Eldora Speedway preview

Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Eldora Speedway Rossburg, OH-- September 17, 2008--History is added to each time that the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series visits the famed Eldora Speedway in...

Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Eldora Speedway

Rossburg, OH-- September 17, 2008--History is added to each time that the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series visits the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio. In the series last stop at the high-banked half-mile, Daryn Pittman was victorious in the Kings Royal, making his car owner Reeve Kruck the first Australia owner to win the famed event.

The series makes their final stop of the season at the track on Friday, September 19 to help kick-off the Chevy American Revolution Weekend at Eldora. In four races this season for the series at Eldora Speedway, four drivers have picked up wins.

Donny Schatz, the two-time defending World of Outlaws champion who drives for Tony Stewart, who owns Eldora Speedway, won at his boss's track earlier this season to pick up the fourth victory of his career at the facility. He leads the series this season with 14 A-Feature wins and 50 Top-10 finishes, as he chases his third consecutive title. He is the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in all four World of Outlaws races at the track this season.

Jason Meyers finished second in the Kings Royal and also on the Knight Before the Kings Royal back in July. He has three Top-10 finishes at Eldora this season and also has led 24 laps at the track in 2008. In his career, he has two wins at the half-mile and nearly 20 Top-10 finishes. The California native has won nine overall events this season with the World of Outlaws, eight A-Features and one preliminary feature as he chases his first series title. He leads the series with 41 Top-Five finishes and also has set fast time on 12 occasions this year.

Craig Dollansky, who is third in points won at Eldora back in April. He has five wins at the track in his career and nearly 40 Top-10 finishes. Entering competition this week, he has won eight total events this season, seven A-Features and one preliminary feature. He has 44 Top-10 finishes this season with 32 of those being Top-Five performances.

Joey Saldana has won twice at Eldora this season including the Knight Before the Kings Royal. He led a number of laps in the Kings Royal before having a tire shred. In his career, he has 16 victories at the storied track. He enters competition this weekend fourth in points on the strength of four A-Feature wins and 38 Top-10 finishes.

Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, has won 57 times in his career at Eldora Speedway. He finished fifth in the Kings Royal in July and has three finishes of sixth or better at the half-mile this season. He has six A-Feature wins this season along with 37 Top-10 finishes, which have him solidly in the fifth spot in points.

Jac Haudenschild has three Top-10 finishes at Eldora this season. The Ohio native has won 23 times in his career at the track and has well over 100 Top-10 finishes. He recently picked up his third win of the season in the World of Outlaws inaugural race at Lucas Oil Speedway in Missouri. He is sixth in points on the strength of 39 Top-10 finishes.

Kerry Madsen, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, finished eighth in the Kings Royal and has three Top-10 finishes in four starts at Eldora this season, including a fourth-place performance back in April. The native of St. Mary's, NSW, Australia is currently seventh in points on the strength of 33 Top-10 finishes.

Chad Kemenah, the 2006 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, finished third in the Kings Royal in July and has four Top-10 finishes at Eldora this season. He has two career wins at the track in his home state. He is currently eighth in the World of Outlaws championship standings on the strength of 30 Top-10 finishes.

Terry McCarl has two Top-10 finishes at Eldora this season. The six-time Knoxville Raceway and Huset's Speedway track champion has over 20 Top-10 finishes in his career at Eldora. He is currently ninth in points with 22 Top-10 finishes as he closes in on his first win of the season.

Daryn Pittman won the Kings Royal back in July to earn his third career win at the track. He has three Top-Five finishes at Eldora Speedway this season. He currently is 10th in points and has won four A-Feature events in 2008 and has 25 Top-10 finishes.

Sam Hafertepe Jr. has two Top-10 finishes at Eldora this season, including a runner-up performance in a non-sanctioned race back in July. The sophomore driver has 14 Top-10 finishes this season and is just outside of the Top-10 in the series standings as he chases his first career World of Outlaws win.

