Gravel, Erb and Sheppard Victors at WoO Finals
Saturday's Textron Off Road World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte saw David Gravel capture the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series feature in a last-lap pass; Dennis Erb Jr. took the World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory and Matt Sheppard triumphed in the Super DIRTcar big-block modifieds; Donny Schatz claimed his ninth Outlaw sprint car title, Brandon Sheppard celebrated the Late Model crown and Matt Sheppard corralled the big-block modified championship.
Fans from 48 U.S. states including Hawaii and Alaska attended the event, with fans also coming from as far away as South Africa and Scotland to witness the 11th annual World Finals – which hosted a sold-out crowd on Saturday
CONCORD, N.C. (Nov. 4, 2017) – Track Release - A sold-out crowd of race fans witnessed an action-packed finale of the Textron Off Road World of Outlaws World Finals on a stellar Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The world's most exciting three days of dirt racing roared to a thrilling conclusion with David Gravel passing World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz on the final lap of an exhilarating season finale. Brandon Sheppard (World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series) and Matt Sheppard (Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds) joined Schatz in celebrating well-earned championships.
Schatz appeared set to wrap up his season with a victory, but Gravel took advantage of the points leader's late-race struggles with lapped traffic. Gravel rode the cushion in the final laps, slid under Schatz in Turn 1 on the 30th and last lap and held on for his 18th win of the season.
"That was a hell of a blast," Gravel said. "I hope everybody loved that. Luckily (Schatz) didn't move up in (turns) 3 and 4 and I was able to get another shot at him. Lapped cars were kind of running in his lane. I just went outside of him, got a hell of a run each time and I just tried to choose the right time to pull the trigger. It worked out."
Despite narrowly missing out on his 250th career Outlaw sprint car victory, Schatz took solace in winning the war – his ninth series title.
"It's been a great year," Schatz said. "We would've liked to have finished it a little bit better but it's still something to hang your hat on. I don't think there's any question 250 will happen. It just didn't happen tonight."
Cole Duncan, Ian Madsen, David Gravel, Trey Starks, Joey Saldana and Bill Balog collected heat victories. Brian Brown and Stevie Smith won dashes. Shane Stewart won the B-Main. Tony Stewart won the C-Main.
The final race of the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series season more than lived up to its billing as a can't-miss event.
Dennis Erb Jr. collected his first Outlaw late model victory of the year after he rallied late in the race and passed Mike Marlar to take the checkered flag. Marlar dominated the early going but didn't have enough to keep Erb at bay as the race wound down. Series champion Brandon Sheppard followed Erb, Marlar and Jimmy Owens with a fourth-place finish. Tim McCreadie was fifth with Jonathan Davenport sixth.
"We've been working really hard," Erb said. "We had a really good car last night. We tweaked on it a little bit tonight and were able to get the job done. … (Marlar) slipped up there just a bit and we took advantage of it. We didn't want to look back because we had a full field behind us. It really feels good to come here and pick up a victory in front of everybody."
Josh Richards, Erb, Marlar, Dale McDowell and Sheppard scored heat wins. Casey Roberts, Chris Madden and Brandon Overton won B-Mains.
"Our team is amazing," Sheppard said during his championship celebration. "I was hoping to break (Josh Richards' single-season) win record tonight but I guess we'll settle with tying it. This team, in my mind, is the best one out there."
Matt Sheppard celebrated his sixth Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified championship in style on Saturday. Needing to protect his 37-point lead over Billy Decker, "Super Matt" controlled the feature and held off all challenges from runner-up Keith Flach to conclude his season in appropriate fashion. Mike Mahaney, Danny Johnson and Tim Fuller rounded out the top five.
"This place is so crazy," said Sheppard, who won 12 out of his 25 starts this season. "You can't take a lap off here. You've got to be on the gas every lap. It's awesome to put on a show in front of a big crowd like this. This makes our season."
Demetrious Drellos, Matt Sheppard, Mike Mahaney, Keith Flach and Tim Fuller captured heat wins.
