CONCORD, N.C. — Jacob Allen didn‘t grow up behind the wheel of a sprint car.
He wasn‘t a child prodigy. He didn‘t enter the World of Outlaws sprint car scene and immediately dominate. But during this, his ninth season on the Outlaw tour, his performance has been an exceptional testament to hard work, a dedicated team and his natural flare for racing.
“I‘ve been around racing my entire life, it‘s been part of who I am,” explained the son of Hall of Famer Bobby Allen, who owns the Shark Racing team that fields cars for Allen and his uncle Logan Schuchart. “But I haven‘t had a lot of experience as a driver, so it‘s taken me a little bit of time.”
Allen joined the World of Outlaws tour full time in 2014, but it wasn‘t until 2020 that the No. 1a Shark Racing driver finally stood atop the podium. His second series win came earlier this year at Lake Ozark Speedway in April, throwing fuel on a simmering fire.
Since then, Allen has stacked up three additional Outlaw victories — including one on a preliminary night at the Knoxville Nationals. He stunned his hometown crowd in May with a victory at Pennsylvania‘s Lincoln Speedway, he was a contender during the Knoxville Nationals at Iowa‘s Knoxville Raceway and dominated the Gold Cup Race of Champions at California‘s Silver Dollar Speedway.
“I can‘t pick from any of them. They were all amazing moments that I‘ll never forget. I‘m just really proud that I was able to accomplish those things,” Allen said.
Allen and his Shark Racing team have kept their blinders on for the past nine months, remaining concentrated on the task at hand — winning. But as Allen cruises around the pits at the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, he‘s also satisfied by the amount of confidence he‘s built this season.
“I have a great race car, great engine, great team and I don‘t see why there would be any reason we can‘t win any of these races. That‘s what I showed up for,” Allen said. The No. 1a driver had a wide smile on his face as he admitted that the fun hasn‘t ended yet. Being at the race track is still a source of joy, even after nine grueling months of travel.
Allen entered the World Finals ninth in the standings, 712 points behind leader Brad Sweet.
While Allen‘s four wins were all pivotal moments this season — perhaps giving way to a surge of momentum that will be hard for his competitors to stop — his plan is to be closer to the title chase next year.
“I know I can do it and I know where I need to clean some things up,” Allen said. “I‘d like to win more than I did this year and just add to it.”
Consistency is his game plan, confidence is his key and the World Finals are the beginning of the next step in Allen‘s career as an Outlaw.