.893; 7. 11-Ian Madsen, 12.92; 8. 9-James McFadden, 12.924; 9. 71-Shane Stewart, 12.926; 10. 13-Justin Peck, 12.956; 11. 1-Sammy Swindell, 13.003; 12. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.11; 13. 14-Tim Kaeding, 13.11; 14. 51-Paul McMahan, 13.123; 15. 49D-Shawn Dancer, 13.146; 16. 83-Dominic Scelzi, 13.15; 17. 3C-Cale Conley, 13.212; 18. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg, 13.245; 19. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer, 13.267; 20. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 13.425; 21. 12-Brent Shearer, 13.496; 22. 6X-Frank Rodgers, NT
CALL IT: David Gravel Scores Third Consecutive Charlotte Win; Brad Sweet Secures Second Title
CONCORD, NC — Nov. 6, 2020 — David Gravel and Brad Sweet each claimed glory Friday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte before they go to war on Saturday.
Sweet clinched his second consecutive World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series title, while Gravel led from green to checkers to claim his third consecutive win at the Charlotte track.
However, at the end of the night, the two shared a common desire: They’re both focused on winning the team championship for their teams. Sweet’s Kasey Kahne Racing team leads Gravel’s Jason Johnson Racing team by 22 points, heading into the final race of the 2020 season on Saturday.
“I just don’t feel like the job is fully completed,” said Sweet, of Grass Valley, CA. “I think the team championship is just as important to our guys, to me, to (team owner) Kasey (Kahne). The job is half done right now.
"Obviously, for me, personally, I know my name is going to be in those record books. Being a two-time champion is something that is really special to me. It puts me up there with some really great guys. I’m excited, but we still have to get that team championship for Kasey and the guys. If we’re able to do that, I think it will show that we were able to overcome a lot of adversity this year.”
During Gravel’s victory speech, the team title was the first thing on his mind, even as he plans to leave Jason Johnson Racing for Big Game Motorsports next year.
“What did he (Sweet) run fourth or something like that?” Gravel asked in Victory Lane. “So, we gained [eight] points on him. So, we’re  points back. Got to beat him by 10 positions tomorrow. That’s going to be hard to do. All we can do is win these races and see where we end up.”
If Gravel wins the final night of the Last Call, he’ll need Sweet to finished 11th in order to secure the team champion. The two teams would tie in points, but Jason Johnson Racing would then have nine wins versus Kasey Kahne Racing’s eight. With positions second and on paying two points between them, versus the four-point difference from first to second, Gravel would need to beat Sweet by 11 spots if he doesn't win.
The Watertown, CT driver proved that he and JJR came to Charlotte with the intent of leaving with a title. He dominated the night by setting Quick Time, winning his Drydene Heat Race, finishing second in the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash and then cleaning house in the Feature.
He and polesitter Carson Macedo raced side by side for the first lap, Gravel high and Macedo low, but the high line prevailed for Gravel, helping him to rocketed ahead of the Kyle Larson Racing #2 car.
Five cautions slowed Gravel’s quest for the trophy throughout the night. However, Macedo, and eventually Sheldon Haudenschild, had nothing for Gravel on the restarts from the runner-up spot. They’d close on Gravel in traffic, but he put time behind them once he got into a rhythm.
Gravel piloted the Mesilla Valley Transportation #41 car through tough track conditions and lap traffic to win by more than three seconds over Haudenschild.
“You couldn’t see the cushion going into (turn) three,” Gravel said. “It was really, really tough. So, I was kind of a little bit conservative. I’m sure whoever ran second got close there at one point. I went to the top and probably put on a little bit of a gap.
“Happy to get another win here. That’s three in a row here at this racetrack for us. Hopefully we can sweep it again. It would be a really good accomplishment and we can end this year off with a bang.”
Entering the night, Sweet had a 46-point lead over Logan Schuchart. To clinch his second consecutive World of Outlaws title, he had to finish one spot ahead of Schuchart. Sweet finished fourth and Schuchart finished sixth. As long as Sweet shows up to race on Saturday, the driver championship is officially his.
“I really wanted to lock the driver title up tonight,” Sweet said. “I knew that was our best shot to do it tonight, to beat Logan, and just come into it with a clear slate tomorrow and go after that team championship.”
Schuchart put on a valiant effort to try and keep his championship hopes alive with a charge from 16th to sixth, which earned him the KSE Hard Charger Award. And while he missed out on his first championship, he didn’t hang his head after the race.
