WAVERLY, OHIO (May 26, 2023) – The race season is picking up for the stars of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series as they already have 21 scheduled WoO races in the rearview mirror and are now focused on a 3-day race weekend ahead starting with the front end of a doubleheader at Atomic Speedway on Friday night. Atomic Speedway, built in 1953 by a group of successful business individuals from Chillicothe, is located in Southern Ohio about an hour outside of Columbus, Ohio just off US-23 South. The 3/8-mile dirt oval, now under the direction of Charlie Vest, is dubbed the “Fastest 3/8 mile Dirt Track in the World” welcoming 35 teams into the pit area on Friday to compete World of Outlaws style for the fans in the stands to kick off the Memorial Day weekend. It was race day at Atomic Speedway . . . and, also a special day because it was Carson Macedo’s 27th birthday!
After hot laps concluded, it was time for each driver to race against the clock in Low-E Insulation Qualifying. Each team randomly drew a number earlier in the evening to determine where they would go out for their two laps of qualifying. For Carson Macedo and the Albaugh #41 that positioned him as the 10th driver out on the track along with Nathan Skaggs in the #2s. He climbed into his Fibreworks Composites (FWC) composite seat, fitted with a Sharp Advantage custom fitted insert, and pulled his red Crow Enterprizes belts tight for his upcoming high speed adventure. Clyde Knipp jumped on the Polaris four-wheeler and rolled the Lemoore, California speedster to the staging area as he waited his turn to make speed. When his Kistler Engines power came to life he entered the track off the turn two push off lane and dropped his K1 Race Gear shoe and set sail heading for the waving green flag. The clock was rolling and so was the driver of the Tarlton and Son/Smith Titanium/BK Motorsports #41 Maxim as he worked the cushion which was about hallway up the track. When he flew by the timing stripe to end lap one his time was a good one at 11.301 seconds. He stayed the course focused on hitting his marks to see if there was anything left in his speed machine to save some more time. After racing under the waving black and white checked cloth his time for lap two was consistent as it was recorded in 11.363 seconds. The better of his two qualifying circuits ended the night third quick overall, with David Gravel laying down the fastest lap of the night in time trials at 11.236 seconds.
The starting lineups were compiled by World of Outlaws Timing and Scoring Officials and posted for the four 8-lap heat races. There are only five transfer positions available in each of the heat races with the lineups being filled with a whole lot of talented sprint car drivers from the front row to the back row. All of the teams have to be on their game in order to be successful. Carson would line the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Bell Helmets/FK Rod Ends #41 Maxim on the inside of the front row in the third heat race. Fellow Californian Giovanni Scelzi would share the row with him as the always exciting Cole Duncan at Atomic and Brock Zearfoss tucked in behind in row two. Skylar Gee and Ryan Myers made up row three with Jake Hesson and Nathan Skaggs rounding out the starting grid. The drivers paced from their starting spots down the backstretch as they began to speed up towards the chalk striped laid down across turn four. When they arrived they rocketed down the front chute and into turn one, but a quick yellow flag came out for Ryan Myers who spun in the first set of turns on the initial start. They would try again to start this time with Carson Macedo powering off the low side of turn four and down the front chute aboard the Albaugh #41. He led Scelzi and Zearfoss when the first lap was put in the books and then started to stretch his lead over those two as they were battling hard for the runner-up position. By the halfway point of the race, Carson had built a lead of a little over one second and was showing off his speed from his Kistler Engines. Macedo was never challenged as he led wire-to-wire to collect his series leading 13th heat race win of the year. He was followed across the finish line by Giovanni Scelzi, Brock Zearfoss, Cole Duncan and Skylar Gee who all locked down transfer spots moving them into the feature at the end of the night.
The eight drivers who made the Toyota Dash headed to the frontstretch to pull for their starting spots to set the starting lineup in the 6-lap race. When the lineup was set it would be Brad Sweet and Kyle Larson in the front row with Carson Macedo and David Gravel in row two. Logan Schuchart and James McFadden paced from row three with Donny Schatz and Giovanni Scelzi situated in row four. The drivers all rolled out onto a fresh racing surface after some track work was completed preceding the dash as they rolled into their starting positions. Before they got started though they all helped ran in the bottom of the racing surface as it still need some work, but when they were done it was time to compete at speed. The green flag was out and it was Brad Sweet to the lead over Larson and Macedo by the time they passed the flag stand. Carson was working the bottom in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41 as he was battling with David Gravel for position. Brad Sweet was working the cushion, which had moved up the track, as he began to build his lead over Larson. The field started to put some space between themselves and the car behind them and the six laps clicked off quickly. Brad Sweet raced to the win over Kyle Larson with Carson coming home third, David Gravel fourth and Logan Schuchart fifth. Donny Schatz hustled home sixth with James McFadden and Giovanni Scelzi rounding out the finishing order.
With 24 cars now qualified and locked into the 35-lap NOS Energy Drink feature event at Atomic Speedway, it was now time to see who was going to earn the win on the opening night at the Southern Ohio speed plant. The Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Jansen Transportation/All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads #41 with Carson Macedo behind the wheel was poised to getting rolling from his third starting position.
