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AGCO Jackson Nationals the next step for WoO Sprint Cars

Jackson

Jackson Motorplex will host the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars this weekend. (Trent Gower photo)

JACKSON, Minnesota — The grandfather of ‘Em All is officially in the rearview mirror, but The Greatest Show on Dirt continues to march at the Jackson Nationals this weekend.

A three day trip to Jackson Motorplex in Minnesota brings the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series to the city for the 44th annual AGCO Jackson Nationals. Preliminary action on Thursday and Friday leads to the $25,000 final on Saturday as the Series makes its last stop in Minnesota this season.

Fresh off an 11th Knoxville Nationals crown, Donny Schatz leads the charge into the second half of 2022 aboard his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing Sprint Car machine. He is joined by championship contenders Brad Sweet, David Gravel, Carson Macedo, Sheldon Haudenschild and Logan Schuchart as favorites for the win this weekend.

Second half peak

With an 11th Knoxville Nationals title added to the collection, Donny Schatz now has his eye on a second Jackson Nationals crown. The 2018 Minnesota master owns three total wins in Jackson, MN with 11 top-five finishes through 22 Series starts on the track.

The Fargo, ND native is currently fifth in the championship standings (-184 points) aboard the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing, Carquest Auto Parts, Ford Performance No. 15. It’s a big obstacle to overcome, but the 10-time World of Outlaws champion has proven he’s up to the task. He earned more points than any other driver in the second half of 2021 and looks set to do the same this year with a $175,000 payday last week, boosting momentum and confidence.

Three peat

Logan Schuchart gets the chance this weekend to do something that has never been done before in the 44-year history of the AGCO Jackson Nationals. The Shark Racing No. 1S pilot has already joined Jack McCorkell (1980-81) and Terry McCarl (2003-04) as a back-to-back Minnesota chapter champion, but now he could become the first driver to win three straight Jackson Nationals.

The entry for DuraMAX Oil, Drydene Performance Products is as popular as ever, a week in Iowa where they won the Capitani Classic, won the eve of Wednesday and went from 17th to third in the Knoxville Nationals final on Saturday . All told, the 29-year-old left Knoxville with over $60,000 in earnings.

He is currently sixth in the championship standings (-224 points) and is poised to make an attack in the second half as he continues to chase his second World of Outlaws win of the 2022 season. Schuchart finished second last year, then third and finally first in Jackson, Minnesota, proving he will be a threat to make it a three-peat this week.

Private property

For Big Game Motorsports, a trip to the Jackson Motorplex means racing close to home this weekend. The Tod Quiring-owned company – based in Windom, Minnesota – will take a short 30-minute drive on the road to Jackson, Minnesota to race at another Quiring-owned entity.

The No. 2 driver, David Gravel, has yet to win at Jackson, but has always had solid results on the three-eighth mile. Through 19 starts, Gravel has racked up nine top-five finishes with four podium appearances shining his scoreless resume on his boss’s home track.

He equaled his career as runner-up in last year’s Jackson Nationals and hopes 2022 will be the year he gives Tod Quiring a title on his own track. Gravel is fresh off a second-place finish at the Knoxville Nationals, who paid out $80,000 and pivotal momentum as he remains second in the standings (-68 points) with his first-ever World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championship on the line.

Back to points

With the Knoxville Nationals in the rearview mirror, the full-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car competitors return to points racing this weekend. The Series has 26 races left this season and Brad Sweet, entering Jackson, has a 68-point lead with his fourth consecutive championship on the line this season.

The Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts No. 49 left Knoxville a little disappointed with ninth, but they return to one of their strongest tracks this weekend. In his last 15 starts with Jackson, Sweet has never been worse than seventh and has a 3.0 average finish with four wins and two Jackson Nationals titles (2017, 2019) to his credit.

All eyes will be on the points battle for the next three months as the Series continues its path to the season-closing world finale (November 2-5) at The Dirt Track in Charlotte.

The race to 10

In 51 races, both Carson Macedo and Sheldon Haudenschild have taken eight wins with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. This weekend’s triple header in Jackson offers three chances each to win the race to double-digit wins in 2022.

Macedo is a former winner at Jackson Nationals during preliminary competition in 2019 and finished in the top five on all three nights last year aboard the Jason Johnson Racing No. 41. Macedo is currently third in the championship (-114 points) with many of his best numbers still on the calendar to close out 2022.

Haudenschild has yet to win at the Jackson, Minnesota venue, but he does have a career-best result of runner-up in IRA competition. The Stenhouse Jr. / Marshall Racing, NOS Energy Drink No. 17 finished fourth in Jackson in 2020 and comes fresh off a hard-charging 23rd to eighth outing at the Knoxville Nationals this weekend.