It is Monday, May 3rd, two thousand and twenty one. Welcome into DIRTRACKR Daily. I'm Justin Fiedler.
Today on the show we'll run you through the dirt racing weekend, including a sweep for Sweet, fisticuffs for Reutzel and Johnson, Davenport's rise continued, and more. Let's jump in.
Two more World of Outlaws sprint car races over the weekend turned into two more Brad Sweet wins. After winning a Thursday night barn burner at Jacksonville, Sweet completed the weekend sweep winning both Friday and Saturday nights at the new I-70 Motorsports Park in Missouri. On Friday night Sweet hard charged his way from ninth to take the win over Brian Brown and David Gravel, and Saturday night he slipped past a dominant Sheldon Haudenschild on a late restart to win over Carson Macedo and Haudenschild. The two weekend victories brought Sweet's win total for the season to eight in just 18 races, which means he's won over 44% of the races so far in 2021. The Friday night win from ninth was just the third time back through 2018 the night's winner was also the hard charger. The other two instances were Carson Macedo this season at Volusia when he won from 10th, and Sweet's win at Cedar Lake in July of 2020 when he won from ninth. Leaving the weekend, even with solid nights from Macedo and David Gravel, Sweet has now extended the points lead back out to 90 headed to Eldora. Gravel is second, Macedo third, Haudenschild fourth, and Aaron Reutzel is fifth.
The wildest moment of the weekend may have been something that didn't even happen on the race track. On Thursday night at Jacksonville, Wayne Johnson caught the rut in turns one and two and flipped, collecting a few drivers, including Aaron Reutzel. Before Johnson could even exit his destroyed car, Reutzel was already yelling at him about the incident. Johnson then used choice words about Reutzel in his post crash interview on DIRTVision, but things didn't end there. On Friday at I-70 things escalated to the point of a physical altercation, with the official World of Outlaws Twitter account posting video of the dust up between Johnson and Reutzel. It was no surprise to see social media light up with reaction, with Johnson even capitalizing on the moment by offering t-shirts with his Thursday night quote. If that's not 2021, I don't know what is. Johnson vs. Reutzel was very much a clash of styles and generations. Johnson is the journeyman Outlaw sophomore who is nearing 50 years of age, while Reutzel is the young, aggressive rookie who brings three straight All Star titles to his first Outlaw run. If you didn't see the social reaction, you can guess where most folks landed.
As for the action back on track, it was a solid weekend for Brian Brown, who hasn't had the greatest finishes with the Outlaws lately. His second place run on Friday night was his best finish since winning at Knoxville in June of 2019, and just his third top five in his previous 40 starts. Rookie Brock Zearfoss led his first laps of the season on Friday night and was really fast before a mechanical failure resulted in a crash. He finished 7th on Saturday with a backup car to end the weekend with a good result. And David Gravel had a solid recovery on Saturday night after losing an engine in his heat race. A B Main win, then turned into a 19th to 9th run which keeps him in the fight with Sweet in the points. Speaking of B Main appearances, your wild stat of the day comes courtesy of Brad Sweet. In the previous 221 Outlaw nights, Sweet has just five B-Main appearances. Two in 2019 and three in 2020. The Outlaws are back in action this weeked at Eldora Speedway.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series season continued over the weekend at Boone Speedway for the Hawkeye 100 weekend. Friday night Cade Dillard and Shannon Babb were the winners of the twin features. In the first race, we saw something we haven't seen much of in recent years, and that is somebody running down Brandon Sheppard late and stealing a win. Sheppard led the first 18 laps, but Dillard tracked him down and grabbed the lead with seven to go. It was Dillard's first win of the year. In the second race, which featured a 12 car invert, Shannon Babb slipped by Logan Martin on lap four and drove away to the win. It wasn't an official Outlaw victory, but Babb did get $3000 for the victory. On Saturday night, as a hat tip to the speedway and it's IMCA Nationals, the field came to green three wide and the entry into turn one was pretty crazy. Through the opening seven laps, you would have not known it was a 100 lap feature as Billy Moyer and Kyle Strickler battled it out like it was the final run to the finish. The two officially swapped the lead three times before Strickler took over on lap seven. Moyer was able to work back by Strickler for the lead on lap 20, but it was short lived, as the day belonged to Bobby Pierce. The Smooth Operator started fifth and grabbed the lead from Moyer on lap 30 and he led the next 71 laps to take the $30,000 win. It was Pierce's second Outlaw win of his career and second this season. Behind him, Shannon Babb finished second, BShepp third, Moyer fourth, and Ricky Weiss fifth. Early leader Kyle Strickler had another rough finish after contact with Ricky Weiss on lap 22 sent him around and to the back. A flat tire later in the night relegated him to a 19th place finish. Leaving the weekend, a second and a third for Sheppard sees him add to his lead in the standings. Chris Madden now trails him by 56. Tyler Bruening is now third, with Strickler slipping back to fourth. Ricky Weiss sits fifth. The late models are back this weekend for two shows at Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Wisconsin.
