Hartford Prepares for Battle of Michigan

World of Outlaws Invades Hartford Speedway on July 28 for the “Battle of Michigan”

By: Tony Veneziano

HARTFORD, MI — July 18, 2017 — The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series will hit the track at Hartford Speedway on Friday, July 28 for the “Battle of Michigan.” The event will mark the series eighth overall visit to the track and first since the surface was re-configured during this past off-season to a three-eighths-mile. It will also be the series only visit of the year to the state of Michigan.

Shane Stewart won at Hartford Speedway last year on the former half-mile configuration, after starting on the outside of the front row. The veteran driver took the lead from eight-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz on the start. Stewart would hold off Schatz in the 25-lap race to score his first win at the track and his first in the state of Michigan with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.

Joey Saldana is the only driver who has competed in all eight previous World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series events at Hartford Speedway. The second-generation driver was a winner at the track in 2011. Saldana has eight top-10 finishes in the same number of starts at Hartford. It is unknown at this time if Saldana will be competing in the “Battle of Michigan.”

Schatz has made four main event starts at Hartford Speedway, recording four top-five finishes. The runner-up finish for the North Dakota native last year was his third second-place run at the track, as he chases his first win at the now-three-eighths-mile. Schatz is a former winner in the state of Michigan at both I-96 Speedway and Berlin Raceway.

Paul McMahan has made seven starts at Hartford Speedway with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series in his career. The veteran driver has five top-10 finishes, including a career-best fourth-place effort in his debut at the venue back in 1996.

Daryn Pittman has three top-10 finishes in four starts at Hartford, including a fifth-place performance last year. Jason Sides, who is currently 10th in points, has made a handful of starts at Hartford in his career.

David Gravel, who sits third in points and already has 10 wins this season, established a new track record in time trials last season at Hartford Speedway. The Connecticut native has finished in the top-10 in both of his starts with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at the track.

Last year, Brad Sweet, who is second in points, Jason Johnson, who has a pair of wins this season, Logan Schuchart, who has three victories thus far in 2017, Greg Wilson, Jacob Allen and Clyde Knipp all made their first World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series starts at Hartford. Johnson and Wilson previously had competed at the track with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

Sheldon Haudenschild from Ohio and Brent Marks from Pennsylvania are contending for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season. Haudenschild won at Hartford Speedway last season with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions, while Marks will be making his debut at the now-three-eighths-mile.

Sweet has been keeping pace with Schatz in the standings and is less than 70 point behind as he seeks his first World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series championship. The Californian has four wins, including high-paying events at the Jackson Motorplex in Minnesota and the famed Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Texas. Sweet and Gravel are tied for the series lead in top-10 finishes.

Tickets for the “Battle of Michigan,” featuring the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series at Hartford Speedway in Hartford, Michigan on Friday, July 28 can be purchased online at or by calling SLS Promotions at 815-344-2023 and at the track on race day.

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