What to Watch for in the 2021 World of Outlaws Sprint Car season

Outlaws sprint 2021
Paul Arch, World Racing Group

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series begins its 2021 season tonight with the DirtCar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.

The three-race stand for sprint cars from February 5-7 kicks off a schedule of more than 90 races in 27 states that ends at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s World Finals November 4-6.

If 2020 is any kind of gauge, the first three races will set the tone for the season. Last year Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet and Logan Schuhart won the first three Outlaws races before they all finished in the top three in points.

Sweet ended Schatz’s streak of five consecutive championships in 2019 by the narrowest of margins. When the checkers waved over the final race that season, he had a four-point advantage over Schatz. Now it is his turn to start building a dynasty as he guns for a third straight title in 2021.

If he can pull off the feat, he will become only the third driver in Outlaws history to win three consecutive championships along with Schatz and the legendary Steve Kinser.


But fans cannot discount Schatz’s chances of upsetting Sweet in his bid. From 2013 through 2018 he scored 20 or more Outlaws wins each year. The 2019 season saw him win 11 times and last year he slipped to five victories, but only 54 races were run due to the complications of scheduling during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

For the 2021 championship race, 16 drivers have announced their intent to run the full schedule, but not all of them are in their accustomed spots.

The 2021 season will also showcase one of the best rookie battles in quite some while.

Three-time and reigning All Star Circuit of Champions title holder Aaron Reutzel steps up the the Outlaws in 2021 by taking over the No. 83 Roth Motorsports ride vacated by Daryn Pittman. David Gravel turns over the No. 41 to Carson Macedo and moves into the No. 2M Big Game Motorsports ride, while Parker Price-Miller joins a sister team to the No. 41 for his fulltime campaign.

Reutzel joins a jam-packed rookie class that includes four Outlaws winners. Reutzel scored victories in 2018 at Tulare (Ca.) Thunderbowl and 2019 at Perris (Ca.) Auto Speedway.

RELIVE ONE OF 2020’S BEST BATTLES: Kyle Larson, Donny Schatz and Brad Sweet swap spots at Lernerville

Pennsylvania Posse member Brock Zearfoss won in 2017 at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. and last year at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa.

Australian James McFadden will race the No. 9 Kasey Kahne sprint car as a teammate to Sweet after winning in Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. in 2017 and last year at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon Mo., while Price-Miller already has victory his credit at the Grove in 2017.

This year will be a chance to see if father and son can get wild together. ‘The Wild Child’ Jac Haudenschild will team up with Rico Abreu in 2021 to run in 25 of the 90 races, giving a chance to race alongside ‘Little Wild’ Sheldon Haudenschild in some of the best equipment in the field. After winning his first race in the 2018 season opener at Volusia, Sheldon scored a career-best seven victories last year to bring his total to 14.

And all of that will happen as the drivers compete for record purses. In 2021, all 90 plus races on the Outlaws schedule will pay a minimum of $10,000 to win and $1,000 to start. An additional $90,000 has been added to the season-ending points fund.

Chase Sexton wins Triple Crown Anaheim 2 Supercross: Levi Kitchen unseats Jett Lawrence in 250s

Supercross Anaheim 2
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Chase Sexton won two of the three races in the Monster Energy Supercross Anaheim 2 Triple Crown, which was enough to overcome a fifth-place finish in Race 2 and give him the overall victory. It was the second Supercross win of his career.

“Super big night for me,” Sexton told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “After last weekend with that being a struggle, I just need to come out here and stop the bleeding a little bit and I did that tonight.”

Sexton suffered a crash on Lap 1 of his heat, sending him into Last Chance Qualifier. The bad gate pick put him in a difficult position to start the race and he was able to climb to only fifth at the checkers.

At Anaheim 2, three riders entered the final race of the Triple Crown in a winner-take-all scenario. Sexton, Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac each had a shot at victory. It raised the intensity level for all riders in an evening that featured a lot of comers and goers.

Jason Anderson took the early lead in Race 3, which set him up for the overall victory. Sexton stalked and passed him midway through the race and then a minor mistake late allowed Webb to slip around as well. Anderson’s 5-1-3 gave him second overall.