Kraig Kinser heads to Eldora Speedway which is owned by his car owner Tony Stewart with plenty of momentum. He won his first race of the season a couple of weeks ago at Grays Harbor Raceway in Washington and also earned a runner-up finish at Clay County Speedway in Iowa last week and was fourth on Sunday night in the World of Outlaws debut at Lucas Oil Speedway in Missouri.

Jason Sides, the 2004 Kings Royal winner finished third in the World of Outlaws first visit this season to Eldora back in April. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee who claimed the 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award has 15 Top-10 finishes this season.

Tony Bruce Jr. finished seventh in a non-sanctioned race earlier this season at Eldora. The sophomore driver has two career Top-10 finishes at the famed track. He won his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature event earlier this season at 34 Raceway in Iowa.

Chad Hillier, who is also in his second full season with the World of Outlaws, finished a very solid 11th in the Kings Royal. He has made a total of eight starts over the last two seasons at Eldora Speedway. He has five Top-Five finishes this season, including a seventh-place performance on a preliminary night of the Gold Cup Race of Champions a couple of weeks ago.

Lucas Wolfe, who is in his first season with the World of Outlaws, has a couple of Top-10 finishes this season at Eldora. He picked up his sixth Top-10 finish of the season on Sunday night at Lucas Oil Speedway.

Paul McMahan finished ninth in the Kings Royal and has three Top-10 finishes at Eldora this season. He picked up his first win at the legendary track last season, and has over 30 Top-10 finishes in his career there. He has 14 Top-10 finishes this season as he closes in on his first win of the year.

2008 Race Recaps:

April 11: Craig Dollansky used a textbook slidejob on Donny Schatz to pick up the win in the series first visit to the track this season.

The race began with Joey Saldana leading from the pole position. Early in the race, he opened a comfortable lead over Schatz. Saldana was out front for the first 20 laps, before he shredded a left rear tire, giving the lead to Schatz under caution. There were a number of drivers that had flat tires while running in the Top-10 over the course of the 30-lap event. There were also a couple of drivers that ran out of fuel late in the going.

Dollansky lined up second behind Schatz on a restart with 10 laps to go and slid under the two-time defending Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion exiting the second turn. Schatz battled back down the stretch, with Dollansky holding him off after a restart with just two laps remaining.

Jason Sides recorded his best finish of the season, coming home third. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee driving the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim, who won the Kings Royal in 2004 at Eldora started ninth on Friday night and steadily worked his way to front, passing Chad Kemenah and Kerry Madsen in the middle of the race and taking advantage of some bad luck that plagued Terry McCarl and Shane Stewart late.

Kerry Madsen wound up fourth with Tim Shaffer fifth.

May 31: Donny Schatz picked up his first win at Eldora Speedway, his boss's track, since joining Tony Stewart Racing.

Schatz took the lead from Jason Meyers on the 26th lap of the 30-lap event, after chasing Meyers down in traffic to take the lead with four laps remaining, using a move on the bottom of the track exiting the fourth turn. Meyers charged back down the front straightaway and into the first and second turns, before stopping on the backstretch after his right rear tired exploded, ending his night.

The race began with Meyers leading down the front straightaway, with Terry McCarl diving low into the first turn to snare the lead from Meyers and Stewart, who both started on the front row. Meyers kept pace with McCarl and dove under him exiting the fourth turn on the second lap to take the lead. At the same time, Schatz went from fourth to second, as he used the low side of the track to get around both McCarl and Saldana.

Meyers was in lapped traffic just seven laps into the race. He continued to extend his lead in traffic, while Schatz had Saldana battling him for the runner-up position. On the 10th lap, Meyers, Schatz and Saldana all were within a couple of car lengths, with Meyers holding on to the lead through heavy traffic. At one point, Meyers and Schatz split a lapped machine while running side-by-side.

With five laps remaining, Meyers jumped the cushion in turn two, giving Schatz the opening he needed to inch ahead on the back straightaway, but Meyers charged back exiting the third turn and was officially scored the leader at the line. On the very next lap, Schatz went under Meyers coming off the fourth turn to take the lead. After the only caution of the A-Feature flew for Meyers shredded tire, Schatz used a strong restart to pick up the win.

