Duel in the Dakotas West Fargo Red River Valley Speedway preview

World of Outlaws Preview: Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway West Fargo, ND--June 17, 2009--Since 1981, the World of Outlaws have visited Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, North Dakota each and every year, and that tradition...

World of Outlaws Preview: Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway

West Fargo, ND--June 17, 2009--Since 1981, the World of Outlaws have visited Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, North Dakota each and every year, and that tradition will continue this weekend as the series heads to the high-banked half-mile as part of the annual Duel in the Dakotas on Saturday, June 20.

Leading the way will be North Dakota native Donny Schatz, the three-time and defending World of Outlaws champion, who calls the Fargo area home. The current series point leader has 11 career wins at his home track, with two of those victories coming with the World of Outlaws. He won for the first time with the series at the half-mile in 2002 and was victorious again in 2006. He has won a series-best six times on half-mile this season and enters the weekend with a 50-point advantage over Joey Saldana in the championship standings.

Steve Kinser, the 20-time series champion, has 16 career wins at Red River Valley Speedway dating back to his first victory there in 1982. His most recent win at the track came in 2005. He is currently third in the series standings, less than 25 points out of second.

Other current World of Outlaws drivers that have won A-Feature events at the half-mile with the series include: Jac Haudenschild in 2007, Jason Meyers in 2005, Joey Saldana in 2004, Danny Lasoski in 2003 and Craig Dollansky in 2001.

Slidejobs- Red River Valley Speedway:

Home sweet home: Donny Schatz competed at Red River Valley Speedway for the first time in 1993. Over the years he has competed at the track around 50 times, racking up nearly 40 Top-10 finishes to go along with 11 wins. Schatz enters this weekend's trio of events as the current series point leader by 50 markers over Joey Saldana. He has two wins with the World of Outlaws at Red River Valley Speedway.

"Fargo is a great big half-mile with a high bank," noted Schatz. "It's not been one our best tracks the last several years. It's been hard to race on that track and has been a question mark the last few years. Hopefully that changes this year."

Winningest of all time: Steve Kinser is the winningest driver in World of Outlaws competition at Red River Valley Speedway with 16 career wins. Dating back to 1981, he has nearly 50 Top-10 finishes at the track. The 20-time series champion is currently third in the series standings this season on the strength of a series-best 22 Top-10 finishes. He was victorious earlier this season in his home state of Indiana.

Closing the gap: Joey Saldana used two wins last weekend to move into second in the series championship standings. The native of Brownsburg, Indiana leads the World of Outlaws with 10 A-Feature wins in 2009. In his career at Red River Valley Speedway, he has three total wins, with one of those coming in an A-Feature event and two in preliminary features. He has finished second or third at the track in each of his last four starts.

Fast in Fargo: Jason Meyers has two career wins at Red River Valley Speedway, with those coming in 2004 and 2005. He finished fifth at the track last season. He looks to rebound from a hard accident last weekend at Dodge City Raceway Park caused by a mechanical failure. He is currently fourth in the series standings on the strength of 19 Top-10 finishes.

Strong runs: Jason Sides has finished ninth or better in four of his last five starts at Red River Valley Speedway, including a runner-up performance in 2007. The 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner is currently fifth in points on the strength of 18 Top-10 finishes.

"Everything has been going pretty well," said Sides recently. "I'm not exactly sure why or how or what's making it run good, but we're going to keep trying to plug away and make it run good

Knowing the track: Craig Dollansky competed at Red River Valley Speedway for the first time in 1998 and has made nearly 30 starts in his career at the track. He has three wins, with the most recent coming in 2001. He was victorious for the first time at the track in 1999. He has finished in the Top-10 in 17 of his last 20 starts at the track. He is just outside of the Top-Five in points this season as he closes in on his first win since joining Kasey Kahne Racing.

Knocking on the door: Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, has three career wins at Red River Valley Speedway. His most recent win at the half-mile came in 2003. He has finished in the Top-10 in nine of his last 11 starts at the track. The native of Dover, Missouri has 18 Top-10 finishes this season as he continues his first year behind the wheel for the Parsons Motorsports team.

Long over due: Jac Haudenschild won his first race at Red River Valley Speedway in 2007, 21 years after he made his first start at the track. He has nearly 30 career Top-10 finishes at the half-mile, where he was third last season. He has four consecutive Top-10 finishes at the track. He has 10 Top-10 finishes this season as he looks for his first win of the year.

Closing in: Kraig Kinser continues to close in on his first win of the 2009 campaign. He picked up his 12th Top-10 of the season in the finale at Dodge City Raceway Park last season. He is solidly in the Top-10 in points as he continues his second season driving for Tony Stewart Racing. In his career at Red River Valley Speedway, the third generation driver has six Top-10 finishes.

"This team has done a great job all season and this is the type of weekend where that work pays off," noted Kinser. "The guys (Mike Cool, Steve Swenson and Bob Curtis) keep working hard every week and we're making progress. No matter the track size or shape, you have to make good laps. Those laps come when you've got a good car underneath you."

One start: Lucas Wolfe made his first start at Red River Valley Speedway last season. It was his first race back after missing over two months due to injury. The sophomore driver is currently 10th in points this season and has picked up four Top-10 finishes.

Getting closer and closer: Sam Hafertepe Jr. finished third last Saturday night at Dodge City Raceway Park as he continues to chase his first career World of Outlaws win. He finished sixth last season at Red River Valley Speedway and has a couple of other strong runs in the state of North Dakota.

Making his debut: Brian Ellenberger, who is a contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, will make his debut at Red River Valley Speedway. He picked up a career-best third-place finish last weekend as he continues his first season on the road with the World of Outlaws.

By the Numbers: Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway:

0.5-Miles around Red River Valley Speedway

1- World of Outlaws driver that hails from North Dakota, Donny Schatz

5- Total races for the World of Outlaws in North Dakota this season; Drivers that have won on half-miles with the series this season

6- Wins for Donny Schatz on half-mile tracks this season to lead all drivers

7- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that have won an A-Feature at Red River Valley Speedway with the series

10- Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that competed at Red River Valley Speedway last season

11- Career wins for Donny Schatz at the half-mile

12- Events the World of Outlaws have contested on half-miles this season

13- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws at Red River Valley Speedway dating back to 1981

14.786- Track record set by Craig Dollansky in 2002

15- Top-Five finishes for Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser to lead the series

16- Career wins for Steve Kinser at Red River Valley Speedway, including preliminary features

22- Top-10 finishes for Steve Kinser to lead the series

23-Points that separate Jason Sides, Craig Dollansky and Danny Lasoski as they battle for the fifth position in the standings

26- Points that separate Joey Saldana, Steve Kinser and Jason Meyers as they battle for the second spot in the series standings

29- Consecutive years, including this year that the World of Outlaws have competed at Red River Valley Speedway

79-Miles from River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota where the World of Outlaws compete on Friday, June 19 to Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, North Dakota

1981- Year the World of Outlaws first competed at Red River Valley Speedway

10,000-Dollars the winner will receive on Saturday, June 20

51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Saturday, June 20

Tickets: On Saturday, June 20 at Red River Valley Speedway, adult general admission tickets will be $30 if purchased in advance and $32 the day of the race, with general admission tickets for children ages 6-12 just $15 and kids 5-under will be admitted free of charge in the general admission section. Adult reserved tickets will be $33 if purchased in advance and $35 the day of the race, with reserved tickets for children 12-under just $15. Pit combos will also be available for $38 for advance purchase only and includes a reserved ticket and a pit pass. Buy a ticket to 2 or more of the North Dakota events and receive a $2 discount per ticket when the tickets are purchased through SLS Promotions. For tickets call SLS Promotions at 815-344-2023 or the track at 701-282-2200.

-credit: WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kraig Kinser , Lucas Wolf , Jac Haudenschild , Sam Hafertepe Jr.