From Brian Walker / worldofoutlaws.com
When you’re hot, you’re hot; and Carson Macedo is scorching when it comes to Tri-State Speedway.
The Lemoore, CA native made a little history on Saturday night by becoming the first driver in World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series history to win three consecutive races at the Haubstadt, IN bullring. A feat that the likes of Wolfgang, Hillenburg, McMahan, or the Kinser clan could pull off at the 1/4-mile.
Much like his last two triumphs at the track, this one came down to the final few feet before the checkered flag. After surviving a chaotic five-car battle for the lead at halfway, Macedo emerged in command and fended off one last-ditch effort by Brad Sweet to win it by 0.249 seconds at the line.
The Jason Johnson Racing, Albaugh #41 is now at four wins on the 2022 season, twice as much as anyone else on tour. After winning back-to-back shows in Missouri and Indiana, they’ll head to next week’s Bristol Bash with their head held high in pursuit of a $50,000 weekend at The Last Great Colosseum.
“It’s extremely tough to win these World of Outlaws races, so going back-to-back is always big,” Macedo mentioned. “It’s so competitive right now that you can’t slip an inch, I mean you make one mistake on this tour and you can feel guys breathing down your neck. I was running it as hard as I possibly could there at the end to make sure Brad and Sheldon couldn’t get a run at me.
Haubstadt is always an exciting place. It never fails to send my heart rate through the roof here. That was one hell of a race. It’s pretty cool to be the first to win three in a row here considering how long we’ve been racing and all the legends from here.”
From the jump of the 40-lapper, Macedo’s shot at a three-peat looked bleak as The Big Cat Brad Sweet immediately settled into a comfortable lead from the outside pole. He stretched his advantage to more than 3+ seconds before taking the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Parts #49 into lap traffic.
While controlling the first 23 laps, Sweet saw a swarm of challengers step up as traffic tightened things and created a five-way battle for the lead. James McFadden was the most notorious contender early on, but bringing the heat along with him was Macedo, Indiana’s own Spencer Bayston, and the always-exciting Sheldon Haudenschild.
Amid a torrid fight in traffic, McFadden snuck the Roth Motorsports #83 into the lead at several points, but never officially led a lap. The race went sideways on Lap 27 when the first caution included second-running McFadden with nowhere to go as four backmarkers piled up in turn two.
The complexion of the race changed as Macedo had just barely stripped the lead away from Brad Sweet and restarted in command of the field. He cruised through the opening half of the restart with 13 to go, but the pressure amped up as the #49 caught the #41 in the closing moments.
Sweet had one last shot at Macedo but fell short by 0.249-seconds as Carson stole Haubstadt honors for the third year in a row. For Sweet, the Grass Valley, CA native banked his eighth podium through 15 races and extended his streak to 14 straight top-10 finishes to start the year as he vies for a fourth consecutive World of Outlaws championship.
“I don’t think I was aggressive enough in lap traffic, honestly,” Sweet admitted. “I was a little too conservative and you really need to get your elbows up at this place. I kept waiting for gaps and my patience opened the door too much. When you’re in second it’s easy to pick and choose lanes, but you’re a sitting duck in the front. It just came down to decisions, I don’t think my car was any worse at all.”
Sheldon Haudenschild, who suffered a heartbreaking loss at Tri-State last year, rounded out the podium with a third-place effort for the Stenhouse Jr. / Marshall Racing, NOS Energy Drink #17.
“At the end of the day, I finished a race here and we were on the podium, so I’ll take it and move on to Bristol,” a relieved Sheldon said.
Closing out the top-five in Haubstadt was Lebanon, IN’s Spencer Bayston with another stellar finish for CJB Motorsports, and Shark Racing’s Logan Schuchart with an impressive top-five at a track the team has struggled at in the past.
David Gravel, Carson Short, Jacob Allen, Tanner Thorson, and Sam Hafertepe Jr. rounded out the top-10 on Saturday.
Up Next (Thur-Sat):
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series prepares for a historic weekend with the Bristol Bash from Thursday-Saturday, April 28-30. They’ll join the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series at Tennessee’s Bristol Motor Speedway for a pair of $25,000-to-win Features at The Last Great Colosseum.
NOS Energy Drink Feature Results (40 Laps):
1. 41-Carson Macedo [$10,000]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [$6,000]; 3. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$3,500]; 4. 5-Spencer Bayston [$2,800]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$2,500]; 6. 2-David Gravel [$2,300]; 7. 21-Carson Short [$2,200]; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen [$2,100]; 9. 19AZ-Tanner Thorson [$2,050]; 10. 15H-Sam Hafertepe [$2,000]; 11. 83-James McFadden [$1,600]; 12. 15-Donny Schatz [$1,400]; 13. 20G-Noah Gass [$1,200]; 14. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$1,100]; 15. 5C-Kyle Cummins [$1,050]; 16. 24-Rico Abreu [$1,000]; 17. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,000]; 18. 3-Ayrton Gennetten [$1,000]; 19. 6-Bill Rose [$1,000]; 20. 7M-Geoff Dodge [$1,000]; 21. 17K-Kendall Ruble [$1,000]; 22. 7S-Jason Sides [$1,000]; 23. 5K-Jason McDougal [$1,000]; 24. 51B-Joe B-Miller [$1,000].
NEW Championship Standings (After 15/81 Races):
1. Brad Sweet (2,116); 2. Carson Macedo (-44); 3. David Gravel (-56); 4. Sheldon Haudenschild (-74); 5. James McFadden (-138); 6. Donny Schatz (-142); 7. Logan Schuchart (-142); 8. Spencer Bayston (-170); 9. Jacob Allen (-216); 10. Giovanni Scelzi (-282).