Joey Saldana finished second, with Shane Stewart third, Jac Haudenschild fourth and Daryn Pittman fifth.

July 11: Joey Saldana picked up another win at Eldora Speedway, in a spirited battled with Dale Blaney in the Knight Before the Kings Royal.

Saldana used a classic Eldora slidejob on Blaney to take the lead on the 14th lap, and held off a hard charging Jason Meyers down the stretch to earn the win.

Saldana lined up third and moved into second on the opening lap, as he got around pole sitter Rob Chaney, when Blaney had taken the lead. This came after the trio went three-side down the back straightaway.

Jason Meyers moved up to fourth in the early going, putting a slider on Chaney coming off the fourth turn. Chaney got sideways as he tried to battle back for the spot and spun, leading to the first caution of the night. On the ensuing restart, Saldana looked to the high side of turns one and two for a way around Blaney. At the same time, Donny Schatz battled Steve Kinser, as the pair traded slide jobs a number of times. Schatz took the fourth spot from Kinser on the third lap, but the second yellow flag of the night flew before the lap was completed and thus Kinser retained the position.

On the restart, Blaney powered his way to a sizeable lead, with Saldana chasing him. A five-car accident in the third turn on the sixth lap right in front of the leaders, led to a very tense moment for Blaney. He found a small opening to dive through after getting on the brakes as hard as he could. Saldana followed him through unscathed. The teams all had a chance to come on the track and work on their machines since it was an open red flag period.

The next restart saw Blaney go to the low side of the track with Saldana looking high off the second turn and again off turn four. He opened a lead in clean track, but quickly was back in traffic, which allowed Saldana to close in and make the pass for the lead and ultimately the win on the 14th lap as they were in dense lapped traffic. Meyers also used a slide job to move into second. A couple laps before Kinser lost an engine while running fourth, ending his night.

Meyers stayed with Saldana, while Craig Dollansky who has worked his way from 14th to fourth while running on seven cylinders, battled with Blaney.

Saldana began to pull away though once he got in traffic, which gave Meyers a chance to close in. With five laps to go, Saldana has trouble getting around a lapped machine and Meyers closed to within three car lengths. Meyers charged off the fourth turn, with. Saldana holding him off down the front straightaway by 0.267 seconds.

Blaney wound up third, Donny Schatz fourth and Craig Dollansky fifth.

July 13: Daryn Pittman picked up his first win of the 2008 season claiming the $50,000 Kings Royal.

Pittman inherited the lead on the 28th lap after Joey Saldana who was leading came to a stop after making contact with the back straightaway wall due to a flat right rear tire. Pittman would lead on the restart and held off Jason Meyers on the last lap in traffic to score the triumph.

The race began with Saldana shooting to a quick lead on the high side of turns one and two. Pittman quickly charged by Dale Blaney and used a slide job to get around Meyers on the opening lap coming off turns three and four to move into second. Saldana opened a very sizeable lead in the first couple laps and by just the fourth lap was already in traffic.

He ran the high side of the track through traffic, with Pittman gaining ground on the seventh and eighth laps. On the ninth lap, Pittman was right on Saldana and was about to try a slide job coming off the fourth turn, when the red flag flew for a Shane Stewart flip. The open red flag period allowed the crews to come on the track and work on the cars.

On the restart, Pittman looked low on Saldana in turns one and two, but did not have enough momentum to make the pass. This allowed Saldana to again open a big lead, while Meyers and Dale Blaney closed in on Pittman.

The caution flag flew on the 15th lap after Dale Blaney spun while running fourth. Donny Schatz just avoided running into Blaney.

Saldana again used a strong restart to open a healthy lead. At the same time, Chad Kemenah worked his way around Schatz to snag the sixth spot. Saldana again was in traffic on the 18th lap and by this time had opened a very large lead, while Pittman had his hands full with Meyers as the pair battled for the runner-up spot.

