Quick Hits: World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series at River Cities Speedway
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — August 22, 2016 — The Second Leg of the Gerdau Northern Tour is this week for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The event will mark the second and final stop of the season for the series at the always thrilling high-banked bullring. Donny Schatz will be looking to sweep both ends of Gerdau Northern Tour for the second consecutive year. This edition of Quick Hits sets the stage for the Second Leg of the Northern Tour at River Cities Speedway on Friday, August 26.
Adding on the wins
Donny Schatz has a three-race wins streak with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at River Cities Speedway. After sweeping both races at the track in 2015, Schatz was victorious in the First Leg of the Gerdau Northern Tour back in June. He also won at the track last weekend in an NLRA late model event.
The seven-time and defending series champion has an impressive resume at River Cities Speedway with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. In 18 starts, Schatz has seven wins and has finished in the top-10 in all 18 races, with 16 of those being top-fives. Schatz’s worst finish at the track is a pair of sevenths. He has finished first or second in 10 of his last 11 starts at the track. Schatz is the only driver that has competed in all previous 18 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series races at River Cities.
Joey Saldana has a pair of wins at River Cities Speedway in his career. The veteran driver has 15 top-10 finishes in 16 starts. Saldana won the inaugural event for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at River Cities Speedway in 2007 and returned to the winner’s circle in 2010. In his first nine starts at the track, he finished fifth or better in each and every one. Saldana is closing in on 100 career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, as he sits currently at 98.
Small track prowess
David Gravel, who is having a breakout season this year with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, has been one of the fastest drivers on smaller tracks this year. He has won on “short tracks” at Thunderbowl Raceway in California, Tri-State Speedway in Indiana, Wilmot Raceway in Wisconsin and Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Missouri. Gravel finished a career-best second at River Cities Speedway in June. He has a career-high seven wins thus far in 2016 and is currently second in points.
Even though he has won at River Cities Speedway, Daryn Pittman is quick to point out that it is not one of the tracks he traditionally runs the best at. He does, though, have seven top-10 finishes in nine starts at the venue. Pittman, who has seven wins this season, finished fifth at River Cities Speedway back in June in the First Leg of the Gerdau Northern Tour.
Shane Stewart worked his way from the 11th starting position to finish fourth in June at River Cities Speedway. For the Oklahoma native, it was his second straight top-five finish at the track and the third of his career. Stewart, who is just outside of the top-five in points, has five wins thus far in 2016, driving for the Larson Marks Racing team, which is co-owned by NASCAR driver Kyle Larson.
Paul McMahan picked up another top-10 finish at River Cities Speedway back in June. This time around, he powered his way from the 16th starting spot to finish seventh. In 14 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series starts at the track, McMahan has 12 top-10 finishes. He finished a career-best second at River Cities in 2015.
Gaining on it
Brad Sweet has finished sixth or better four times at the high-banked bullring. A pair of fourth-place showings mark Sweet’s career-best finishes at River Cities. He was fastest in time trials at River Cities in June and leads the series with 11 Quick Time Awards in 2016. The Californian has won seven times this season, which is tied for second-most in the series. After leading the series standings for the first four-plus months of the season, Sweet is currently third, less than five markers out of the second spot.
Jason Johnson, who scored the biggest win of his career recently, claiming the $150,000 Knoxville Nationals, has made just two starts at River Cities Speedway in his career. He ran fourth in his debut at the track last year, after starting 16th. Johnson started fifth in June at the track, but had trouble and was not able to finish the 40-lap event.
Logan Schuchart, who was still in search of his first World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series win, when the series visited River Cities Speedway back in June, led the first 20 laps of the 40-lap main event, before finishing third. Schuchart has since picked up that elusive first win, with it coming at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin. Schuchart has finished in the top-10 in two of his last three starts at River Cities Speedway. The 24-year-old is part of the two-car Shark Racing teammate, with Jacob Allen his teammate, also on the tour again in 2016. Allen was second-fastest in time trials at River Cities in June.
Plenty of starts
Jason Sides has made 23 starts in a 410-winged sprint car at River Cities Speedway, though not all of those have come with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. He made his first start at the track in 1999 with the NCRA. Sides also raced at River Cities Speedway with the Gumout Series and NST. The fan favorite has 13 top-10 finishes in his career at the track, including a runner-up finish in 2011, which is his best finish to date at the track. Sides ran eighth in June at River Cities.
A trio of appearances
Greg Wilson made his third start at River Cities Speedway in June. The leading contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award made his first trip to the high-banked bullring in 2011, finishing 11th. Wilson finished a career-best seventh at the track in 2013. The Ohio native has one win this season, which gives him two-career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series wins.
Clyde Knipp, who is also contending for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, made his first visit to River Cities Speedway in June. The teenager from Missouri just graduated from high school in May and embarked on the full World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series schedule as his form of higher education.
Tickets for the Second Leg of the 2016 Northern Tour for the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series events at River Cities Speedway can be purchased in advance online or by calling 815-344-2023, as well at the River Cities Speedway track office and ticket outlets around the Grand Forks area and at the track on race day.
For more information, visit our Event Page.