By Brian Walker
PORT ROYAL, PA – July 19, 2022 – With a historic Kings Royal week in the rear view mirror, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series now prepares to face off against the Pennsylvania Posse for three nights this week.
Port Royal Speedway hosts a summer showdown for the first time with a $20,000-to-win midweek special coming on Wednesday night, and then Williams Grove Speedway retains the traditional $20,000-to-win Summer Nationals on Friday and Saturday.
The full-time stars of The Greatest Show on Dirt will be battling for crucial points as the championship fight enters the second half, while the dedicated PA Posse members will be desprate to defend their home turf.
BUY PORT ROYAL TICKETS (Wed)
BUY WILLIAMS GROVE TICKETS (Fri-Sat)
Let’s preview the action you can expect on DIRTVision.com this week:
SECOND HALF BEGINS: With 40 of 77 races completed, the 2022 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car campaign is officially halfway over, which means the championship battle is about to really heat up. A bit more than three months remain, and the top-five are currently separated by a little more than 100 points as they face their own challenges this week.
Brad Sweet of Grass Valley, CA still controls the top spot in pursuit of a fourth-straight championship for the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49. “The Big Cat” hasn’t won in 29 races since March 30 at Vado (NM), yet his unrivaled consistency (5.9 average finish) has kept him atop the charts. He’ll return to a track he’s conquered before – Port Royal – and a track that has proven to be his kryptonite with zero wins through 50+ starts – Williams Grove – this week.
David Gravel (-42 PTS) of Watertown, CT resides in the runner-up spot, hot off a weekend where he snapped a 25+ race winless streak with not only one, but two triumphs at Eldora Speedway. The Big Game Motorsports #2 squad is feeling fresh and confident with two nights at Williams Grove on Friday and Saturday, the winningest track (8) of his 73-win career.
Carson Macedo (-58 PTS) of Lemoore, CA was a top-10 contender over all four nights at Eldora, and hopes that 1/2-mile success transitions to the Pennsylvania ovals. The Jason Johnson Racing #41 was twice a winner at Williams Grove last year, yet has historically struggled at Port Royal with an average finish of 16.1 highlighted by just one top-10 result.
Sheldon Haudenschild (-80 PTS) of Wooster, OH left his home state disappointed with zero top-10 finishes during Kings Royal week at Eldora. The Stenhouse Jr. / Marshall Racing, NOS Energy Drink #17 is chomping at the bit to get back on track and gain those valuable points back. The 29-year-old earned his first Williams Grove win last July during this race against the Posse, but has yet to top The Speed Palace at Port Royal.
Logan Schuchart (-122 PTS) of Hanover, PA lost nearly 70 points over the course of three point races last week, a number he hopes to redeem as he takes the Series back to his home state this week. The Shark Racing #1S is a former winner at Port Royal in 2016, but has yet to win at Williams Grove with the World of Outlaws. He’s won at the Mechanicsburg, PA 1/2-mile in local action, Speedweek competition, and against the All Stars, but an Outlaws triumph still eludes him.
POSSE PRIMED FOR WIN: Since returning to The Speed Palace in 2014, the PA Posse have struggled to take down the World of Outlaws at Port Royal. Kunkletown’s Ryan Smith won that race in 2014, but since then a run of six different locals including Greg Hodnett, Lance Dewease, Danny Dietrich, Freddie Rahmer, Anthony Macri, and Brent Marks have all ran second to full-time Outlaws at the 1/2-mile.
King Brent XXXIX leads the charge following an epic week at Eldora. In fact, Marks remains the only member of the PA Posse to beat the World of Outlaws since Lance Decease last did it in May of 2019. The Myerstown Missile is the reigning Summer Nationals winner at Williams Grove, and he swept both Pennsylvania Speedweek shows at Port Royal earlier this month.
Anthony Macri of Dillsburg, PA is the winningest driver at Port Royal in 2022, topping six shows with three of those against the All Star Circuit of Champions. The Concrete Kid has recently handed the wrenches Bernie Stuebgen of Indy Race Parts, and hopes the transition will help guide him to his first-career World of Outlaws win this week on home turf.
Logan Wagner of Harrisonville, PA is the four-time and defending track champion at Port Royal, and still chasing his first-career World of Outlaws win like Macri. The pilot of the Zemco #1 has stepped up his game with a pair of top-10 finishes in the past two years, but hopes to take it up a notch on Wednesday with $20,000 big ones on the line.
A winner of 120 Port Royal Features through his career, Lance Dewease of Fayetteville, PA can never be counted out. Danny Dietrich of Gettysburg, PA has topped the Outlaws on five occasions, but is undetermined on whether he’ll race on Wednesday following a big crash at Eldora. Look for those five and more to potentially end the streak and put the Posse back on top of the Outlaws at Port Royal.
MEGA MILESTONE: If all goes as planned, Donny Schatz will hit his next milestone this Saturday night at Williams Grove Speedway with his 2,000th career Feature start in World of Outlaws competition. Like his 300-win achievement, he’d join an exclusive club with Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell as the only drivers in history to reach the feat.
The 10-time World of Outlaws champion has recorded his current 1,997 starts in 37 different American states and a trio of Canadian provinces. The Fargo, ND native hopes to put an exclamation point on his achievement this week at two tracks he has always succeeded at, Port Royal (4 wins) and Williams Grove (21 wins).
MONTH OF MONEY: With $276,125 already pocketed, Brent Marks no doubt leads the earnings as the famed Month of Money begins for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. Behind him through five nights is Donny Schatz ($40,300), David Gravel ($35,500), Tyler Courtney ($33,775), Kyle Larson ($32,225) and Carson Macedo ($30,900).
The boosted purses continue this week with a $20,000-to-win offering on Wednesday at Port Royal and again on Saturday at Williams Grove.
THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE
Wednesday, July 20 at Port Royal Speedway in Port Royal, PA
Friday-Saturday, July 22-23 at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, PA
ON THE INTERNET
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
Twitter – @WorldofOutlaws
Instagram – @WoOSprint
Facebook – Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsSprintCarSeries
YouTube – Youtube.com/WorldofOutlaws
DIRTVision – DIRTVision.com – Platinum annual FAST PASS for $299 or monthly FAST PASS for $39/month
CURRENT CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (40/77 Races):
1. 49-Brad Sweet (5,390 PTS); 2. 2-David Gravel (-42 PTS); 3. 41-Carson Macedo (-58 PTS); 4. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild (-80 PTS); 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart (-122 PTS); 6. 15-Donny Schatz (-164 PTS); 7. 5-Spencer Bayston (-280 PTS); 8. 83-James McFadden (-304 PTS); 9. 1A-Jacob Allen (-464 PTS); 10. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss (-570 PTS).