Barberville season opener preview

World of Outlaws Preview: 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH Barberville, FL-- February 4, 2009--The 2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series season kicks off with the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway...

World of Outlaws Preview: 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH

Barberville, FL-- February 4, 2009--The 2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series season kicks off with the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida on February 6 and run for three consecutive nights with a $10,000 top prize on the line each night.

Dating back to 1981 the series has competed 11 times at the blazing fast half-mile, with 11 different drivers picking up wins in those events. Craig Dollansky, Jason Meyers and Danny Lasoski all were victorious last season at the track, to add their names to a list that already contained: 20-time series champion Steve Kinser, three-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz, Hall of Famer Doug Wolfgang, Joey Saldana, Chad Kemenah, Daryn Pittman, Kerry Madsen and Jeff Shepard.

Last season 46 drives took part in the three nights of racing for the World of Outlaws during the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. A total of 16 drivers earned at least one Top-10 finishes during the three nights of action for the World of Outlaws. Five drives finished in the Top-10 in all three events, led by Craig Dollansky, who earned his second consecutive Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH title, followed by Jason Meyers, Donny Schatz, Joey Saldana and Tim Kaeding.

Drivers from across the country will converge on Volusia Speedway Park to open the 2009 season, making the field for the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals, one of the strongest fields in the history of the event.

Slidejobs- 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH:

Championships galore: 27 of the 30 championships in the history of the World of Outlaws will be accounted for by drivers competing in the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH this week at Volusia Speedway Park. Leading the way is Steve Kinser with 20 championships, followed by Donny Schatz and Sammy Swindell who each have three titles and Danny Lasoski who won the series crown in 2001.

Chasing another title: Donny Schatz begins his quest for a fourth consecutive World of Outlaws title at the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. He has four career wins at Volusia Speedway Park, including two last year. He finished eighth or better in all six nights of the event in 2008. He opened the 2009 edition of the event on Tuesday night by coming from the back of the field after an early spin to win the All Star Circuit of Champions race.

"It's definitely going to take a consistent season like we have had in the past," said Schatz. "This is probably the best position I have ever been sitting in to win a championship. The homework that we have done in the off-season, the testing that we did in the fall, I don't think I have ever come into a race season more confident and more prepared. We just need to focus on what is important and winning races is the most important and consistently winning races in the most important. If we can do that, I am pretty sure we can win a championship."

Looking for one more spot: After finishing second in the World of Outlaws championship standings last season, Jason Meyers begins 2009 with the sole focus of claiming his first World of Outlaws title. He won a career best nine times with the series last season, including in the second race of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. He finished fifth or better in all five of the main events he competed in last year at Volusia, including three with the World of Outlaws.

"I think it will take a lot of little things," Meyers said when asked what it takes to win a championship. "I don't think there is any one area where a Top-Five team would make a change that would put them that far ahead of the competition. It's going to take many little things and I know in our team, we have taken note of many things over the winter and tried to put as many resources as we can into as many different areas as we can to make a lot of little improvements that will hopefully give the team the jump they need to be the number one team in 2009."

Quest for 21: Steve Kinser will seek his record 21st World of Outlaws title this season. The Indiana native won seven times last season and finished in the Top-10 in 30 of the last 33 races of the year en route to a third-place finish in the championship standings. In his career at Volusia Speedway Park, Kinser has four wins along with 13 Top-10 finishes. He finished third or better in each of his first 10 starts at the track between 1979 and 2005.

"That is one of the toughest fields you'll probably have all year," said Kinser of the season opening event at Volusia Speedway Park. "Everyone comes down there with fresh motors, ready to run. If you get started off good there, it's a plus for the whole season."

Reunited: Joey Saldana will be reunited with Willie Kahne in 2009. Kahne was Saldana's crew chief in 2006, his first year driving for Kasey Kahne Racing, when they won six races together and were third in points. The team will utilize a Maxim chassis this season, which is a change from the last few years and will again have Mopar engines under the hood.

