ROSSBURG, Ohio — Logan Schuchart led the final eight laps to score his second-straight BeFour the Crown Showdown victory Friday night at Eldora Speedway.
After a tough opening half to the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series campaign, the Drydene Performance Products No. 1a roared to life over the past month with three wins in the last five races. His stellar stretch has been good enough to propel him into a tie with Sheldon Haudenschild for fifth in the standings.
Schuchart’s third-career win at Eldora came with a little help from lapped traffic, as he pounced on 10-time series champion Donny Schatz on lap 22 and never looked back.
“I thought I could use those holes to my advantage, but I ran through it and I swear the motor felt like it lost two cylinders,” Schuchart said. “I think it ripped two spark plug wires off, so I was worried. I thought David would slide me for sure on that last restart, but we never saw him. Eldora is always in great shape and it was a lot of fun tonight.”
From the jump of the 30-lap NOS Energy Drink Feature, all eyes were pointed to Wayne Johnson, who earned his second pole position of the season.
However, Schatz stole command on the start and cruised away to lead the opening 21 laps aboard the Ford Performance, Carquest No. 15. Schuchart quickly charged from fifth to second, and then all attention turned to an epic battle for third between Johnson, David Gravel, Tyler Courtney, Ayrton Gennetten, and James McFadden.
The first two stoppages of the race were for championship leader Brad Sweet, who suffered a flat right rear on the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts No. 49 not only once, but twice. He went to the work area on lap 11 and lap 22, ultimately crossing the line 19th for his worst finish of the season.
At the front of the field, Schuchart pounced on Schatz thanks to lap traffic and never saw another challenge. A green-white-checkered restart made it interesting, but neither Gravel nor McFadden could pressure the No. 1s as he scooted away to his sixth win of the season and 29th of his World of Outlaws career in a new Triple-X chassis, which he credits for their revitalized success.
“We just didn’t have the summer we wanted,” Schuchart elaborated. ” We felt like at any moment we’d start clicking, and we really felt like Eldora owed us one after July. We left Kings Royal week bummed out with the results considering how good our cars were. I don’t think we were good in the dash tonight, but Ron, Ben, Jack and Bill made some awesome changes, and here we are.”
Australian James McFadden earned a career-best Eldora Speedway result by placing second with a last-lap pass. It also extends his stellar stretch with five podium finishes in the last eight races aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing, Karavan Trailers No. 9.
“That was so much fun,” McFadden said. “I told the boys I couldn’t stop laughing in the car it was that much fun. I grew up watching Eldora and watching guys pound it off the fence like that. A bit of redemption after leading laps at the Kings Royal and stepping on my old feller. This team is really clicking right now.”
Gravel made a late charge at Schuchart for the lead, but the final caution on lap 28 was a caution he didn’t want to see as he slipped back to finish third.
“Track was slick, but it was great,” Gravel noted. “The holes made it interesting. I don’t think I would’ve won the race, but the caution didn’t help with losing second. Overall it’s a good night to rebound after Hanford. I’m excited for Lernerville tomorrow, one of my favorite tracks.”
After leading the opening 21 laps, Donny Schatz fell back to finish fourth. Tyler Courtney, who won the USAC midget feature, finished fifth.
To see full results, turn to the next page.