Jacobson Shocks WoO Visitors
ALGER, Wash. — As confetti littered the frontstretch and the crowd roared, hugs and high fives were distributed around a grinning Travis Jacobson like he just won the Showcase Showdown on “The Price is Right.”
In a way, he did.
Jacobson led all 35 laps to claim the $12,000 prize in his first career World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series feature victory on a brisk Saturday night at Skagit Speedway, where the wild celebration began once the Lake Stevens, Wash., native crossed beneath the checkered flags.
“I’m just in awe,” he said wearing an ear-to-earn smile. “I grew up watching guys like Sammy Swindell and Steve Kinser. To be able to compete with those guys is more than a dream come true. Racing has been my passion since I could turn a car, so it’s very, very special to me.”
Jacobson has established a successful career at Skagit Speedway. He’s won the last three 360 Nationals titles and earned the 360 track championship last season. Jacobson also recorded the 410 track title in 2006.
However, prior to Saturday, Jacobson had never logged a top five in World of Outlaws action. That all changed in front of a packed facility, which became louder and louder as the laps clicked off the scoreboard.
Jacobson, who started the feature third, inherited the lead after polesitter Kerry Madsen was called for starting the race too early. The penalty forced Madsen back one row, which put Jacobson on the pole. He seized the opportunity by rocketing to the lead on the restart of the opening lap.
“That was definitely a big break,” he said. “I hadn’t had a chance to run behind anybody yet, so I don’t know how the dirty air would have affected us. It’s always better to be out front. I want to say I would have been able to do just as good, but you never know.”
Madsen maintained a close second until Donny Schatz drove around him exiting turn four on lap 12. Schatz then set his sights on Jacobson, who entered traffic on lap 17. Schatz began to close the gap through the traffic and he cut the deficit to a car length before a caution on lap 27.
Jacobson chose the inside lane on the double-file restart and utilized a strong restart to hold onto a car-length advantage for several laps until extending it in the final handful of circuits.
“He made 35 great laps and I’m happy for him,” Schatz said after finishing second. “I threw everything I had at it and I had a great car, it was just a second-place car tonight.”
Jason Sides maneuvered through the field to challenge Schatz at the end and ultimately settle for third place.
“I don’t think there was anybody that was going to catch him,” Sides said of Jacobson. “He was running his own race and out front. We’re racing kind of each other. Donny’s trying to catch him. I’m trying to catch Donny. It’s just one of those things where he’s got the open track and can kinda go where he needs to go.”
Madsen finished fourth and Craig Dollansky placed fifth to extend his World of Outlaws championship standings lead to 44 points, which is the largest margin any points leader has held all season.