81, Lakeside Welcome World of Outlaws for Final Midwest Visit of 2023

World of Outlaws Top Story Logo 2019 WoO

WICHITA, KS (October 10, 2023) – The home stretch of the 2023 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car campaign hits the Heartland this week.

The Midwest is set to welcome The Greatest Show on Dirt one last time this year for a Kansas doubleheader. First up is the second and final trip of the season to Wichita, KS’s 81 Speedway on Friday, October 13. The next night brings the year’s lone appearance at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City for the Micro-Lite Harvest Rumble.

This year’s World of Outlaws campaign is down to only seven races to go, and the intensity heats up more and more as that tally dwindles. The championship is still up for grabs. Battles throughout the standings are ongoing. And everyone wants at least one more trip to Victory Lane before the season wraps up in a month. The “Sunflower State” is the place to be this weekend as these stories continue to unfold.



Let’s look at the weekend’s top storylines:

A BATTLE BREWING: Right when it looked as if Brad Sweet might comfortably pull away to his fifth consecutive World of Outlaws championship, David Gravel said not so fast. Two nights at Port Royal Speedway saw Gravel knock 22 markers off Sweet’s advantage, bringing the gap down to a manageable 68.

Sweet’s brief history at 81 Speedway has been up and down. The Grass Valley, CA native posted a top five in his first attempt there in 2017, but a Feature accident there earlier this year left him with a 14th place run, his fourth lowest finish of the season. Over at Lakeside the Kasey Kahne Racing pilot has been incredibly consistent with top 10s in all 10 of his Series attempts highlighted by a 2016 victory.

Gravel has been stout at 81 Speedway in limited appearances with a pair of podiums to his credit in two Feature starts. In his last six Series starts at Lakeside, the Watertown, CT driver has missed the top 10 only once and notched his best finish at the track (third) in the most recent World of Outlaws visit last season.

The duo will battle this weekend as Gravel looks to close in even more with the title-deciding World Finals on the horizon (November 1-4).

HOT SAUCE: Kansas City may be known for BBQ sauce, but the city’s dirt track – Lakeside Speedway – has been all about Hot Sauce recently. The driver who goes by the spicy moniker – Giovanni Scelzi – has been on fire (pun intended) at the 4/10-mile.

Two years ago, Scelzi topped the World of Outlaws at Lakeside for his third career win with The Greatest Show on Dirt and first since joining his current team – KCP Racing. The Fresno, CA native followed up that performance by leading 15 laps before finishing second in the 2022 appearance. Scelzi also topped a Lakeside race this year back in April.

Scelzi and KCP roll into the Kansas weekend amid one of the best rookie campaigns in Series history. They currently reside fourth in points, and if they stay where they’re at, Scelzi will equal Jeff Swindell (1981) and Brad Doty (1982) for the best Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year season.

DOUBLE DONNY: Only one active World of Outlaws competitor has won at both 81 Speedway and Lakeside Speedway, and it comes as no surprise that the driver is Donny Schatz.

The pilot of the Tony Stewart/Curb Agajanian Racing #15 has not only been to Victory Lane at both facilities, he’s done so twice at each. Schatz collected checkered flags at 81 Speedway in 2006 and 2017. At Lakeside, his two victories came four years apart in 2015 & 2019.

The Fargo, ND native will look to continue his winning ways at the Kansas tracks to bounce back from an fortunate weekend at Port Royal.

J-MAC’S BACK: Last year leading into this weekend of racing, James McFadden was still in search of his first victory of the season aboard the Roth Motorsports #83. The Alice Springs, NTR, Australia native finally found Victory Lane in the 65th race of the season at Lakeside to deliver Dennis Roth’s 99th Series win as a car owner.

Fast forward a year, and McFadden’s season looks entirely different than it did a year ago. The 34-year-old enters Kansas having already more than doubled his career World of Outlaws win total. McFadden is currently tied for the third most victories this season (six).

McFadden will look to repeat at Lakeside and become the first since Steve Kinser in 2010-2011 to top back-to-back races at the Kansas City oval. A win at either track this weekend would give him sole possession of the most wins (seven) for an Australia native in a single World of Outlaws campaign.

20 WINNERS?: This past weekend Tyler Courtney and Zeb Wise gave us 19 different Feature winners with the World of Outlaws in 2023, moving the Series within one of a mildly rare milestone.

It’s been six years (2017) since 20 different competitors have topped a main event with The Greatest Show on Dirt. The feat has only been reached nine times in the Series’ 45 seasons of history.

As far as contenders to potentially push the total to 20, a trio of current full-time Series competitors are without a win this year including two-time career Feature winner – Brock Zearfoss.

Other strong competitors without a win this year that are still expected to compete again before the season’s end include Justin Peck, Cory Eliason, Parker Price-Miller, and more.

If you can’t make it to the track this weekend, catch all of the racing live on DIRTVision.



Friday, Oct. 13 at 81 Speedway in Wichita, KS

Saturday, Oct. 14 at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS


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1. 49 – Brad Sweet (8802PTS) 2. 2 – David Gravel (-68PTS) 3. 41 – Carson Macedo (-128PTS) 4. 18 – Gio Scelzi (-442PTS) 5. 1S – Logan Schuchart (-446PTS) 6. 15 – Donny Schatz (-508PTS) 7. 17 – Sheldon Haudenschild (-536PTS) 8. 5 – Spencer Bayston (-742PTS) 9. 3Z – Brock Zearfoss (-1270PTS) 10. 7S – Robbie Price (-1782PTS)