Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WoO Sprints - Five Key Points of This Season

By Tyler Beichner:

Remember when we were holding our breaths until Florida Speedweeks started? Well it's now April and the season will be in full swing in just a few short weeks. Meanwhile, spend a few moments with me while we take a closer look at the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series thus far and some of the things to keep an eye on in the coming future.

The Outlaws season is already 12% of the way through (11.8% to be exact). Eleven of the scheduled 93 dates are completed, with 10 races contested and just one rain out to date. The premier dirt series in the country has just two weekends of racing remaining on their annual month and a half stretch on the west coast before they head back across the midwest.

Stick along for a few minutes and see what sticks out in my mind as keys to the season so far.

#1. Paul McMahan sits atop the WoO STP point standings in his CJB Motorsports #51 entry for the first time in his career. He currently holds just a 9 point lead over 5-time series champion Donny Schatz and a 25 point cushion over defending champ Daryn Pittman.

#2. Non-tour members have not had much success when competing against the Outlaws. Tour members (comprised of 15 drivers) have claimed 8 of the 10 features thus far. Those same drivers have completely dominated the finishing order of the races as well. Just under 80% of the top 5 finishes this season have went to the tour members, while 75% of all top 10's have went to those same guys.

#3. No drivers, including tour members, have showed major dominance over the rest of the field in racing action. Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz are the only drivers to amass more than three top 3 finishes (four each) already this season.

#4. Parity has become more evident as the season has progressed. Over the past five races, only two drivers (Donny Schatz & Brad Sweet) have landed on the podium more than once. If this continues to hold true then we can expect to see a close points race the entire year amongst a larger group of drivers than we're accustomed to seeing.

#5. The Outlaw tour members have dominated time trials in all 10 races this year. The fifteen tour drivers have accounted for 8 of the 10 quick times so far this season (McMahan & Saldana have combined for 7). On top of that, only nine non-tour members have been able to crack the top 5 in qualifying so far.

Quick Season Recap:
2 - Donny Schatz
   - Brad Sweet
1 - Rico Abrey
   - David Gravel
   - Steve Kinser
   - Kerry Madsen
   - Paul McMahan
   - Daryn Pittman

Top 5's
7 - Donny Schatz
5 - Kerry Madsen
   - Paul McMahan
   - Brad Sweet
4 - Steve Kinser
   - Daryn Pittman
   - Joey Saldana
2 - Tim Kaeding
   - Terry McCarl
   - Jason Meyers

Top 10's
9 - Paul McMahan
8 - Kerry Madsen
   - Daryn Pittman
   - Donny Schatz
   - Brad Sweet
7 - Steve Kinser
   - Joey Saldana
6 - Tim Kaeding
5 - Cody Darrah
   - Terry McCarl

Time Trial Bonus Points
35 - Joey Saldana
25 - Paul McMahan
17 - Daryn Pittman
  9 - Kerry Madsen
  8 - David Gravel
  6 - Donny Schatz
  5 - Terry McCarl

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