OHSWEKEN, Ontario — Logan Schuchart hunted down Donny Schatz in lapped traffic and then dominated the second half of the Six Nations Showdown at Ohsweken Speedway for his fourth World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory of the season Tuesday night.
The victory was a much-needed confidence boost for Schuchart and his Shark Racing team who had struggled of late. The slick Ohsweken surface was exactly to the liking of the Hanover, Pa., native in the Outlaws only visit to Canada this season.
“I love these type of race tracks, not just because we ran well on it tonight. I love slick race tracks,” Schuchart said. “I love when you have to drive the car straight and smooth. I feel like it makes it fun. Obviously if you’re not running good it’s not fun, but if you can glide around the racetrack, be smooth and have forward drive, it’s fun.”
Schuchart had all of those ingredients at Ohsweken. While Schatz grabbed an early lead from the pole and drove away from the majority of the field, Schuchart was the only driver able to keep pace. The top duo wandered into lapped traffic by lap nine and as Schatz was forced to give up his preferred line on the bottom to move past a slower car, Schuchart capitalized when he found room on the bottom of turn two and down the backstretch to take the lead.
“I was having trouble catching Donny when we were in an open run,” Schuchart admitted. “It wasn’t until we got to lapped traffic, I felt like, that some lapped cars made him go where he didn’t want to. I could just move around a little bit more than he could and go through the middle. When some lapped cars took his line away, I just felt like I was able to get the forward drive off the corners to get by him.”
One lap after Schuchart took the lead, the caution flag waved for Sheldon Haudenschild, who suffered a flat right-rear tire. He made the repairs in the work area and returned to the rear of the field. Schuchart held the point on the lap nine restart while Greg Wilson and Kyle Larson battled tooth and nail for the third spot.
Schuchart led the top five into traffic again on lap 16 of the 30-lap main event, but was able to run the bottom the lane the whole time to continue pulling away from Schatz. His advantage with 10 laps to go was 2.6 seconds but grew each lap until he achieved the eventual 5.984-second margin of victory.
Schatz was openly disappointed he was not able to capitalize on his pole starting position to claim his 16th win of the season. His runner-up finish was his 40th top-five finish of the season.
“We got beat,” Schatz stated. “Logan was really good. He could go all over. Obviously, we got to traffic and you have to move around. We did that a little bit and he found the better groove. Those guys rolled pretty good and I couldn’t stay down there very well. I had to roll the middle and do what I could. These guys did a great job, Logan was just that good tonight.”
Schuchart was ecstatic to score his fourth Outlaw win of the season and to beat the point leader to achieve the feat.
“Anytime you can beat Donny Schatz on any type of race track, but especially a slick racetrack, it’s saying something,” Schuchart said. “We’ve had a car for a while that’s given us some trouble and this is the first night on this new XXX (chassis) and it was hooked up on this slick surface. I felt like it was just gliding around the race track and I was just guiding it.”
Wilson rounded out the podium finishers after holding off Kyle Larson in the second half of the race. It was Wilson’s fifth top-five finish of the season.
Larson settled for a fourth-place finish and 19-year-old Dylan Westbrook, who was making his first career Outlaw start, rounded out the top-five after starting 16th.
Brad Sweet was the night’s fast qualifier with a lap of 12.280 seconds
To see full results, turn to the next page.