World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Cars
Heat Race #1 (8 laps): 1. Cole Duncan; 2. Kerry Madsen; 3. Greg Hodnett; 4. Shane Stewart; 5. Logan Schuchart; 6. Jacob Allen; 7. Shawn Dancer; 8. Tony Stewart
Heat Race #2 (8 laps): 1. Ian Madsen; 2. Donny Schatz; 3. Paige Polyak; 4. Brock Zearfoss; 5. Parker Price-Miller; 6. Josh Baughman; 7. Spencer Bayston; 8. Justin Barger
Heat Race #3 (8 laps): 1. David Gravel; 2. Brian Brown; 3. Brad Sweet; 4. Danny Dietrich; 5. Tim Shaffer; 6. Carson Macedo; 7. Greg Wilson; 8. Troy Fraker
Heat Race #4 (8 laps): 1. Trey Starks; 2. Paul McMahan; 3. Brent Marks; 4. Sam Hafertepe; 5. Jac Haudenschild; 6. Kraig Kinser; 7. Dan Shelter; 8. Coleman Gulick; 9. Dane Lorenc
Heat Race #5 (8 laps): 1. Joey Saldana; 2. Daryn Pittman; 3. Sheldon Haudenschild; 4. Jason Sides; 5. Terry McCarl; 6. Scott Kreutter; 7. John Price; 8. Jay Galloway; 9. Sammy Swindell
Heat Race #6 (8 laps): 1. Bill Balog; 2. Ryan Smith; 3. Jason Johnson; 4. Chad Kemenah; 5. Dave Blaney; 6. Clyde Knipp; 7. Caleb Helms; 8. Eric Riggins Jr.
C-Main (10 laps): 1. Tony Stewart; 2. Carson Macedo; 3. Spencer Bayston; 4. Dane Lorenc; 5. Coleman Gulick; 6. Shawn Dancer; 7. Caleb Helms; 8. Scott Kreutter; 9. Eric Riggins Jr.; 10. Justin Barger; 11. Dan Shetler; 13. John Price; 14. Troy Fraker; 15. Clyde Knipp; DNS: Danny Dietrich
Dash #1 (6 laps): 1. Brian Brown; 2. Donny Schatz; 3. David Gravel; 4. Kerry Madsen; 5. Cole Duncan; 6. Ian Madsen
Dash #2 (6 laps): 1.Ryan Smith; 2. Daryn Pittman; 3. Bill Balog; 4. Paul McMahan; 5. Joey Saldana; 6. Trey Starks
B-Main (12 laps): 1. Shane Stewart; 2. Jac Haudenchild; 3. Brock Zearfoss; 4. Logan Schuchart; 5. Sam Hafertepe; 6. Dave Blaney; 7. Greg Wilson; 8. Parker Price-Miller; 9. Tim Shaffer; 10. Kraig Kinser; 11. Chad Kemenah; 12. Carson Macedo; 13. Tony Stewart; 14. Jason Sides; 15. Josh Baughman; 16. Jacob Allen; 17. Terry McCarl, DNS: Sammy Swindell
A-Main (30 laps): 1. David Gravel; 2. Donny Schatz; 3. Brian Brown; 4. Kerry Madsen; 5. Bill Balog; 6. Logan Schuchart; 7. Daryn Pittman; 8. Cole Duncan; 9. Brent Marks; 10. Ryan Smith; 11. Brad Sweet; 12. Trey Starks; 13. Brock Zearfoss; 14. Shane Stewart; 15. Sam Hafertepe; 16. Greg Wilson; 17. Jason Sides; 18. Paige Polyak; 19. Paul McMahan; 20. Ian Madsen; 21. Parker Price-Miller; 22. Kraig Kinser; 23. Sheldon Haudenschild; 24. Joey Saldana; 25. Jason Johnson; 26. Greg Hodnett; 27. Dave Blaney; 28. Jac Haudenschild
World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Models
Heat Race #1 (8 laps): 1. Josh Richards; 2. Jason Covert; 3. Rusty Schlenk; 4. Casey Roberts; 5. Nick Hoffman; 6. Darrell Lanigan; 7. Dustin Mitchell; 8. Gary Stuhler; 9. Morgan Bagley; 10. Devin Moran; 11. Mike Lupfer; 12. Brian Ledbetter; 13. Brian Shirley
Heat Race #2 (8 laps): 1. Dennis Erb Jr.; 2. Tim McCreadie; 3. Chase Junghans; 4. Jared Hawkins; 5. Jason Feger; 6. Benji Hicks; 7. Kody Evans; 8. Freddie Carpenter; 9. Carder Miller; 10. Kyle Hardy; 11. Don O'Neal, DNS: Kerry King; Chris Ferguson
Heat Race #3 (8 laps): 1. Mike Marlar; 2. Jimmy Owens; 3. Jonathan Davenport; 4. Brandon Kinzer; 5. Donny Schatz; 6. Mason Zeigler; 7. Ross Robinson; 8. Andy Fries; 9. Clay Daly; 10. Justin Williams; 11. Joey Coulter, DNS: Russ King
