CHICO, Calif. — When the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars venture to the bullrings of California, drivers who hail from Pennsylvania aren‘t often thought of as favorites.
Between the few California-born WoO full-timers and the crop of local Golden State racers, it can sometimes be difficult for Pennsylvanians to get adjusted and compete with those more familiar with the region.
However, the Hanover, Pa., duo of Jacob Allen and Logan Schuchart had no trouble at all in Saturday night‘s 68th Gold Cup Race of Champions finale at Silver Dollar Speedway as the Shark Racing teammates swept the top two podium positions with Allen narrowly edging out Schuchart at the line.
Some of the talk heading into the event surrounded Allen‘s previous lackluster performance at the Chico oval, but the pilot of the No. 1a completely changed the narrative with a runner-up in his Friday prelim before capping the weekend with the $25,000 Gold Cup title.
The victory marked back-to-back Gold Cups for Shark Racing following Schuchart‘s 2021 triumph.
“I don‘t really know what to say,” said an excited Allen in victory lane. “I think as a team me and Logan dream about running one-two, and to have a finish like that is so awesome . . . Man, I can‘t believe I just won the Gold Cup.”
WoO Regulars Roll
The World of Outlaws regulars flexed their muscle as the best in the business against a tough contingent of Californians who were hoping to top them.
Along with Allen and Schuchart claiming the top two spots, positions three through seven were also occupied by Outlaws with Carson Macedo, Sheldon Haudenschild, Brad Sweet, David Gravel and Spencer Bayston filling those positions.
Not too far behind them was 10-time series champion, Donny Schatz, in ninth.
Schatz charged all the way into the top-10 from 21st after having to transfer out of the B-main.
Timms Continues To Impress
Oklahoma City, Okla., gasser Ryan Timms continued his trend of competing at the highest level of the sport, despite a relative lack of experience. After locking into Saturday‘s dash via his performance in Thursday‘s prelim, Timms finished fourth in the dash lining him up outside row two for the 40-lap finale.
The feature saw the 16-year-old survive a few hairy moments on the tight confines of Silver Dollar Speedway and ultimately bring his No. 5t machine home with a very respectable eighth-place result.
Mittry Makes The Show
A fellow teenager who joined Timms in the Gold Cup main event was Redding, Calif.‘s Max Mittry.
This year is Mittry‘s first time aboard a 410ci sprint car as he‘s competed with California‘s NARC Fujitsu Sprint Cars and learned from his experienced teammate, Justin Sanders.
Gold Cup marked Mittry‘s debut with the Outlaws, so simply making Saturday‘s feature with the size of the field that showed up is an achievement in itself. After a lap one incident that left him spun outside of turn two, Mittry steadily worked his way back through the field and earned a top-15 finish.
Locals Led By Golobic
With the WoO‘s presence toward the top of the leaderboard, California only produced one top-10 finisher as far as drivers who were both born in the state and still primarily race there — and that was the No. 57w of Shane Golobic.
The 31-year-old appeared headed for a potential top-five result after finishing sixth in the dash until an incident with another car sent him over the banking in turn two on lap 25. By the time he‘d recovered, Golobic found himself mired in 15th. A late charge saw him advance five spots following the issue.
Just behind Golobic was a line of locals with D.J. Netto, Kalib Henry, Ryan Bernal and Dominic Scelzi in spots 11 through 14.
Day‘s Eventful Evening
One competitor who arguably could‘ve found himself in the top-five if it weren‘t for misfortune was Corey Day.
Prior to the feature, Day nearly spun early in the B-main, putting him at the back of the large field. He only had 12 laps to work back toward the front.
The pilot of the Jason Meyers Racing No. 14 did exactly that, driving from the rear to fourth to claim the final transfer.
In the main event, Day charged from the back up to as high as ninth at one point before being involved in a yellow and damaging the front of the car. Day limped it home to a 19th-place finish — a result that does not show how capable he and his ride were.