ROSSBURG, Ohio – Logan Schuchart nearly tracked down Donny Schatz during the opening act of #LetsRaceTwo weekend at Eldora Speedway, but in the end, a half second back was as close as he got.
The Shark Racing driver made mincemeat of a two-second deficit to Schatz after surging into the runner-up position at lap 13 of Friday night’s 30-lap feature, looking like a driver hell-bent on scoring his second World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win at the half-mile dirt oval.
However, traffic in the final laps was Schuchart’s nemesis, as lap cars put themselves in the paths he needed to go in to try and make time on the No. 15 Tony Stewart Racing/Curb-Agajanian mount.
That left the No. 1s entry one spot short of its ultimate goal, with Schuchart not quite able to replicate his winning effort from the #LetsRaceTwo kickoff two years earlier.
“You always want to be one spot better, but our car was really strong,” noted Schuchart. “I kind of wanted a yellow at the end, just to see what we had, and never ended up getting it. I was running the top, and that’s where I felt like I was really gaining on Donny (Schatz) a little bit, but the lap cars we ran into at the end took my line and made it to where I couldn’t get by.”
Friday night marked Schuchart’s third second-place finish in a row at Eldora during the May weekend.
“It’s all good. Last year I ran second to Donny both nights, and I just wanted another shot at him on Saturday night,” Schuchart said. “The weather didn’t agree, unfortunately, but this race team works hard on these cars and it’s fun that we’re running up front. We’ve been putting ourselves in good spots.”
– Lost in the frenetic battle for the win on Friday night between Schatz, Schuchart and outside polesitter Carson Macedo was a quiet top-five finish for Schuchart’s Shark Racing teammate, Jacob Allen.
Allen came forward from ninth to fifth in the 30-lap main event, earning just his second top-five finish in 14 attempts so far this season. He sits 13th in the series standings, while Schuchart is sixth in points.
Of note on the statistical side, Schatz is the only driver to have top-10 finishes in all 14 races this year.
– Looking down the box score, qualifying well on Friday night didn’t particularly lead to a good run come feature time, as neither driver who topped World of Outlaws qualifying cracked the top five.
Flight-A fast qualifier Shane Stewart was a disappointing 13th, while Flight-B quick timer Parker Price-Miller ended his Friday night in eighth.
– A solid last month for Kraig Kinser continued Friday night with KSE Hard Charger honors at the Eldora half-mile.
Kinser, the last driver to transfer into the feature from the Last Chance Showdown, rallied from 24th on the grid to finish 12th, advancing more places than any other driver in the field.
The son of 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser sits 10th in points through 14 races.
– So far this year, the Outlaws have lost eight of 22 races to weather, accounting for a third of the series schedule over the first three months on the calendar.
The next series event is Wednesday night’s Gettysburg Clash at Pennsylvania’s Lincoln Speedway.