March 20, 2024 | By Alex Nietem, WOO Sprint Car PR

Big O, Kennedale Welcome World of Outlaws for the First Time

Photo by Trent Gower

ENNIS, Texas — The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars are heading from one Texas weekend to another.

After a thrilling two nights at Cotton Bowl Speedway, a pair of new tracks await The Greatest Show on Dirt. A Big O Speedway (Ennis, TX) visit is slated for Friday, March 22, and Kennedale Speedway Park (Kennedale, TX) takes center stage on Saturday, March 23. The two will become the 12th and 13th Texas tracks visited by The Greatest Show on Dirt as the rich Sprint Car Racing tradition of the “Lone Star State” grows.

This weekend will mark the first time since March of 2021 that the World of Outlaws have checked off two new facilities on the same weekend when Sheldon Haudenschild topped the first trip to Magnolia Motor Speedway and David Gravel triumphed at Dirt on the Rev.

Big O and Kennedale will also be the final Texas appearances of 2024 for the World of Outlaws before the Series begins to invade the Midwest.

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Let’s look at the top stories to watch:

LEADER IN THE CLUBHOUSE: A new driver arose atop the standings after Cotton Bowl, and his name is Giovanni Scelzi.

The Fresno, CA native continued his early season hot streak with KCP Racing by posting a third and a victory. He entered the weekend 12 markers behind Gravel for the top spot and left 16 markers ahead. It’s the first time in his career that the 22-year-old has led the Series standings. Scelzi has made every Toyota Racing Dash this season, finished seventh or better in every race, and owns an average finish of fourth. He and Donny Schatz are the only drivers with top 10s in all seven races to this point.

Like many others in the field, Scelzi will be getting his first look at Big O and Kennedale this weekend. He’ll look for solid debuts at both Texas tracks to maintain his early points lead.

BACK ON TRACK: After some struggles to start 2024, Carson Macedo and the Jason Johnson Racing crew are beginning to resemble the powerhouse team that they established themselves as upon partnering in 2021.

They kicked off the campaign with four straight finishes of 12th or worse. Since then it’s been an entirely different story. The last three races have seen the JJR #41 finish third, second, and eighth along with leading 20 Feature laps on the night Macedo finished second. The team continues to be led by owner/crew chief Philip Dietz and added Robby McQuinn and Adam Zimmerman to fill voids left by Clyde Knipp and Nate Repetz. And the new nucleus looks to be gelling.

Macedo will make his first laps at both Big O and Kennedale this weekend. The Lemoore, CA driver is the most recent to top a World of Outlaws debut at a new track. He claimed the Series inaugural visit to Minnesota’s Ogilvie Raceway last June.

7 RACES, 7 WINNERS: The early season parity pattern continued over the weekend at Cotton Bowl. Brent Marks and Gio Scelzi gave us seven different winners in the first seven races of 2024. The stretch has put the World of Outlaws on the brink of history. This year is only the second time the season has started with seven different winners, and the record to begin the season is eight in 2015.

It’s a mark that could be reached this weekend and even potentially passed. Two drivers that stand out as favorites to continue the trend are Logan Schuchart and Carson Macedo. The two have combined for 76 career World of Outlaws wins but each is still in search of their first of 2024.

Other full-time Series drivers that are former winners with the Series – Buddy Kofoid, Brock Zearfoss, Bill Balog, and Kraig Kinser – are still seeking their first wins of the season, too. And with a strong crop of locals and invaders expected this weekend, many competitors on the roster could add their name to the list of 2024 winners.

ROOKIE ROLL: It hasn’t taken long for Bill Balog to get comfortable on the World of Outlaws tour. The “North Pole Nightmare” started the year with a top 10 before experiencing engine troubles at DIRTcar Nationals but has since started to piece together a solid stretch.

Balog heads to Big O and Kennedale carrying the momentum of three consecutive top 10 finishes. Two weeks ago he came home 10th at Volusia. At Cotton Bowl, qualifying toward the front led to Dash births both nights resulting in finishes of eighth and seventh. It’s the first time in Balog’s career he’s strung together three straight top-10s with The Greatest Show on Dirt.

Big O and Kennedale are set to be the second and third new tracks that Balog will visit with the World of Outlaws this year. He’s already proven he can quickly adapt to new facilities. This past weekend was his first time laying eyes on Cotton Bowl.

TEXAN TIME?: The last 2024 weekend in Texas for the World of Outlaws means the last opportunity for the “Lone Star State” contingent to top The Greatest Show on Dirt. Like last weekend, the locals will be led by Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Aaron Reutzel.

Hafertepe has already been to Kennedale Victory Lane in 2024, topping an American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) Elite Outlaw 410 race in early March. He showed speed on night one at Cotton Bowl last Friday, but a crash ended his weekend early.

Reutzel looked as if he may contend for Friday’s victory at Cotton Bowl after setting Simpson Quick Time, but a troublesome Heat Race derailed his night. Even with the problematic Heat, the Clute, TX native still rallied with a 22nd to fifth drive in the Feature. Reutzel doesn’t have any Big O laps, but he’s competed at Kennedale with ASCS.

They’re expected to be joined by plenty more Texas talents including Brenham Crouch (Lubbock, TX), Chase Randall (Waco, TX), John Ricketts (Burleson, TX), Blaine Baxter (Liberty Hill, TX), and more.