Another caution flew on the 22nd lap, giving the leaders open race track with the lapped car going to the rear of the field. Saldana again used a strong restart to open a commanding lead, though the yellow flag would wave just two laps later as Terry McCarl got into the wall on the back straightaway while running fourth.

Saldana pulled away on the restart, though he lost a right rear tire on the 28th lap, making contact with the back straightaway wall and coming to a stop, thus giving the lead to Pittman.

Pittman maintained his lead over Meyers as the laps wound down. He entered heavy traffic with five laps to go and this allowed Meyers to gain more ground each lap. With just three laps remaining, Meyers was all over Pittman. A lapped machine held up Pittman for the last two laps of the race, allowing Meyers to close in on the finale two laps.

Chad Kemenah finished third, with Donny Schatz fourth and Steve Kinser fifth.

What to look for at Eldora Speedway:

* Steve Kinser is the winningest sprint car driver in Eldora Speedway history, with 57 total wins, of which 31 are A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws. The 20-time series champion won the first ever series event at the half-mile in 1978.

* Donny Schatz, the two-time defending series champion won the Kings Royal last year at the track and also was victorious in 2002 in the Historic Big One. He finished second there last month with the series.

* Jason Meyers won at Eldora in 2007, in the first race after the track was resurfaced. He also was victorious in 2002 at the track, filling in for the injured Craig Dollansky. He has won nine total races this season as he chases his first series title.

*Craig Dollansky has six wins during his career at the storied track, including four with the World of Outlaws. He has won eight total times this season and is third in points.

* Joey Saldana has a total of 16 wins in his career at Eldora, with five of those being World of Outlaws A-Feature triumphs, including two in the Kings Royal. His most recent win was in July in the Knight Before the Kings Royal.

* Jac Haudenschild has 23 career wins at Eldora Speedway, including eight in World of Outlaws A-Feature events. He recently won his third event of the season at Lucas Oil Speedway.

* Daryn Pittman has three career wins with the series at the track, including this years Kings Royal, as well as the Historic Big One in 2003. He has won four times with the World of Outlaws this season.

By the Numbers- Eldora Speedway:

0.5- Miles around Eldora Speedway

1- Driver that has finished in the Top-10 in each of the first three series events at Eldora this year, Donny Schatz

2- Full-time World of Outlaws drivers that hail from Ohio: Jac Haudenschild and Chad Kemenah

5- Wins for Donny Schatz on half-mile tracks in 2008 to lead the series ; Laps led by Schatz on May 31 to win at the track

7- Drivers that have led laps in A-Feature events at Eldora Speedway this season with the World of Outlaws in A-Feature events; Races in the state of Ohio this season for the World of Outlaws

10- Laps led by Craig Dollansky en route to winning at Eldora on April 11; Current World of Outlaws drivers that have won an A-Feature with the series at the track

12- Laps led by Daryn Pittman to win the Kings Royal this season

12.707- Track record set by Craig Dollansky on April 13, 2002 at Eldora Speedway

18- Events contested by the World of Outlaws on half-mile tracks this season

29- Drivers that have won an A-Feature with the series at the track dating back to 1978

36- Drivers that competed with the World of Outlaws at Eldora back in July

57- Wins for Steve Kinser in his career at Eldora Speedway, including preliminary features

64- Laps led by Joey Saldana at Eldora Speedway this season with the World of Outlaws, the most of any driver

123- Events held by the World of Outlaws at the track, including preliminary features dating back to 1978

555- Miles from Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri where the World of Outlaws compete on September 14 to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio

1978- Year that the World of Outlaws first competed at the half-mile

10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, September 19

Tickets: On Friday, September 19 at Eldora Speedway, tickets for those ages 16-over will be $25, with tickets for those ages 12-15 $12, while tickets for children ages 7-11 will be $6 and kids 6-under will be admitted free of charge. For ticket information visit www.eldoraspeedway.com.

Next Up: A trip to Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York on Sunday, September 21 to complete the A-Feature event which was postponed by rain on July 20, with Jason Meyers on the pole and Sam Hafertepe Jr. on the outside of the front row.

-credit: woo

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