The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will make its highly-anticipated return to US 36 Raceway on Friday, April 7, and 81 Speedway on Saturday, April 8.
The Midwest weekend will mark the Series’ first time back at US 36 since 2020 and its first time back at 81 Speedway since 2017. The return to 81 will also see the track serve as the host of the Jason Johnson Classic for the first time – paying $20,000 to win with the help of FK Rod Ends.
They’ll also kick off the Series’ first Midwest swing of 2023. After 81 Speedway, the World of Outlaws will venture to Missouri’s Federated Auto Parts Raceway (April 14-15), Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway (April 21-22), Indiana’s Tri-City Speedway (April 28) and Tri-State Speedway (April 29) and conclude at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway (May 5-6).
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ANYONE’S TITLE: With three victories in the first five races of the 2023 season, current points leader David Gravel has made it known he’s an early favorite for the title. However, the consistency of the competition behind him has made it far from easy to pick a clear favorite.
Carson Macedo won the opening night of the Low-E Insulation Spring Showdown and has yet to finish outside the top 10. He’s joined by Sheldon Haudenschild and Logan Schuchart as the only three drivers, so far, this season to not finish outside the top 10.
Schuchart already knows what it feels like to hoist a championship trophy this year with his consistency at Federated Auto Part DIRTcar Nationals earning him his second Big Gator title.
James McFadden has also thrown his name into the mix as a potential early contender with his win at Volusia Speedway Park, after struggling throughout most of 2022 to find a victory.
Reigning champion Brad Sweet and 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz had up and down days during the first five races and will look for consistency throughout the Midwest swing.
SCHATZ & SHELDON SEEK REPEATS: Sheldon Haudenschild, of Wooster, OH, brought fans to their feet the last time the World of Outlaws visited US 36 Raceway with a last lap, last corner, pass on Brad Sweet to steal the win. He’s currently the only active driver with a win at the 3/8-mile track.
Like Haudenschild at US 36, 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz is the only active full-time driver with a win at 81 Speedway. He’s won the last two Series races at the track – in 2006 and 2017 – showcasing no matter how long the wait between each visit, the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing driver has a knack for the Kansas track.
ANOTHER CLASSIC FOR ALLEN?: Jacob Allen, of Hanover, PA, kicked off his career year in 2022 with a win at the Jason Johnson Classic. However, last year, the event was at Lake Ozark Speedway.
Allen has proved to be strong on 3/8-mile tracks like 81 Speedway, though. He got his first career win at the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park and won at Lincoln Speedway last year. He’ll aim for that stat to continue at 81 Speedway and pick up the $20,000 payday.
PREVIOUS WINNERS AT US 36 RACEWAY
2020 – Sheldon Haudenschild on Aug. 29
2016 – Joey Saldana on Sept. 17
2009 –Joey Saldana on June 26
2007 –Jason Meyers on May 11
2006 – Jac Haudenschild on May 5
PREVIOUS WINNERS AT 81 SPEEDWAY
2017 — Donny Schatz on May 6
2006 — Donny Schatz on June 30
2005 — Daryn Pittman on April 23
2004 — Danny Lasoski on October 16
1992 — Mark Kinser on June 15
1991 — Sammy Swindell on June 17
1985 — Ron Shuman on June 25
1984 — Steve Kinser on June 26
1983 — Sammy Swindell on June 28
1982 — Sammy Swindell on June 29
1981 — Sammy Swindell on May 8 & July 1
1980 — Sammy Swindell on June 30
If you can’t make it to the tracks, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision.