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BUCKEYE BREAKTHROUGH: Carson Macedo Finally Grabs Elusive Win with Rick Ferkel Tribute Victory

FREMONT, OH (May 27, 2024) - There’s knocking on the door. Then there’s beating the door nearly off its hinges. The latter certainly defines the past two months for Carson Macedo and Jason Johnson Racing.

The pairing entered Monday’s Rick Ferkel Tribute on a stretch of 13 consecutive top five finishes that began on April 6 at Arrowhead Speedway. Eight of them were podiums including the most recent six. But none were wins.

Since topping the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series debut at Kennedale Speedway Park on March 23, a second victory had eluded Macedo. Even when he appeared bound for a win at Attica Raceway Park less than two weeks ago, Michael “Buddy” Kofoid snatched it away in the final set of corners.

But on Memorial Day at Fremont Speedway, Macedo finally broke through. 

The Lemoore, CA driver made a statement move to go from third to first in the opening set of corners, survived a flurry of restarts, and held on during a green-white-checkered finish to grab the first World of Outlaws checkered flag handed out at Fremont since 2016. 

“I’m just really proud of this race team,” Macedo said. “It feels really good to get a win. It’s been a little while. It’s definitely not easy to win these World of Outlaws races, so you’ve got to cherish them when you get them. We hadn’t won in a little while, but we’d been really consistent and really close. We had nights where we almost won, lost on the last lap, things like that. I knew that we had the potential in us. We just had to put it all together. I feel like tonight we did.”

Macedo’s win marked the 37th of his career with The Greatest Show on Dirt. He now owns three wins in only seven attempts at Fremont as Monday’s victory joins his triumphs with FAST (2017) and on a local level (2016) at the northern Ohio oval. And the icing on the cake of the victory is it came a day after Macedo celebrated his 28th birthday. 

There’s a common saying in racing that states you can’t win the race on the first lap, but that’s essentially what Macedo pulled off. At the very least he made the race winning move on the opening lap.

The front row of David Gravel and Cale Thomas led the field to green for the 35-lapper. Gravel pulled ahead of Thomas as the third-starting Macedo peeked to Thomas’ inside heading into Turn 1. Macedo edged ahead of Thomas halfway through the first set of corners while up ahead Gravel slipped off the bottom, opening a lane for Macedo. He quickly grabbed some grip to launch off the bottom of Turn 2 down the back straightaway and went on to lead the opening lap.

A Lap 2 caution brought the action to a halt and set the tone for much of the race. A bevy of yellow and red flags interrupted the early flow of the Feature as drivers fought for space on the hooked-up surface.

A common thread of each caution period proved to be Macedo’s potency on restarts. Every time the green flag resumed the action, Macedo powered ahead of Gravel. The pilot of the Big Game Motorsports #2 tried everything he could. He stayed high with hopes of the top coming in better but never found the necessary speed. He sliced through traffic. But no move could make Macedo flinch.

The race threw one last curveball at Macedo as the caution lights flashed one last time when he crossed under the white flag to begin the final lap. Tyler Gunn came to a stop in Turn 4 setting up a green-white-checkered finish.

But just like each restart before, Macedo aced the final one. He took off on the lowline as Gravel made one final attempt at passing Macedo by working the top. But as it had throughout the main event, the bottom proved to be too strong. Macedo launched ahead and managed to win by a little more than half a second for a special victory at a place that helped elevate his career.

“I thought we got better in the Dash, and we were just better again there,” Macedo said. “Back in 2016 I ran here for my first time ever in the state of Ohio when I moved back to the Midwest. I was driving for Craig and Les Mintz and was able to win my first time here. And to come here for the Outlaw show and win like this is pretty cool.”

Gravel brought his machine home second as he continued his 2024 consistency. The point leader has finished in the top two in 12 of the last 17 Features. Gravel came away satisfied to bounce back after a Saturday crash at Atomic Speedway. 

“The track stayed a lot wetter than we anticipated,” Gravel said. “The only lane I had where I could keep up with him was hammering the top really, really hard. I had to rip a tear off every single corner, so if I did that I would last like 70 tear offs… The #41 guys were just really good tonight.”

Finishing third for his first career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car podium result was Cole Macedo. The Californian got comfortable at Fremont quickly upon arriving in the Midwest earlier in his career and was overjoyed to join his brother on the podium.

“It’s really rewarding,” Macedo said. “I want to start this off with thanking Kevin Newton. He gave me a shot this year when a lot of people weren’t, and we’ve had speed all year... It’s just a testament how hard these guys work. We crashed the other night. The Linder gang came and straightened me up, and we came and ran Fremont. I thought that was a smarter decision than going to back to Atomic, and it paid off.”

Bill Balog and Buddy Kofoid completed the top five.

Balog got to fourth with a drive from 18th to grab the KSE Racing Hard Charger. 

David Gravel set his third consecutive Simpson Quick Time and the 116th of his career in Sea Foam Qualifying.

NOS Energy Drink Heats One, Three, and Four went to David Gravel (257th Heat Race win of career), Carson Macedo (125th of career), and Sheldon Haudenschild (107th of career). Milton Hershey School Heat Two belonged to Brock Zearfoss (17th of career).

David Gravel topped the Toyota Racing Dash.

Zeth Sabo won the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.

The Smith Titanium Brake Systems Break of the Race went to Zane DeVault.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars make their first visit to Wisconsin in 2024 for Beaver Dam Raceway’s Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts on May 31-June 1. The winner of the finale is going home with $20,000. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, catch every lap live on DIRTVision.


NOS Energy Drink Feature (35 Laps): 1. 41-Carson Macedo[3]; 2. 2-David Gravel[1]; 3. 16T-Cole Macedo[6]; 4. 17B-Bill Balog[18]; 5. 83-Michael Kofoid[13]; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[7]; 7. 23J-Cale Thomas[2]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz[5]; 9. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[17]; 10. 9-Trey Jacobs[9]; 11. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[4]; 12. 101-Kalib Henry[8]; 13. 7S-Landon Crawley[25]; 14. 1S-Logan Schuchart[24]; 15. 5T-Travis Philo[22]; 16. 22-Brandon Spithaler[20]; 17. 68G-Tyler Gunn[23]; 18. 29-Zeth Sabo[21]; 19. 16-DJ Foos[26]; 20. 4-Zane DeVault[10]; 21. 34-Sterling Cling[15]; 22. 15C-Chris Andrews[19]; 23. 35-Stuart Brubaker[11]; 24. 19H-Joel Myers Jr[14]; 25. 9P-Parker Price Miller[16]; 26. 99-Skylar Gee[12]

For complete results, CLICK HERE.



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