OSBORN, MO - March 22, 2021 - Florida was fun, the Dirty South Swing was a blast, and the Texas Two-Step was thrilling.
Now, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series is set for an exciting swing through the state of Missouri.
The Greatest Show on Dirt gets back on track this Friday, March 26 with an appearance at US-36 Raceway in Osborn, MO. On Saturday, March 27, the third annual Jason Johnson Classic pres. by FK Rod Ends offers a $15,000-to-win purse at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, MO.
US-36 TICKETS (3/26)
LAKE OZARK TICKETS (3/27)
Here are the top stories to follow this weekend:
HAUD'S HOT: After a tough start to the 2021 season, Sheldon Haudenschild and his Stenhouse Jr. / Marshall Racing team have found themselves in a solid rhythm. They started the year with finishes of 15th, 12th, 6th, and 11th, but have since recovered with runs of 1st, 5th, 1st, and 5th; that's an average finish of 11.0 to 3.0. On back-to-back weekends, Haudenschild has parked the NOS Energy Drink #17 in victory lane with thrilling triumphs at Mississippi's Magnolia Motor Speedway and Texas' Cotton Bowl Speedway.
The good news? Haudenschild enters Friday's appearance at US-36 Raceway as the defending race winner. He won last August's World of Outlaws show at the Osborn, MO 1/3rd-mile in spectacular fashion with a last-lap, last-corner pass on champion Brad Sweet. Another win on Friday night would make 27-year-old Sheldon the first driver to three victories this year, and it would match him with Joey Saldana as the only multi-time Outlaw winners at US-36.
HOME TURF: For a pair of World of Outlaws organizations, a trip to Missouri means they're racing close to home base. Although Carson Macedo of Lemoore, CA and Mason Daniel of Springville, CA are both left-coasters at heart, their new shops on the Outlaw tour are based out of the Show-Me State. For Daniel, his operation in Carrollton, MO is located just over an hour away from US-36, where the 20-year-old already owns a second-place result from ASCS Warrior Region competition.
For Macedo, the new wheelman at Jason Johnson Racing, his shop is located in the heart of the Ozarks, officially in Rocky Mount, MO. It's a short 20-minute jaunt over to Lake Ozark Speedway, where the 3rd annual Jason Johnson Classic commences on Saturday night. It's an especially meaningful race for JJR, who won the inaugural event in 2019 with driver David Gravel. Macedo, who has three previous top tens at Lake Ozark, will try to deliver another $15,000 title to the #41.
J-MAC'S TITLE DEFENSE: Hoping to stand in the way of Macedo's JJR triumph is the defending Jason Johnson Classic champion, James McFadden. Fresh off a plane from down under, the Alice Springs, Northern Territory native has officially kicked off his stint as a full-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car driver in the Kasey Kahne Racing, Karavan Trailers #9.
Last October, McFadden banked his second career World of Outlaws win in the second annual Jason Johnson Classic. Saturday's trip to Lake Ozark will only be his fourth event of the 2021 season, following Friday's show at US-36 and a pair of top ten finishes last weekend in Texas.
TOUGH LOVE: A pair of Outlaws revealed their inner critic last weekend when victory slipped from their grasp. Aaron Reutzel and Jacob Allen want to win just as much as their competitors, and they proved that with their golden interviews last weekend. Reutzel was chasing his second win of the year on Friday at Cotton Bowl when Sweet and Haudenschild drove around him on the outside. Post-race, Reutzel simply said he "did a shitty job of driving" and mentioned "you have to run 35 perfect laps to win these [Outlaw] races."
On Saturday, Allen was the center of heartbreak once again. After passing Sweet for the lead on Lap 11, the Shark Racing #1A pilot made one mistake entering turn one and slammed into the outside wall, flipped upside down, and ended his shot at a second career win. Allen brought the Paige, TX crowd to life when he said "I stepped on it, that's what I did." The Drydene Performance Products driver admitted he "needed to take a chill pill" to start delivering the wins his team deserves. This weekend, we'll see if either of them can return their passionate attitude to victory lane.
THE BIG FOUR: The "Big Four" if you will, are the four winningest active Outlaw drivers and they've got the highest four point averages over the last four years. They're currently 1-2-3-4 in this year's championship standings and that's thanks to the unrivaled consistency of each of them. All four drivers are averaging a top five finish through the first eight races.
Leading the points is two-time winner and two-time Series champion, Brad Sweet. The Grass Valley, CA native is currently on a streak of five-straight podium finishes aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49.
Trailing Sweet by -24 points is Logan Schuchart of Hanover, PA. The driver of the Shark Racing, Drydene Performance Products #1S is the only racer with a top ten finish in all eight World of Outlaws features this year.
Behind those two is 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz (-38). Outside of an ignition box failure at Volusia, Schatz and his Tony Stewart Racing, Carquest #15 have a top-seven result at every race. A win this weekend would be the 300th of Schatz's career.
Along with Schatz at (-38) is Watertown, CT native David Gravel. Finding success in his new role at Big Game Motorsports, Gravel has six top-five finishes and seven top-ten runs to go along with his jaw-dropping win at The Rev.
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