BARBERVILLE, Fla. – A new decade of World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series racing begins Feb. 7-9 during the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.
After an epic conclusion to the 2019 season, which saw Brad Sweet edge 10-time series champion Donny Schatz by four points for the title, the Outlaws are gearing up to start 2020 with the same level of excitement.
The three-day season opener at Volusia Speedway Park will set the stage for the rest of the year, with several teams looking to build upon their 2019 seasons, others looking to improve it and a couple of new teams looking to make their mark in series history.
Several full-time World of Outlaws teams have retained their same crew from last season into this year, allowing them to further build upon the momentum created from a year ago.
After Brad Sweet and Kasey Kahne Racing started their 2019 championship run with two top-five finishes at the DIRTcar Nationals, the pair will target another strong start in their quest for back-to-back championships.
Schatz also placed in the top-five for both races at the DIRTcar Nationals last year but had the task of working with a new crew chief and crew members.
Now, with a full year together under their belt, the Fargo, N.D., driver and his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team will be able to hit the ground running in 2020 as he searches for his 11th World of Outlaws title and 300th career World of Outlaws win.
Jason Johnson Racing will see the biggest change among full-time teams this year.
David Gravel returns for his second year with the team but will miss a handful of races as he’ll also be running six NASCAR Truck Series races this year.
The team plans to run for the owner’s championship with another driver – still to be announced – filling in for Gravel when he’s not racing.
Daryn Pittman and Carson Macedo are also returning to their respective teams for a second year this season.
Pittman, of Owasso, Okla., began his tenure with Roth Motorsports last year by winning the DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator and will be going for his fourth Gator in eight years this year.
Macedo, of Lemoore, Calif., earned the 2019 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year title with Kyle Larson Racing and will be poised to continue his development as a top series driver.
Pennsylvania-based team Shark Racing will be on the hunt to continue the head of steam it built in 2019 with Logan Schuchart winning eight races – doubling his career win total – and Jacob Allen again closing in on his first Outlaw victory.
Sheldon Haudenschild, of Wooster, Ohio, and Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing return for their third year together with NOS Energy Drink as their primary sponsor.
After impressive performances last season, such as dominating the Ironman 55, the team will be one to watch this year. Haudenschild will also be working with Kyle Ripper as his new crew chief. Ripper served as Ian Madsen’s crew chief last year.
Veterans Kraig Kinser, of Bloomington, Ind., and Jason Sides, of Bartlett, Tenn., will continue to field their own teams as they look to put their name on the winners list – which saw 19 different names last year – in 2020.
When cars roll on track for the first time at Volusia Speedway Park, there will be two new full-time World of Outlaws drivers – rookie contenders Mason Daniel and Wayne Johnson.
Daniel, of Springville, Calif., will field his own team with 122-time World of Outlaws winner Danny Lasoski by his side as his mentor and crew chief.
The 19-year-old driver has been racing sprint cars full time for two years, earning two wins in a 360-c.i. sprint car. He made nine starts with the Outlaws in 2019, earning his best finish of 15th at Dodge City Raceway Park.
Johnson, of Oklahoma City, Okla., has been competing mainly with the American Sprint Car Series in a 360-c.i. sprint car and running a handful of 410-c.i. sprint car races for the last 10 years.
He’s made more than 150 starts with the World of Outlaws throughout his career, but Johnson has never run more than 21 races in a season.
He’ll be teamed with TwoC Racing for the full season.
After the DIRTcar Nationals, the World of Outlaws will make its trek to Texas in mid-March, visiting Cotton Bowl Speedway on March 13 and LoneStar Speedway on March 14.
Then as the season progresses, the series will visit 12 new tracks to the 2020 schedule.
Those venues include Santa Maria Raceway, Merced Speedway, Vado Speedway Park, Lawton Speedway, I-70 Speedway, I-80 Speedway, The Dirt Oval at Route 66, 34 Raceway, Ransomville Speedway, Orange County Fair Speedway, Dakota State Fair Speedway and Kokomo Speedway.