CONCORD, N.C. — Donny Schatz put a beat down on the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series field on the final night of the World of Outlaws World Finals Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
The 10-time series champion won for the second consecutive night, while Brad Sweet wrapped up his fourth consecutive series championship with a fifth-place effort.
Schatz took the lead from Sweet, who started on the pole, on lap 11 and drove away from the field, building a four-second lead. However, the yellow flag waved with one lap remaining when Cale Thomas stopped on the track with a flat tire.
Despite Sheldon Haudenschild closing to his rear nerf bar, Schatz blasted away on the restart and pulled away for the $25,000 triumph on the final night of the season.
It was the fifth victory of the season for the driver of the Tony Stewart Racing No. 15 Ford-powered sprint car. It was also his 307th career victory.
Schatz ran the bottom groove en route to his 14th triumph at the four-tenths-mile track, while most of his competition ran the high line.
“We stayed down there digging,” Schatz said. “As long as you feel like you have all four tires stuck you are kind of a full not to stay down there.”
Schatz said his team has found its stride late in the season.
“These guys are incredible. The results haven‘t shown it until,” he said. “We went and tested and got back to having the feel we used to have. Hats off to my guys. Awesome crowd. Great to see everyone come out to the World Finals. Watching the mod race and a couple of friends of mine ran first and second. It is a great atmosphere. I am glad the season is over.
“Congrats to Brad and his team. I know what it is like to be in that position,” Schatz concluded. “Congrats to them, we are going to make it hard on them next year.”
Giovanni Scelzi passed Haudenschild on the final lap to finish second.
“Anytime you can run good on the last night here, it carries momentum into next season,” Scelzi said. “The track was super technical, but Don just killed us. He looked like a 410 racing against 360s.”
Haudenschild finished third.
“Hats off to my 17 team,” Haudenschild said. “This is a stressful and a long week and to come out of here with a podium is good. We can focus on next year now.”
Carson Macedo finished fourth, while Sweet secured the championship by finishing fifth, while his title rival, David Gravel, came home 11th.
“It‘s been a lot of hard work to get to this point of four straight championships,” Sweet said. “It just seems like it has gone by so fast. Hats off to these guys. They dug deep. We didn‘t have a great year in the win column, but we dug deep and we battled through a lot of adversity. We put it together this weekend when the pressure was on. We‘re proud to win a fourth championship.”
Donny Schatz, Giovanni Scelzi, Sheldon Haudenschild, Carson Macedo, Brad Sweet, Rico Abreu, Brent Marks, Spencer Bayston, Anthony Macri, Lance Dewease, David Gravel, Logan Schuchart, James McFadden, Michael Kofoid, Sye Lynch, Tyler Courtney, Cory Eliason, Brock Zearfoss, Kasey Kahne, Robbie Price, Kraig Kinser, Cale Thomas, Jacob Allen, Bill Rose, Noah Gass, Cole Macedo, Justin Peck.