The brother-in-laws of Brad Sweet and Kyle Larson led the field as the caution lights went off and the green ones illuminated. Sweet was the first driver to turn one with Larson and Macedo stalking him. They were kicking up the dust as they were busy making speed. It didn’t take long for the leaders to catch the slower cars at the back of the pack as they caught them and began to navigate them on lap 5. These talented speed chauffeurs were doing a masterful job weaving through the traffic amidst the dust that was flying.
Action was slowed on lap 9 for tenth running Cale Thomas who spun his #91 and was sitting sideways just of turn four on the frontstretch. It was Sweet at the front followed by Larson, Macedo, Schatz and Scelzi when they would go back to green flag racing. Brad Sweet maintained the lead with Kyle Larson following with baited breath. Meanwhile, Carson was now in an all-out tussle with 10-time WoO Champion Donny Schatz for third. Schatz would get by the driver of the Tarlton and Son #41. The leaders were again back in traffic by lap 15 allowing Larson to close the gap on Sweet for the lead.
The next time around though action came to an abrupt halt when the red flag came out for the #5J of Jake Hesson and the #29 of Cole Macedo who both got upside down over in turn two. Both drivers were ok, but the respite in action allowed the drivers to regain their composure and reframe their race strategies. The running order was Sweet leading Larson, Schatz and Macedo with David Gravel now fighting his way back into the top five in the Big Game Motorsports #2.
The engines re-fired and the field was again set to go fast with 19 laps left to race. The driver of the NAPA Auto Parts #49 pounded the loud pedal and just like that the field was back up to speed. Kyle Larson was running in the second spot with Carson Macedo driving back by Donny Schatz into the show position. Schatz wasn’t having any of it and raced back by Macedo for third. The two exchanged slide jobs and positions as they waged a great battle for the third spots. For the time being it was Schatz’s position, but Carson wasn’t too far behind.
On lap 19 another caution flag was displayed, this time for Australian Cody Maroske who spun his #101 on the exit of turn four. Sweet was still at the front of the pack with a really talented foursome just behind in Larson, Schatz, Macedo and Scelzi. Sweet got them back up to speed when they went back to green flag racing followed by Larson and Schatz. Carson was now in a three car battle for position with Giovanni Scelzi and David Gravel. The driver of the Albaugh #41 came out ahead and held onto the fourth position in the running order.
The race leaders were setting a pretty good pace and knocking off some laps on the scoreboard, but on lap 24 the action was again slowed as Jacob Allen was off the pace with mechanical issues sending him to the pit area. With 11 laps to go Brad Sweet was again on the hammer racing back towards the green flag. Through the first set of turns things began to get wild. Second running Kyle Larson slipped up over the lip of the track allowing an opening for Carson Macedo to speed through as he raced by Larson and Schatz into the runner-up position.
Carson began to close the gap between himself and the leader Sweet and with two laps to go was right there. He stayed close and when the white flag was waving he attempted a slide job entering turn one to take the lead that was not successful. He tucked back into second hoping to make one last attempt to steal the lead through turns three and four. Brad Sweet slid by the lap car of Robbie Price and could see the checkers through the dust. But the final yellow of the night came out for fourth running Donny Schatz who absolutely shredded his right rear tire.
It would be a green-white-checkered race to the finish with Sweet leading Macedo, Larson, Gravel and Zearfoss. The restart would mean everything and certain was expected to be all-out chaos. It did not disappoint as Sweet drove off run four and went low. Larson tapped the rear nerf bar of Macedo as those two drivers and Gravel elected to build speed off the top side of the speedway. Larson dove under Macedo entering turn one to take over second relegating Macedo back to third. Brad Sweet would not be denied on this night, even by his uber-talented brother-in-law Kyle Larson, as he led the entire race to pick up his fifth win of the season over Kyle Larson with Carson Macedo coming home third to make it an all California podium at Atomic Speedway on the opening night. David Gravel secured fourth place with Skylar Gee from deep in the pack (19th place starting spot) making a last lap and last corner pass to earn a fifth place finish.
On the front straightaway, Chase Raudman interviewed third place finisher Carson Macedo after a good run to start the weekend. The smiling birthday boy sighed and stated, “I was bummed to see the caution come out.” He continued, “I didn’t clear him off of turn two, but I thought maybe I could throw something at him in turn three and off turn four. But it just didn’t work out that way. The yellow came out and I thought . . . well, maybe I’ll have another shot. Brad got a good start and then Kyle started throwing bombs at me and I was trying to race him. I knew that was going to be tough to win that battle.” Nonetheless, Carson and the JJR #41 team fought hard all night and earned a quality third place finish, his seventh WoO podium of the season, and gained some momentum and confidence to return to Atomic Speedway for the final on Saturday night. Another really good run for Macedo and the forty-one!
Carson Earns His Seventh WoO Podium Finish of the 2023 Season at Atomic Speedway! Photo Credit: World of Outlaws
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To stay up-to-date with Carson Macedo and his success journey on and off the track, as well as to purchase his gear and merchandise directly, visit www.carsonmacedoracing.com.