By Alex Nieten
PORT ROYAL, PA (October 3, 2023) – The storied rivalry between the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars and Pennsylvania Posse turns the final page of another chapter this weekend.
The destination is Port Royal Speedway as The Greatest Show on Dirt invades the half mile for the Nittany Showdown. The two nights (October 6-7) will conclude with a $15,000 to win finale and punctuate the 2023 battle between the World of Outlaws and PA Posse. The weekend will mark the Series’ first visit to “The Speed Palace” of the season.
The atmosphere promises to be electric. A massive field of cars expected. The two sides of the rivalry aiming for one last statement victory. A slew of invaders looking to steal the show. It’s going to be a wild final weekend in PA.
BUY PORT ROYAL TICKETS
Let’s look at the weekend’s top storylines:
ADVANTAGE OUTLAWS: Seven races have been contested in Pennsylvania this season, and the World of Outlaws hold the upper hand with four victories heading into the final two rounds.
Four-time and reigning Series champion – Brad Sweet – has led the way with a pair of victories, both at Williams Grove Speedway including one this past Saturday. “The Big Cat” has only missed the top five once through the seven PA appearances in 2023. David Gravel scored one for the World of Outlaws in July when the Series made their long-awaited return to BAPS Motor Speedway. Former Posse turned Outlaw – Logan Schuchart – went to Williams Grove Victory Lane in July.
On the Posse side, Anthony Macri made PA proud with a thrilling last lap pass at Lincoln Speedway in May for his third career Series win. Myerstown, PA’s Brent Marks is fresh off topping the Champion Racing Oil National Open at Williams Grove for a $75,000 score.
The other two races have been chalked up to the “invader” category as Californian Rico Abreu, who races all over the country, took wins at Lincoln in March and Williams Grove in July.
A win on either night for the World of Outlaws would give them bragging rights over the rivalry this year while the Posse would need to sweep the weekend to even the score and force both sides to settle for a tie.
HOME TURF: With the amount of talent PA produces, it inevitably sends some stars to the World of Outlaws tour meaning visits to tracks like Port Royal are trips to home turf for some. Third year driver on the tour – Brock Zearfoss – is one of a few who currently fall into that category.
Before embarking on the World of Outlaws tour, Zearfoss earned a 2017 track championship at Port Royal that saw him pick up five victories along the way. The “Jonestown Jet” is yet to win at his home state oval with the World of Outlaws, but it is the site of one of his nine career Series top fives.
Logan Schuchart is another Pennsylvanian touring with The Greatest Show on Dirt. The second win of the Shark Racing driver’s World of Outlaws career came at Port Royal in 2016. The Hanover, PA native is yet to revisit Port Royal Victory Lane but could become only the fourth driver with multiple World of Outlaws wins at the track this weekend.
BAYSTON’S BREAKTHROUGH: Before Spencer Bayston became a full-time World of Outlaws competitor last season with CJB Motorsports, the pairing linked toward the end of 2021. In only their fourth start as a full-time duo, Bayston and CJB broke through with a victory. The track they topped? Port Royal Speedway.
It was this same October weekend in 2021 when Bayston took the PA-based team to Victory Lane at the team’s home state track. At the time, that was Bayston’s second career World of Outlaws win, and he’s since added three more behind the wheel of the #5.
The two nights at the half mile could be a welcome weekend as Bayston is looking to rebound after a tough National Open weekend. In addition to his win, Bayston has been in the top 10 in half of his 16 Sprint Car starts at Port Royal.
THE CONCRETE KID: History was made at last year’s Nittany Showdown. Entering the weekend, Anthony Macri didn’t own a World of Outlaws win, but he changed that in a big way by sweeping the two races. With the pair of victories, Macri became the fourth driver in Series history and first since 1979 to earn their first two triumphs back-to-back.
While Macri has excelled at other tracks and regions of the country, his prowess at Port Royal has always stood out. At only 24 years old, Macri already owns more than 20 victories at the Juniata County oval including two this year.
This Friday, “The Concrete Kid” could make a little more history by joining Donny Schatz as the only driver to win three consecutive World of Outlaws races at Port Royal. Another weekend sweep would make him the only to top four straight.
POSSE POTENTIAL: In addition to Macri, multiple other Posse representatives could best the World of Outlaws this weekend. Last year proved as much when the PA locals took five of the six podium spots over the two nights at Port Royal.
Like any conversation about the Posse, this one isn’t complete without mentioning Lance Dewease. The Fayetteville, PA native owns a whopping 122 wins at Port Royal, most recently topping the Bob Weikert Memorial this year against the All-Star Circuit of Champions.
Five-time and defending Port Royal track champion – Logan Wagner – is on the hunt for his first World of Outlaws win. Last year the Harrisonville, PA native collected his first Series podium at “The Speed Palace,” and it’s also been the site of all three of his top 10 finishes.
Fresh off his National Open win, Brent Marks can’t be counted out to tally more victories for the Posse. The “Myerstown Missile” has never bested the World of Outlaws at Port Royal, but he’s been a runner-up twice including the most recent visit to the track last year.
If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action live on DIRTVision.
THIS WEEKEND AT A GLANCE
WHEN AND WHERE
Friday and Saturday, October 6-7 at Port Royal Speedway in Port Royal, 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 (63/72 Races):
1. 49 – Brad Sweet (8536PTS) 2. 2 – David Gravel (-90PTS) 3. 41 – Carson Macedo (-130PTS) 4. 1S – Logan Schuchart (-432PTS) 5. 18 – Gio Scelzi (-448PTS) 6. 15 – Donny Schatz (-466PTS) 7. 17 – Sheldon Haudenschild (-504PTS) 8. 5 – Spencer Bayston (-708PTS) 9. 3Z – Brock Zearfoss (-1196PTS) 10. 7S – Robbie Price (-1696PTS)