Speaking of national late model series, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series was also in action this weekend for two shows in Kentucky. Both nights featured late passes for the win. On Friday at Ponderosa, the race turned into a three way battle between veterans Tim McCreadie, Mike Marlar, and Jonathan Davenport. McCreadie ended up leading 48 of the 50 laps, but out of turn four coming to the checkered, Superman rolled the top to perfection and slipped by the 39 right at the line to take the win. McCreadie was second, Marlar third, Hudson O'Neal fourth, and Shane Clanton was fifth. It was the second straight series win for Davenport. On Saturday night at Florence, Davenport led early, but Hudson O'Neal ran him down from sixth to take the lead on lap 19. Behind them, lurking through much of the race was fourth starting Josh Rice. Rice moved to second before halfway and was after O'Neal for the lead. Rice was able to take the top spot briefly on lap 33, but couldn't stay there. He tried lap after lap to get by O'Neal for good. Finally, in lap traffic with four laps left, Rice cleared the 71 and drove away to his first ever series victory. O'Neal finished second, Davenport third, Tyler Erb fourth, and Tim McCreadie was fifth. With Kentucky now in the rear view, the top two in the standings haven't changed, with McCreadie still leading O'Neal. Behind them though, there are big changes. Davenport's two recent victories plus the third on Saturday see him now up to third, only 120 points behind McCreadie. Ricky Thornton Jr. is now fourth, and Shane Clanton rounds out the top five. Only 85 points separate fourth through 10th place Mike Marlar. After Bubba Raceway Park on February 1st, Davenport was 16th in the standings, and now just six races later is third. It's been a hellacious few months for Superman and his 49 team. Lucas returns to action on May 14th at 411 Motor Speedway.
Even with a Saturday win at Sharon Speedway for previous points leader Justin Peck, we've seen a change at the top of the All Star points. Peck led all 30 laps at Sharon for his second All Star win of the season. He topped Cole Duncan, Ian Madsen, Zeb Wise, and Bill Balog. At the checkered flag, Dave Blaney was actually scored in the third position, but he missed the scales and was credited with 25th. Paul McMahan finished 9th after transferring in from the B main and starting 24th. The points shakeup happened after Sunday's action at Tri City in Pennsylvania. Out front, Sam Hafertepe Jr. led all 25 laps to take his first All Star win since 2008. He's been fast this season, including some good runs with the Outlaws, and it felt like it was only a matter of time until he picked up a 410 win. Tyler Courtney finished second, Ian Madsen third, Bill Balog fourth, and Cap Henry was fifth. Justin Peck started 8th, and was up to second with a real shot at catching Hafertepe late in the going, but on a restart with eight to go, he caught the ruts wrong into turn one and and ended up flipping wildly, destroying his number 13. He was okay, but was credited with a 17th place finish. The tough end to the night allowed Ian Madsen to take the points lead after a pair of third place finishes over the weekend. Peck is back to second with Tyler Courtney third, Zeb Wise fourth, and Cory Eliason fifth. The All Star season continues May 14th at I-96 Speedway.
When we talked back on Friday about the USAC midget weekend, one driver we told you to keep an eye on was Emersom Axsom. He entered Kokomo after winning a POWRi show the weekend before, and carried that momentum into Friday night. He started second and led every lap en route to his first ever career USAC National Midget win. The 16 year old looked like a veteran through the 30 laps, fending off both Chris Windom and Cannon McIntosh. At the end, McIntosh was second, Windom third, Justin Grant fourth, and Buddy Kofoid was fifth. On Saturday night, pole sitter Chris Windom battled Daison Pursley early, but after not being able to capitalize on Friday night, took over for good on lap five and drove away to his first series win of the season. Buddy Kofoid drove up from eighth to finish second, Kevin Thomas Jr. hard charged from 13th to third, Tanner Thorson was fourth, and Emersom Axsom was fifth. With six races now complete for the USAC Midgets in 2021, Buddy Kofoid still leads the championship standings. Chris Windom has moved into second, 20 points behind Kofoid, with Justin Grant back to third, Tanner Thorson fourth, and Thomas Meseraull in fifth. The midgets are off now until May 14th and 15th at Sweet Springs in Missouri.
Other weekend open wheel winners include Brady Bacon at Kokomo, Bud Kaeding at Ocean, Dominic Scelzi in the first race back at Silver Dollar, DJ Foos in AFCS action at Fremont, Lynton Jeffrey in weekly action at Knoxville, Chad Trout at Lincoln, Anthony Macri at Port Royal, Justin Sanders in Sprint Car Challenge Tour action at Silver Dollar, Carson Short with the IRA at Wilmot, Brent Marks at BAPS, and Kyle Cummins in MSCS action at Terre Haute. For more, visit tjslideways.com.
Other weekend late model winners include Dale McDowell at Crossville, Zack Mitchell at Laurens County, Tanner English at Clarksville, Cla Knight at Lancaster, Brandon Thirlby at Merritt Speedway, Rick Eckert at Port Royal, and Max Blair at Greater Cumberland. For more from the late model weekend, visit dirtondirt.com.
There are two items on the streaming schedule, both on FloRacing. California IMCA Speedweek continues at Merced Speedway tonight with modifieds, sportmods and stocks cars, and there is FloRacing 24/7. To see the full daily streaming schedule, visit dirtrackr.com/watchtonight.
That's it for the show today, hope everyone has a good Monday. If you have thoughts about the topics on today's show, leave them in the comments below or tweet at me.
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