JUSTIN GRANT AND LOGAN SCHUCHART SCORE FRIDAY NIGHT WINS AT ELDORA
#LetsRaceTwo Doubleheader for World of Outlaws and USAC Sprints Continues Saturday
ROSSBURG, Ohio (May 12, 2017) – Justin Grant won his second straight and third career United States Auto Club (USAC) Amsoil National Sprint Car feature event Friday night at Eldora Speedway while Logan Schuchart picked up his first career Eldora win, returning his grandfather, Bobby Allen, to Eldora’s victory lane, by picking up the World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series feature on the opening night of the #LetsRaceTwo weekend.
Grant, from Ione, California, took the lead from Kevin Thomas, Jr. with a trademark Eldora slide job in turns three and four working lap-11 and led the remaining laps but it was anything but easy. As many as 10 cars were in contention for the win with every lane occupied from bottom to top as the laps wound down and positions inside the top-10 changing hands in every corner.
Fighting through the melee to pressure Grant in the closing laps was Dallas Hewitt. The driver from nearby Troy, Ohio was looking for his first career Eldora win but a last ditch, last lap slide job in the last corner was blocked perfectly by Grant, who picked up his third USAC National Sprint Car win of the year.
“The (fast groove) really moved around tonight,” Grant said. “There was someone trying to poke their nose underneath me so I moved down there and the car was pretty good, but then the bottom slowed down for me and we moved back up to the top, and it felt a lot better when I got back up to the top.”
“That is probably the saddest second-place that I have ever had,” Hewitt said. “It’s great to be on the podium here but I still really want that win.”
Thomas, Jr. held on for the final spot on the podium, while Chase Stockon earned the hard charger of the race moving from 21st starting position to fourth at the finish. Thomas Messeraul completed the top five.
Finishing sixth through tenth were Shane Cottle, Robert Ballou, Brady Bacon, Tyler Courtney and Chris Windom. Bacon was the fastest qualifier of the 31 USAC Sprints. Heat races were won by Dave Darland, Scotty Weir, Courtney and Stockon. C.J. Leary won the B-Feature.
Schuchart grew up watching his grandfather Bobby Allen, the winner of the very first World of Outlaw race at Eldora, race on the high banks and the win on Friday was a dream come true.
“Growing up as a kid this is one of the places you dream about winning at,” Schuchart, of Hanover, Pennsylvania, said from victory lane. “We ran second here the last time we were here in
September and I had to think about that all winter long and I couldn’t wait to get back to this place because I thought we were on to something.”
Jason Johnson led the opening six laps of the WoO A-Feature before Shane Stewart took the top spot. Schuchart quickly joined the fray and the trio raced three-wide before Schuchart drove under Stewart in turn two to take the point.
Moments later, Travis Philo and Jac Haudenschild were involved in a scary-looking accident in turn one. Philo hit the outside retaining wall and was collected by the veteran driver sending both cars flipping violently. Safety crews attended to both drivers before they were each transported by ambulance to a local hospital for evaluation.
On the restart, Stewart retook the lead from Schuchart. However, Schuchart seized the lead back with an outside move on Stewart on lap-12. From there, Schuchart was relatively unchallenged and raced away to his fourth career World of Outlaws win.
“In turns one and two I could move up a little a bit and run in the middle but three and four I just ran the bottom,” Schuchart said. “I would get a little sideways or hung up behind the lapped cars and I was worried Shane or Donny or someone would go around me because they would be rolling through the middle pretty good.”
Stewart knew he was in trouble at the red flag, but was happy with a runner-up finish.
“I am just happy to be on the podium. It’s been a long time,” Stewart said. “Logan was really really good. I told my guys on the red flag ‘I am not really sure what we can do here’ his car drove exceptionally well tonight.”
Brad Sweet advanced from ninth starting position for a third-place finish, while 2017 Kings Royal winner, Donny Schatz, made a late charge to finish in fourth-place, one position ahead of Johnson.
David Gravel, Jason Sides, Schuchart’s uncle Jacob Allen, Daryn Pittman and Kraig Kinser completed the top ten. Jason Sides was the fastest qualifier of the 35 World of Outlaw Sprint Cars. Outlaw heat races were won by Stewart, Schatz, Schuchart and Tim Shaffer. Johnson won the Dash to earn the pole starting position, while Kinser won the WoO B-Main.
The #LetsRaceTwo weekend Eldora concludes Saturday night when the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series return for another doubleheader.
Spectator gates open at 2 p.m. on Saturday, with hot laps and qualifying at 6 p.m. and opening ceremonies scheduled for at 7:30 p.m. Activities throughout the day on Saturday include Racing For Relief, the St. Henry-based organization which conducts the sale of tickets for the Tony Stewart Foundation 50/50 Raffle, first kart race of the season on at “little e” – Eldora’s 1/7th-mile clay oval.