"I'm very anxious to get the season going," said Saldana. "Willie Kahne, who is Kasey's cousin and who was my crew chief in 2006, my first year on the team, will be my crew chief again this year. I am excited to just get back racing. I'm ready to go. I have been working out all winter. I was in New Zealand for three weeks racing and had some success there, so hopefully we can keep that going here in the states."

A new look: Craig Dollansky, who is chasing his third consecutive Alltel DIRTcar Nationals title begins his first season behind the wheel of the No. 19 machine for Kasey Kahne Racing as a teammate to Joey Saldana. Dollansky will have his entire crew from last year with him in 2009 led by crew chief Mike Woodring, along with Rob Beattie and Lester Groves.

"I have three great guys down there working hard in Mike (Woodring) Rob (Beattie) and Lester (Groves), along with the rest of the team at Kasey Kahne Racing," said the veteran driver. "I'm really looking forward to racing at Volusia this week."

Headed to the hall: Jac Haudenschild, who has 51 A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws in his career will be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa in May. The native of Wooster, Ohio finished fifth in the World of Outlaws championship standings last season, winning five times in the second half of the season in his first year driving for the Carnahan Motorsports team. He has one win in his career at Volusia Speedway Park along with 19 Top-10 finishes.

Gearing up for the sunshine state: Sammy Swindell, the three-time World of Outlaws champion, will begin the season in the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH for the first time since 2005. The native of Germantown, Tennessee will be piloting the No. 10 Maxim for Tom Rolfe Racing out of California. The team will start the season with the World of Outlaws and reassess their progress around April to determine their plans for the rest of the season.

"It was Tom's decision," said Swindell of the decision to begin the season in Florida. "He wanted to go down there for the first races of the year. We are going to try and make a statement there. I haven't been there for a few years, but I have won there a few times."

Back on tour: Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champions returns to full-time competition with the series in 2009, after claiming his record eighth Knoxville Raceway track championship last season. Lasoski has had a great deal of success at Volusia Speedway Park in his career, winning 17 times including last season in the finale of the six-day event driving his own car. He has finished in the Top-10 nearly 50 times at Volusia over the years.

"We are very excited to start the season and to be racing for Lonnie Parsons and Don Lamberti in the Casey's General Stores car," said Lasoski. "We have put together what I feel is a very stellar team. It's kind of like starting over if you will. Everything is different at Parsons Motorsports. We have JEI Chassis along with Barry Jackson and a great crew. All of us have a fantastic positive attitude. This is a very good opportunity for all of us and we want to put Parsons Motorsports in Victory Lane as much as we can."

New hand turning the wrenches: Chad Kemenah, who is a former winner during the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, begins his second full season at Hard 8 Racing, with veteran crew chief Bonzai Bruns on board to turn the wrenches this season.

"We have Bonzai (Bruns) with us this year and hopefully having his knowledge and experience will help us get to victory lane," shared Kemenah. "He is someone that I have known for a while and really get along with, and that helps a lot, having people that get along on the road."

Back in the saddle: Kraig Kinser, the son of 20-time series champion Steve Kinser returns for his second year behind the wheel of the No. 20 for Tony Stewart Racing as a teammate to Donny Schatz. The younger Kinser was victorious twice last season in his first full year in a sprint car since 2005 and had a very strong second half of the season.

"It's been a long off-season," said Kinser. "I am definitely ready to get going. I'm really looking forward to getting in the Bass Pro Chevrolet. We made quite a few changes to the car in the off-season and hopefully everything will be looking good."

Back on the road: Tim Kaeding and the Roth Motorsports team will begin the 2009 season at Volusia Speedway Park in the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, as they compete on the World of Outlaws trail this year. In his career at Volusia, Kaeding have seven Top-10 finishes, including a win during the event in 2007. He finished in the Top-10 in all three World of Outlaws events at the half-mile last season and enters the 2009 campaign with five career A-Feature wins with the series.

