PHILO, Ill. – The Rookie of the Year Award and a third-place finish in the Built Ford Tough MOWA Sprint Car Series championship standings highlighted a solid first season in sprint car competition for Kyle Schuett.
“We were pretty happy with our first season in a sprint car,” Schuett said. “We met our expectations. We made every feature except for our first night out when we had a mechanical issue. We stayed out of crashes pretty much except for one night in July when we flipped at Macon. It actually went pretty smooth.”
Schuett notched a number of racing highlights to go along with his podium finish in points with the MOWA Series.
“We finished third at Spoon River in just our seventh race,” he said. “We also made the shows with the Outlaws and the All Stars and had two top 10s at Jacksonville. We were pretty happy with those accomplishments in our first year in a sprint car.”
Schuett, whose previous racing experience was in micro sprints and midgets, found the transition to sprint cars a bit smoother than he anticipated.
“We did better early in the season than I expected,” he said. “I thought we might struggle to make A-mains early in the year, but that didn’t happen. Our goal was always to run all the laps and we generally accomplished that. That’s the way you gain experience and that’s one of your primary goals when you’re a rookie.”
Schuett credited strong support and guidance from others for getting his team off to a quick start, which carried on throughout the year.
“Maxim gave us a lot of help,” he said. “They gave us good baseline setups for when the track was tacky, medium or slick. The people we purchased the car from also helped us a lot with the setup and they had the gears for most of the tracks we raced.
“Tim Engler was also a big help with our fuel injection and regarding how to adjust it for different tracks. Having good guidance right off the bat is a big help.”
In regards to running the sprint car compared to a midget, Schuett actually felt his team had an easier time with figuring out the winged car.
“It seemed to me that the sprint car was simpler to set up than the midget. I had confidence in our setups and felt I could focus more on driving,” he noted. “I also felt the sprint car suited my driving style better than the midget. Driving a sprint car is more technical than a midget, where you kind of just hold it wide open and hope it goes where you want it.
“We obviously have a lot more to learn going forward, but we feel good with where we’re at following our first year.”
Schuett hopes to run a more expanded schedule in 2020.
“I think we’ll probably just pick and choose where we race without regards to points,” he said. “We’d like to race 25-to-35 races within three to four hours of here. Just mainly race as much as we can.”