Second Stint Down Under Ahead for Schuchart
Hanover, Pennsylvania (December 14) – The holidays are quickly approaching and for World of Outlaws standout Logan Schuchart, he’s counting the hours until December 26. Yes, of course, he’s looking forward to Christmas Day, but he gets back to what he loves most in less than two weeks in Australia at Archerfield Speedway’s Boxing Day Sprintcar International event.
Just a couple days after attending the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis, Schuchart was back at the Shark Racing shop working on his cars for 2018. He took a few minutes to answer some questions, here is what Logan had to share with us.
BD: It’s been a little over a month since you closed out your fourth season of competing with the World of Outlaws. Now that you’ve had a little time to look back how would you asses your 2017 season with the Outlaws?
LS: “I’d say there were a lot of ups and downs. I was happy about parts of it. Obviously when you win races that’s good. We won four races, which doubled our win count from the year before, but we didn’t have the consistency we had in 2016. There are definitely lots of things we need to work on, but also lots that we were happy about. I think our preparation this winter will fix a lot of that.”
BD: After winning twice in 2016, you were able to double your win total last season and all four wins came in dramatic fashion. How big was it for you to:
A) come from 19th and win in California for the first time in your career?
LS: “Any time you win a World of Outlaws race it’s a big deal, but to win one from 19th that kind of put an exclamation point to it. It was exciting to be able to do it that way, especially in California, a place where I seem to struggle sometimes. We really like Keller Auto Speedway. We’ve run decent there in the past. It was a place that I was looking forward to going to before that happened. And now, I definitely look forward to going back.”
B) Drive past Shane Stewart and win at Eldora Speedway for the first time in your career?
LS: “Yeah, I was able to think about that even while we were racing. You know, Shane is always very good at Eldora. Look how good he runs during the Kings Royal and really just any time the Outlaws go there. I knew if were able to pass him for the lead that meant we were fast. There are sometimes you can lead the race and you might not have the best car and you don’t always feel that confident in your car, but when I was able to pass Shane Stewart to me that meant we were pretty fast and that we would have a pretty good chance at winning that race. I knew we were in good shape.”
C) Out-duel Brad Sweet with a next to last lap pass in front of a packed grandstand in Charlotte?
LS: “That was an exciting race too. We started up front, and that was more of a late race deal battling for the lead with another star of our sport Brad Sweet. Brad and the KKR teams always run really well and are always hard to beat. To run up front with them and feel like I was closing in on him the last couple of laps and to be to actually get a second chance at it because I hit the (turn two) wall early in the race. So to get a second chance and be able to pass him with a lap or two to go was exciting for me. It was exciting for the fans. It was great to win another race on a big stage.”
D) Dominate the field and earn your first Canadian World of Outlaws victory?
LS: “Yeah, Oshweken fits me really well. I’ve always liked slick tracks and Ohsweken is one of the slickest racetracks I’ve ever gone to. It has some of the same clay as they have in Northern Ohio or New York. Obviously, Ohsweken being in Canada whatever clay they use seems to be really slick. I grew up racing go-karts at my grandpa’s go-kart track and we would always put powder down and race. Even the go-karts would spin the tires and it would be slick and I have always loved the kind of racing. I think that’s why our team adapts to that pretty quick and I enjoy it. I hope we go back there soon.”
BD: Next week, you will get back be on big plane and head to Australia for the second consecutive season. What do you remember most from your trip last year?
LS: “Definitely the people. They are awesome and love having us over there. I’m lucky that John Weatherall and Vicky Jane give the chance to go over there. They are great people. Everyone of their family members treat me like family. I met a lot of great people. The fans. Other crew members that have spent time working over here in the US. Benny Griffin is an Australian that came over there and worked with us this summer, including the night we won at Ohsweken. I’m looking forward to working with him again in a couple weeks. It’s a chance to be able to race over the winter, when some people don’t have the chance to race and are at home. I get to have a little warmup and knock the rust off in the winter time. I look forward to heading over. It’s pretty similar to our type of racing other than a few small changes. It’s really nice to be able to race in the winter time.”
BD: Talk about the Motorguard car of John Weatherall that you will be driving?
LS: “John Weatherall has had some big names in car over the years like the late Jesse Hockett, Randy Hannagan, Jessica Zemken and Daryn Pittman. He has had the USA Number 1 Motorguard BHR car for Americans to come over and drive for quite some time. I know Brad Hilder helps him out too and his son Ben Hilder drives a team car. We’re happy to be hooked up with XXX Race cars, who helps me out here in the US. We’ll be running a similar car that I do at home. I’ll be bring over some FK Shocks so I should feel right at home. I’m looking forward to it.”
