Barberville season opener preview

2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview After one of the most competitive seasons in Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series history in 2007, the series will kick off the 2008 campaign on Friday, February...

2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview

After one of the most competitive seasons in Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series history in 2007, the series will kick off the 2008 campaign on Friday, February 8 with the 37th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida.

The series will compete 80-plus times this season from coast-to-coast on tracks ranging from ¼-mile bullrings to a couple of sprawling 5/8-mile facilities in New York.

Tracks that will be new to the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in 2008 include: Dacotah Speedway in Mandan, North Dakota, Gillette Thunder Speedway in Gillette, Wyoming, Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri and Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica, Virginia.

The series will also return to Billings Motorsports Complex in Billings Montana, Hollywood Hills Speedway in San Felipe Pueblo, New Mexico, Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, California in 2008 and Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois

Traditional events on the schedule include the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway, the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernverille Speedway, the National Open at Williams Grove Speedway and the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in California.

The format will remain the same this season, as the Top-16 cars in time trials will be inverted for the heat races, meaning the Top-Qualifier will start fourth in the first heat race. Each of the Top-Two finishers in the heat races during a standard four-heat race program will earn a spot in the dash, where they will draw for the Top-Eight starting position. The final two spots in the dash will go to the fastest two cars from time trials that transferred from their heat race into the A-Feature, but did not finish first or second. The finishing order of the dash will still be used to determine the Top-10 starting spots in the A-Feature each night.

One new procedural policy for 2008 will be the use of one-lap qualifying when more than 40 cars are present for an event. Also, the use of cockpit adjustable devices has been prohibited, other than a wing slider, which will still be permitted to move the top wing forward and back.

Over 20 full-time competitors are expected again this season, after 21 drives ran the full 78-race schedule in 2007. Last season, 19 different drivers reached victory lane, led by Donny Schatz's 19 wins. Also, 28 drivers led laps in feature racing competition, as well as 24 drivers picking up wins in the dash to earn pole positions for feature events. In time trials, 29 drivers were quickest, with Joey Saldana leading the way with 11 fast time honors. Over the course of the 2007 season, there were 13 track records set in time trials at Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series events.

Leading the way into the new season will be two-time series champion Donny Schatz, though he will have different colors this season as he will be driving for Tony Stewart Racing, as part of a two-car effort along with Kraig Kinser. Schatz racked up five wins during the off-season while competing in Australia. The North Dakota native's car will carry his familiar No. 15.

Joey Saldana will return to the seat of the No. 9 for Kasey Kahne Racing this year in pursuit of his first series title. The native of Brownsburg, Indiana won 13 times with the series last season en route to a career-best second-place finish in points.

Danny Lasoski, the 2001 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion will be in a different car this season as he has joined forces with Guy Forbrook. Lasoski won six times last season and finished third in points on the strength of 48 Top-10 finishes.

Daryn Pittman will be back behind the wheel of the No. 21 for Titan Racing USA this season. The native of Owasso, Oklahoma won six times with the World of Outlaws last season. He was victorious during the off-season at Brisbane International Speedway in Australia.

Jason Meyers returns in 2008 behind the wheel for Elite Racing. The native of Clovis, California won five times last year and racked up 49 Top-10 finishes on his way to a Top-Five finish in points. He finished the 2007 season with victories on four consecutive weekends, including in the inaugural Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Steve Kinser, the 20-time series champion won 10 events last seasons, including in his first trips to USA Race Park in Arizona and Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The native of Bloomington, Indiana spent a portion of the off-season competing in Australia, where he was victorious on New Year's Day at Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway.

Craig Dollansky will be with a new team this year, as he has joined forces with Larry Woodward Racing and will pilot the No. 2 machine. The native of Elk River, Minnesota won three times with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series last season, including a $25,000 triumph at Skagit Speedway in Washington.

Tim Shaffer will be behind the wheel of the No. 6 for the Parsons Motorsports team this season. He has been part of the season since the 2004 season. Last year, Shaffer finished second six times and picked up 39 Top-10 finishes en route to a ninth-place finish in points.

Jac Haudenschild will have a different look this season, as he has joined forces with the Carnahan Motorsports team and will drive the No. R19. The native of Wooster, Ohio won twice with the series last season and finished just outside of the Top-10 in points.

Terry McCarl will be piloting his familiar No. 24 this season. The six-time Knoxville Raceway track champion won twice last seasons with the series. He began his 2008 season last weekend by competing at East Bay Raceway Park in Florida with the American Sprint Car Series and was victorious last Saturday night.

Kerry Madsen, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series has returned to the VerMeer Motorsports team for 2008. He won the 2005 Knoxville Raceway track championship with the team. He will again be teamed with crew chief Sonny Kratzer this year. The veteran helped guide Madsen to his first two career wins with the series in 2007.

Jason Sides, who won at Ohsweken Speedway last season in the series return to Canada will be back behind the wheel of his No. 7S this season. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee kicked off the 2008 season last weekend at East Bay Raceway Park in Florida, after competing in a pair of races in Australia last month.

Justin Henderson will compete for the third consecutive season with the World of Outlaws in 2007. The former Huset's Speedway track champion earned 14 Top-10 finishes last season, including a career-best third-place run at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin, where he led a number of laps.

Chad Kemenah, the 2006 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year returns to the No. 8K for Hard 8 Racing this year. During the off-season, the team relocated from their Oklahoma base to Kemenah's shop in Ohio. They also brought veteran crew chief Mike Cool to the team to turn the wrenches.

Sam Hafertepe Jr. who finished second in rookie points last season, in his first full season in a 410-sprint car will return to the series this season. He opened his 2008 campaign with a win last Friday night at North Florida Speedway with the All Star Circuit of Champions.

Chad Hillier will return to the series again this season, after finishing third in rookie points in 2007. The native of Burlington, Washington will be behind the wheel of the No. 5C for car owner Dave DeWitt.

Tony Bruce Jr. will back behind the wheel of his No. 18 this season. The native of Liberal, Kansas earned two Top-Five finishes during his rookie season last year, at I-55 Raceway in Missouri and at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Kraig Kinser, the 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, will return to the series this season after spending a couple of years in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The son of 20-time series champion Steve Kinser will be a teammate to Donny Schatz at Tony Stewart Racing. Kraig Kinser has seven career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws.

Shane Stewart, the 2005 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year will return full-time to the series this season. The native of Bixby, Oklahoma won 17 times last year, running a true "Outlaw" schedule, including a triumph at Grays Harbor Raceway in Washington with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series.

Lucas Wolfe will contend for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season. The native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania won 10 times last season and was the Pennsylvania Speedway champion. He will have his father Randy Wolfe turning the wrenches on his No. 5W for Allebach Racing.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Kraig Kinser , Shane Stewart , Lucas Wolf , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Sam Hafertepe Jr. , Tony Bruce Jr.
Teams Williams