SAUK RAPIDS, Minn. — official series release — CSP/Chris Seelman photo —
Logan Schuchart has been close a handful of times to picking up his first career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series win.
One of those occasions was last year at Granite City Speedway in the series inaugural visit to the three-eighths-mile in Sauk Rapids, Minn., when he started on the front row and ran among the top-five for the duration of the 30-lap main event.
The young driver returns to Granite City Speedway on Tuesday as Marthaler Chevrolet of Glenwood presents the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.
“Granite City (Speedway) is a neat little track,” said Schuchart. “It’s kind of an in-between track, which is a bigger than a short track and smaller than the big tracks. I like all the tracks we go to. Last year, the track got slick by the feature and you were able to move around. It was a good race. Hopefully we can do even better than we did last year and move up a few spots.”
Last year at Granite City Speedway, Schuchart was fifth-fastest of the 27 entries in time trials. Under the 2015 format, that inverted the top-12 qualifiers in a three-heat program, he lined up third in the second heat. Under the new format, that lines drivers up heads-up by their qualifying times, that would have put Schuchart on the outside of the front row of the second heat race. Heat race winners and the second-place finishers both make the dash in heat races this year.
“The first goal for the night is to qualify well like we did last year and get a starting spot up front,” explained the Pennsylvania native. “Qualifying has always been important with the World of Outlaws. This year you start up front in your heat race if time in well and then its heads-up from there, which helps when you are fast. One difference this year is that if you qualify badly you have a chance to make up for it, if you run well in your heat race. I like the format and it makes you have to go out on the track and perform, not that you didn’t before, but every time you go out there you have to run well.”
Schuchart is in the midst of his third full season on the road with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. He drives for Shark Racing, a two-car team that is owned by his grandfather, Bobby Allen, a Hall of Famer and one of the original Outlaws. The team operates on a much smaller budget that just about every other team competing full-time with the series, but makes the most of what they have.
“We’ve been up and down at times and have had a few times where things haven’t gone our way,” noted Schuchart. “Everyone has been working hard and we have a good race car right now. We’ve been running a lot better lately and we are fast when we have things going right. We don’t always make the right decision with the car, but nobody does. We’ve improved a lot from last year and I am happy about that.”
Schuchart nearly picked up that elusive first-career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series win on May 22 at Weedsport Speedway in New York. He led the first 30 laps of the 35-lap race and ended up finishing second to seven-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz. Schuchart put himself in a good position for the night by turning the third-fastest lap in time trials and winning the third heat race to put himself in the dash, which he won to start on the pole of the main event.
“We led 30 laps at Weedsport and just needed to lead 35 that night,” quipped Schuchart about what it will take to get that first win. “We were a top-five car that night, just not quite as good as Donny (Schatz) was. It’s hard to make a car as good as his is at the end of a race. There is always room for improvement and we’ll just keep improving. I think if you keep improving that stuff will come and the wins will come.”
CREDIT: SLS Promotions