HANFORD, Calif. — Just as a victory seemed out of reach for Logan Schuchart Friday night at Keller Auto Speedway, an opportunity to win came his way.
Schuchart took a chance, diving under race leader Carson Macedo with three laps to go — the two making contact as Schuchart slid up the race track in turn two.
From there, Schuchart sprinted ahead, holding on to win the Tom Tarlton Classic and earn his 34th career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Cars feature triumph.
Schuchart said he couldn’t waste an opportunity with a $21,000 payday up for grabs.
“I knew I wouldn‘t have an opportunity unless I did something like that,” Schuchart said. “We weren‘t going to get into lap traffic again. At this point in the year, I‘m racing to win races. That‘s the reason we‘re out here. It‘s a bigger paying race, and we‘re racing for the lead. If I have a chance, I‘m going to have to take it, and I felt like that was my only opportunity.
“I‘ll have to watch the replay and see exactly how it went down. The general consensus from what I‘m hearing is that it was racing.”
Macedo quickly drove away from the field in the first half of the race, remaining unchallenged until the first of several cautions came out on lap 21.
From there, the Golden State competitor continued his quick pace on multiple restarts, using the outside lane. However, a caution with six laps remaining for 10-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz set up the final battle.
Macedo pulled away on the restart, but Schuchart kept him in his sights before pulling the slide job with three laps left.
The early race leader fell back to fourth and said he felt Schuchart didn‘t give him enough room on the pass.
“I‘m going to have to look back and see the video,” Macedo said. “I just didn‘t feel like I had very much room there. He slid me and came across so fast that we got on the brakes, but ultimately, he ran into me.
“It is what it is. It‘s just one of them deals I think you have to put into the memory bank and just remember. One of these nights coming up, I‘ll probably have a shot with him. I feel like me, and the 1S raced pretty hard with each other a few times, and I‘m sure I‘ll have a shot in the future.”
Despite his fourth-place finish, Macedo gained on points leader Brad Sweet, who finished sixth, and David Gravel, who finished seventh.
Sweet leads Gravel by 74 points leaving the West Coast and Macedo by 94 points.
Jacob Allen finished second, completing a one-two finish for Shark Racing in the second consecutive feature.
Allen earned the KSE Hard Charger award after transferring through the Last Chance Showdown and charging from 22nd to the runner-up spot.
Allen stated his team’s decisions throughout the night played a role in a second consecutive podium.
“It was a great turnaround for our race team,” Allen said. “I kind of crashed there in Qualifying and had to run the [Last Chance Showdown]. All night long, we just kept working on our setup, and our racecar got better every time we hit the race track.
“The decisions we made there after the [Last Chance Showdown] right before the Feature were very critical to having such a good run tonight.”
James McFadden crossed the line third after falling back as far as 11th.
“The restarts hurt me,” McFadden said. “I was back in 11th for a while. I could just never get going on the restart. Then once I cleared those, we‘d start trucking. I‘m just disappointed I couldn‘t get a rhythm.
“I‘m disappointed in myself for not getting a good restart and pounded the top earlier.”
Feature (35 Laps): 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$21,000]; 2. 1A-Jacob Allen [$6,000]; 3. 83-James McFadden [$3,500]; 4. 41-Carson Macedo [$2,800]; 5. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$2,500]; 6. 49-Brad Sweet [$2,300]; 7. 2-David Gravel [$2,200]; 8. 2X-Justin Sanders [$2,100]; 9. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [$2,050]; 10. 88N-DJ Netto [$2,000]; 11. 14-Corey Day [$1,600]; 12. 5T-Ryan Timms [$1,400]; 13. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$1,200]; 14. 88-Austin McCarl [$1,100]; 15. 83JR-Kerry Madsen [$1,050]; 16. 5-Spencer Bayston [$1,000]; 17. 7S-Robbie Price [$1,000]; 18. 21-Mitchell Faccinto [$1,000]; 19. 5B-Colby Copeland [$1,000]; 20. 5V-Landon Brooks [$1,000]; 21. 46JR-Joel Myers [$1,000]; 22. 20G-Noah Gass [$]; 23. 15-Donny Schatz [$1,000]; 24. 57W-Shane Golobic [$1,000]; 25. 2K-Kaleb Montgomery [$1,000]