“I would just like to end this year with a win,” said Schuchart, of Hanover, PA. “You know, finish out on top. You know, whatever happens other than that, some of it is not controllable for us but either way this Drydene team has worked really hard this year and has gained a lot from what we’ve been in years past. If we can continue to get better, we’ll be where we want to be in years to come.”
His points battle for the year isn’t over, yet, though. While he may not be competing for the championship, he’ll still need to fend off 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz to hold on to the runner-up spot in points. With Schatz finishing third, the Fargo, ND driver is now 12 points back from Schuchart. Schatz has finished first or second in points for the last 14 years.
The World of Outlaws 2020 season finale at The Dirt Track will see a championship battle come down to the last lap for the second year in a row. Gravel won the battle Friday night. Now, he’ll go to war with Sweet on Saturday.
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will conclude its 2020 season at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Saturday, Nov. 7, during the World of Outlaws Last Call. Click here for pit passes.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all of the action live on DIRTVision.
NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps) – 1. 41-David Gravel [$12,000]; 2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$5,500]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz [$3,200]; 4. 49-Brad Sweet [$2,800]; 5. 57-Kyle Larson [$2,500]; 6. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$2,300]; 7. 2-Carson Macedo [$2,200]; 8. 11-Ian Madsen [$2,100]; 9. 13-Justin Peck [$2,050]; 10. 26-Cory Eliason [$2,000]; 11. 9-James McFadden [$1,500]; 12. 39-Spencer Bayston [$1,200]; 13. 2M-Kerry Madsen [$1,100]; 14. 71-Shane Stewart [$1,050]; 15. 71P-Parker Price-Miller [$1,000]; 16. 44S-Trey Starks [$1,000]; 17. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,000]; 18. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [$1,000]; 19. 83-Dominic Scelzi [$1,000]; 20. 33M-Mason Daniel [$]; 21. 2C-Wayne Johnson [$]; 22. 9K-Kasey Kahne [$1,000]; 23. 72-Daryn Pittman [$1,000]; 24. 5-Brent Marks [$1,000]; 25. 1A-Jacob Allen [$1,000]; 26. 1-Sammy Swindell [$1,000]; 27. 7S-Jason Sides [$]; Lap Leaders: David Gravel 1-30; KSE Hard Charger Award: 1S-Logan Schuchart[+10]
Qualifying Flight-A – 1. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 12.305; 2. 9K-Kasey Kahne, 12.343; 3. 11-Ian Madsen, 12.355; 4. 72-Daryn Pittman, 12.415; 5. 1A-Jacob Allen, 12.417; 6. 1-Sammy Swindell, 12.452; 7. 39-Spencer Bayston, 12.486; 8. 26-Cory Eliason, 12.575; 9. 5-Brent Marks, 12.589; 10. 44S-Trey Starks, 12.611; 11. 14-Tim Kaeding, 12.634; 12. 2X-Bill Balog, 12.646; 13. 3C-Cale Conley, 12.654; 14. 83-Dominic Scelzi, 12.666; 15. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 12.68; 16. 33M-Mason Daniel, 12.733; 17. 9-James McFadden, 12.816; 18. 7NY-Matt Farnham, 12.917; 19. 6-Bill Rose, 12.94; 20. 12-Brent Shearer, 12.955; 21. 70-Nick Tucker, 13.083; 22. 6X-Frank Rodgers, 13.619; 23. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer, NTQualifying Flight-B – 1. 41-David Gravel, 12.193; 2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 12.264; 3. 21-Brian Brown, 12.291; 4. 49-Brad Sweet, 12.293; 5. 2-Carson Macedo, 12.304; 6. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 12.365; 7. 13-Justin Peck, 12.369; 8. 15-Donny Schatz, 12.372; 9. 71-Shane Stewart, 12.39; 10. 71P-Parker Price-Miller, 12.428; 11. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 12.459; 12. 51-Paul McMahan, 12.486; 13. 39M-Anthony Macri, 12.487; 14. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 12.556; 15. 57-Kyle Larson, 12.557; 16. 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 12.576; 17. W20-Greg Wilson, 12.601; 18. 7S-Jason Sides, 12.607; 19. 10-Dave Blaney, 12.641; 20. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg, 12.648; 21. 49D-Shawn Dancer, 12.724; 22. 40-George Hobaugh, 12.784; 23. 59-Johnny Petrozelle, NT