Heat Race #4 (8 laps): 1. Dale McDowell; 2. Ross Bailes; 3. Dale Hollidge; 4. Chris Madden; 5. Nick Davis; 6. Zach McMillan; 7. Dan Stone; 8. Matt Sponaugle; 9. Jason Jameson; 10. Chub Frank; 11. Greg Clark; 12. Tom Decker III; 13. Brian Ruhlman
Heat Race #5 (8 laps): 1. Brandon Sheppard; 2. Scott Bloomquist; 3. Hudson O'Neal; 4. Brandon Overton; 5. Rick Eckert; 6. Ryan King; 7. Steven Roberts; 9. Steve Francis; 10. Chad Ruhlman; 11. Bob Gordon, DNS: Riley Hickman
Heat Race #6 (8 laps): 1. Shane Clanton; 2. Tyler Erb; 3. Tyler Millwood; 4. Eric Wells; 5. Steve Casebolt; 6. Logan Martin; 7. T.J. Reaid; 8. Kyle Lear; 9. Blake Spencer; 10. Tyler Horst; 11. Corey Conley, DNS: Tyler Carpenter
B-Main #1 (12 Laps): 1. Casey Roberts; 2. Jared Hawkins; 3. Darrell Lanigan; 4. Nick Hoffman; 5. Jason Feger; 6. Kody Evans; 7. Gary Stuhler; 8. Brian Shirley; 9. Dustin Mitchell; 10. Morgan Bagley; 11. Carder Miller; 12. Mike Lupfer; 13. Freddie Carpenter; 14. Benji Hicks; 15. Brian Ledbetter; 16. Devin Moran, DNS: Kyle Hardy; Don O'Neal; Kerry King; Chris Ferguson
B-Main #2 (12 Laps): 1. Chris Madden; 2. Brandon Kinzer; 3. Donny Schatz; 4. Nick Davis; 5. Zach McMillan; 6. Ross Robinson; 7. Dan Stone; 8. Andy Fries; 9. Joey Coulter; 10. Clay Daly; 11. Chub Frank; 12. Brian Ruhlman; 13. Jason Jameson; 14. Tom Decker III; 15. Greg Clark; 16. Matt Sponaugle; 17. Mason Zeigler, DNS: Justin Williams; Russ King
B-Main #3 (12 Laps): 1. Brandon Overton; 2. Rick Eckert; 3. Eric Wells; 4. Logan Martin; 5. Steven Roberts; 6. Steve Casebolt; 7. Bob Gordon; 8. Kyle Lear; 9. Blake Spencer; 10. Ryan King; 11. Chad Ruhlman; 12. Tyler Horst; 13. Steve Francis, DNS: T.J. Reaid; Brent Larson; Corey Conley; Riley Hickman; Tyler Carpenter
A-Main (50 laps): 1. Dennis Erb Jr.; 2. Mike Marlar; 3. Jimmy Owens; 4. Brandon Sheppard; 5. Tim McCreadie; 6. Jonathan Davenport; 7. Dale McDowell; 8. Josh Richards; 9. Jason Covert; 10. Shane Clanton; 11. Scott Bloomquist; 12. Brandon Overton; 13. Chris Madden; 14. Hudson O'Neal; 15. Casey Roberts; 16. Tyler Erb; 17. Brian Shirley; 18. Devin Moran; 19. Rusty Schlenk; 20. Dale Hollidge; 21. Rick Eckert; 22. Eric Wells; 23. Jared Hawkins; 24. Morgan Bagley; 25. Chub Frank; 26. Chase Junghans; 27. Ross Bailes; 28. Brandon Kinzer; 29. Tyler Millwood
Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds.
B-Main #1 (10 laps): 1. Tyler Dippel; 2. Chad Jeseo; 3. Frank Cozze; 4. Marcus Dinkins; 5. Yan Bussiere; 6. Rick Regalski Jr.; 7. Rich Scagliotta; 8. Kody Graham; 9. Max McLaughlin; 10. Jimmy Phelps
B-Main #2 (10 laps): 1. Michael Maresca; 2. Justin Wright; 3. Jim Rasey; 4. Brett Hearn; 5. Loui Jackson Jr.; 6. Pierre Hebert; 7. Billy Whittaker; 8. Rick Richner; 9. Joe August Jr.; 10. Jean-F Corriveau; 11. Brandon Walters
A-Main (40 laps): 1. Matt Sheppard; 2. Keith Flach; 3. Mike Mahaney; 4. Danny Johnson; 5. Tim Fuller; 6. Peter Britten; 7. Billy Decker; 8. Ryan Godown; 9. Pat Ward; 10. Erick Rudolph; 11. Justin Haers: 12. Jimmy Phelps; 13. Tyler Dippel; 14. Michael Maresca; 15. Larry Wright; 16. Brett Hearn; 17. Carey Terrence; 18. Gary Tomkins; 19. Max McLaughlin; 20. Mat Williamson; 21. Demetrios Drellos; 22. Tyler Siri; 23. Chris Hile; 24. Billy Whittaker; 25. Chad Jeseo; 26. Brandon Walters; 27. Brian Swartzlander; 28. Justin Wright; 29. Dave Blaney
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.