COLUMBUS, MS - March 9, 2021 - The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car season is finally back in business.
This weekend, it's the Dirty South Swing with a trip to Mississippi and Louisiana on deck. Both Magnolia Motor Speedway and The Rev are hosting their first-ever World of Outlaws events, sending us into a doubleheader filled with potential unpredictability.
MAGNOLIA TICKETS (Fri, 3/12)
THE REV TICKETS (Sat, 3/13)
Let's catch you up some of the storylines to follow entering this weekend.
NEW TRACKS: After speeding through 2020 with no new facilities on schedule, the World of Outlaws are racing on four new surfaces this season, and two of them take the stage this weekend. Located in Columbus, MS, Magnolia Motor Speedway or "The Mag" was built in 2004 and rose to national prominence among the late model community. The state-of-the-art 3/8th-mile has hosted a handful of sprint car shows with the United Sprint Car Series and ASCS Regional Series, but Friday night's event will mark the Outlaws' first appearance.
On Saturday, we're bolting down to the state of Louisiana for the first time since 2004; this time at a totally new venue with The Rev in Monroe, LA. Formerly an asphalt track, it has now been converted to a 3/8th-mile dirt track by promoter and award-winning country music artist, Dylan Scott. The facility will host several big shows in 2021 including this Saturday's World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series race and a $30,000-to-win World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series event in September.
PLENTY OF PARITY: The 2021 season has gotten off to a hot start with four different winners in the first four races. It started in February at the 50th DIRTcar Nationals when two-time and defending Series champion Brad Sweet and Kasey Kahne Racing took the season opener. Shark Racing's Logan Schuchart followed him with his first win of the year two days later. After a month away, Carson Macedo and Jason Johnson Racing made their first statement of the year with a 10th-to-1st win at Volusia last Friday. Lastly, Aaron Reutzel and Roth Motorsports broke into victory lane in Saturday's exciting return to East Bay Raceway Park.
The all-time record for most consecutive different winners to start a World of Outlaws season is eight winners in eight races back in 2015.
NEW KID ON TOP: For the first time in his career, 24-year-old Carson Macedo of Lemoore, CA is leading the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championship standings. Through his first four events since joining Jason Johnson Racing, Macedo has collected finishes of 5th - 6th - 1st - 3rd. He'll enter Magnolia & The Rev fresh off arguably his best weekend ever as an Outlaw; highlighted by a 10th-to-1st victory at Volusia and a 17th-to-3rd podium at East Bay. Prior to his 2021 move to JJR with Phil Dietz as his crew chief, Macedo's first two years on tour with Kyle Larson Racing ended with point finishes of sixth and fifth. This year, he knows he has a championship caliber team and is ready to make a splash.
Heading into this weekend's show at Magnolia and The Rev, Macedo leads the points ahead of Logan Schuchart (-4), Brad Sweet (-8), David Gravel (-24), Donny Schatz (-24), and Aaron Reutzel (-24).
ROOKIE'S RISING: All four Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contenders are coming off a good week, one of them being off track. Aaron Reutzel and Roth Motorsports found victory lane for the first time this year in Saturday's show at East Bay, a night where he took a page out of his hero Gary Wright's playbook and won it "four in the fluff." Indiana's Parker Price-Miller added Tyler Swank as his new crew chief and quickly found success qualifying for the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash and finishing a season-high eighth at Volusia. At East Bay, Pennsylvania's Brock Zearfoss won his first Drydene Heat Race of the year and recorded his own season-high of seventh in the feature.
Away from the track, James McFadden welcomed the birth of his healthy baby boy, Maverick James McFadden. Once settled and able to travel overseas, the Australia racer will make his way to the United States to join the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series full-time. Car owner Kasey Kahne, who earned his second top ten of the year at East Bay, is expected to substitute for McFadden in the Karavan Trailers #9 once again this weekend at Magnolia and The Rev.
WHO'S GOT NEXT: Of the 11 full-time drivers without a World of Outlaws win this season, three of them come as the most surprising, and all three have already had their fair share of close calls. Donny Schatz, the ten-time Series champion at Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing, was one mile away from winning his 300th career feature in February before an ignition box failure soured his run. Outside of that 15th-place finish, Schatz and the #15 have placed top five in every race with runs of 3rd - 4th -4th.
Sheldon Haudenschild and Stenhouse Jr. Marshall Racing have had speed since the start of the season, but have missed out on the luck to go along with it. The NOS Energy Drink #17 has set Slick Woody's Quick Time, won a Drydene Heat Race, and appeared in the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, but his unlucky string has resulted in feature runs of 15th - 12th - 6th - 11th. For David Gravel, his transition to the Big Game Motorsports #2 has gone smoothly outside of only one rough night at East Bay. In Gravel's three starts at Volusia he finished 4th -4th - 5th and was a contender for the checkered flag each and every night.
Anyone unable to make it to the track can watch all of the action live on DIRTVision with the annual Platinum FAST PASS subscription for $299/year or the monthly FAST PASS subscription for $39/month.
Photo - Trent Gower