CONCORD, N.C. – Almost exactly nine months after the season started with the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park, it ended with the World of Outlaws World Finals Saturday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
It was a long and grueling, but rewarding road filled with 80 races and drives from coast to coast for the full-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series teams and drivers.
On Sunday, the campaign officially concluded with a championship celebration to honor this year’s award winners and the 12 full-time drivers that committed to the entire length of the schedule.
The NOS Energy Drink Human Horsepower Award was presented by NOS Energy Drink Marketing Director, Lauren Albano. This year’s recipient of the Award was Australia’s James McFadden, for his and his family’s sacrifice in journeying to the USA from Australia to compete full-time with the Series.
The Ted Johnson Award, named after the founder of the World of Outlaws, is reserved solely for someone who has dedicated their entire life to the sport of Sprint Car Racing. Claiming the honor yesterday was Steve Beitler, who just put the finishing touches on a stellar career as the promoter at Washington’s Skagit Speedway.
The KSE Hard Charger of the Year Award also went home with James McFadden, who offered eight hard-charging occasions throughout the 2021 season.
The Engine Builder of the Year and Chassis Builder of the Year both went to the manufacturers behind Brad Sweet’s third consecutive championship. Don Musselman of Maxim Chassis and Rob Capetta of Capetta Engines were at the event to accept the awards on behalf of their organizations.
The Slick Woody’s Qualifier of the Year Award was an easy one in 2021. David Gravel, with a whopping 19 Quick Times, was far and away the best qualifier on tour aboard the Big Game Motorsports No. 2. The next closest to Gravel was Haudenschild, Logan Schuchart and Sweet all at seven Quick Times.
The Team Drydene Blood, Sweat & Gears Award goes to the individual who most improved their average finish from last year. It was an obvious answer with Carson Macedo claiming honors thanks to an incredible upgrade from 8.72 to 6.28 amid his move to the Jason Johnson Racing No. 41.
The VP Racing Fuels Makin’ Power Award offered an allotment of 10 fuel drums to champion Brad Sweet, five fuel drums to top rookie James McFadden, and another five fuel drums to most improved Carson Macedo.
The Jason Johnson Sportsmanship Award is one of the more personal awards available and voted on solely by the drivers, crews, and staff that spend the entire season going up and down the road together. This year, the consensus was clear, and Cody Jacobs was voted the winner.
The Crew Chief of the Year Award also went home with Cody Jacobs for an impressive first full-time season with the World of Outlaws. As the leader at Big Game Motorsports, he helped guide Gravel to 11 wins and a championship runner-up effort. On stage, he said, “we’ll reload and see if we can give ‘The Big Kitty’ a run for his money next year.”
The Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award gave James McFadden his third piece of hardware to take home. The Australian was magnificent in his first full season on this side of the pond, becoming only the sixth driver in Series history to win multiple races during a ROTY run.
In addition to the award winners, the top-12 drivers and teams in the World of Outlaws standings were honored Sunday, with Brad Sweet and Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb No. 49 team officially accepting the series championship for the third-straight year after earning 16 victories. The 35-year-old noted the team chemistry between himself and crew members Eric Prutzman, Joe Mooney and Andrew Bowman is a large part of their success and something they look to keep together for years to come.
Gravel finished second in the series standings ahead of Macedo, Donny Schatz and Logan Schuchart.