SHARK RACING LOOKS TO CONTINUE MOMENTUM IN NODAK
GRAND FORKS, North Dakota – When the checkered flag fell in last Saturday’s Jackson Nationals finale, there was a palpable air of confidence amongst Bobby Allen’s Shark Racing team members. No, Logan Schuchart nor Jacob Allen came out victorious in the $40,000 main event, but both drivers and the crew members that make up the team had a lot to be proud of following a very productive week on the rugged World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Series tour.
They have carried that positive vibe with them this week to Grand Forks, North Dakota as they prepare for the 1st Leg of the Gerdau Recycling Northern Tour with stops first at the always exciting River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks Friday and Nodak Speedway in Minot Sunday.
Schuchart raced the Drydene Performance Products/Priority Aviation/Mike Palumbo Shark Racing No. 1s to a fifth-place finish in Saturday’s 40-lap finale, his second top-five in this year’s events that pay more than $20,000-to-win. Earlier this year he finished fourth in the Texas Outlaw Nationals at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas. He was in position to make a run to the front in the Jackson Nationals finale because of his charge in Saturday afternoon’s A-main from 12th to fourth. He narrowly missed a position in Saturday night’s Sears Craftsman Dash when Tim Kaeding edged him in the opening heat. In his charge forward in the A-Feature, he was steadily moving forward until the rubber came in just past halfway. He pulled close to fourth-place running David Gravel several times, but ultimately had to stay in line.
Saturday’s performance came on the heels of a pair of finishes outside the top-10. Tuesday night, Schuchart and Allen were part of a tremendous three-car battle for victory during the Outlaws debut at Fairbury American Legion Speedway in east central Illinois. Schuchart qualified third, won his heat and finished third in the Dash. In the 40-lap A-Main, he followed leader Sheldon Haudenschild and Allen for most of the race before making a late pass of his teammate to take second. With three laps remaining, he made a bid for the lead in turns three and four on the rubber-down surface. By the time he reached turn two his right rear was going flat. A frustrating end to a solid night for the fifth-year Outlaw driver from Hanover, Pennsylvania. In Friday’s Jackson Nationals opener, he started 15th and finished 18th.
“We had a crazy week, but one that ended up on a really good note,” said Schuchart, who currently ranks eighth in the WoO standings. “To battle for a win and then come up with a DNF at the end of the night was frustrating, but I have to give it to this Shark Racing team for continuing to work hard. We were all excited with the news we got Thursday that Drydene Performance Products will be partnering with us for the rest of the year. So excited to represent their brand and work closely with Dave Klinger, Al Johnson and their great sales staff. Things didn’t go well the first night of the Jackson Nationals Friday, but Joe, Benny, Tyler, my pappy and Jacob worked hard, and we have a really good race car right now. I’m really excited to get back on the track this weekend. River Cities is one of my favorite tracks. We’ve run well there in the past, but just haven’t been able to be there at the end. That’s what we are aiming for Friday. And then going to Minot, that’s another place where we’ve had a couple good runs just need to be consistent all night to have a chance.”
Returning to Grand Forks is something Schuhcart looks forward to twice a season. From his first laps around the high-banked, quarter-mile oval during his rookie year in 2014, he’s been hooked. He’s made eight trips to the track and after not qualifying for the main the first night, he’s had some flashes of success with his best result coming in June 2016. That night he sixth, finished second to his teammate in the second heat and won the dash to start on the pole. He led the first 20 laps of the A-Feature and ultimately finished third.
“I love River Cities,” said Schuchart, who currently ranks eighth in the standings. “It’s so much fun to race there. We’ve been fast throughout the night, but just not at the end of 40. That’s our goal tonight. The fans up there are so passionate about their racing. We’ve been ready to get back up here since last year. And coming off a good weekend in Jackson, everyone on his team is chomping at the bit to get back on the track.”
Schuchart will conclude the weekend in the Roughrider state with his fifth trip to the 3/8-mile, dirt track in Minot. His best result came in August 2016 when he qualified fourth, won the second heat and finished third in the dash. He was in contention throughout the race and finished fourth.
WoO Races: 27 Podium Finishes: 5 Top-Fives: 8 Top-10s: 14
Fast-time Awards: 4
KSE Hard Charger Awards: 3