JACKSON, Minn. — Logan Schuchart not only endured a six-hour marathon Friday night at Jackson Motorplex, he came away with a victory in the nightcap of a doubleheader for the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series on night two of the 42nd Annual AGCO Jackson Nationals.
After finishing fourth in the opener that was rain delayed from Thursday night, Schuchart came back stronger in round two nearly five seconds. He leads the Jackson Nationals points by 22 markers heading into Saturday’s finale.
“It feels good,” said Schuchart. “With the different format you never know if you should sandbag or try to start on the pole. That’s a tough equation to figure that out. You see some cars miss it when they try and do that. We tried to go as fast as we could every time we hit the racetrack. It’s paid off for us. We’re going to be up front in this thing.”
He picked up valuable points throughout the night with runner-up finishes in his Drydene Heat Race and the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash – placing him outside the front row for the feature.
When the green flag waved to start the 25-lap event, Schuchart got a bad start, allowing polesitter Jason Sides to pull away and Daryn Pittman to sneak underneath him. He saw an opening to charge back around both of them off turn two, though. While riding the high side of the track, Schuchart ran both of them down by the center of the corner. However, the opening he saw closed when Sides slid up the track and blocked his lane. Sides’ mistake allowed Pittman to dart out front.
Schuchart made his way by Sides shortly after and began to hunt Pittman down. He could inch closer to the Roth Enterprises No. 83 car every lap, but never enough to the point where he could make a run at Pittman. The two cars were about equal in speed.
That changed on lap nine when Pittman slid off turn two while trying to pass a slower car and allowed Schuchart bolt by him for the lead. From then on, there was nothing Pittman could do. The Drydene No. 1s quickly put about a straightaway distance between them and continued to grow it every lap.
Pittman and third-place Brad Sweet, who won round one early in the day, were left to try and maintain their podium positions.
When Schuchart crossed the finish line, he had a 4.7-second lead over Daryn Pittman.
“I was a little worried at the beginning because Daryn is always fast here with the 83 team, where it here at Jackson or a big track or a little track. They’re always fast,” Schuchart said. “But we were able to get by there in lap traffic. It just seemed like lap cars, when I get up to them, it seemed like they were racing with each other and I was able to get by them at the right time.”
For Pittman, the runner-up finish is a welcomed solid run for he and his Roth Motorsports team.
“We just keep working on our car,” Pittman said. “I’m happy with the direction we’re going. Brent, Tony, Steven, they’ve been working their butts off. Not a lot of good results to show for it. Hopefully we’re turning the corner, getting a little bit better and continue to finish up front.”
Schuchart’s Shark Racing teammate Jacob Allen and 10-time series champion Donny Schatz rounded out the top five.
To see full results, turn to the next page.