BD: What’s it like racing at Archerfield Speedway? Can you compare it to any track that you race on with the Outlaws?
LS: “I’d say it’s similar to the smaller tracks here like Path Valley and Placerville in California, which is very small. Archerfield is shaped like a very small Williams Grove, but flat. It’s really a lot smaller scale. It feels like you should be racing micros on it. It makes for good racing. You know if someone is not getting too excited, they definitely tear some stuff up there. It’s a small racey track and can be a lot of fun. John and Kathy Kelly do a great job with the track. I actually had the chance to have some down time with them and John Weatherall and his wife. We had a nice meal together. And I can’t say enough about the fans. They welcomed us with open arms and certainly made me feel special to be there.”
BD: You got off to a fast start leading the feature event your first race there after arriving just a few hours prior to the race. What was that experience like?
LS: “The was really the best experience we had other than winning the feature down in Sydney. The long flights. It was the first time I did it. Not getting much sleep and we arrived at 11 in the morning, put a seat in the car, packed the trailer and headed to the track. Before you can really realize what is going on, we were almost winning a race. We were half a track ahead and then we had some engine issues. Those kinds of things happen, but we are going to try and make sure that it doesn’t happen this year. It was pretty cool to have that experience on my first night. Just showing up and almost winning a race.”
BD: You will race three international nights at Archerfield, then three nights with the World Series. What changes when the World Series guys show up?
LS: “It’s like racing in the United States. You go from racing a local show and then the World of Outlaws show up. You have all your really good drivers that run there on a weekly basis that you can tell that they really know what they are doing. They’ve got experience and make good decisions, and they are fast. And then the World Series guys come in there, it’s just like the World of Outlaws coming in town. You know they are the best of the best and you’ve got all your big names like James McFadden, Jamie Veal, Brooke Tatnell and all those guys and it changes the game a little bit. The pace definitely picks up.”
BD: You close your tour in Brisbane with the $20,000-to-win Australian Open. How big would it be to challenge and compete for one of the most prestigious races on the World Series schedule?
LS: “I definitely think we have a chance at it. We were fast at times there last year. I think if the first couple of races go well, we may be in a position to run with those guys up front.”
BD: The trip concludes with the two-night Scott Darley Memorial race at Valvoline Speedway in Sydney. What sort of track is it? Comparable to anything in the United States?
LS: “Sydney has characteristics similar to a few places over here in the US. It gets slick and it also builds a big cushion. It reminds me of something that you would see on the west coast. Maybe even similar to Keller Auto Speedway as far as it being D-shaped, getting slick and having a big cushion. So maybe our experience in California could help us when we go back to Sydney.”
BD: You won a feature event at Valvoline Speedway last during the Darley Memorial. The goal this year has to be picking up another one there?
LS: “Yeah definitely. We want to win the Scott Darley Memorial. That’s the big one. Last year in Sydney, we were fast, but we didn’t run as well as we wanted to the final couple of nights. We were fast, but it’s just like racing here. You have to put yourself in a position in qualifying, start up front and go from there.”
BD: Did you find it helpful last year to go over and get seat time in advance of the World of Outlaws season starting in February?
LS: “Any time you can get experience or seat time it’s beneficial. Like they say, practice makes perfect. It helps you keep your mind fresh. You know sometimes it’s good to take a break to relax your mind a little bit. But there’s nothing like being in a racecar.”
BD: While you are racing in Australia the Shark Racing team will be getting things organized for 2018. Do you notice a change in where you and the team are heading into year five with the Outlaws?
LS: “We’ve never really been in this position over the winter as far as getting cars together and engines together. That’s a testament to my grandpa who works extremely hard and to all of those people that are behind Shark Racing. You know the first year we ran the Outlaws we started out with one car for me, one car for Jacob. One motor for each of us and maybe a half a spare. This year we’ll have a couple cars each ready and couple motors ready where we feel like we are prepared to go attack the World of Outlaws schedule and not just be a car on the racetrack. Actually, go out and race and be competitive.
BD: Good luck and enjoy your time in Australia.
LS: Thank you. We’re excited about where we are right now. Hope everyone has a good holiday season.”
Keep up with his Australian tour by following Logan on social media –
Twitter: @LSchuchart1s, Instagram: Loganschuchart, and