Macedo Makes Final Lap Pass to Win the Jackson Nationals

Carson Macedo (Serena Dalhamer photo)

From Shawn Miller

JACKSON, Mn. (August 19, 2023) — The 45th annual AGCO Jackson Nationals powered by FENDT was a thriller on Saturday night at Jackson Motorplex, where Carson Macedo and Cam Schafer emerged victorious during the crown jewel event.

Macedo outlasted Brad Sweet in an epic five-lap shootout to garner the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series victory that paid $25,000. It marked his second straight year of winning the event finale.

James McFadden, who swept the two preliminary nights and won the King of the Hill to earn the pole position for the 35-lap feature, led the first 25 laps in a race that was non-stop following a red flag on the start.

A hiccup on Lap 26 by McFadden, who widened his exit off turn two, allowed Macedo to pounce. He plugged the narrow gap on the bottom groove entering turn three to take the lead.

“I think that was literally the only lap that he missed the bottom,” he said. “He was pretty flawless up until that point. He just missed it just that tiny bit off of two and he got spinning down the backstretch and I was able to squeeze off the bottom, grab that grip and just get to his inside. I know it was probably close, but there just wasn’t a whole lot of opportunity other than that I didn’t think. You kinda had to force the issue.”

The final caution of the race on Lap 31 set up a wild final five laps. Third-running Brad Sweet left the favored bottom and powered around the top groove in turns one and two to pass McFadden for second place on the restart. He then edged Macedo exiting turn four to lead the lap.

Macedo executed a slide job into turns one and two to reclaim the top spot. The duo went back and forth for a couple of laps before Sweet used a slide job in turn two to take back the lead on Lap 34. He took the white flag in front, but Macedo offered one last slider into turns one and two before protecting the bottom entering turn three to score the victory.

“I knew that with Brad and James behind me, they’re extremely good race car drivers, I knew they’d be searching around trying to find something else,” Macedo said. “By the time I could hear him he was already by me or at my right side. I was able to kinda squeeze that grip into one and slide him. I was in full guess mode. I didn’t really know where to be. When you’re in that spot it’s tough to know exactly where you’re supposed to be. I’ve got the utmost respect for Brad Sweet. He’s an unbelievable race car driver so to duel with him there at the end was pretty cool.”

Sweet’s runner-up result was his best outing of the weekend.

“I knew my car was really good in that King of the Hill up top,” he said. “I figured I didn’t have much to lose (restarting third with five laps remaining). I just kinda got outraced there at the end. I felt like I could have done a better job at the end once I got in front of him to keep him behind me. He surprised me with some of the runs he got. Taking the white in the lead I should have just really protected the bottom. He got back to my inside. He did a better job of protecting and moving his car around.”

Donny Schatz used a late move to garner a podium result.

“It’s a pretty respectable finish,” he said. “Without that yellow we weren’t going to finish there, but that’s the way racing is and we got it. We had a pretty respectable weekend. It was a step in the right direction.”

McFadden placed fourth and Giovanni Scelzi was fifth.

Sweet, Tanner Holmes and Justin Sanders earned qualifier victories and Lachlan McHugh was the Last Chance Showdown winner.

Schafer led all 20 laps of the caution-free PIRTEK Upper Midwest Renegades Sprint Car Series main event as he held off a pair of charges from competitors with timely lane changes.

Scott Brandt found the bottom groove and advanced to second place on Lap 11. He then closed on Schafer, who left his favored top lane for the bottom with five laps remaining. Meanwhile, Jeremy Kerzman stayed committed to the outside. He reclaimed the runner-up position on Lap 16 before reeling in Schafer, who moved back to the top on Lap 18 with the race-winning move.

“I seen Scott’s nose dipping underneath me,” Schafer said. “This place races so even. It’s a beautiful race track and I knew everybody was going to be right there.

“(After moving to the bottom) I was getting a little bit too tight and kinda looked like a fool down there. I went back to where I was comfortable.”

Kerzman placed second with Brad Cunningham finishing third, Jake Kouba fourth and Zach Widdes fifth.

The heat races were won by Kerzman and Cunningham.

World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
45th annual AGCO Jackson Nationals powered by FENDT
Jackson Motorplex
Jackson, Minnesota
Saturday, August 19, 2023

Heat Race #1 (10 Laps)
1. 49-Brad Sweet[1]
2. 24-Rico Abreu[2]
3. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[3]
4. 11-Cory Eliason[4]
5. 5-Spencer Bayston[5]
6. 7-Ian Madsen[6]
7. 16-Brooke Tatnell[7]
8. 20G-Noah Gass[9]
9. 14T-Tim Estenson[8]

Heat Race #2 (10 Laps)
1. 1T-Tanner Holmes[1]
2. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[2]
3. 10-Scott Bogucki[3]
4. 2KS-Chase Randall[4]
5. 7S-Robbie Price[6]
6. 35-Skylar Prochaska[8]
7. 44W-Austen Wheatley[7]
8. 22K-Kaleb Johnson[5]
9. 1K-Kelby Watt[9]

Heat Race #3 (10 Laps)
1. 39M-Justin Sanders[1]
2. 1S-Logan Schuchart[2]
3. 9-Kasey Kahne[3]
4. 2-David Gravel[4]
5. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[6]
6. 25-Lachlan McHugh[5]
7. 21T-Cole Macedo[7]
8. 10J-Justin Jacobsma[8]
9. 2K-Kevin Ingle[9]

King of the Hill
1. 83-James McFadden[1]
2. 41-Carson Macedo[2]
3. 49-Brad Sweet[6]
4. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[3]
5. 15-Donny Schatz[4]
6. 83JR-Michael Kofoid[5]
7. 39M-Justin Sanders[8]
8. 1T-Tanner Holmes[7]

Last Chance Showdown (12 Laps)
1. 25-Lachlan McHugh[2]
2. 22K-Kaleb Johnson[1]
3. 7-Ian Madsen[3]
4. 16-Brooke Tatnell[5]
5. 35-Skylar Prochaska[4]
6. 21T-Cole Macedo[7]
7. 44W-Austen Wheatley[6]
8. 14T-Tim Estenson[10]
9. 1K-Kelby Watt[11]
10. 2K-Kevin Ingle[12]
11. 10J-Justin Jacobsma[9]
12. 20G-Noah Gass[8]

NOS Energy Drink Feature (35 Laps)
1. 41-Carson Macedo[2]
2. 49-Brad Sweet[3]
3. 15-Donny Schatz[5]
4. 83-James McFadden[1]
5. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[4]
6. 1S-Logan Schuchart[11]
7. 1T-Tanner Holmes[8]
8. 24-Rico Abreu[9]
9. 39M-Justin Sanders[7]
10. 5-Spencer Bayston[18]
11. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[12]
12. 9-Kasey Kahne[14]
13. 2-David Gravel[17]
14. 11-Cory Eliason[15]
15. 10-Scott Bogucki[13]
16. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[10]
17. 2KS-Chase Randall[16]
18. 7S-Robbie Price[19]
19. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[20]
20. 7-Ian Madsen[23]
21. 25-Lachlan McHugh[21]
22. 83JR-Michael Kofoid[6]
23. 22K-Kaleb Johnson[22]
24. 16-Brooke Tatnell[24]

UMSS Traditional Sprint Car Series

Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 3K-Jeremy Kerzman[1]
2. 6-Jake Kouba[2]
3. 12-Johnny Parsons III[3]
4. 7X-Dan Atchison[4]
5. 10-Zach Widdes[5]
6. 11J-Jori Hughes[6]
7. 25A-Ashley Williams[7]
8. 97B-Buenvanida Gilbertson[8]

Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 2C-Brad Cunningham[3]
2. 54-Cam Schafer[1]
3. 7B-Scott Brandt[6]
4. 20L-Lucas Logue[4]
5. 17-Erik Bjorklund[2]
6. 7-Shane Fick[7]
7. 4K-Dominic Kerzman[8]
8. 135-Joshua Hulberg[5]

A-Main (20 Laps)
1. 54-Cam Schafer[1]
2. 3K-Jeremy Kerzman[2]
3. 2C-Brad Cunningham[8]
4. 6-Jake Kouba[5]
5. 10-Zach Widdes[9]
6. 20L-Lucas Logue[4]
7. 17-Erik Bjorklund[10]
8. 7X-Dan Atchison[7]
9. 12-Johnny Parsons III[3]
10. 11J-Jori Hughes[11]
11. 7-Shane Fick[14]
12. 4K-Dominic Kerzman[15]
13. 135-Joshua Hulberg[13]
14. 25A-Ashley Williams[12]
15. 97B-Buenvanida Gilbertson[16]
16. 7B-Scott Brandt[6]