World of Outlaws Update: Recapping the first half of the season, with visit to Wilmot Raceway just 2 weeks away
WILMOT, Wisc. — July 12, 2017 — The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series visits Wilmot Raceway on Saturday, July 29 for the “Badger 40.” The series recently crossed the halfway point in their nearly 90-race season, which began in Florida in February and wraps up in Charlotte in early November.
A total of 13 different drivers have picked up wins thus far in 2017, including seven who are full-time World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series competitors. Over 220 different drivers have attempted to qualify for at least one event this season.
Donny Schatz, the eight-time and defending series champion, opened the season with a flourish, winning five of the first six races to jump to an early lead in the standings. The North Dakota native, who is still seeking his first win at Wilmot Raceway, leads the series with 13 victories through July 11. Schatz also tops the leaderboard in top-five finishes as he chases his ninth title.
When the series hit the West Coast in March, Schatz continued winning, but David Gravel also stepped up, taking the checkered flag three times and asserting himself among the top-three in the series standings. Brad Sweet and Logan Schuchart also visited victory lane on the West Coast, as did “invaders” Brian Brown and Rico Abreu.
Gravel won three times in April, while Schatz was shut out of victory lane during the month, bringing the top-three in points closer together. Jason Johnson, who won on opening night in Florida, returned to the winner’s circle in April in Texas.
Schatz opened May with a pair of victories and won three total races in the month. Gravel recorded three more wins in May as he continued to close in on his career-high of nine victories last year. Schuchart picked up another two wins in May, while Shane Stewart scored his first two triumphs of the season, including at the famed Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania. Parker Price-Miller became a World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series winner for the first time in his young career in May in Indiana.
A busy month of June began with three different winners in three races, including the Madsen brothers, who became the first-ever Australian-born brothers to win back-to-back Outlaws races. Sweet scored a pair of wins on historic half-mile tracks, first at the Jackson Motorplex in Minnesota and then at the famed Knoxville Raceway in Iowa. Schatz also won at Knoxville.
In one of the most thrilling races of the season on June 13, NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series point leader Kyle Larson made a one-off appearance in the No. 17K for the Stenhouse Jr. /Wood Racing team, passing Daryn Pittman coming to the white flag to steal the win at Eagle Raceway in Nebraska.
As the series headed to the Upper Midwest, Schatz would pick up three more wins, while Stewart added a pair to his tally and Gravel earned his ninth victory. Kraig Kinser broke into the winner’s column for the first time since 2014 last week, while Kerry Madsen picked up two more wins, sweeping the weekend at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin.
The Outlaws are currently in the midst of the traditional “Month of Money,” with several high-paying events on the docket at some of the most historic venues in sprint car racing. Gravel, who has won each of the last two World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series events at Wilmot Raceway, kicked off the “Month of Money” on July 11, with a win in the Brad Doty Classic at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio, which was the 10th win of the season for the young driver, setting a new career-high for him.
The series will race a total of 15 times in the month if July, with the “Badger 40” at Wilmot Raceway serving as the final race of that stretch.
Schatz currently leads the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series standings, with Sweet in second, Gravel in third, Stewart in fourth and Pittman rounding out the top-five. Johnson currently rides sixth, with rookie Sheldon Haudenschild, who has competed at Wilmot Raceway in the past with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions, sitting seventh, Jason Sides is eighth, Kinser is ninth and Schuchart rounds out the current top-10.
Tickets for the Badger 40, featuring the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Wilmot Raceway in Wilmot, Wisc., on Saturday, July 29 and can be purchased online atslspromotions.ticketforce.com or by calling SLS Promotions at 815-344-2023 and at the track on race day.