HANFORD, Calif. — Shark Racing driver Logan Schuchart raced from 19th on the grid to win Friday night’s 35-lap Kings Outlaw Showdown at Keller Auto Speedway.
Schuchart found the bottom groove of the three-eighths-mile oval to work his way past eventual runner-up Ian Madsen on the final lap to score his first victory of the season.
After starting the season having overcome adversity when the team’s tow vehicle broke down on the way to the opening World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series event, the team relied on support from the racing industry to assist with getting them to each Outlaw event.
“This adds onto the excitement and the accomplishments. It doesn’t matter if you start from the pole or wherever, if you can win an Outlaws race, these things are really tough [to win] no matter where you go,” Schuchart said. “I’m just happy for my team to be able to get a win and it just makes it that much more exciting to start from 19th.
“We just really need to thank [Ryan] Smith family for letting us use their toterhome to come all the way [to California] and everyone that donated to the GoFundMe, you never want to be in that position but we were in a tough spot and we wouldn’t be out here if it wasn’t for those people.”
Ian Madsen and James McFadden, made up an all-Australian front-row for the start of the Kings Outlaw Showdown at Keller Auto Speedway. It was Madsen who would show the way for a total of 31 of the 35 laps in the Feature.
The event was slowed several times, including on lap four when Brad Sweet, who came into the night second in points, brushed the turn-four wall. Sweet was forced to retire from the event early resulting in a 26th-place finish.
Making his presences known, Schuchart had worked his way up to the fourth running position by lap 14.
It was on lap 20 when the local hero, Cory Eliason made a bid to steal the show by charging from the 16th-starting position to wrangle the lead away from Madsen. As the large crowd at the Keller Auto Speedway erupted in excitement, Eliason lost the handling on his No. 00 machine and spun on the backstretch, forfeiting the lead just as quickly as he got it.
With Madsen back in control of the lead once again, he fended off a new challenger in David Gravel. Madsen had five different drivers start to his right on the double-file restarts. Schuchart snuck past Gravel on the restart and immediately went to work on Madsen.
“It was a pretty strong run for the KPC team,” said Madsen. “Kind of got nervous [with all those restarts] didn’t really know what to do, with someone different coming up each time. We’ll go onto Perris and see if we can win.”
The driver of the No. 1s of Schuchart started to search around for some moisture; he eventually found it on the bottom groove.
“I was able to find a little moister off [turn] four and it helped me, at least for me to get up to [Madsen] so I could make a move in [turns] three and four,” added Schuchart.
Point leader Donny Schatz who had to use the Last Chance Showdown to transfer into the feature and put on a show to grab a third-place finish.
It was Schuchart’s third career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series win.
For full results, turn to the next page.