Column By: BRIAN WALKER / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – ROSSBURG, OH – Dating back to the beginning, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series has always had a special relationship with Eldora Speedway.
Since formed in 1978, The Greatest Show on Dirt has hosted 225 Features at the Rossburg, OH 1/2-mile, the most all-time among tracks. That record will be extended in 2022 with another seven Series races planned at Tony Stewart’s premier facility known as The Big E.
The first of those seven shows comes in one month with a Let’s Race Two doubleheader on Friday and Saturday, May 6-7. The World of Outlaws will be joined by the USAC National Sprint Cars to create a thrilling pair of open-wheel programs at The House That Earl Built.
Seven full-time Outlaws have won with the Series at Eldora, including: Donny Schatz (17 wins), Brad Sweet (3 wins), Logan Schuchart (3 wins), Carson Macedo (2 wins), David Gravel (2 wins), Jason Sides (2 wins), and Sheldon Haudenschild (1 win).
Traditionally, Donny Schatz has ruled Let’s Race Two weekend with seven of his 17 victories coming in the Month of May. The 10-time World of Outlaws champion has swept the weekend on three occasions in 2015, 2018, and 2019. The Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing, Ford Performance, Advance Auto Parts #15 has already collected one win this season, and looks for two more next month at his boss’s race track.
Brad Sweet, a three-time Outlaw winner at Eldora, has earned the bulk of his money with a $50,000 score (2013) and $175,000 payday (2019) in July’s Kings Royal. He’s yet to win at the 1/2-mile in May, but could change that next month as he continues pursuit of a fourth consecutive World of Outlaws championship aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49.
With only two top-five finishes through the first 12 races, Logan Schuchart and Shark Racing haven’t exactly had a dream start to 2022. However, seeing Eldora on the upcoming schedule brings a sigh of relief for the three-time winner, who won the last race at the track last September. The Hanover, PA native hopes recent success will carry the DuraMAX, Drydene Performance Products #1S to its first win of the year.
Carson Macedo made history last year, becoming the first driver since Sammy Swindell in 1997 to win twice at Eldora, twice at Knoxville, and twice at Williams Grove in a single season. The Lemoore, CA 25-year-old has shined on 1/2-mile venues since joining Jason Johnson Racing in 2021 and is currently tied for the most wins this year with two to his credit.
Watertown, CT native David Gravel has won at Eldora in the Roth Motorsports #83, CJB Motorsports #5, and Jason Johnson Racing #41, but now returns with the Big Game Motorsports #2. He’s already a two-time winner in 2022 with both victories coming at other 1/2-mile tracks Volusia (FL) Speedway Park and Perris (CA) Auto Speedway.
The Wild Child Jac Haudenschild is a nine-time World of Outlaws winner at Eldora, and last year his son Sheldon Haudenschild joined him on that list with his first. The Stenhouse Jr. / Marshall Racing, NOS Energy Drink #17 topped the final night of 2021 Let’s Race Two and like Macedo & Gravel, currently owns two wins already in 2022.
Double Down Jason Sides is another former winner at Eldora, topping the 2004 Kings Royal and 2009 4-Crown race.
A handful of other full-time Outlaws like Kasey Kahne, James McFadden, Kraig Kinser, Jacob Allen, and Spencer Bayston have been close to Eldora victory lane, but will still be chasing that first win next month.
Recent Eldora winners that may potentially compete next month include Kyle Larson, Tyler Courtney, Brent Marks, Tim Shaffer, Kerry Madsen, and Greg Wilson, among others.
Following Let’s Race Two, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will have another five races left at Eldora Speedway this season. The Jokers Wild (July 13), the $100,000-to-win Historical Big One (July 14), the Knight Before the Kings Royal (July 15), the $175,000-to-win Kings Royal XXXIX (July 16), and the BeFour the Crowns Showdown (September 23) still remain.