After dominating the season-opening DIRTcar National Championships at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida in February, 10-time World of Outlaws Series Champion Donny Schatz also scored the season-ending World Finals at The Dirt Track in Charlotte on November 5, giving the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing No. 15 straight wins to end the year.
Leading the final 20 laps of the $25,000 Finals, the Fargo, ND native passed Brad Sweet the same way he had the day before while driving the Ford Performance, Advance Auto Parts, Carquest Auto Parts No. 15 on its 14th career victory at the 4/10 mile dirt track in Concord, North Carolina.
“These guys are amazing, considering what they’ve been up to for the past few weeks,” Schatz said after a $40,000 weekend. “We went to test a few weeks ago and found a lot of things. I think we got back to the feeling we had, and it showed this weekend. The World Finals were electric this year. What an impressive crowd. I can’t list all the partners we have here, but there are a ton of them, and I’m glad we were able to win for them.
Schatz will finish the season fourth in championship points — a points fund payout of $70,000 — and hopes to return to contention for his 11th championship next year.
“I’m glad the season is over,” Schatz noted. “Even if you run like that and perform so well, everyone needs a break, and these teams take hits on the roads. We will do our best to continue through the winter and into 2023. Hopefully we can race for a championship next year with these guys. We’re going to make it harder for them next year. Congratulations to Brad [Sweet] and his guys, though. It’s a great feeling to win these things.
Giovanni Scelzi followed the 10-time champion with a second-place run for his #18 KCP Racing. It was his fifth World of Outlaws podium of the 2022 season. Sheldon Haudenschild completed the podium (for the 18th time in 2022 ) aboard the Stenhouse Jr./Marshall Racing, NOS Energy Drink No. 17.
Carson Macedo in the #41 Jason Johnson Racing and Brad Sweet in the #49 Kasey Kahne Racing closed out the top five, which won its fourth consecutive World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Championship. Rounding out the top 10 in Charlotte, Rico Abreu was sixth, Brent Marks seventh, Spencer Bayston eighth, Anthony Macri ninth and Lance Dewease 10th.
2022 FINAL championship standings (74 races): 1. Brad Sweet; 2.David Gravel; 3. Carson Macedo; 4. Donny Schatz; 5.Sheldon Haudenschild; 6. Logan Schuchart; 7. James McFadden; 8.Spencer Bayston; 9.Jacob Allen; 10. Brock Zearfoss.
Davenport wins Late Model World Finals
After two nights of the World of Outlaws World Finals, it emerged that The Dirt Track in Charlotte was Jonathan Davenport’s kryptonite.
However, ‘Superman’ proved that theory wrong on Saturday night, flying past Hudson O’Neal on lap 28 to earn his fifth World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models victory in 2022, this one worth $25. $000.
Dennis Erb Jr. also celebrated at Victory Lane, winning his first World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Championship.
O’Neal, a Martinsville native who now resides in Hope led the first 27 laps of the 50-lap affair while Davenport ripped the cushion behind him from eighth starting position. It was O’Neal’s first race in the Rocket Chassis House Car which he will drive full-time in 2023.
Davenport roared atop the racetrack, working fast past Jimmy Owens and Shane Clanton when the first warning flew on lap 20 for Kyle Strickler.
Davenport continued his ascent from there, passing Erb and Chris Madden on the restart, putting him in position to steal the lead from O’Neal.
Davenport thundered under O’Neal on Lap 28, even pulling with him between Turns 1 and 2. “The New Deal” kept up momentum on the backstretch, but that’s when Davenport came back at the top.
The Peach State contender blew his Longhorn chassis off the cushion in Turns 3 and 4, passing O’Neal as Lap 28 clicked on the dash.
Davenport said he returned to a car that performed well all season after his other car was involved in crashes on Wednesday.
“We got here on Wednesday and we struggled,” Davenport said. “We wrecked this car about a month ago, and it hasn’t been the same since.
“We released the oldest car we have. I mean, this thing’s been beaten up and down all over the country, and every time we pull it out, time and time again, it still works.
Despite the performance of his Lance Landers-owned Late Model, Davenport said he realized late in the race that his car was good enough to go anywhere.
“The bottom was pretty good there at the end,” Davenport said. “I finally declined there in (turns) 3 and 4, and I was like fuck, I could have done this all the time, and it wouldn’t have been so difficult.”
Madden crossed the line second, missing out on his second series triumph of 2022. The South Carolina driver said his car was good but couldn’t run to the top like Davenport.
“We couldn’t rip that lip like JD,” Madden said. “He was free enough to rip that lip up there. He did it up there, and we couldn’t do it. We had a great race car overall. Hats off to them for the win and thank you to all my sponsors.
Dennis Erb Jr. finished third, officially winning the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models Championship. The Carpentersville, Illinois rider finished the season with four wins and 13 podiums en route to the title.
“It’s just a lot of hard work,” Erb said. “It was years of hard work and doing everything well this year and starting very well. We just kept riding through the year and kept the momentum going. The car was running very well and we had good finishes every night.
Erb was joined at Victory Lane by longtime crew chief Heather Lyne, who became the first female crew chief to win a championship in a National Late Model Dirt Series and a National North Motorsport Series. -American.
The reigning World of Outlaws champion said what an accomplishment it was for both of them.
“It means a lot,” Erb said. “Just the years up and down the road and everything that’s happened this year. To be able to cross that off my list is a great accomplishment.
Tim McCreadie finished fourth, while Dale McDowell rounded out the top five.
Tanner English has also officially picked up the 2022 Rookie of the Year award, after crossing the line.
This week in racing history
50 years ago, Ira Bastin was named late model track champion at Brownstown Speedway. Jim Curry finished second in points with Paul Crockett, Russ Petro and Kenny Simpson rounding out the top five drivers. The rest of the top ten in the final 1972 standings were Jack Owens, Carl Collins, Dick Brinegar, Verden Kinser and John Davis. Bastin was named Driver of the Year at the awards banquet. Gerald Todd won Rookie of the Year and Mel Vails received the Bad Luck Trophy.
50 years ago, Danny Bowlen was honored as the 1972 sprint car track champion at Paragon Speedway.
40 years ago, in 1982, Kelly Kinser was Bloomington Speedway’s sprint car track champion.
James Essex writes a motorsport diary for The Republic. Send feedback to [email protected]