2017-11-09 / Racing Roundup

Racing Roundup

By Brad Vores

The 2017 dirt track season is officially in the books with the running of the World Finals at the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor speedway over the weekend.

The two drivers who have dominated World of Outlaw Sprint action this season – Donny Schatz and David Gravel – came away with the two feature wins, while Schatz also clinched his ninth career WoO Sprint championship, finishing 210 points ahead of Brad Sweet for the big honor with Gravel, Daryn Pittman and Shane Stewart the top-five in final points.

Schatz’s 20th win of the season came in Friday’s feature ahead of Ian Madsen, Dave Blaney, Kerry Madsen and Joey Saldana. Local drivers in action were Port Royal champion Brock Zearfoss, who finished 19th, while Greg Hodnett and Danny Dietrich didn’t qualify.

Gravel thrilled the crowd with a final-lap pass on Schatz to score his 18th win of the season Saturday night over Schatz, Brian Brown, Kerry Madsen and Bill Balog. Zearfoss was 13th and Hodnett 26th after an early race crash. Dietrich didn’t qualify.

On the WoO Late Model side, it was 2017 Series champion Brandon Sheppard scoring the win in Friday night’s feature over Dennis Erb Jr., Mike Marlar, Jimmy Owens and Dale McDowell. Rick Eckert was 23th and Jason Covert 28th.

Saturday night saw Erb taking the win over Marlar, Owens, Sheppard and Tim McCreadie as Covert turned in a ninth-place finish. Eckert was 21st. Local teams making the haul and not qualifying were Gary Stuhler, Mike Lupfer, Kyle Hardy, Andy Fries, Kyle Lear and Tyler Horst.

Sheppard’s first career title came aboard the Mark Richards-owned house car that has dominated the Outlaw tour in years past with son Josh Richards turning the wheel for all of the other titles. Sheppard finished 326 points to the good over Chris Madden, Shane Clanton, Devin Moran and Rick Eckert.

Both series champions were honored at the WoO banquet Sunday at Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte.

The Outlaws will be back at in February as they both see action in Florida.

Return to top