Column By: ALEX NIETEN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – BARBERVILLE, FL – Most know Logan Schuchart for his talents behind the wheel with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars. But the Shark Racing driver is trading the steering wheel for the wrenches next week.
Before his 11th season with The Greatest Show on Dirt gets rolling, Schuchart has linked with Elijah Gile to offer guidance and setup help for the Germfree Southern Sprint Car Shootout. The three-night event is slated for Jan. 25-27 at Volusia Speedway Park and boasts the largest purse in United Sprint Car Series (USCS) history.
The opportunity comes via Elijah’s father – Dennis Gile – and his newly launched Racecraft brand that allows aspiring drivers to learn from professionals through a variety of avenues. Dennis is a former NFL quarterback that has coached some of football’s top talents and aims to bring a similar method of training to his first love – dirt track racing.
“I’m going to go down and help maybe guide them and point them in the right direction,” Schuchart explained. “If they want some help or an opinion on certain things, hopefully I can help or lend a hand. I got to watch Chili Bowl a good bit, and I got to watch Elijah there. With what Dennis is trying to do with Racecraft, I think it’s a really cool thing and a way that myself and other drivers can kind of give back and help the next upcoming generation.”
With Schuchart acting as mentor, it’s a chance for Dennis to just be “dad” and watch Elijah learn from a professional in the sport.
“That’s going to be pretty awesome to kind of step back as a dad,” Dennis Gile said. “To be able to sit back and watch someone like [Schuchart] with that much, not only ability of how to drive a race car, but knowledge of how to set it up, where to run on the track, how to set people up to pass them. He’s kind of the complete package when you talk about a complete athlete. He doesn’t only have the athleticism; he has the mindset and the knowledge as well.
“Learning from someone like Logan, like Elijah has, gives him some sort of comfort that when he tells him to do it that he can go out there and do it because he’s seen that guy do that before.”
The experience won’t be entirely new for Schuchart. The 41-time Feature winner with World of Outlaws often calls the shots on his Drydene/Duramax #1S. His mechanical inclination stemmed from his grandfather – the legendary Bobby Allen – and now Schuchart finds himself as a respected veteran with an opportunity to help the next generation.
“Part of it’s kind of weird to me because I feel still fairly young and that I haven’t been around that long, but at the same time I know that I have. I’ve been around the sport for a bit,” Schuchart said. “I still feel like I’m learning every day. I feel like I learn something every time I go to the racetrack and continue to get better. But it’s also very rewarding and feels very good that certain people, especially up and coming racers, can look at me and feel like they can use my guidance as a way to help them improve.”
It’s never too early to start thinking about the future. And that’s another motivating factor in Schuchart offering help to Gile. The 31-year-old is many years away from hanging up the driver’s suit, but that doesn’t mean he can’t begin the earliest preparations for life after the steering wheel. He’s a competitor. And he expects that competitive drive to always follow him.
Right now, that drive has him focused on becoming a World of Outlaws champion in 2024 and will continue to fuel him as a driver for the foreseeable future. And that quest begins two weeks after the Germfree Southern Sprint Car Shootout when The Greatest Show on Dirt heads to Volusia for the Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals (Feb. 7-10).
“It’s something I’ve thought about. At some point in time, I’m not going to be racing anymore, so I’ve thought about what I’m going to be doing after racing,” Schuchart said. “It’s definitely something I could see myself doing. It’s still competing in a way, just maybe not from the driver’s seat. And it’s not something I plan on doing for a long, long time. But at some point in time, maybe that opportunity is there and will work itself out.”