CHICO, Calif. — Jacob Allen earned the biggest victory of his World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series career Saturday night at Silver Dollar Speedway.
Allen defeated his uncle, his teammate, and his best friend Logan Schuchart by a mere .050 seconds to win the Gold Cup Race of Champions and a $25,000 payday.
Allen officially controlled all 40 laps at the 68th running of the prestigious event, but that is a deceiving box score. Allen, amid his ninth year on tour at 28 years old, fought off challenges from Brad Sweet, Carson Macedo and Schuchart.
It came down to the 40th and final lap of the quarter-mile oval as Schuchart closed on Allen and showed him his nose coming to the white flag.
With traffic blocking his path into the final corner, Allen found himself in no man’s land through the middle and quickly losing grip as Schuchart stuck to the bottom. As the No. 1s rocketed off the corner, the No. 1a found grip up high and the drag race to the line began.
They never touched, but Allen hit the wall and pulled a wheelstand as he crossed the finish line.
“I don’t know what to say,” Allen noted. “As a team, Logan and I always dream about running 1-2. Having a finish like that is just so damn awesome. I didn’t know who won at first, I was just waiting for Mike [Hess] to say No. 1a or No. 1s. I can’t believe it. I just won the Gold Cup and it was a Shark Racing 1-2 and that’s back-to-back Gold Cups for our team. Wow.”
He took every restart and every lap traffic bout in stride, never wavering as he ventured away from his stereotypical low-line and throttled around the outside. It was Allen‘s fourth victory of the season and the fifth of his career.
“You guys doubt me a little bit, but we’re figuring out how to set up these cars and I’m getting better as a driver,” Allen added. “It’s OK if people don’t want to believe in me, but as a team, we believe in each other and that’s what makes this happens.”
Perhaps the happiest second-place finisher in World of Outlaws history, Schuchart couldn’t stop smiling on frontstretch following the spectacular finish with his nephew and teammate – even though his pursuit of back-to-back Gold Cup titles was stopped by the slimmest of margins.
“I honestly didn’t know who won it,” Schuchart said. “I’m so pumped, though. This is about the coolest outcome we could ever ask for. It’s awesome for two PA boys to be racing for the win at Gold Cup, the most prestigious race on the West Coast. I’m so proud of Jacob, his team, my team, and everyone involved in Shark Racing. You can’t ask for much more than this.”
Following the pair of Shark Racing entries to the stripe was Carson Macedo with a third-place effort in the Jason Johnson Racing, Albaugh No. 41.
“This place was really racey tonight,” Macedo said. “My guys gave me a car to win, but I just felt like every time we would get to the tail of the field a caution would come out. I needed more traffic to get up there with those guys. It was pretty cool to watch that photo finish right behind them at the line, though.”
Sheldon Haudenschild and Sweet rounded out the top five.
Feature (40 Laps): 1. 1A-Jacob Allen [$25,000]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$10,000]; 3. 41-Carson Macedo [$6,000]; 4. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$5,000]; 5. 49-Brad Sweet [$4,000]; 6. 2-David Gravel [$3,500]; 7. 5-Spencer Bayston [$3,200]; 8. 5T-Ryan Timms [$3,000]; 9. 15-Donny Schatz [$2,800]; 10. 57W-Shane Golobic [$2,500]; 11. 88N-DJ Netto [$2,300]; 12. 17M-Kalib Henry [$2,250]; 13. 22-Ryan Bernal [$2,200]; 14. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [$2,100]; 15. 2XM-Max Mittry [$2,050]; 16. 83-James McFadden [$2,000]; 17. 24-Chase Johnson [$2,000]; 18. 14-Corey Day [$2,000]; 19. 83JR-Kerry Madsen [$2,000]; 20. 83T-Tanner Carrick [$2,000]; 21. 21-Mitchell Faccinto [$2,000]; 22. 38B-Blake Carrick [$2,000]; 23. 83V-Sean Becker [$2,000]; 24. 92-Andy Forsberg [$2,000].