Macedo is third in the points, 142 behind Sweet but only 14 behind David Gravel. Dietz’s goal for the year was five wins, considering Macedo is still developing at 25 years old.
Traveling to new tracks this year and coursing a full season for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic is also an adjustment, whereas Sweet and Gravel have experience racing for a championship.
“We knew it was going to be a learning curve,” Dietz said.
“If you know anything about Phil, he’s very patient at everything he does,” Bizzle said. “He doesn’t get in any hurries. Carson, he’s young. He was the complete opposite for the past couple years in his [2018 stint with JJR]. He would force a lot of things. He’d tell you the same thing.”
Friday at Williams Grove tested the team before the big night on Saturday. Dietz misplayed the engine package, going too conservative on fuel, and Macedo had to race through the B main after a poor qualifying attempt.
The focus then became homing the balance on the car heading into Saturday, and that’s where Macedo earned hard-charger honors with a 22nd-to-10th drive.
“We knew we were going to have a good car Saturday,” Dietz said.
Macedo righted the ship with a dash appearance and pushed through the inconvenience of starting eighth to place sixth in the six-lap run.
“You went eighth to sixth in six laps, imagine what you can do in 40,” Bizzle reiterated to Macedo and to the team.
For the first 35 laps, Macedo avoided close run-ins to tactfully work his way to second. He kept pace but never overstepped behind leader Logan Schuchart.
That’s when his opportunity to pounce appeared, a slick move through an opening around the top of turns three and four with four laps to go. The winning opportunity came to him, perhaps the voices of reason guiding his steps, and Macedo’s hopefulness powered into the night.
“He’s come a long way,” Dietz said. “The biggest change you’ve seen, or we’ve all seen, is his experience. When to attack, when to hold back. Pick and choose his lines a little more wisely.”
“It means a lot in the World of Outlaws championship,” Macedo said of conquering Williams Grove twice in one year. “I think the No. 41 is ready. I think I’m ready. We’re just trying to stay consistent.”
“The joke between Phil and I when he said you were going to call me was, ‘Hey, man, we’re the carriers of positiveness,’” Bizzle said, “and being patient is going to be famous now.’”