Carson Macedo appeared poised to win Wednesday’s World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars feature in the opening night of the World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. He posted the quickest time in time trials, won the Dash and gapped his opposition at every turn.
A mechanical issue in the closing laps, however, gave Logan Schuchart the inside line to a thrilling – if unexpected – victory.
Macedo led the field to green and pulled away from Schuchart and series points leader Brad Sweet in the early going, before a Lap 7 caution bunched up the field and gave Schuchart and Sweet another chance. Three additional yellow flags had the same outcome – Macedo pulling away from Schuchart and Sweet, but with two laps to go, Macedo’s car began to lose speed.
Schuchart passed him exiting Turn 2 and left Macedo scrambling to nurse his car to the finish, a goal he achieved en route to a runner-up finish ahead of Sweet, Rico Abreu and Giovanni Scelzi.
“After last year, this place owes us one. We fell out of the race while leading twice last year,” Schuchart said. “No matter what setup we throw at this track, our car seems to run well. We had a different setup and it was still fast. I felt like I was going to pass Carson before that last restart. We had a little bit of luck with him running out of fuel, but that’s part of the game. I’ve been in that situation before, so we’ll take them however we can get them.”
Macedo was gracious in defeat.
“The nozzle line broke off and the line was actually gone,” Macedo said. “I really think we would’ve won the feature if that didn’t happen. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Hats off to my team. They did an incredible job all night, they gave me an incredible car and it felt amazing all night. We’ve got a fast race car, and that’s what really matters. I’m excited for the rest of the weekend.”
David Gravel, Jacob Allen, Macedo and Sam Hafertepe Jr. won sprint car heats. Gravel, who finished sixth, enters Thursday’s action trailing Sweet by 22 points in the race for the title.
Shane Clanton passed polesitter Brandon Overton on the first lap of Wednesday’s World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Models feature and was in prime position to score the win after comfortably leading the race’s first 33 laps. A late caution, however, bunched up the field and afforded Mike Marlar with a golden opportunity to overtake Clanton.
Marlar worked the inside line to perfection after the restart and powered by Clanton on the race’s penultimate lap, speeding to a win that surprised Marlar as much as anyone.
“I raced Clanton really hard there at the end,” Marlar said. “I know you hate to see somebody lose them that way, but I did what I had to do to win. It’s awesome to get the weekend off to a good start. We’ve got to capitalize tomorrow and make all the right moves.”
Clanton held on for second ahead of Trent Ivey, Overton and Tim McCreadie.
“I knew when we had another caution I was going to be in trouble there,” Clanton said. “This is the best run I’ve ever had at Charlotte, so it still kind of feels like a win.”
Overton, McCreadie, Jimmy Owens, Dale McDowell, Ivey and Clanton won late model heats. Overton was quickest among two groups of qualifiers.
Unofficial World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars Results (30 Laps):
1. Logan Schuchart; 2. Carson Macedo; 3. Brad Sweet; 4. Rico Abreu; 5. Giovanni Scelzi; 6. David Gravel; 7. Brock Zearfoss; 8. Lance Dewease; 9. Sheldon Haudenschild; 10. Parker Price-Miller; 11. Anthony Macri; 12. Brian Brown; 13. Kyle Reinhardt; 14. Tyler Courtney; 15. Justin Peck; 16. Brent Marks; 17. Spencer Bayston; 18. Cole Macedo; 19. Noah Gass; 20. Kraig Kinser; 21. Sam Hafertepe Jr.; 22. Robbie Price; 23. Jacob Allen; 24. Sye Lynch; 25. Bill Rose; 26. Donny Schatz; 27. Cale Thomas; 28. Michael Kofoid; 29. James McFadden.
Unofficial World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Models Results (40 Laps):
1. Mike Marlar; 2. Shane Clanton; 3. Trent Ivey; 4. Brandon Overton; 5. Tim McCreadie; 6. Dennis Erb Jr.; 7. Jimmy Owens; 8. Daulton Wilson; 9. Max Blair; 10. Tanner English; 11. Ricky Weiss; 12. Dale McDowell; 13. Hudson O’Neal; 14. Josh Richards; 15. Gordy Gundaker; 16. Michael Brown; 17. Ryan Gustin; 18. Kyle Strickler; 19. Brent Larson; 20. Dustin Mitchell; 21. Chris Madden; 22. Cla Knight; 23. Tyler Erb; 24. Ross Robinson; 25. Boom Briggs; 26. Carson Ferguson; 27. Dale Hollidge.