Sc Stenhousejr Bychrisowens
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Chris Owens photo)

Strong Entry List For Southern Sprint Car Shootout

BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Some of the biggest names in sprint car racing are set to join the field for this weekend’s inaugural Germfree Southern Sprint Car Shootout at Volusia Speedway Park.

The event marks the first United Sprint Car Series event at the half-mile track in 18 years.

More than 30 drivers are expected to attend the event, representing 14 states and three countries — the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. The entry list list includes two NASCAR connected entries, the winningest driver in 410 sprint car racing last year, two National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductees, one of the biggest rising stars from New York, several Florida natives and more.

Action begins with a practice session tonight (Jan. 26) and continues with a $3,000-to-win feature on Friday and a $5,000 top prize on Saturday.

• Two of the biggest names in NASCAR will have a presence at the inaugural Germfree Southern Sprint Car Shootout. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will pilot his NOS Energy Drink No. 17, while Christopher Bell will debut his new Bell Kemenah Racing team with 14-year-old prodigy Gavan Boschele.

With his dad helping wrench on the car, Stenhouse will go back to his roots and run his own No. 17 360 sprint car. Before joining NASCAR, Stenhouse was initially set to become a full-time World of Outlaws driver.

Stenhouse has made 14 starts with the United Sprint Car Series and has collected five wins – two in 2020 and three in 2021. 

While Bell has driven his own No. 21 sprint car before, he’s tapped rising-star Gavan Boschele to pilot the car at the Germfree Southern Sprint Car Shootout. The 14-year-old North Carolina native has already established himself on the national scene, winning the inaugural Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series race last May.

• Anthony Marci was the winningest driver in 410 sprint car racing last year, picking up 23 victories overall, including two with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series – his first with the Series.

Already eager for more, Macri has entered the two-day show at Volusia, also giving him prep time for the Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park with the World of Outlaws, Feb. 9-11. 

• Traveling the farthest distance to compete in the Germfree Southern Sprint Car Shootout is Ryan Harrison, of North Hampshire, United Kingdom. The Englishman has been traveling to the United States to race Sprint Cars for the past five years. This year will mark his first time competing at Volusia Speedway Park.

Harrison has purchased a car from NASCAR driver Alex Bowman – which Bowman drove a few times in 2022 – and is having it assembled by legendary sprint car mechanic and engine builder Joe Gaerte.

• Two National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductees are set to join the inaugural event — Terry Gray and Danny Smith.

Gray is the 14-time and defending USCS champion and was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame last year. He was also the last driver to win with the USCS at Volusia – his sole victory at the track.

Smith is the 2021 USCS national champion and 2015 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee. He has five wins overall with USCS, along with 25 All Star Circuit of Champions victories and three World of Outlaws win.

• Of the more than 30 drivers attempting to make the 24-car feature, Tyler Clem already has a spot locked for him. He won the inaugural Battle in Barberville in December at Volusia, giving him an edge on the competition.

The St. Petersburg, Fla., driver is multi-talented, having driven sprint cars, late models and modifieds. He dominated the Battle in Barberville event, leading all 25 laps and claiming his second victory at Volusia. 

• Paulie Colagiovanni, of Cicero, N.Y., gained international attention in 2021 when he finished second with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series at Ransomville Speedway after nearly winning the event.

The 21-year-old, has already established himself as one of the top sprint car drivers in New York, having claimed the 2019 Empire Super Sprint Series championship. In five starts with USCS, he picked up one win in 2021.

• Others of note on the entry list are midget racer Brenham Crouch, Washington sprint car driver Devon Borden, USCS regular Jordon Mallett, Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway competitor Riley Goodno, frequent Florida winner Danny Martin Jr., Davey Franek and Canadians Jordan Poirier and Dylan Westbrook.