Story By: ALEX NIETEN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – CONCORD, NC – Continuing to chase a dream, Logan Schuchart will return to the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car tour in 2024 with Shark Racing.
The Hanover, PA native heads into his 11th season with The Greatest Show on Dirt searching for the elusive World of Outlaws title he’s heard about since he was young.
“I was pretty young when my grandfather (Bobby Allen) was racing, but he’d take me to the races and we’d talk about racing, and I’d hear the stories about him,” Schuchart reflected. “And the World of Outlaws were the best of the best. Since I was a little kid, if I could get to the point where I won World of Outlaws championships, that would mean more to me than going to NASCAR and to win the Daytona 500 or something like that. Sprint Car racing has been a big part of my heart since I was a young kid, and if you could be the best of the World of Outlaws, it doesn’t get much cooler than that.
“That’s where I want to be. That’s part of the decision making that brings me to where I am. I think the Outlaws create the best drivers.”
Since Shark Racing’s debut in 2014 as a team many weren’t sure would make it through the first year, Schuchart and team owner Bobby Allen have constructed a winning pedigree, becoming one of the strongest cars on tour with a wealth of support.
“We’ve got a lot of partners that are going to come back with us in 2024,” Schuchart said. “This is the seventh year that we’ve had Drydene/Duramax. That whole organization, partner has been awesome for us to have them around that long. C&D Rigging is coming back for a fifth season. Doug (Hetrick) and Kevin (Sassaman) have been a big part of Shark Racing and dirt track racing in our area. It’s really neat to be a part of that group of people. Federated Auto Parts is coming back for a second year. It’s really special. I think we’ve got a great group of partners and experience, and we’re hopefully gelling as a team to come back and be better next year.”
Schuchart is coming off a fifth-place finish in the 2023 standings – his fourth time finishing within the top five. The 30-year-old topped six World of Outlaws races this year, including three tracks where he hadn’t previously won – Huset’s Speedway, Williams Grove Speedway and Red River Valley Speedway. Schuchart ended the year tied for the fifth most podium finishes with 15 and locked into the fourth most Dashes with 31 appearances. He also picked up $1 million at the Eldora Million.
“I’m proud of a lot of accomplishments that we had this year,” Schuchart said of 2023. “I worked with two new guys in Brendan Collum and Lonnie Judy. I thought we did a great job. I liked the way our team chemistry was. I thought everybody got along really well. We worked well together and built a new team. I feel like tires had a little bit to do with inconsistency at the beginning of the year. I just think we’re always still learning. We’re trying to get better. Like I said, I really like the guys I’m working with. I feel like the more we grow together and kind of learn things, I feel like we’re going to continue to get better.”
While happy with their performance in 2023, Schuchart hopes next year they can elevate themselves closer to their 2020 level that saw him in championship contention and miss out on the title by only 46 points. He’s confident they aren’t far from where they need to be, and a little more consistency and minimizing the bad nights should make them contenders in 2024.
“There’s definitely some areas we need to improve on if we’re going to make it happen,” Schuchart said. “Consistency is definitely where it needs to come from. There’s tracks we run well at, and there’s others that we seem to be up and down. But most of them, I feel like, we’ve had a successful run somewhere in the past. So, I feel like we can get there. We can be where we want to be and kind of be a better version of what we were in 2020 when it seemed like we were on the podium every other night or running up front.
“It seemed like our bad nights (in 2023) were very bad. We would be very far back in Qualifying, or in the Feature event something happened, DNFs and that kind of thing. I feel like we did a lot better as far as improving in the DNF category this past season. I feel like our mechanical failures went down, but we got in a crash or something happened that led to a bad night. That’s the part we need to clean up.”
Roughly two months of off season remain for Schuchart and the Shark team to prepare for the 2024 season. And when the first green flag flies in Florida, Schuchart will resume the pursuit of a childhood dream – becoming a World of Outlaws champion.
The 2024 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car season begins at Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL) on Feb. 7-10 for the Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals.