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Going to be long just so you know right off, but hard to cover so many teams in a small post.
Way to early on some of these things listed below, but can only base off what we have seen so far.
Be interesting to see what happens to some of the teams as the season gets going across the country. I believe right now they have 16 teams that have said they are running the entire season.
Does Kraig Kinser stick with the WoO's with the All-Star coming off a nearly two month hiatus? The bottom line might be can he make a lot more money on the WoO's tour even though they are running more races, logging more miles, but in the spotlight of the biggest wing series out there with having bigger purses, bigger tow money package, along with a bigger point fund at the end of the year or does he come home to the All-Stars and try and build confidence and get some wins being closer to home and pick and choose the WoO's events when not running the All-Stars? My bet he runs the All-Stars one more year before going full-time once again with the WoO's and try and secure a bigger sponsorship.
David Gravel has seemingly taken that next step and has improved dramatically this year. Already has 3 wins and the only one so far that seems to be able to at least keep Schatz in sight this early going. Still remember when seen him locally at places like Attica and running the All-Stars with his own deal out of the Haudenschild shop and thought he could be good some day. Well he has really taken off lately and their team seems to be hitting on all cylinders right now.
Sheldon has really stepped up out west and is running a lot better than expected (IMO) this early in the WoO season and currently is 8th in points. He has ran out west at some of these tracks in the past so that might have helped him, but a grueling season is ahead and wish them the best as they go across America in the best wing dirt series. Sad that I won't see him in person as much as previous years and thought he was doing the WoO deal a year earlier than I thought because I thought he had a great chance to compete for the All-Star championship this year and a lot of wins especially with Blaney not running the entire series and the fact that Sheldon took the next step at the end of the year last year and see him improving all the time, and wish him the best this year.
Logan Schuchart has been a lot more consistent so far this year and already has a win. 9th in points and seemingly getting better and better each race, each season, and every-time he hits the track.
Ian Madsen stated they was going to run a lot more WoO shows this year, but keep a similar schedule to previous years once area tracks start running, BUT does he and his team change their mind or is it to late now? Right now he is 4th in points and running a lot better than probably most expected this early as well. This team keeps getting bigger and bigger along with getting stronger each year and look for them to step up to the WoO's possibly next year full time with how they have ran along with how they have raced a lot further away from Knoxville the past couple of years.
PPM (Parker Price-Miller) how much longer does he stay on the tour? I believe he stated once May arrives they will re-evaluate their position. Might be a good time to come home and run the All-Stars to get more experience running with a good group of cars, do a little bit of traveling, build up the confidence, and have a better chance at winning races or at least competing at the top with the All-Stars or other series/local tracks. Currently 19th in points, not getting any tow money, and I believe 20 teams have ran every race so far on the WoO schedule.
Still early, but four teams have struggled or haven't gotten into it quite yet like I thought two being a WoO team while the other two aren't ...
Shane Stewart ... yes he has ran well at times, but so far I thought he would be battling on a nightly basis. 6th in points and should improve once the season gets going.
Joey Saldana (new team and all), but thought they would have gotten it going a little better. Betting once the season gets into full swing they start working out some of the bugs.
Brian Brown has been up and down so far on the tour and probably glad that Knoxville and other area tracks will be opening up soon. Thought he would have started a little better since he has ran this part of the tour previously.
Rico Abreu has kind of struggled early on and can't wait to see him get back to our area at some point. I for one am glad he is back in sprint cars selfishly because I will be able to see him race more in person. Be interesting to see how many WoO events he runs this year, how many All-Star races, and of course you know he will be running a lot of Keith Kunz midget as well.
Sheldon has really wowwed me with how well he's running with the outlaws. I really didn't expect him to be this competitive this early on with the Outlaws. I knew he was good but just expected a few more rookie mistakes and such at new tracks. I think that the tracks in Cali seemed to fit his driving style from the videos I've seen. Especially Tulare. Look forward to seeing him run at Eldora for the Kings Royal this year.
Brent Marks has been pretty solid but has on and off nights like most rookies. Reminds me a bit of Greg Wilson's season last year. I imagine he'll get a breakthrough at somepoint this season.
Schuhart has made leaps and bounds from last year. Still has some rough nights where they struggle but the car seems faster than it was last year. I've gotta say though I think that Shark Racing put the slider up on how much money they're spending on Logan versus Jacob. Logan's certainly the better driver and he has a significantly better car to show for it. That being said though Jacob is running with an unpainted wing and a plain black tail tank. Car looks like frankenstein, although looks don't win races.
Saldana doesn't in my opinion get a free pass on the new team, I never really saw him in his prime but he's reaching the point where it seems like he's lost a step IMO. Nothing looks different than he did toward the end of last year in the Roth 83. His entire season has been like when Dietrich passed him for the lead at Williams grove for the National Open last year, just making too many mistakes.
PPM is a solid driver and it's good experience for him out on the tour but for him to stay out there much longer just seems like he's a glutton for punishment. I hope to see him start improving with them as he's gonna be one of the next generation I think with the Outlaws alongside Sheldon, Schuhart and Gravel.
Shane Stewart has wrecked or been caught up in wrecks too much to have a successful season so far, seems just like last year. One of the fastest drivers and car alongside KKR/Schatz and Gravel but just seems a tad less consistent.
KKR Pittman and Sweet have had a pretty good start this year. Big question for them is they can't have that drought like they did last season, need to stay consistent.
Schatz is still Schatz. (He's only 39, got quite a few years left)
Gravel is gonna be schatz from the late 90's and early 2000's where he's always nipping at the heels of (in this case Schatz) but probably gonna fall short of title again this year. I think he'll be the next WoO champion not named Don Don.
It's good for the WoO's ... also it shows that you do go into slumps throughout the year if you want to call what Schatz has been in the past couple of race weekends slumps.
Also good to see some of the smaller teams having some good runs as well ... might not be wins, but the top 5's and top 10's for guys like Logan Schuartz who already has a win and a several top 10's and top 5's, Jason Sides the past couple of weeks has done really well, and of course Sheldon Haudenschild who has really done well so far into this early season.