SMART Modifieds Joining North Wilkesboro Racetrack Revival
May 10, 2022
This has not been the start to the 2022 World of Outlaws season that Logan Schuchart had anticipated, but it’s starting to come back around.
After winning 22 races over the past three seasons, the next step would a championship run that lasts deep into September and October, but the west coast spring fling was not kind to the Shark Racing No. 1S team.
Schuchart averaged an 11.2 finish across Tulare, Merced, Bakersfield, Perris, Vado and Devil's Bowl. Some of it was misfortune, like an engine issue that negated a top-10 qualifying effort at Devil's Bowl, but a lot of it was just not qualifying well.
And in the World of Outlaws, with this caliber of parity and competition, that's hard to overcome.
So that Schuchart has run off a stretch of five consecutive top-5s, including a win at the Bristol Bash, is cause for optimism and a chance to reflect on what happened out west.
"There are so many good teams out here; so many good cars that it’s easy to start second guessing yourself," Schuchart said. "At the beginning of the year, we're going back to the west coast, something we didn't do the past two years when we got off to really good starts, and those are tracks that haven't always been kind to us.
"We haven't qualified well, we have good cars, but when you don't qualify well, it's just so hard to overcome that against these teams. It's just a bad position to be in."
It hasn’t all been bad.
Take Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana where Schuchart has struggled mightily over the past decade with four straight finishes of 22nd and then 17th and 18th in his first several appearances. He finished fifth there on April 23.
So, the grandson of Bobby Allen is keeping a level headed perspective entering the summer and after winning at Thunder Valley.
"It was just nice to be back in victory lane itself, let alone at a place like Bristol,” Schuchart said.
"...I don’t want to say we’ve figured it out, there will still be some struggles, but if you look at our recent runs we’re shining at places we haven’t before. We’re getting back to where we should. It’s tough with as many good teams as we have out here, you can second guess yourself in a heartbeat. I’m just thankful and fortunate to be winning races with my grandpa and the rest of my family. It’s special."
That’s the key of course, staying even keeled when things aren’t going well.
"This is hard stuff," Schuchart said. "It’s really easy to overthink everything you’re doing when you get in a bad stretch and that can lead you down a bad path if you’re not careful. I almost let myself get there a month ago but the communication between this team is so strong between Ron (Helmick), Bill Klingbeil and my grandfather and we’ve got some strong tracks for us this summer."
These are the same tracks that led to a championship caliber season the past two years especially and it’s never too late for a run that begins in April and May. At -122 behind Brad Sweet, the season is hardly lost and that’s cause for optimism too.