A new face on the circuit: Brian Ellenberger will contend for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season with the World of Outlaws, after finishing fifth in points with the All Star Circuit of Champions last season. The native of Butler, Pennsylvania was victorious at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas last season, a track the World of Outlaws will race at again in 2009.

"It's something I have always wanted to," said the native of Butler, Pennsylvania of taking to the road with the World of Outlaws. "I was fortunate enough to partner up with a new company up here in Pennsylvania. They are going to help with sponsorship and they wanted to run with the Outlaws and have a car out there."

Added money on the line: Each of the three nights of racing for the World of Outlaws during the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals will pay $10,000 to the winner from a total of purse of over $150,000, which is up nearly $10,000 from 2008.

Catch all the action: Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH Racepasses are now available for purchase by visiting www.DIRTVision.com. For just $29.99 subscribers can watch live video action of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, World of Outlaws Late Model Series, Advance Auto Part Super DIRTcar Series, UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, and the All Star Circuit of Champions all from Volusia Speedway Park in Florida. To sign up simply log in and click on subscription and click on Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH Racepass. Don't miss 12 nights of excitement.

By the Numbers: 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH

0.5- Miles around Volusia Speedway Park

3- Nights of racing for the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series at the half-mile

4- NASCAR Nationwide Series races held at Volusia from 1989-1992, under the name of Volusia County Speedway

5- Drives that led laps in A-Feature competition last season at the half-mile

6- Total nights of sprint car racing during the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH for the World of Outlaws and the All Star Circuit of Champions at Volusia SpeedwayPark

9- Current World of Outlaws drivers that have won at Volusia Speedway Park with the series; Degrees of banking on the track

11- Winners at the track in the same number of World of Outlaws events dating back to 1981

12- Consecutive night of racing during the 2009 Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH

12.948- Track record established by Jason Solwold in time trials on February 6, 2007

15- Miles to Daytona Beach from Volusia Speedway Park

17- Wins at Volusia Speedway Park for Danny Lasoski in his career

20- Laps led by Jason Meyers to win during the DIRTcar Nationals lastseason

27- World of Outlaws championships that will be accounted for by drivers participating in the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals byUNOH

30- Laps led by Craig Dollansky to win the opener of the DIRTcar Nationals in 2008; Laps led by Danny Lasoski to win the finale at Volusia Speedway Park lastseason

31- Consecutive seasons the World of Outlaws have been sanctioning sprint car racing

38- Number of consecutive years that the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH have taken place, including this season

46- Drivers that took part in the World of Outlaws portion of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH last season

75- Feet- width of the racing surface at Volusia Speedway Park

1981- Year that the first World of Outlaws event was held at the track

10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on February 6; Dollars the winner will receive on February 7; Dollars the winner will receive on February 8

Tickets:

On Friday, February 6 at Volusia Speedway Park, all tickets, reserved and general admission will be $39. Tickets for all six nights of spring car racing which includes the World of Outlaws and All Star Circuit of Champions are available as part of a "Super Ticket" for $175. To purchase tickets visit: www.dirtcarnationals.com or www.volusiaspeedwaypark.com or call 386-985-4402.

On Saturday, February 7 at Volusia Speedway Park, all tickets will be $39. Tickets for all six nights of spring car racing which includes the World of Outlaws and All Star Circuit of Champions are available as part of a "Super Ticket" for $175. To purchase tickets visit: www.dirtcarnationals.com or www.volusiaspeedwaypark.com or call 386-985-4402.

On Sunday, February 8 at Volusia Speedway Park, all tickets will be $39. Tickets for all six nights of spring car racing which includes the World of Outlaws and All Star Circuit of Champions are available for $175. To purchase tickets visit: www.dirtcarnationals.com or www.volusiaspeedwaypark.com or call 386-985-4402.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Kraig Kinser , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Tim Kaeding