THIS WEEKEND AT A GLANCE

WHEN AND WHERE


Friday, March 22 at Big O Speedway in Ennis, TX
Saturday, March 23 at Kennedale Speedway Park in Kennedale, TX


ON THE INTERNET

World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
X – @WorldofOutlaws
Instagram – @WoOSprint
Facebook – Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsSprintCarSeries
YouTube – Youtube.com/WorldofOutlaws
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CURRENT CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (7/84 Races):

1. Giovanni Scelzi – KCP Racing #18 (996 PTS)
2. David Gravel – Big Game Motorsports #2 (-16 PTS)
3. Donny Schatz – Tony Stewart/Curb Agajanian Racing #15 (-18 PTS)
4. Logan Schuchart – Shark Racing #1S (-34 PTS)
5. Carson Macedo – Jason Johnson Racing #41 (-84 PTS)
6. Sheldon Haudenschild – Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing #17 (-94 PTS)
7. Michael Kofoid – Roth Motorsports #83 (-126 PTS)
8. Bill Balog – B Squared Motorsports #17B (-140 PTS)
9. Brock Zearfoss – Brock Zearfoss Racing #3Z (-168 PTS)
10. Brent Marks – Murray Marks Motorsports #19 (-176 PTS)


NOS ENERGY DRINK FEATURE WINNERS (7 Drivers):

1 Win – Brad Sweet, David Gravel, Tyler Courtney, Sheldon Haudenschild, Donny Schatz, Brent Marks, Giovanni Scelzi


FEATURE LAPS LED (11 Drivers):

40 Laps – Giovanni Scelzi
25 Laps – Brad Sweet, David Gravel
24 Laps – Rico Abreu
20 Laps – Carson Macedo
14 Laps – Sheldon Haudenschild
13 Laps – Anthony Macri, Michael Kofoid
12 Laps – Donny Schatz
3 Laps – Brent Marks
1 Lap – Tyler Courtney


SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS QUICKTIME AWARDS (6 Drivers):

2 Quick Times – Brent Marks
1 Quick Time – Landon Crawley, Brian Brown, Michael Kofoid, Aaron Reutzel, Giovanni Scelzi


HEAT RACE WINNERS (14 Drivers):

3 Heat Wins – Rico Abreu, Sheldon Haudenschild, Brent Marks
2 Heat Wins – Giovanni Scelzi, Tyler Courtney, David Gravel, Michael Kofoid
1 Heat Win – Corey Day, Justin Peck, Brian Brown, Bill Balog, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Brock Zearfoss, Logan Schuchart


TOYOTA DASH APPEARANCES (20 Drivers):

7 Dashes – Giovanni Scelzi
4 Dashes – David Gravel, Rico Abreu, Brent Marks
3 Dashes – Tyler Courtney, Brian Brown, Landon Crawley, Sheldon Haudenschild
2 Dashes – Brad Sweet, Buddy Kofoid, Bill Balog, Donny Schatz, Carson Macedo, Logan Schuchart
1 Dash – Anthony Macri, Justin Peck, Zeb Wise, Corey Day, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Brock Zearfoss


MICROLITE LAST CHANCE SHOWDOWN WINS (4 Drivers):

1 LCS – Austin McCarl, Bill Balog, Corey Day, Kasey Kahne


KSE HARD CHARGER AWARDS (5 Drivers):

2 Hard Chargers – Carson Macedo, Logan Schuchart
1 Hard Charger – Donny Schatz, Aaron Reutzel, Jace Park


PODIUM FINISHES (11 Drivers):

3 Podiums – Brad Sweet
2 Podiums – David Gravel, Tyler Courtney, Rico Abreu, Sheldon Haudenschild, Donny Schatz, Carson Macedo, Giovanni Scelzi, Brent Marks
1 Podium – Justin Peck, Anthony Macri


TOP 10 FINISHES (24 Drivers):

7 Top 10s – Donny Schatz, Gio Scelzi
6 Top 10s – David Gravel, Logan Schuchart
4 Top 10s – Tyler Courtney, Bill Balog, Brent Marks, Buddy Kofoid, Sheldon Haudenschild
3 Top 10s – Anthony Macri, Brad Sweet, Rico Abreu, Carson Macedo
2 Top 10s – Brian Brown
1 Top 10 – Justin Peck, Kasey Kahne, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Zeb Wise, Corey Day, Cory Eliason, Landon Crawley, Aaron Reutzel, Brock Zearfoss, Jacob Allen


2024 WORLD OF OUTLAWS SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE & WINNERS:

No. / Day, Date / Track / Location / Winner (Total Wins)

1. Wed, Feb 7 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Brad Sweet (1)
2. Thurs, Feb 8 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / David Gravel (1)
3. Fri, Feb 9 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Tyler Courtney (1)
4. Sat, Feb 10 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Sheldon Haudenschild (1)
5. Mon, March 4 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Donny Schatz (1)
6. Fri, March 15 / Cotton Bowl Speedway / Paige, TX / Brent Marks (1)
7. Sat, March 16 / Cotton Bowl Speedway / Paige, TX / Giovanni Scelzi (1)

For the full 2024 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car schedule, CLICK HERE.

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