NISKU, Alberta, Canada, Aug. 24 — Although it was their first visit ever to Castrol Raceway, Shark Racing’s Logan Schuchart and Jacob Allen of Hanover, Pa. each won KSE Hard-Charger Awards in World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series action at the three-eighths-mile dirt oval Friday and Saturday night.
Schuchart posted a sixth-place finish in Friday night’s 30-lap A-main and then improved upon that by two positions when he finished fourth in a similar feature on Saturday night. He started 14th on Saturday, and the 10 spots he improved earned him his third KSE Hard-Charger Award of the season. The fourth-place finish was also the fifth top-five finish so far this year for Schuchart, who like his teammate is a contender for the prestigious Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award.
Twenty-four hours earlier Allen won his second KSE Hard-Charger Award of 2014 for advancing the most positions in Friday’s A-main. He started 19th and finished 14th in his #1A on the first night of the two-night show, called the Oil City Cup. He started 17th and finished 13th in Saturday night’s feature.
Both drivers are sponsored in part by Your Auto Source NAPA Autocare Center, Pell’s Tire Service and Marty Thompson. They drive Shark chassis powered by Don Ott-prepared engines.
Additional support comes from Rich Fogle Custom Pole Buildings, Newman’s Towing & Recovery, CnB Mushroom Farms, Brenneman Painting, Speedway 94, Dirt: The Game, Silpada Jewelry, Lebo Skin Care, DMI, Penske Shocks, ButlerBuilt Seats, Tony Stewart Racing, SR Lubricant Solutions and Mycroleum.
Saturday night recap:
Saturday’s feature got off to a rough start when the driver who started directly in front of Schuchart, Cody Darrah, flipped in Turn 2 before even one lap of the 30-lapper was complete to bring out a red flag.
The pace slowed three more times. Marc Duperron brought out a yellow with two laps down when he got into the wall off Turn 4. There were still only two laps down when Ross Mathewson brought out a yellow when he stopped sideways in Turn 4. The yellow flew for the third time with seven laps down when Kraig Kinser’s right-rear wheel got packed with mud, causing him to slow in Turn 3.
Schuchart made the most of these restarts. He had already advanced from 14th to tenth by the time lap one was complete. In addition to Darrah restarting at the rear, Schuchart passed Travis Rilat, Joey Saldana and Kyle Fedyk right off the bat. He also got by Jason Sides for ninth place working lap two.
Sides didn’t go easily, however, and Schuchart soon found himself back in tenth when Sides repassed him. Kraig Kinser’s problem moved them both up a position. Shortly after that restart Schuchart had advanced to seventh place by lap 10 after he passed Sides and Kerry Madsen. He set his fastest lap of the race on lap nine during that battle.
Schuchart passed David Gravel for sixth about six laps later, and he got fifth working lap 18 by passing Steve Kinser. He got fourth working lap 21 when he got by Brad Sweet. When the checkered dropped on lap 30 he was 0.974 of a second behind the third-place finisher, Paul McMahan, and 2.205 seconds ahead of Sweet. Saturday’s race was won by Donny Schatz, who defeated runner-up Daryn Pittman by 1.045 seconds.
Allen started 17th and he also made the best of his restarts, as he was 14th by the completion of lap three. He ran in 14th or 15th place early, but he was 12th by lap 10. He remained in 12th until Kraig Kinser passed him with five laps remaining to push him back to 13th, which was where he was running at the finish.
Friday night recap:
Schuchart started ninth and finished sixth in Friday’s feature with his #1S.
He fell back two spots initially in the feature, as both Steve Kinser and McMahan snuck ahead of him during the always-chaotic start. He got Kinser back quickly, however, to move back into the top 10 by lap two, and he regained ninth on the next lap by powering by Darrah.
He was only 0.167 of a second behind the eighth-place driver, Madsen, when the first of three caution flags waved with five laps down after Mathewson spun in Turn 4. Schuchart advanced to eighth on the restart when the seventh-place driver, Kraig Kinser, made contact with a guardrail. That bump was costly to the latter because it caused his left-front Hoosier tire to go flat, bringing out the second yellow with seven laps down.
Both Madsen and Schuchart passed McMahan when the action resumed, putting Schuchart in seventh place. He remained in seventh through the halfway point and another yellow with 19 laps down when Dennis MacEachern slowed on the backstretch. Darrah got around Schuchart right after that restart working lap 20 to push him back to eighth, but he regained seventh on the next lap when he passed Darrah back.
He took sixth place working lap 24 when he passed Brad Sweet, and he had one more spirited battle with Pittman before the checkered waved.
Schatz led all 30 laps of that feature. Gravel, Saldana, Madsen and Pittman rounded out the top five. Schuchart was 0.499 of a second behind Pittman at the end, and 0.300 of a second ahead of Sweet, who placed seventh.
Allen was 19th in the feature line-up, but he actually started 18th when Duperron went to the rear voluntarily for the initial start. Allen passed Fedyk on the first lap to move into 17th place, and he got 16th on the next lap. He was 15th by the end of lap five, 14th by the end of lap six, and 13th by the end of lap seven. He stayed in 13th place for most of the race, but rose as high as 12th on lap 17.
He was back to 13th on the next lap, however, and he dropped to 14th working lap 21. He was 2.130 seconds behind the 13th-place driver, Sides, at the finish, and a whole lap ahead of the 15th-place driver, Kelly Miller. Although he’d hoped for a top-10 finish, he was delighted with the award for improving the most positions throughout the race.
The Outlaws now head to the West Coast, making stops in Washington, Oregon and California. The next two races are this coming Friday and Saturday night at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash. The entire schedule can be found on woosprint.com. Free audio coverage of all WoO races is available on Dirtvision.com.
Schuchart is currently 12th in the point standings and Allen is 14th out of the 334 drivers who have earned at least one point so far this year in this series, widely regarded as the top sprint car series in the world.
The team, Schuchart and Allen have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, and Schuchart has a Web site at Shark1s.com. Team apparel may be purchased through the latter Web site.