Story By: BRIAN WALKER / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – WILMOT, WI – Jason Johnson Racing’s latest act is proof that you can’t keep a good team down.
Last week, the Albaugh #41 suffered their first DNF of the 2022 season when Carson Macedo went flipping wildly down the backstretch at Cedar Lake Speedway. It was a moment of frustration as they tumbled down the point standings at a crucial time of the season.
This week, on the other side of Wisconsin, Macedo and the JJR #41 were untouchable. The car was perfect, and the driving was impeccable. The Lemoore, CA native led the 38 final laps of the Larry Hillerud Memorial Badger 40 at Wilmot Raceway and rode off into the sunset with an impressive margin of victory at 3.706-seconds.
A seventh win of the season not only bumps the 26-year-old up to 27th on the World of Outlaws NOS Energy DrinkSprint Car Series All-Time Win List, but it also brings him much closer to Brad Sweet and Sheldon Haudenschild in what is shaping up to be a historic title fight.
“Philip Dietz, Clyde Knipp, and Nate Repetz gave me probably my best car of the year tonight,” Macedo mentioned. “I felt like I could handle lap traffic anywhere from the top to the bottom, and never miss a beat. I hope we can keep clicking off these wins. I’m really confident right now, and this is a good time to feel good with all the money on the line this month.”
Stealing command of the lead on Lap 3, Macedo mastered the third and final restart of the race with a turn three slider on Donny Schatz. Along with a fiery James McFadden, the 10-time champion kept the young buck on his toes throughout the opening half of the 40-lapper, but Macedo turned up the wick and left ’em all in his dust by the time the cross flags flew.
“I tried to pace myself and run a smart race this time,” Macedo added. “I’ve been leading here at the white flag before and spun out. That was embarrassing. I was trying my best to make no mistakes. I thought I saw a blue nose wing [McFadden] at the end, but caught my breath when I realized how big the lead was.”
Although Saturday’s show was the 10th appearance at Wilmot (WI) by The Greatest Show on Dirt, it was the first labeled as the Larry Hillerud Memorial. The Wisconsin staple was a vital member of SLS Promotions, the team behind the Badger 40, and sadly lost his life last month.
“Larry was incredible man,” Macedo noted with the Hillerud family in attendance. “He had these tracks on point every time we rolled into town, and man he loved the sport so much. I hate that he’s not here. It’s sad to realize that, but it’s also an honor to win this race in his honor.”
For the third time in three weeks, James McFadden was a runner-up finisher with the World of Outlaws. The reigning Rookie of the Year experienced a rollercoaster of emotions through only the first lap on Saturday. He started outside pole, was penalized for jumping the initial start, then rocketed from fourth-to-first in one corner to take the lead, only for the red flag to negate his one shining moment.
Ultimately, the Roth Motorsports #83 ended up P2 in pursuit of that elusive 99th career win for car owners Dennis & Teresa Roth. The Alice Springs, NT, AUS native will take his bid for a first World of Outlaws win this season to Ohio this week with five huge nights looming.
“We’ve got speed, but we’ve got to get this thing in Victory Lane,” McFadden said. “I was behind the eight-ball from the start of that one. You just can’t let guys like these get ahead of you, it makes your job too hard. We’re close and this is where we need to be. We’ve got some really big races coming up and hopefully we can get that win.”
After controlling the opening two laps, former Wilmot winner Donny Schatz rounded out the podium in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing, Ford Performance, Advance Auto Parts #15. The 10-time Series champion now turns his attention to the “Month of Money,” a fabled 30-day span with three six-figure paydays available for Sprint Car racers.
“We’ve got some work to do,” Schatz admitted. “We had a chance and led some laps in the beginning, but then those guys just flat-out drove away from us. We were too free near the end, and we haven’t been battling that much. We’ve got a big stretch coming up, and now is the time to figure it out.”
A pair of championship counterparts closed out the top-five on Saturday with Brad Sweet finishing fourth in the Kasey Kahne Racing #49 and David Gravel grabbing fifth in the Big Game Motorsports #2.
Finishing out the top-10 at Wilmot was Ohio’s Sheldon Haudenschild, Wisconsin’s Scotty Thiel, Washington’s Kasey Kahne, and Pennsylvania natives Brock Zearfoss and Jacob Allen.
NOS NOTEBOOK (WILMOT RACEWAY, 7/9/22)
Carson Macedo’s 24th career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win brings him into a tie with fellow left-coaster Ron Shuman (Tempe, AZ) for 27th on the All-Time Win List. It’s his 18th win aboard the Jason Johnson Racing #41, bringing him within one of tying David Gravel (19) for most World of Outlaws win with the team.
Brad Sweet started the night with his fourth consecutive QuickTime Award at Wilmot, circling the 1/3-mile track in 12.580 seconds. He’s now topped My Place Hotels Qualifying on 64 occasions throughout his World of Outlaws career.
Winning NOS Energy Drink Heat Races was Brad Sweet (207th career), James McFadden (26th career), Kasey Kahne (17th career), and Carson Macedo (72nd career). Earning the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash win was Scotty Thiel of nearby Sheboygan, WI for the first time in his career.
Rookie of the Year contender Noah Gass of Mounds, OK returned to racing after a violent crash at Huset’s sidelined him for a week. The 18-year-old quickly got back to business, driving from 21st-to-12th and claiming his second KSE Hard Charger Award.
UP NEXT (Tues-Sat) – The busiest stretch of the season awaits the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series with five races over five nights this coming Tuesday-Saturday in Ohio. It starts with the $15,000/Win Brad Doty Classic at Attica Raceway Park on Tuesday, and then leads into four straight shows at Eldora Speedway. Wednesday’s Jokers Wild takes us to Thursday’s $100,000/Win Historical Big One, and then Friday’s The Knight Before leads into Saturday’s $175,000/Win Kings Royal.
NOS Energy Drink Feature Results (40 Laps) – 1. 41-Carson Macedo [$10,000]; 2. 83-James McFadden [$6,000]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz [$3,500]; 4. 49-Brad Sweet [$2,800]; 5. 2-David Gravel [$2,500]; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$2,300]; 7. 73-Scotty Thiel [$2,200]; 8. 9-Kasey Kahne [$2,100]; 9. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$2,050]; 10. 1A-Jacob Allen [$2,000]; 11. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,600]; 12. 20G-Noah Gass [$1,400]; 13. 3N-Jake Neuman [$1,200]; 14. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$1,100]; 15. 6-Bill Rose [$1,050]; 16. 5J-Jeremy Schultz [$1,000]; 17. 23-Russel Borland [$1,000]; 18. 10V-Matt Vandervere [$1,000]; 19. 25-Danny Schlafer [$1,000]; 20. 68-Dave Uttech [$1,000]; 21. 5-Spencer Bayston [$1,000]; 22. 7S-Robbie Price [$1,000]; 23. 79-Blake Nimee [$1,000]; 24. 4B-Scott Biertzer [$1,000]. Lap Leaders: Donny Schatz 1-2, Carson Macedo 3-40. KSE Hard Charger Award: 20G-Noah Gass[+9]