Five Best Things from the Weekend: November 9-10, 2019

Heat race action from the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Dan McFarland/SprintFun photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

1. The most obvious choice for this list is the World of Outlaws having the closest point race in series history culminating with Brad Sweet topping Donny Schatz by four points. The close point battle gave the World Finals in Charlotte some extra energy to an already big event. Combine that with the close point race in the Super DIRT Car Series and there was plenty of things for everyone to follow.

Sweet adding a championship to his storybook career, the resilience of Jason Jonson Racing with David Gravel taking on driving duties for the team this year after Johnson’s passing last season ending with a sweep of the World Finals, and Donny Schatz making a late run to challenge for the title will make this a season for the ages.

Much has already been written about the World Finals here, but it was impressive enough to warrant a few more paraphs and the best thing from this weekend.

2. Mark Smith just keeps winning with the United Sprint Car Series. Much like Gravel this weekend Smith brought out his broom to sweep two nights of racing at the Talladega Short Track. The win was Smith’s 11th with USCS this season.

Sunbury, PA to the Talladega Short Track is about a 12-hour trip one way. Smith regularly makes jaunts like this to compete with USCS. Flying or driving its an impressive accomplishment to win that many races while commuting either by air or land on a regional level.

3. Bobby Santos III also had broom in hand winning both the King of the Wing pavement sprint car races this weekend at Kern County Speedway and Irwindale Speedway. Santos has been fast on pavement with and without the wing all season and the trip to California capped off his tremendous season.

One of the most unique parts of this weekend though was the ability to see a pavement sprint car race during the day and a dirt open wheel triple header at night on Kern’s dirt facility. Hopefully that event can see some growth so more fans and teams can take advantage of this unique double header in the future.

4. Two drivers that American fans will be seeing competing in the midget car division later this month, Michael Pickens and Kaidon Brown, both picked up feature wins this weekend. Pickens won the midget car feature at Baypark Speedway while Brown was victorious at Murray Bridge Speedway. Both are expected to join the end of the USAC National Midget Car Series starting with the Hangtown 100 through the Turkey Night Grand Prix. Fans are familiar with Pickens success here in America while Brown will be a new face for the fans to see this season. Brown seems to be carrying a lot of momentum, as is Pickens, into their impending trip to the United States.

5. The last weekend of racing on Bridgeport Speedway’s 5/8-mile layout before its shortened for 2020 featured a barn burner of a sprint car feature for the United Racing Club. Robbie Stillwaggon won a wild main event to become the last winner on the big track at Bridgeport. Both nights of racing were good, sending the 5/8-mile out with a bang.

Bonus, obscure race of the week: Caleb Baughman was victorious in the sprint car division on Saturday at Ruapuna Speedway in Christchurch, New Zealand.