north dakota swing ahead for woo: what to watch for

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series heads back to North Dakota this weekend for two races at two of the state’s most notable tracks.

First, the series returns to River Cities Speedway on Friday, Aug. 26 — home to World of Outlaws announcer Johnny Gibson’s favorite track. The tour then heads 90 minutes south to West Fargo on Saturday, Aug. 27, for the one-and-only appearance of the year at Red River Valley Speedway.

Here are the top storylines to follow:

WoO Season Moves Towards Final Leg

With the Knoxville Nationals and Jackson Nationals now in the bag, the focus turns to the points standings with only 23 races left on the schedule.

Three-time and defending series champion Brad Sweet comes into the North Dakota swing with David Gravel (-60) and Carson Macedo (-96) less than 100 points from catching him.

While Macedo has the most wins this season of the three, with nine under his belt, Sweet has been more consistent, boasting a series-best average finish of 5.94 through 50 starts.

Gravel (6.32) and Macedo (6.96) are second and third in that category.

The two North Dakota races will be key points in their road to the championship determining World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Nov. 2-5.

Homecoming For Donny Schatz

Donny Schatz of Fargo, N.D., returns to his home state this weekend for the back-to-back races, still riding the momentum from capturing his 11th NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals championship two weeks ago.

Strong finishes of fourth and sixth in the Jackson Nationals last Saturday have brought the 10-time Series champion up to a streak of nine straight top-10 finishes — 17 over the last 18 races. It’s a good time for Schatz and the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team to get hot, considering their decorated history in North Dakota.

Eighteen of Schatz’s 305 career World of Outlaws feature wins have come at either River Cities or Red River Valley. In the June visit to River Cities, he ran third to Brad Sweet and winner Carson Macedo. He’s also the most recent series winner at his hometown track of Red River Valley, taking the checkers on Aug. 21 of last year.

Macedo Looks For A River City Sweep

After scoring a milestone 50th career World of Outlaws feature win for Jason Johnson Racing last Saturday at Jackson, Carson Macedo has reclaimed the honor of winningest driver on tour.

Macedo nearly made it 10 wins on the season after a tough loss on the last lap in the afternoon portion of the Jackson Nationals, but after a chat with Crew Chief Philip Dietz, he and the team put on a great display of determination to come back for the $25,000 victory that evening.

Macedo won the World of Outlaws’ visit to River Cities in June, now aiming to become only the third driver in series history to win two races at the track in the same year.

Craig Dollansky did it in 2011 and Donny Schatz followed in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

Things Are Looking Up For Logan Schuchart

For the first time since Bristol Motor Speedway in April, Logan Schuchart went back to victory lane with the World of Outlaws at Jackson and will ride that wave of momentum into this weekend, aiming for his third win of the season.

The driver won the June 2019 visit to River Cities in a nail-biter over James McFadden and David Gravel, but has yet to see victory lane at Red River Valley.

Though he was passed for the lead late by winner Schatz, Schuchart did lead laps in the trip to the West Fargo oval last year and recorded a solid fourth-place finish.

Sweet Sixteen For Ryan Timms

With his youthful competitor application approved, 16-year-old Ryan Timms will make his highly anticipated series debut Friday night on his birthday.

Timms has been lighting up the 410 sprint car world this season with eight total victories at tracks including Huset’s Speedway, Jackson Motorplex and Lake Ozark Speedway. He’s also won multiple times in a midget, further padding his resume as one of the best up-and-coming drivers in the nation.

He’s already had laps around River Cities this year, too — a fourth-place run on July 22nd in a NOSA-sanctioned event.

NOSA Regulars To Join Competition

A slew of North Dakota 410 sprint car regulars are projected to join the World of Outlaws in competition this weekend, including several regulars of the Northern Outlaw Sprint Association (NOSA).

NOSA’s all-time feature win leader Mark Dobmeier has three World of Outlaws victories in his career and will bring the Buffalo Wild Wings No. 13JT out as the current NOSA points leader with three River Cities wins already this year.

Ten-time NOSA champion Wade Nygaard is also expected to be in attendance, as well as defending champion Brendan Mullen, Jade Hastings and Zach Omdahl, among others.

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