By Alex Nieten
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (May 9, 2023) – It’s time for round two of World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars vs. PA Posse – this time with some weekday fun.
World of Outlaws pride, local Lincoln lore, and Beerhill bragging rights are all on the line this week as The Greatest Show on Dirt invades “The Keystone State” for a trio of intense battles.
First up is the second visit of 2023 to Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA) on Wednesday, May 10, for the Gettysburg Clash. Then, while Thursday is an off day, many teams will take part in the Hersheypark Stadium Sprint Car Experience to celebrate local racing history. And on Friday, it’s off to Mechanicsburg, PA where Williams Grove Speedway will host two nights of Morgan Cup action (May 12-13).
The lone Pennsylvania race, so far, in 2023 was claimed by an invader when Rico Abreu topped Lincoln on March 18. Both the World of Outlaws and PA Posse will try to make sure that isn’t the case this week.
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Let’s look at some of the weekend’s top storylines:
BIG CAT BACK ON TOP: For the second time this season, Brad Sweet is atop the championship standings. The four-time and defending titlist moved ahead of Carson Macedo following the action at Eldora Speedway.
Lincoln Speedway presents an opportunity for Sweet to extend that advantage. During the March trip to the Pigeon Hills, Sweet led the opening 22 circuits in the Kasey Kahne Racing #49 before finishing in the runner-up position – his second podium in the last three Lincoln races.
Williams Grove hasn’t been quite as kind to “The Big Cat” over the years, but he did manage to claim his first win there last July.
SCHATZ SURGE: After a rough stretch with seven straight finishes outside the top 10, Donny Schatz rebounded in a big way at Eldora.
Schatz put together his two best finishes of the season with a third on Friday and a runner-up on Saturday. During the latter, the Fargo, ND native managed to lead his first Feature lap of the season while challenging for the victory. The pair of nights bumped the 10-time champion from ninth to sixth in points.
Now Schatz and his Tony Stewart/Curb Agajanian Racing team head to an area of the country that’s always been kind to them. Schatz is a former Lincoln winner (’16). Williams Grove is Schatz’ winningest track in World of Outlaws competition with 21 of his 307 career triumphs coming at the half mile.
GRAVEL AT THE GROVE: After a DNF a week and a half ago in Haubstadt, David Gravel rebounded at Eldora with a fifth and a third – the best performance among the top three in points. Gravel entered Eldora 48 points behind the top spot, and now he’s only 28 markers down.
The weekend races at Williams Grove will be a pair Gravel hopes to capitalize on to continue making up ground. The Watertown, CT native has won eight times at the Mechanicsburg half mile – the most he’s claimed at any track with the World of Outlaws.
Gravel hasn’t won at “The Grove” since 2020, but he hasn’t finished worse than seventh in his last six starts.
MACEDO’S MISSTEP: This past Saturday at Eldora, Carson Macedo missed the top 10 for the first time all season with a 13th. The result cost him the top spot in points, but he’s only two markers behind Sweet.
Pennsylvania has been kind to the Californian over the years – a trend he hopes continues as he looks to regain control of the standings.
Macedo has won at Lincoln with both the All-Star Circuit of Champions and locally. In his last four World of Outlaws starts at the 3/8 mile, he’s finished no worse than sixth. At Williams Grove, he’s a two-time World of Outlaws winner – topping the Morgan Cup opener and National Open finale in ’21.
ALLEN EYES REPEAT: Last May, Jacob Allen scored arguably the biggest win of his career to date when he took the checkered flag at the Gettysburg Clash to pocket $20,000. The Hanover, PA native turned Outlaw sent the crowd into a frenzy with the victory, and he’d love nothing more than to repeat on Wednesday.
While the March visit didn’t go how he would’ve preferred with a 22nd place finish, Allen has still been strong in recent years in addition to last year’s victory. The driver of the Shark Racing #1A finished eighth at Lincoln in ’19 and third the next year.
PLENTY OF POSSE: In addition to the favorites, Pennsylvania’s healthy Sprint Car landscape supplies many talents capable of running up front with The Greatest Show on Dirt.
No conversation about the Posse is complete without Anthony Macri. “The Concrete Kid” has spent a lot of time away from the porch this year, but he’ll be a threat when the World of Outlaws invade his home territory. Of his nation-leading 23 victories last season, a combined five occurred at Lincoln and Williams Grove.
The Posse have succeeded in making sure Williams Grove’s Morgan Cup stays in the host state in recent years. Three of the last four have been claimed by Pennsylvanians and five of the last seven.
Lance Dewease, of Fayetteville, PA, has been the biggest contributor to that effort with Morgan Cup triumphs in 2016, 2018, and 2019.
Brent Marks topped last year’s Morgan Cup to keep the Posse proud. “The Myerstown Missile” will be a threat to go back-to-back this weekend. Marks has already won at Williams Grove this season – claiming last month’s Tommy Hinnershitz Classic.
Many of the Posse drivers can win at either facility, but a few especially stand out as favorites at Lincoln Speedway.
Freddie Rahmer, of Salfordville, PA, has already picked up a trio of Lincoln triumphs this season including this past Saturday, and its home to his one World of Outlaws win (’18).
Danny Dietrich earned his first pair of World of Outlaws wins at Lincoln in 2012 and 2013. The driver of the Gary Kauffman #48 is yet to tame Lincoln this season but does own three local podiums and finished sixth at the March World of Outlaws visit.
HERSHEYPARK STADIUM SPRINT CAR EXPERIENCE: The action at Lincoln and Williams Grove won’t be the only fun in Pennsylvania this week.
On Thursday during the day, five drivers will visit Milton Hershey School to partake in classroom activities. Brock Zearfoss, Carson Macedo, and Brent Marks will help in Engineering and Design classes. Gio Scelzi and Logan Schuchart will be in Automotive classes.
Then, during the evening, at least 13 teams will help celebrate local racing history by displaying their cars at Hersheypark Stadium. The display will come 84 years to the day after the facility hosted its first race – a 28 car midget race that attracted more than 11,000 spectators. The display will take place from 4:30-7:00pm and is open to the public and free to attend.
If you can’t make it to the track this week, catch all the action on DIRTVision.
THIS WEEKEND AT A GLANCE
WHEN AND WHERE
Wednesday, May 10 at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, PA
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 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 (17/81 Races):
1. 49 – Brad Sweet (2374PTS) 2. 41 – Carson Macedo (-2PTS) 3. 2 – David Gravel (-28PTS) 4. 1S – Logan Schuchart (-86PTS) 5. 17 – Sheldon Haudenschild (-134PTS) 6. 15 – Donny Schatz (-168PTS) 7. 11 – Michael Kofoid (-178PTS) 8. 5 – Spencer Bayston (-198PTS) 9. Gio Scelzi (-198PTS) 10. 3Z – Brock Zearfoss (-302PTS)