ALGER, Wash. — Despite overheating issues and a minor rear-end fire with three laps remaining, Logan Schuchart led every lap to win Saturday night’s World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Seriesraces at Skagit Speedway.
He swept the weekend doubleheader at the three-tenths-mile track and won the $15,000 payday – $23,000 between the two days. It was his sixth victory of the season.
“If you would’ve told me a couple of years ago or at the beginning of this year you’re going to be winning a couple of races in-a-row and have six wins on the season… you know, I knew it was something we were capable of doing,” Schuchart said. “I’m just really proud of this team. It’s awesome to get big wins like this.”
Friday night he led all 30 laps en route to the victory. Saturday night he did the same, but with 10 more laps. Unlike Friday night, though, where Schuchart stretched his lead throughout the race, Sweet made Schuchart work for his second win at Skagit Speedway.
The start of Saturday’s 40-lap feature was almost a mirror image of Friday night’s race. Schuchart drag raced side by side with polesitter Tim Kaeding down the frontstretch on the initial start. The two stayed that way into the corner, but Schuchart, riding the high line, had the better grip. He rocketed by Kaeding for the lead down the backstretch.
While Schuchart pulled away, catching lap traffic on Lap six for the second night in-a-row, Californians Kaeding and Sweet were the show for the opening eight laps. The two raced side by side, lap after lap, corner after corner. Kaeding ran high, while Sweet threw dive bombs to the bottom each lap.
Kaeding eventually put distance between he and Sweet, but a lapped car hindered his run off turn two, allowing Sweet to stay in the throttle and dive underneath him again in turn three. This time it worked for the “Big Cat.” Sweet cleared Kaeding off turn four on lap eight and began to hunt Schuchart.
It wasn’t much longer before Sweet was to Schuchart’s bumper with the help of a caution on lap 12 for Kraig Kinser spinning in turn two. However, the Drydene No. 1s car accelerated better than Sweet on the restart and pulled away with the lead by several car lengths. Once Schuchart hit lapped traffic again a few laps later, Sweet was able to make up ground.
On lap 23 Sweet was close enough to throw a slide job into turn one, sliding up in front of Schuchart by turn two. The Shark Racing driver was ready for it, though. He held his line and charged underneath Sweet on the exit of the corner, making slight contact with the NAPA Auto Parts No. 49 car before reclaiming the lead.
“I tried to cross back underneath him and he kind of blocked me a little bit and we kind of touched,” Schuchart said. “I was just happy to get back by him. As the race went on I felt like I had a line that felt good to me that I could make moves but also defend myself.”
Sweet tried the same move again four laps later, but didn’t have enough of a run this time to put his car in front of Schuchart. He slid up next to the No. 1s car and then watched it drive away down the backstretch. It was the closest he was going to get to trying to pass Schuchart, even with several late cautions.
“We sure did try,” Sweet said. “Every time we timed it pretty good in traffic Logan was able to counter. We made a little contact that one time, but it was all hard racing. I knew I needed to get the lead and kind of went a little too hard and burned up my tire. The track was really aggressive when you’re running high.”
Behind Schuchart and Sweet, Kaeding, Donny Schatz and Daryn Pittman had a fierce battle for third.
Schatz eventually bested the two with aggressive maneuvers to take the spot. Those moves further paid off on a late restart with three laps to go. Schatz snuck his way by Sweet to end the race in second.
“It’s (the season) winding down,” Schatz said. “You want to get the best finishes you can when you can’t win. Logan was obviously really good and set a pretty good pace. I pretty much used everything up getting to that point. It was pretty aggressive up there (on the high side) on the tires. I tried to save as much as I could, but at the end I was sliding and moving around a bit and that’s what got us the spots we got.”
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