HOUSEHOLDER: Hanover's Logan Schuchart enjoys stellar week during Florida sprint action
Local 410 sprint drivers have been faring well in the early-season action down south.
None of them, however, has fared as well as Logan Schuchart.
The Hanover-based World of Outlaws driver capped off a sensational week in Florida with an Outlaws win Sunday night at Volusia County Speedway near Daytona. Schuchart's win came after leader Donny Schatz suffered engine problems in the waning laps of the race.
That victory allowed Schuchart to win the DIRTcar Nationals championship.
Over the past week, Schuchart enjoyed two race victories and two runner-up finishes, all at Volusia. He had an All Star triumph on Wednesday, followed by a second-place All Star finish on Thursday and a runner-up effort with the World of Outlaws on Friday.
Schuchart won the title by 14 points over Brad Sweet, followed by David Gravel, Carson Macedo and Schatz. Gettysburg's Danny Dietrich was sixth, followed by Hanover's Jacob Allen, Brent Marks, Cory Eliason and Jac Haudenschild.
Schuchart is also the early-season lead in Outlaws' points.
Allen, who is Schuchart's uncle, was a steady top-10 performer during the week, including an eighth-place finish on Sunday.
“We had confidence coming down here, but when it pays off like it means a lot,” Schuchart said on the Outlaws website. “When your confidence is high, your team feels good, and you perform better. It definitely feels good doing this against the quality of cars we had here.The Outlaws are so stacked this year and we’ve got a lot of good invaders joining us. My grandfather’s dream is looking awesome, though. I’m really proud of this Shark Racing team.”
Scuchart's grandfather is legendary driver Bobby Allen.
Dietrich, the defending central Pennsylvania champion, got off to a slow start, but picked things up later on with ninth-, fifth- and second-place finishes at Volusia. His second-place finish came Sunday night. Eliason was third in that race.
Marks, who will step off the local circuit this year to compete with the All Stars, also had a good week with a number top top-10 runs.
His cousin, Brock Zearfoss, will race with the World of Outlaws this season. He too had a few good runs down south.
Kerry Madsen will race the local circuit this year, with the Michael Barshinger team, but is not driving that car in Florida. He had a third-place run on Tuesday at Volusia.
Tim Shaffer’s runs in Floirda came in the locally-based Michael Heffner machine.He had a sixth-place run Tuesday at Volusia.
The previous week, Kyle Reinhardt, had a second-place run in the Quackenbush car. Reinhardt will also step off the local circuit this season to compete with the All Stars.
Dillsburg’s Anthony Macri made most of the southern features but was unable to crack the top 10.
Tyler Ross, in the York County-based Rich Lefevre car, also made the Florida trip and had some good runs.
Other than Schuchart, the oither Volusia 410 sprint winners last week were Schatz in the All Star event on Tuesday; Macedo in another All Star event on Thursday; and Sweet in the Outlaws event on Friday. The Saturday Outlaws show at Volusia was rained out, as was the Monday race at East Bay.Raceway near Tampa.
On the 360 sprint side of things, the week certainly started well for local racers, with Glennville’s Todd Gracey and local racer Mark Smith each picking up wins at Hendry County Speedway in Florida. Smith also had a second-place finish, while Gracey backed up his win with a sixth-place run the following night.
The 360 sprints will see more Florida action this week, starting Thursday at East Bay, where they will race Friday and Saturday.
Regional action: It was announced last week that the Gambler’s Classic in Atlantic City has officially been canceled for this year.
With COVID-19 restrictions still in place for indoor events, planning for the event has come to a close this winter. Already moved back a month, things just didn't look good for the race to be held at the end of February.
The local outdoor season is still set to kick off on Saturday, Feb. 20, with the Icebreaker 30 for the sprint cars at Lincoln Speedway. Lincoln is still hitting a little better than .500 with its scheduled February openers, but the outside weather this year doesn’t look too good right now.
Port Royal is set to open on Sunday afternoon, March 7, with sprints and late models. A week later, Williams Grove is set for a sprint-only season opener. BAPS and Selinsgrove are both set to open on Saturday, March 20. At BAPS, the super sportsmen, limited-late models and Legends will compete. Selinsgrove will host the Short Track Super Series Modifieds for its opener.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.