GATOR HUNTERS: SCHUCHART WINS DIRTCAR NATIONALS FINALE, SWEET CLAIMS BIG GATOR CHAMPIONSHIP

Bobby Allen, DirtCar Nationals, Logan Schuchart, Shark Racing, World of Outlaws -

GATOR HUNTERS: SCHUCHART WINS DIRTCAR NATIONALS FINALE, SWEET CLAIMS BIG GATOR CHAMPIONSHIP

Logan Schuchart wins first Volusia Speedway Park Feature and Brad Sweet wins his second Big Gator

The trophies: A golden gator. And a Big Gator.

Logan Schuchart put an assault on the 27-car field, in front of a packed house, to earn his first win at Volusia Speedway Park and Brad Sweet cruised to his third podium finish in-a-row, awarding him his second Big Gator Championship. Sweet won his first Big Gator in 2016.

“It was a lot of fun,” Sweet said about the event. “I thought we had a lot of different tracks all week. The NAPA car was fast on all the different conditions, but we’ll take that… 2020 is looking to be a strong year for us.”

Trent Gower photo

Schuchart, who had never finished inside the top-five and never led a lap at the half-mile speedway, ended his 2020 DIRTcar Nationals with three top-five finishes in-a-row and 50 laps led. He placed second the first night. Charged from 25th to fifth the second night. And won the DIRTcar Nationals Sprint Car Week finale.

“This place is just so tough,” Schuchart said. “You know, we come here, we learn, I watch videos in the wintertime. We just try to make our cars better as a whole.

“Just kind of studying the racetrack. Notes from the past. Watching the highlight videos from the past few years and what other people’s cars look like compared to ours and maybe what we could have done better to qualify and put us in better positions… First three races were awesome. To pull away with a win really helps our confidence.”

That confidence showed before the conclusion of Sunday night’s 30-lap Feature when the Hanover, PA driver powered his way underneath Daryn Pittman on Lap 2 to take the lead. From there, he never relinquished it, leading the final 29 laps. Although, those on the hunt behind him tested his poise.

Schuchart held a commanding lead on the field but as lap traffic continuously hindered his pace, Pittman closed in. With 10 laps to go, Schuchart got caught behind a slower car coming off Turn 2, allowing Pittman to close within a car length’s distance.

However, once Schuchart found his way back into clean air, Pittman was left having to fend off Cory Eliason and Sweet.

In the closing laps of the race, Eliason found another gear. With five laps to go he charged his way around the outside of Pittman for second and set his sights on Schuchart. Three laps later, with smoke billowing out of his exhaust, Eliason powered his way around Schuchart off Turn 2.

Not willing to forgo his first DIRTcar Nationals win, Schuchart threw a hold-your-breath-slide job on Eliason through Turns 3 and 4 to reclaim the lead.

A large cloud of smoke erupted from Eliason’s motor the next lap, ending his night. The yellow flag flew with one lap to go.

On the restart, with Pittman and Sweet breathing down his neck, Schuchart darted away from the field. No one could touch the red and white Drydene car. Pittman and Sweet had to settle for second and third, respectively.

“Just pissed off at myself,” Pittman said. “I feel like if I would have stayed second… Man, like on that white flag, I couldn’t believe how far back he (Schuchart) came to me and Cory (Eliason). Honestly, I think it was anybody’s race going down the backstretch there on the white flag lap. We were kind of nose to tail. I wish I would have been in second there, I think I would have had a shot.”

Frank Smith photo

Behind the top-three, Sheldon Haudenschild had one of the most impressive runs of the race in his NOS Energy Drink #17 car. For the second time in three races during the DIRTcar Nationals, Haudenschild earned the KSE Hard Charger award, racing his way from 18th to fourth.

Ten-time Series champion Donny Schatz, who opened the 2020 World of Outlaws season with a win found himself having to settle for a seventh-place finish. He finished sixth the night before.

Sweet started the DIRTcar Nationals being presented his 2019 World of Outlaws championship ring and ended it being presented his second Big Gator trophy. He’ll also leave Florida with the Series points lead – two points ahead of Schuchart.

The championship is far out of Schuchart’s head with more than 80 races to go this season. He said his focus is just to win as many races as he can. Nabbing his first golden gator trophy is one he can finally cross of his list.

“I really wanted one of these gators,” Schuchart said. “I’m really glad we got one.”

UP NEXT

The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series on Friday, March 13, will return to Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, TX. Get tickets and more information.

As always, if you can’t make it to the race, you can watch all of the action LIVE on DIRTVision.com.

