T.J.’s Takeaways from Friday’s World of Outlaws event at Volusia

(image courtesy of Joe Conway)
  • One of my takeaways on Thursday was about how talented all the World of Outlaws drivers were on Thursday to put on a feature under difficult conditions. Friday night the crew at Volusia Speedway Park provided a much better racing surface, and the drivers answered the bell.

    The three-car race for the lead in the closing states of the main event on Friday was one that will be discussed for years to go. Sheldon Haudenschild, David Gravel, and Brad Sweet put on a show racing three wide at times through slower traffic for the lead. Theoretically any of them could have won. Add in that Haudenschild thought he had seen the white and checkered flag earlier in the race and still was able to win along with David Gravel’s missing shock on the front of his car, and it was amazing two of the three were still on the podium at the end of the event.

    Throw in Carson Macedo charging from 16th starting position to fourth, James McFadden 6th from 18th, and Thursday winner Donny Schatz running from 12th to finish seventh on top of the great race for the lead and this feature had action top to bottom.

    This group of drivers following the World of Outlaws tour this season combined with the guest stars that will be dropping in and out throughout the year should provided highly entertaining racing throughout the year. I was discussing with another industry member that Volusia’s feature would be tough to match over the next 89 races, but they felt with this group we may see a race relatively soon that could top it. After thinking about it, I must agree that the potential is there for more races like we witnessed on Friday.

  • Hats off to everyone at Volusia Speedway Park and World Racing Group that had a hand in getting the racing surface ironed out for Friday’s program. After Thursday’s extremely rough conditions, Saturday provided a great racing surface with just a couple of irregularities that kept things interesting. Piles of mud that were as tall as parking lot snowbanks after the plows come through were evidence of their hard work.

    While there is a tight turnaround with modified racing all day tomorrow, I’m excited to see what we end up with for the finale on Saturday.

  • Through two events it is difficult to find a team or individual that stands out amongst the group that will tackle the entire tour in 2022. Gravel was the only driver that managed a top five finish both nights at Volusia and is remarkably leading the world of Outlaws Point Standings for the first time in his career. The teams seem evenly matched early in the year, but that view could change dramatically after we see two races in a row under relatively normal conditions.