HANFORD, Calif. — A mix of cheers and boos rang out from the Keller Auto Speedway grandstands as Logan Schuchart climbed atop his wing after claiming the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars‘ Tom Tarlton Classic and a $21,000 payday on Friday Night.
The Shark Racing pilot had just bested California local turned full-time Outlaw, Carson Macedo, and after a late slider with just three laps to go that resulted in contact, some of the home crowd voiced displeasure.
“Right now I‘ll take any boos, cheers I‘m still going home with 21 grand,” said a smiling Schuchart in victory lane.
Schuchart charged from the fifth row to pick up his 34th career WoO victory, and the win marked his second at the three-eighths mile as his resumé also boasts a 2017 Hanford triumph.
Behind the winner was none other than his teammate, Jacob Allen, who charged all the way from 22nd to the runner-up spot after transferring through the B-main.
The Pennsylvania duo swept the top-two spots on the podium of a premier California race for the second consecutive weekend following Allen‘s victory over Schuchart in last Saturday‘s Gold Cup Race of Champions.
“It‘s pretty awesome,” Schuchart said of the team‘s performance. “I can‘t thank my grandfather (Bobby Allen) enough for believing in Jacob and I and working endless hours at his age. All he thinks about is race cars and trying to make ourselves better.”
So Close For Macedo
Schuchart and Allen‘s gain was Carson Macedo‘s loss as he faded to fourth in the closing laps after leading the opening 32 circuits of the 35-lap feature aboard the Jason Johnson Racing No. 41.
The Lemoore, Calif. native was pursuing his third straight victory in the event celebrating his uncle and the family that helped launch his racing career.
While it was disappointing to not earn the three-peat, Macedo continued his recent hot streak as his momentum builds heading into the final stretch of the Outlaw season. He notched his 10th top-five in his last 11 series races and carries an average finish of 2.73 over that recent span as the Outlaws head back east next week.
The trio of Justin Sanders, Dominic Scelzi, and D.J. Netto led the way for the California contingent, occupying spots eighth through tenth when the checkered flag waved. The three took vastly different routes to the top-10 with each requiring perseverance.
Sanders timed in sixth in qualifying, locked into the dash, and appeared headed toward a certain top-five before he spun on lap 20. Sanders then rallied to finish eighth, giving himself the gift of his seventh career WoO top-10 on the night of his 30th birthday.
In qualifying Scelzi turned in a forgettable pair of laps, only managing 29th of 32 entries. The Fresno, Calif. driver moved from the back row of his heat into a transfer spot then charged from 17th to ninth in the main event.
Netto‘s night began with promise with the second fastest lap in qualifying, but his evening soured in the heat as he dropped from the pole to seventh, sending him to the B-main. After winning the B, Netto advanced 11 spots from 21st to complete the top-10.
Sweet Maintains Point Lead
Brad Sweet continues to be the epitome of consistency as he brought the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 49 home in sixth place, his 16th top-10 in the last 17 races.
With his closest competition in the battle for the championship, David Gravel, finishing a spot behind him in seventh, Sweet added two points onto his lead in the standings as he chases a fourth straight title. The gap between Sweet and Gravel now sits at 74 markers.
Macedo‘s run allowed him to close in just a little on the top-two as he now is just 20 points behind Gravel but still trails Sweet by 94.
McFadden Hitting Stride?
It‘s been somewhat of an up and down year for James McFadden aboard the Roth Motorsports No. 83, but he appears to be finding some steady speed as the season winds down.
Last year‘s WoO Rookie of the Year snuck by Macedo late at Keller Auto Speedway to snag the final spot on the podium. Including his prelim in last weekend‘s Gold Cup, McFadden has produced top-six efforts in four of the last five races.
McFadden is still in search of his first Outlaw victory of the year.