RESULTS

NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps) – 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart [2][$10,000]; 2. 83-Daryn Pittman [1][$5,500]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet [5][$3,200]; 4. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [18][$2,800]; 5. 2-Carson Macedo [3][$2,500]; 6. 41-David Gravel [7][$2,300]; 7. 15-Donny Schatz [9][$2,200]; 8. 9-James McFadden [16][$2,100]; 9. 7-Shane Stewart [6][$2,050]; 10. 87-Aaron Reutzel [14][$2,000]; 11. 48-Danny Dietrich [12][$1,500]; 12. 1A-Jacob Allen [8][$1,200]; 13. 18-Ian Madsen [17][$1,100]; 14. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [13][$1,050]; 15. 21-Brian Brown [10][$1,000]; 16. 57-Kyle Larson [21][$900]; 17. 2M-Kerry Madsen [15][$800]; 18. 14-Tim Shaffer [24][$800]; 19. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [23][$800]; 20. 15K-Chad Kemenah [19][$800]; 21. 4-Terry McCarl [20][$800]; 22. 7S-Jason Sides [26][$]; 23. 33M-Mason Daniel [27][$]; 24. 26-Cory Eliason [4][$800]; 25. 15H-Sam Hafertepe [22][$800]; 26. J4-John Garvin [11][$800]; 27. 11K-Kraig Kinser [25][$]; Lap Leaders: Daryn Pittman 1, Logan Schuchart 2-30; KSE Hard Charger Award: 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[+14]

Qualifying – 1. 41-David Gravel, 13.351; 2. 2-Carson Macedo, 13.386; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 13.417; 4. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.448; 5. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 13.465; 6. 49-Brad Sweet, 13.478; 7. 7-Shane Stewart, 13.491; 8. 83-Daryn Pittman, 13.515; 9. 39M-Anthony Macri, 13.56; 10. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 13.609; 11. 15H-Sam Hafertepe, 13.629; 12. 9-James McFadden, 13.653; 13. 26-Cory Eliason, 13.662; 14. 21-Brian Brown, 13.664; 15. J4-John Garvin, 13.705; 16. 48-Danny Dietrich, 13.709; 17. 57-Kyle Larson, 13.729; 18. 14P-Parker Price-Miller, 13.744; 19. 15K-Chad Kemenah, 13.747; 20. 13-Paul McMahan, 13.773; 21. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.797; 22. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 13.811; 23. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 13.816; 24. 4-Terry McCarl, 13.821; 25. 5-Brent Marks, 13.832; 26. 14-Tim Shaffer, 13.835; 27. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.856; 28. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 13.9; 29. 18-Ian Madsen, 13.97; 30. 3C-Cale Conley, 13.989; 31. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 14.02; 32. W20-Greg Wilson, 14.166; 33. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 14.184; 34. 33M-Mason Daniel, 14.189; 35. 6-Bill Rose, 14.263

DRYDENE Heat #1 (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer – 1. 41-David Gravel [1]; 2. 26-Cory Eliason [4]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz [6]; 4. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [2]; 5. 18-Ian Madsen [8]; 6. 39M-Anthony Macri [3]; 7. 57-Kyle Larson [5]; 8. 5-Brent Marks [7]; 9. 11K-Kraig Kinser [9]

DRYDENE Heat #2 (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer – 1. 49-Brad Sweet [2]; 2. 2-Carson Macedo [1]; 3. 21-Brian Brown [4]; 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel [6]; 5. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [3]; 6. 14P-Parker Price-Miller [5]; 7. 14-Tim Shaffer [7]; 8. 3C-Cale Conley [8]; 9. 33M-Mason Daniel [9] 

DRYDENE Heat #3 (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer – 1. 7-Shane Stewart [2]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [1]; 3. J4-John Garvin [4]; 4. 2M-Kerry Madsen [6]; 5. 15K-Chad Kemenah [5]; 6. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [8]; 7. 15H-Sam Hafertepe [3]; 8. 7S-Jason Sides [7]; 9. 6-Bill Rose [9]

DRYDENE Heat #4 (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer – 1. 83-Daryn Pittman [2]; 2. 1A-Jacob Allen [1]; 3. 48-Danny Dietrich [4]; 4. 9-James McFadden [3]; 5. 4-Terry McCarl [6]; 6. 13-Paul McMahan [5]; 7. 2C-Wayne Johnson [7]; 8. W20-Greg Wilson [8]

DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash (6 Laps) – 1. 83-Daryn Pittman [2]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [4]; 3. 2-Carson Macedo [1]; 4. 26-Cory Eliason [3]; 5. 49-Brad Sweet [5]; 6. 7-Shane Stewart [6]; 7. 41-David Gravel [7]; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen [8]

Last Chance Showdown (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer – 1. 57-Kyle Larson [6][-]; 2. 15H-Sam Hafertepe [2][-]; 3. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [4][-]; 4. 14-Tim Shaffer [7][-]; 5. 13-Paul McMahan [5][$300]; 6. 39M-Anthony Macri [1][$250]; 7. 7S-Jason Sides [11][$225]; 8. 5-Brent Marks [9][$200]; 9. 2C-Wayne Johnson [8][$200]; 10. 33M-Mason Daniel [14][$200]; 11. 3C-Cale Conley [10][$200]; 12. W20-Greg Wilson [12][$200]; 13. 14P-Parker Price-Miller [3][$200]; 14. 6-Bill Rose [15][$200]; 15. 11K-Kraig Kinser [13][$200]

BIG GATOR CHAMPIONSHIP TOP 10
Rank-Driver-Points
1-Brad Sweet-1234
2-James McFadden-1186
3-Logan Schuchart-1180
4-Daryn Pittman-1180
5-Donny Schatz-1176
6-Carson Macedo-1166
7-Sheldon Haudenschild-1152
8-Cory Eliason-1118
9-Danny Dietrich-1112
10-Kerry Madsen-1112