Larson Holds off Schatz to Win the Brad Doty Classic

(l to r) Brad Doty, Kyle Larson, and Owen Larson in victory lane after Kyle won the Brad Doty Classic Friday at Attica Raceway Park. (Mike Campbell Photo)

Kyle Larson (#57) and Donny Schatz (#15) race for the lead Friday at Attica Raceway Park. (Mike Campbell Photo)
From Brian Walker

ATTICA, Ohio (July 12, 2022) — For the second time in as many appearances at Attica Raceway Park this season, Kyle Larson walked out on top.

Unlike May’s domination during the Kistler Engines Classic – a flag-to-flag win by 1.415-seconds – Tuesday’s Brad Doty Classic triumph only came following a hard-fought battle with World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series champions Brad Sweet and Donny Schatz.

The reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion dueled with his brother-in-law (Sweet) through the opening half and then had to fend off a hard-charging quest from a 10-time champion (Schatz) in the late stages through lap traffic. The #15 never officially passed the #57, but the last 10 laps of the 40-lap affair kept fans on the edge of their seats as they sliced and diced through backmarkers in the midst of an enticing cat-and-mouse game.

It came down to the final lap and Larson ultimately held on by 0.364-seconds to score his third World of Outlaws win of the season, tied for third-most with the Series in 2022. More than anything, the momentum is crucial for King Kyle XXXVII as he takes the Paul Silva-owned Finley Farms, Folkens Brothers Trucking, Hendrick Automotive #57 back to Eldora Speedway to defend his Kings Royal crown this weekend.

At the ripe age of 29 years old, Larson has already secured 27 World of Outlaws wins in a quick 120 starts and risen into the top 25 of the All-Time Win List. As respected and revered as the young man has become in recent years, he still made it clear in post-race remarks to announce his appreciation for the way Donny Schatz raced him.

“When I got to traffic it was hard to see and I made a mistake with a lapper, then I knew Donny was right with me,” Larson said. “Thankfully, Donny is the cleanest racer in the world and you can always trust him when you’re around him. I wish every other racer would take not from Donny Schatz and the way he gives you respect on the track.

I knew Donny was quite better in turns one and two, so I just needed to manage that gap as smart as I could. My car was handling really well and I could kind of cheat the cushion to limit my mistakes, but I got a little lost in traffic. I feel like Paul Silva keeps giving me better and better cars every time we hit the track. He’s got me plenty excited ahead of Eldora.”

The 40-lap affair started with a different family member out front as Brad Sweet drove the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49 to the lead once the green flag dropped. The Big Cat commanded the opening 12 laps, but his pursuit of snapping a 24-race winless streak went sideways on a Lap 13 restart when his brother-in-law whipped the #57 around the outside and stole the top spot away.

Larson was dominant through the middle stages of the race and kept Sweet at bay on each restart, but a new challenger arose when ninth-starting Donny Schatz came driving through the field in his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing, Ford Performance, Advance Auto Parts #15.

Schatz drove by Sweet for the second spot on Lap 29 and quickly set his sights on Larson as lap traffic tightened things up. The duo, who ran 1-2 at last year’s Knoxville Nationals, offered an exciting final 10-lap sprint as they swapped lanes, sliced through traffic, and battled for the $15,000 win.

The 303-time World of Outlaws winner had his shot on separate occasions but opted to keep it clean and earn it the right way. He officially scored his third runner-up result of the season, giving him eight podiums this year.

“These guys have found a lot of things to get us better lately,” Schatz noted. “The folks at Ford have worked extra hard to keep this thing on the edge of my foot to control it better. Racing for the win again feels good, but we’d like to be up there in Victory Lane. I had to go where Kyle wasn’t and my car was actually decent everywhere, but he countered me quite well. I never felt like I was fading or anything, so that’s a good feeling. It’s great to start a big week off like this.

