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Noah Gass logs laps in his No. 20G sprint car at Volusia Speedway Park. (Paul Arch photo)

Noah Gass: Taking It One Race At A Time

While the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series may be one of the toughest, most formidable dirt-track tours in the country, there is still an element of community to be found among its competitors.

All bets are off when the drivers roll their sprint cars onto the dirt to chase a checkered flag, but off-the-track, there is a certain camaraderie subtly displayed. This testimony has especially rung true for series sophomore Noah Gass, as he’s spent the past year learning the ropes as a full-time Outlaw.

Since making his debut in 2021 and officially signing onto the roster last season, the 19-year-old has noticed series regulars both want and expect the other Outlaws to be at their best.

“They don’t like to see Outlaws struggle. They want to see the Outlaws run top 12,” Gass said. “They don’t want to see Brent Marks or Rico Abreu come in and win. They want to beat them, and they want every other Outlaw to beat them.”

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Noah Gass. (Paul Arch photo)

Whether it’s Outlaw pride, genuine concern or personal friendship, Gass has willingly accepted advice from the more seasoned travelers. Australian James McFadden, who started racing with the WoO full time in 2021, is one of them.

Their relationship may have begun with something as simple as McFadden offering Gass a ride on his four-wheeler during track walk, but it’s become a “pretty decent little friendship” since that point in time, according to Gass.

“I was really struggling in Knoxville and I had a GoPro on the car, so he came and watched some footage and gave me some pointers on the car and on what I was doing wrong,” Gass relayed.

As Gass continues to log laps at tracks on the grueling, 80-plus race circuit, the teenager has slowly improved his race craft. He’s been knocking on the door of a top-12 finish.

Of his seven starts this season, his best result came at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida on March 6 — the fifth consecutive series race at Volusia. Gass finished 15th.

The Oklahoma native attributes his success, in part, to the series’ long stay at the track.

“When you’re able to hit a track for consecutive nights like that, it makes a world of a difference. Because with the Outlaws, we only hit two nights in a row really, at most,” Gass said. “It helps in almost every way. You can improve really quickly.”

This weekend, the series visits Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Texas for a two-night show at the track that hosted the first World of Outlaws race in 1978. That gives Gass a limited chance at breaking into the top 12 for the first time this year. But with the speedway being approximately a four-hour drive from his hometown, the sprint car wheelman is excited to be in familiar territory.  

“It’s nice on a mental aspect to be able to reset and come home,” Gass said. “It’s definitely something people don’t really think about, outside of racing. Last year, being away from home for a month-and-a-half at a time was pretty rough for me.”

Adapting to life on the road has required a bit of a mindset shift as Gass battles the demanding WoO schedule, faces off against elite drivers and manages the expectations that come with the job.

The most important lesson he’s brought with him from his rookie year is: Take it one race at a time.

“It’s real easy to overthink things, so I try to simplify stuff as much as possible,” Gass said. “Even if you had a really bad race, you have to find everything positive out of the race that you could fine in order to keep your head up.”