From Brian Walker / worldofoutlaws.com
It took Anthony Macri more than five years and 60 starts to win his first-career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Feature; then it only took him another 23 hours to quickly top his second.
The 23-year-old sensation earned his 23rd win of 2022 on Saturday night, doing so in spectacular fashion as swept the Nittany Showdown at Pennsylvania’s Port Royal Speedway to bank a $25,000 weekend on home turf.
Unlike Friday’s flag-to-flag domination, Saturday’s score required much more of a battle as the Dillsburg, PA native went toe-to-toe with Myerstown, PA’s Brent Marks. The duo swapped slider-after-slider for three laps near the midway point, but Macri’s #39M ultimately prevailed on Lap 15 and never looked back.
It was the perfect exclamation point on what has easily been the most incredible season of Macri’s young career. He’s the winningest driver in the country, he won the $60,000 Tuscarora 50 last month, now he’s a back-to-back World of Outlaws winner; and the year still isn’t officially over.
“It’s honestly incredible,” Macri remarked on his year. “This is something that I didn’t think was ever feasible. It’s a testament to how hard this team works and the effort we put in. We had a great car all night long again. I had to kind of wait for Brent [Marks] to hit dirty air or a restart to make a move on him. I knew I needed to turn the wick up, but mainly keep it out of the fence once I got by him.
I don’t know what it is, honestly, that has changed for us. Nothing specific is different, I’m pretty sure this car is leftover from last year. I think it’s just been a mindset thing for this group. I finally started to get my head out of my butt more often, too. It’s unreal.”
After leading the opening 14 laps, Brent Marks slipped back to earn runner-up honors with his eighth podium of the year in World of Outlaws competition. It was a strong rebound for the Murray-Marks #19 after leaving on the wrecker during Friday’s Feature.
“This kind of feels like a win after these last two races,” Marks mentioned. “We had a good car all night long, but the #39M is just so good here. It’s a unique setup for this track and they have it nailed down. I felt like we had a winning car, but we’re not as good as them right now. I’m proud of this team for all the adversity we’ve faced lately.”
Finishing third and snapping the PA Posse’s streak of podium sweeps at Port Royal was David Gravel in the Big Game Motorsports #2. Across both nights, he chopped off 28 points in the championship chase and now sits only 66-points behind Brad Sweet with six nights remaining.
“Anything is possible,” Gravel noted on the title pursuit. “I’m really proud of our effort this weekend. It feels good to be competitive at a place like this against these guys. They’re just willing to go to that next level here that I’m not as comfortable with yet. Once we get to race here more and more, I think I’ll get used to it down the road.”
Closing out the top-five at Port Royal was 10-time World of Outlaws champion, Donny Schatz, in fourth, and 121-time Port Royal winner, Lance Dewease, finishing fifth.
Rounding out the top-10 on Saturday was Danny Dietrich in sixth, Lucas Wolfe in seventh, James McFadden in eighth, Brad Sweet in ninth, and Kasey Kahne in tenth.
UP NEXT (Fri-Sat):
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will make their final trip to the Midwest next weekend with stops at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, NE on Friday, October 14, and then Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS on Saturday, October 15. Fans can BUY TICKETS HERE, or watch every lap LIVE on DIRTVision.
NOS Energy Drink Feature Results (30 Laps) :
1. 39M-Anthony Macri (2); 2. 19-Brent Marks (1); 3. 2-David Gravel (4); 4. 15-Donny Schatz (5); 5. 69K-Lance Dewease (12); 6. 48-Danny Dietrich (10); 7. 5W-Lucas Wolfe (13); 8. 83-James McFadden (7); 9. 49-Brad Sweet (3); 10. 9-Kasey Kahne (17); 11. 18-Giovanni Scelzi (18); 12. 41-Carson Macedo (11); 13. 23-Devon Borden (8); 14. 42-Sye Lynch (16); 15. 55-Mike Wagner (21); 16. 1A-Jacob Allen (20); 17. 6D-Ryan Smith (26); 18. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild (15); 19. 11K-Kraig Kinser (24); 20. 73-Scotty Thiel (22); 21. 7S-Robbie Price (23); 22. 1S-Logan Schuchart (9); 23. 67-Justin Whittall (14); 24. 8-Freddie Rahmer (19); 25. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss (27); 26. 5-Spencer Bayston (6); 27. 45-Jeff Halligan (25).
Championship Standings (68/74 Races) :
1. Brad Sweet (8,470); 2. David Gravel (-66); 3. Carson Macedo (-134); 4. Donny Schatz (-224); 5. Sheldon Haudenschild (-262); 6. Logan Schuchart (-386); 7. James McFadden (-484); 8. Spencer Bayston (-564); 9. Jacob Allen (-680); 10. Brock Zearfoss (-960).
Photo: worldofoutlaws.com / Trent Gower