“I had a tough couple of rounds, getting off that Anaheim 1 crash and then last week weekend I fumbled a little bit, but I’m excited to get back on the box and start moving forward,” Anderson told Jason Thomas.

Anderson finished seventh in the first two rounds of 2023.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Ken Roczen was the model of consistency in the opening rounds and at Anaheim 2. In three races so far this year, he’s gotten progressively better each time with a fifth in A1, a fourth last week in San Deigo and a third this week.

With results of 2-3-4, he earned his first podium of the season, which lands him fourth in the standings.

“This was hard earned,” Roczen said after the race. “I completely botched the start and then to have to work my way up. I only happen on the very last lap to step up here on the podium.”

Webb’s solid second-place finish in the third race allowed him to leapfrog several riders and finish fourth overall, but a seventh in Race 1 kept him off the podium. He improved in each race in Anaheim, however, with a 7-4-2.

With a 4-6-5, Dylan Ferrandis rounded out the top five.

The intensity of the race was a little too much for Tomac.

While battling side-by-side with Webb in Race 3 at the one-third mark, Tomac jumped wide and crashed hard. He fell to 14th, doing some damage to his bike in the process. He advanced only one position in that race to 13th. His first two races, a third and second, were strong enough to give him sixth overall. He retains the points lead, but it has shrunk to a gap of only four over Sexton and Webb.

Malcolm Stewart injured late in the week and was not able to mount.

Levi Kitchen became the first rider to unseat Jett Lawrence in the Triple Crown format at Anaheim 2 and won the overall with consistency. In his three races, Kitchen finished 4-2-2 to narrowly edge the winner of the first two races.

“This whole day; this is unbelievable. I took a few good slams in practice and I was down on myself,” Kitchen told NBC Sports Jason Thomas afterward. “The first moto I got a good start and got shuffled back, then I knew I just needed to be consistent.”

Jett Lawrence saved his best for last – which wasn’t hard given the struggles he experienced in the first two races.

Despite those problems, he entered Race 3 of the Triple Crown three points behind Kitchen after suffering a pair of disappointing races by his personal measuring stick. In the first and second 250 races of the night, Lawrence hit the ground. He dropped to the final rider in the running order in Race 2 with a Lap 1 fall. But in both races, he was able to overcome his mistake and close the gap so that he had a chance to take his first Triple Crown win of his career.

Click here for full 250 West Main Results

Lawrence rode to third in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2. In the final race of the night, Lawrence did all he could. He earned the holeshot, but when Kitchen fell in behind him, Lawrence’s fate was sealed. His 3-6-1 tied him in points with Stilez Robertson, but the tiebreaker goes to the final round and his win secured second-place.

“I can definitely say Triple Crowns are not my thing,” Lawrence told NBC Sports Will Christien. “We have one more to try and fix this, so hopefully we can get that done.”

Lawrence will move into the 450 class for the Lucas Oil Motocross outdoor season and his 250 record book will be closed.

The best news for Lawrence is the other riders who entered this round in the top three had a worse night, so Lawrence leaves Anaheim with a 16-point gap on Cameron McAdoo and 17 over RJ Hampshire.

Roberston finished 6-1-3 to take the final step of the podium.

“Getting that win in the second Main meant a lot,” Roberston told Thomas. “I wish I could have done a little better in the third one, but we’re still up here on the box.”

Mitchell Oldenburg used consistency to earn fourth in the overall. He finished 5-4-6.

After missing the Main last week in San Diego, Max Vohland finished 7-8-4 to round out the top five.

RJ Hampshire set himself up as the early favorite with his Race 1 win. In Race 2, it all fell apart. He fell in the sand section and damaged his bike, finishing last in that race. The final event of the night for the 250s provided only a 13th-place finish, leaving Hampshire deep in the points.

Cameron McAdoo hard crash in qualification, which was scary news for a team that has seen three of their riders sidelined with injury. McAdoo was never quite able to get his rhythm with an 8-7-5.

2023 Race Recaps

San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Anaheim 2 coverage

Power Rankings Week 2
SuperMotocross tightens playoff schedule
Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence go two-for-two in San Diego
Results and points after San Diego
Seth Hammaker to miss 250 E season opener with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner with injury
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX