By Alex Nieten
BARBERVILLE, FL (March 5, 2023) – Carson Macedo has made March his favorite time to visit Volusia Speedway Park with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series – specifically March 5.
In the Series’ second March visit to the World’s Fastest Half-Mile Sunday evening, Macedo won the first round of the Low-E Insulation Spring Showdown and his second World of Outlaws victory at the track – the first came on March 5, 2021 (his first World of Outlaws win with Jason Johnson Racing) and the second on March 5, 2023.
“Hats off to my guys… They made that thing unbelievable to drive,” Macedo said. “It was incredible in traffic, and I think that’s what it was going to take to win tonight. I felt good enough to rotate and turn in traffic. It didn’t matter what was in front of you.”
The victory was the California driver’s 29th of his World of Outlaws career and fourth overall at Volusia.
When the 30-lap Feature commenced, Rookie of the Year contender Giovanni Scelzi positioned himself as the early favorite. After dominating the Toyota Dash, Scelzi kept that momentum going in the Feature, gapping the field by a second in the first lap.
He found the back of the field by Lap 5, forcing him to navigate an obstacle course of slower cars.
While he fought through the traffic, Macedo was on a mission behind. Cruising around the bottom, the Jason Johnson Racing driver passed Michael Kofoid for second on Lap 8 and then found Scelzi in front of him a lap later.
Diving under the KCP Racing #18 into Turn 1, Macedo perfected his line and powered ahead of Scelzi down the backstretch.
From there, Macedo went uncontested, holding a half of a track lead over Scelzi for a majority of the race. However, with three laps to go, nerves set in for the first time. Bill Rose slowed to a stop in Turn 4 bringing out the first caution of the night and bringing Scelzi to Macedo’s rear bumper.
When the green flag flew again, Scelzi’s good night turned into a nightmare. Due to an issue with his car on the restart, Scelzi and Kofoid collided, and Kasey Kahne nearly flipped after running over the right rear of Scelzi’s car.
Kofoid and Kahne continued – Kahne moving into third – but Kofoid went to the back after going to the Federated Car Care Work Zone and Scelzi was unable to finish.
The incident also moved David Gravel – who won the two season-opening events at Volusia in February – into second, giving Macedo another nervous moment before the restart.
And while Gravel kept Macedo within reach with two laps to go, Macedo found his rhythm on the final lap and gapped the Big Game Motorsports #2 car by half a straightaway before seeing the checkered flag.
“I knew [Gravel] was behind me,” Macedo said. “When you’ve been doing this long enough, you’re always looking up at the scoreboard. I was nervous on the first restart with Gio behind me because I knew he had a fast race car. I was nervous the top might get going. We hadn’t been out of traffic for a while… Then, with David behind me, David is such a good race car driver.”
Gravel extended his points lead and brought his results to first, first and second for the first three Feature events of 2023.
“I thought the stars were going to align there,” Gravel said. “We actually had a really good car. I got a good start and had a half a car length there on Buddy (Kofoid). Then, he crowded me, which he didn’t do anything wrong, but that let Carson get by me and that changed our race. I got a lot of good runs on Buddy and just couldn’t pass him. Luckily, I didn’t get involved in that crash.”
Kahne, even after nearly flipping when Scelzi had his issue on the restart, managed to bring his Fuel Me #9 car home in third – his best World of Outlaws finish since June of last year.
After having a mechanical issue in his Heat Race, 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz earned the KSE Hard Charger by going from 21st to seventh in the 30-lap Feature.
Macedo takes the early lead of the Low-E Insulation Spring Showdown six-race points battle – paying $10,000 to the driver with the most points at the end of the six-race series battle at Lincoln Speedway, March 18. The second highest earner will get $6,000 and third will get $4,000.
UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will conclude the Florida portion of the Low-E Insulation Spring Showdown at Volusia Speedway Park, Monday, March 6. For tickets, CLICK HERE.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch every lap of World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series action live on DIRTVision.
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 41-Carson Macedo; 2. 2-David Gravel; 3. 9-Kasey Kahne; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart; 5. 21-Brian Brown; 6. 83-James McFadden; 7. 15-Donny Schatz; 8. 13-Justin Peck; 9. 49-Brad Sweet; 10. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild; 11. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr; 12. 5-Spencer Bayston; 13. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss; 14. 1A-Jacob Allen; 15. 8-Aaron Reutzel; 16. 26-Zeb Wise; 17. 11-Michael Kofoid; 18. 20G-Noah Gass; 19. 5T-Ryan Timms; 20. 7S-Robbie Price; 21. 97UK-Ryan Harrison; 22. 18-Giovanni Scelzi; 23. 6-Bill Rose