Charlotte Preliminary race report

CONCORD, NC (October 5) -- Tim Shaffer has been the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' most consistent driver in the last two months. The series' 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award winner has reeled of 13 straight top-10 "A" Feature...

CONCORD, NC (October 5) -- Tim Shaffer has been the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' most consistent driver in the last two months. The series' 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award winner has reeled of 13 straight top-10 "A" Feature finishes, the longest streak of the season. Shaffer won his second straight Preliminary Feature Friday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opened the OdoBan Outlaws Championship before a capacity crowd of 14,375 at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He dominated the race taped by TNN: The Nashville Network, leading all 30 laps. "We just keep getting this Vivarin car better and better," Shaffer said. "To win here is pretty special; this is a great place, a great facility. Being locked in for tomorrow (the feature program) helps. We don't have to run anything but the (Channellock) dash and feature, so we just have to watch the track and make the right changes." Shaffer's crew made all the right adjustments on the #11H Vivarin Maxim after Tim qualified 14th-quick in the 43-car qualifying session, enabling him to win the Second O'Reilly Heat Race. Shaffer earned the right to start the feature outside the front row by following World of Outlaws Gumout Series star Shane Stewart across the finish line in the Channellock Dash. Shaffer drove around Stewart to take the lead as the green flag fell, only to have Stevie Smith lose eighth place when he hit the retaining wall in turn two and flipped early in the first lap. Shaffer raced into the lead again as the green flag replaced the red. Mark Kinser, who has won every main event the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series has run at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, passed Stewart for the runner-up spot in the low groove between turns one and two several seconds later. A mechanical malfunction caused Knoxville Raceway champion Terry McCarl to stop on the back straightaway late in the second lap. Greg Hodnett swerved to avoid the spinning Danny Lasoski in the fourth corner on the ensuing restart, but hit the wall and flipped into Johnny Herrera. Donny Schatz drove the #15 Parker Stores J&J around Paul McMahan between turns one and two as the race resumed, then passed Kinser in the low groove heading into the second corner for fourth place three laps later. P.J. Chesson lost seventh place when he spun into Jeff Shepard, Dale Blaney and Herrera in the fourth corner late in lap seven. None of the drivers were injured, but the damage to Chesson's and Shepard's cars was too extensive for them to continue racing. Schatz passed Stewart for third place in the low groove between turns one and two as the race resumed. McMahan used an similar move to pass Kinser for fifth place, only to have the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader pass him back in the fourth corner three laps later. World of Outlaws Gumout Series points leader Daryn Pittman stopped in turn three with mechanical problems late in the 12th lap. Engine trouble forced Kinser to stop on the front straightaway as the green flag replaced the yellow. Andy Hillenburg, who started inside the 10th row, drove his #2 Luxaire J&J past 10 cars in the first 16 laps. The 1988 Rookie of the Year passed Brad Furr for eighth place with a low move in the second corner early in lap 18. Shaffer was .75 seconds ahead of Steve Kinser when he entered lapped traffic two laps later, and increased his advantage to 2.7 seconds by the time he took the checkered flag. "I told my guys during the (seventh-lap) red period that we were maybe too good -- that the car was a little too tight -- but the track came back to us at the end," Shaffer said. "I was passing cars on the top there getting out of turn four, and some of them were drifting up across the track. It got pretty close up there a couple of times; I almost had the door slammed on me more than once." Schatz and Stewart claimed the second-row starting positions in Saturday's Channellock Dash by finishing third and fourth, respectively. McMahan finished in fifth place, ahead of Hillenburg, Craig Dollansky, 15th-starting Joey Saldana, Lasoski and Furr. Racing back into ninth place pushed Lasoski to within 43 points of Mark Kinser in their battle for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship. Shepard suffered through a tough evening. The Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year points leader was in third place in the Second O'Reilly Heat Race when a mechanical problem on the #5 Wirtgen Maxim sent him crashing into the wall in turn four. Jeff won the "B" Feature, but finished 22nd after being involved in the seventh-lap crash. Engine trouble in Sammy Swindell's #1 Channellock Stealth kept him from taking any qualifying laps or racing in the Third O'Reilly Heat Race. The three-time series champion passed three cars to finish 19th in the "B Feature."

-WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Tim Shaffer , Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Daryn Pittman , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , P.J. Chesson , Johnny Herrera