Slipping back to finish third as Larson and Schatz drove away was three-time World of Outlaws champion and current points leader, Brad Sweet. It was bittersweet for the Grass Valley, CA native as he led laps and extended his championship advantage, but he also extended his streak to 25 consecutive races without a win.

“We had such a great recovery in the Heat and felt good in the Dash, but I knew I was better when the track had more grip,” Sweet spoke on his rollercoaster night. “I was in more trouble as the race went on and couldn’t make as much speed through the corners. Donny got rolling by me and it was honestly fun to watch them battle. I’ll take a podium, but these NAPA Auto Parts guys deserve a win and hopefully we can deliver that at Eldora.”

Closing out the top-five on Tuesday night was Logan Schuchart in fourth-place aboard the Shark Racing #1S, and David Gravel, who slipped back from the pole position to finish fifth as the winless streak for the Big Game Motorsports #2 extended to 26 races.

Rounding out the top-10 at Attica was Kerry Madsen in a second Roth Motorsports #83JR, Zeb Wise in his full-time debut aboard the Rudeen Racing #26, All Star title leader Tyler Courtney in the Clauson-Marshall Racing #7BC, James McFadden in the Roth Motorsports #83, and Sheldon Haudenschild in the Stenhouse Jr. / Marshall Racing #17.

World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
Brad Doty Classic
Attica Raceway Park
Attica, Ohio
Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Qualifying Flight A
1. 83JR-Kerry Madsen, 12.837[5]
2. 2-David Gravel, 12.949[17]
3. 26-Zeb Wise, 13.000[9]
4. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 13.017[21]
5. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.051[20]
6. 22-Brandon Spithaler, 13.134[8]
7. 9-Kasey Kahne, 13.178[16]
8. 55W-Hunter Schuerenberg, 13.190[3]
9. 5T-Travis Philo, 13.221[1]
10. 97-Greg Wilson, 13.257[6]
11. 28M-Conner Morrell, 13.278[2]
12. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.293[12]
13. 24-Rico Abreu, 13.297[22]
14. 28-Tim Shaffer, 13.310[11]
15. 55-Alex Bowman, 13.340[18]
16. 14-Sean Rayhall, 13.364[4]
17. 23-Chris Andrews, 13.368[7]
18. 8M-TJ Michael, 13.616[13]
19. 29-Zeth Sabo, 13.624[14]
20. 35-Zach Hampton, 13.752[19]
21. 6-Bill Rose, 13.794[10]
22. 15K-Chad Kemenah, 14.140[15]

Qualifying Flight B (2 Laps)
1. 57-Kyle Larson, 12.926[1]
2. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 13.033[5]
3. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 13.037[9]
4. 83-James McFadden, 13.062[6]
5. 3J-Trey Jacobs, 13.094[2]
6. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 13.118[14]
7. 41-Carson Macedo, 13.169[16]
8. 5-Spencer Bayston, 13.179[18]
9. 11-Parker Price Miller, 13.213[19]
10. 4-Cap Henry, 13.248[7]
11. 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 13.364[22]
12. 49-Brad Sweet, 13.415[13]
13. 49X-Tanner Thorson, 13.424[15]
14. 09-Craig Mintz, 13.518[21]
15. 7S-Robbie Price, 13.537[4]
16. 20G-Noah Gass, 13.583[20]
17. 18X-Cole Macedo, 13.583[17]
18. 101-Lachlan McHugh, 13.590[8]
19. 1AU-Marcus Dumesny, 13.637[11]
20. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.681[10]
21. 16-DJ Foos, 13.755[12]
22. 2X-Stuart Brubaker, 13.924[3]

Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 83JR-Kerry Madsen[1]
2. 26-Zeb Wise[2]
3. 15-Donny Schatz[3]
4. 9-Kasey Kahne[4]
5. 5T-Travis Philo[5]
6. 24-Rico Abreu[7]
7. 23-Chris Andrews[9]
8. 55-Alex Bowman[8]
9. 29-Zeth Sabo[10]
10. 28M-Conner Morrell[6]
11. 6-Bill Rose[11]

Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 2-David Gravel[1]
2. 1S-Logan Schuchart[2]
3. 97-Greg Wilson[5]
4. 55W-Hunter Schuerenberg[4]
5. 1A-Jacob Allen[6]
6. 28-Tim Shaffer[7]
7. 22-Brandon Spithaler[3]
8. 8M-TJ Michael[9]
9. 14-Sean Rayhall[8]
10. 35-Zach Hampton[10]
11. 15K-Chad Kemenah[11]

Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 57-Kyle Larson[1]
2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[2]
3. 41-Carson Macedo[4]
4. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[6]
5. 3J-Trey Jacobs[3]
6. 18X-Cole Macedo[9]
7. 49X-Tanner Thorson[7]
8. 16-DJ Foos[11]
9. 7S-Robbie Price[8]
10. 1AU-Marcus Dumesny[10]
11. 11-Parker Price Miller[5]

Heat Race #4 (8 Laps)
1. 83-James McFadden[2]
2. 49-Brad Sweet[6]
3. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[3]
4. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[1]
5. 4-Cap Henry[5]
6. 5-Spencer Bayston[4]
7. 20G-Noah Gass[8]
8. 09-Craig Mintz[7]
9. 101-Lachlan McHugh[9]
10. 2X-Stuart Brubaker[11]
11. 11K-Kraig Kinser[10]

DIRTVision FAST PASS Dash (6 Laps)
1. 2-David Gravel[2]
2. 49-Brad Sweet[3]
3. 83JR-Kerry Madsen[1]
4. 57-Kyle Larson[6]
5. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[5]
6. 26-Zeb Wise[8]
7. 1S-Logan Schuchart[4]
8. 83-James McFadden[7]

C-Main (10 Laps)
1. 29-Zeth Sabo[1]
2. 101-Lachlan McHugh[4]
3. 28M-Conner Morrell[5]
4. 7S-Robbie Price[2]
5. 6-Bill Rose[9]
6. 15K-Chad Kemenah[11]
7. 2X-Stuart Brubaker[8]
8. 11K-Kraig Kinser[12]
9. 14-Sean Rayhall[3]
10. 1AU-Marcus Dumesny[6]
11. 35-Zach Hampton[7]
12. 11-Parker Price Miller[10]

Last Chance Showdown (12 Laps)
1. 24-Rico Abreu[3]
2. 5-Spencer Bayston[2]
3. 18X-Cole Macedo[4]
4. 49X-Tanner Thorson[6]
5. 22-Brandon Spithaler[1]
6. 28-Tim Shaffer[5]
7. 101-Lachlan McHugh[14]
8. 20G-Noah Gass[8]
9. 09-Craig Mintz[12]
10. 16-DJ Foos[10]
11. 8M-TJ Michael[11]
12. 23-Chris Andrews[7]
13. 29-Zeth Sabo[13]
14. 55-Alex Bowman[9]

A-Main (40 Laps)
1. 57-Kyle Larson[4]
2. 15-Donny Schatz[9]
3. 49-Brad Sweet[2]
4. 1S-Logan Schuchart[7]
5. 2-David Gravel[1]
6. 83JR-Kerry Madsen[3]
7. 26-Zeb Wise[6]
8. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[14]
9. 83-James McFadden[8]
10. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[5]
11. 41-Carson Macedo[10]
12. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[12]
13. 97-Greg Wilson[11]
14. 24-Rico Abreu[21]
15. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[16]
16. 1A-Jacob Allen[19]
17. 3J-Trey Jacobs[18]
18. 4-Cap Henry[20]
19. 9-Kasey Kahne[13]
20. 55W-Hunter Schuerenberg[15]
21. 49X-Tanner Thorson[24]
22. 18X-Cole Macedo[23]
23. 5-Spencer Bayston[22]
24. 5T-Travis Philo[17]