|John Stivason Photo|
Okay, so Donny Schatz has wrapped up another title before the season comes to an end at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Donny Schatz gonna Donny Schatz! However, there’s some good news to help keep your Sprint Car viewing intriguing and engaging this weekend. As it turns out, there’s so much talent on hand, that it’s kind of a wide open affair at the Annual World of Outlaws World Finals.
Sure enough, both Schatz and Jason Meyers (we miss thee), each swept the feature wins in previous years, and Schatz is coming fresh off a 51,000 win in the Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal on Sunday. But his dominance can be mitigated by track conditions, pill draw and the fact that there’s always a stout field on hand. Plus, this track has been one that normally lends itself to racy conditions that are not always topside dominant.
Remember the 2012 Saturday night battle between Paul McMahan and Dale Blaney as the two drivers traded slide jobs on seemingly every lap in the waning moments with Blaney emerging as the victor (riding the topside nonetheless). It’s a tough field that presents itself to fans this weekend and the fact that Time Trials occur one and two days before the racing programs, it’s an easy setup to miss. Fans can pretty much tell who made anticipated adjustments better from the moment the heats take the green flag on Friday and Saturday.
But the bottom line for this weekend, is that there’s at least 30 drivers out there in a 50 plus car field that are looking for at least one more win in 2018 and can get the job done, and they’re hungry for it. Whether it’s to look good for a potential new ride, to finish the year on a high note, or simply for pride’s sake
So, who should you be looking out for in Victory Lane this coming weekend? Here’s a small sampling of drivers that should surprise nobody if they should be holding trophies when all is said and done in the Queen City.
|John Stivason Photo|
He’s got a feature win at The Dirt Track at Charlotte and has stalked the leaders through the field in recent years. Schuchart definitely knows his way around the place, it’s a track that suits his style and he’s going to be a tough out here.
Brown struck pay dirt at Charlotte in 2014 and has been fast of late, setting a track record at Port Royal on Sunday afternoon. There’s nothing in the field he hasn’t seen or overcome and the timing could be perfect for another victory this weekend.
Don’t look at us like that. It can be done by a 16 year old. It was done by a 16 year old at Williams Grove with just as stout a field on hand. Scelzi’s the goods. And speed might be all that he needs here should he time well and be able to avoid being bogged down in lapped traffic with the lead.
This would be the Connecticut Yankee in the Outlaw Court’s swan song with CJB Motorsports, and you can bet that Gravel will be looking to go out on a winning note. He muscled his way to the win over Schatz last year and fans know that he’s more than capable. 2018 hasn’t gone his way and has been a struggle at times, and that happens in the best of relationships between drivers, crew and ownership. But there’s a pride factor at work with this being his final two races with this team. Don’t count him out.
“The Big Cat” has had a very nice second half to 2018 to say the least and has been in the hunt for the top spot on the podium in almost every race lately it seems. He led the 2017 Memorial Day weekend until Schuchart ran him down in lapped traffic and knows his way around the place. Expect him to figure into the podium on both nights perhaps.
|Rick Rarer Photo|
Okay, looking for a dark horse? Look no further. And no, we’re not just saying that because we’re pretty much from the Pittsburgh, PA vicinity. Shaffer’s record at The Dirt Track over the years has not been as legendary as others. But, it’s been that kind of year for “The Steel City Outlaw”. The kind of year where he’s at his best when there’s a lot at stake. Okay, so there’s only $12,000 on the line each night, but there’s a ton of eyes on it in the stands and on pay per view. It’s a big stage and on big stages, he’s been at his best in 2018.
Keep Eyes On These Guys
Paul McMahan- Has numerous wins at The Dirt Track including a World Finals win and would love to finish the year on a good note.
Joey Saldana- See Paul McMahan. They both love this place.
Greg Wilson- He’s got a win at Charlotte on his portfolio.
Okay, so if you’re going to place bets in Vegas, put some bucks on Schatz, not much of a return, but it’s hard to resist. But when you spread it around, put some on these guys above. They’re more than capable of taking the win on either night. Enjoy the shows!!
Check out our World Finals Late Model Preview Here
Put your picks in to our World Finals Pick’Em Contest Here:
Current World of Outlaw Point Standings (Top 10)
1. Donny Schatz- 9574
2. Brad Sweet- 9296 (-278)
3. David Gravel- 9028 (-546)
4. Daryn Pittman- 9004 (-570)
5. Shane Stewart- 8892 (-682)
6. Logan Schuchart- 8738 (-836)
7. Sheldon Haudenschild- 8694 (-880)
8. Ian Madsen- 8444 (-1130)
9. Brent Marks- 8244 (-1330)
10. Kraig Kinser- 7976 (-1598)
World Finals Sprint Car Feature Winners
2017: Donny Schatz and David Gravel
2016: Jason Johnson and Donny Schatz
2015: Dusty Zomer and Joey Saldana
2014: Daryn Pittman and Brian Brown
2013: Donny Schatz and Paul McMahan
2012: Sammy Swindell and Dale Blaney
2011: Donny Schatz won both Friday and Saturday features
2010: Jason Meyers won both Friday and Saturday features
2009: Jason Meyers and Joey Saldana
2008: Brooke Tatnell and Donny Schatz
2007: Jason Meyers and Steve Kinser