World of Outlaws Wrap-up: Eldora Speedway Concord, NC--May 10, 2009-- The battle rages on: Donny Schatz used his fifth win of the season on Saturday night to take the lead in the World of Outlaws championship standings, after 20-time series ...
World of Outlaws Wrap-up: Eldora Speedway
Concord, NC--May 10, 2009-- The battle rages on: Donny Schatz used his fifth win of the season on Saturday night to take the lead in the World of Outlaws championship standings, after 20-time series champion Steve Kinser, who entered the weekend as the point leader broke with just two laps to go while leading the main event on Saturday night. Schatz led the point standings for the first 13 races of the season before Kinser took the top spot after a win at Tri-State Speedway on April 25. Schatz now holds a 19 point advantage entering the three events this week as he chases his fourth consecutive title, with Joey Saldana third, Jason Meyers fourth and Craig Dollansky fifth.
"We fell out at Haubstadt (Tri-State Speedway) and he took the point lead and we want to be on top," said Schatz after his win. "That's where we are at."
Back in the saddle: Craig Dollansky made his first start at Eldora since sustaining a season-ending arm injury at the half-mile last September. The native of Elk River, Minnesota raced his way into the Crane Cams Dash on Saturday night to earn the ninth starting spot in the 30-lap A-Feature. He finished fourth to earn his fifth Top-Five of the season and in the process, moved up to fifth in the championship standings.
"Eldora is definitely one of my favorite race tracks," said Dollansky. "I felt pretty good on Friday and got more comfortable as we went. We are pretty happy to pick up a Top-Five finish in the first race back at Eldora since the injury, especially with where we started."
Continuing to build: Sammy Swindell picked up his third runner-up finish of the season on Saturday night. It was the three-time World of Outlaws champion's first start at Eldora since 2006 when he won both of the spring races at the track. The second-place performance was his 11th Top-10 finish of the season as and the Tom Rolfe Racing team continues to rebound from a shop burglary prior to the season which left them trashing to be ready for the season.
"It was pretty good for us," noted Swindell. "We haven't run too many half-miles yet after putting this deal together. It's been a while and we struggled last week (at Knoxville Raceway), so it was good to get things going. We changed and changed and changed. We are trying to catch up to these guys. They have had the same people and the same stuff and it's tough but we're working on it. All we can do is try."
Ready to hit the track: Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, finished third at Eldora Speedway to earn his seventh Top-Five finish of the season. He also moved into the eighth spot in the point standings as the schedule picks up this week with three races in a four day period on the East Coast. Lasoski began the night at Eldora by turning in the third fastest lap in time trials.
"We have been running mainly on the weekend and getting rained out," said Lasoski. "I am ready to run five nights in a row that would be a good deal."
A yeoman's effort: Joey Saldana's Kasey Kahne Racing team thrashed to change an engine after he won the B-Main on Saturday night. With just a short amount of time, the crew was able to complete the engine swap, though the car was not on the track in time for the Four-Wide Salute to the fans, and by way of World of Outlaws rules, Saldana had to forfeit his 18th starting spot and move to the back of the field, which put him 24th on the grid. He charged his way to a very solid ninth-place finish and the second generation driver remains in the third spot in the series standings.
Not intimidated: Cody Darrah made the tow west from Red Lion, Pennsylvania to make his first start at the legendary Eldora Speedway with the World of Outlaws. The 19-year old had a very solid weekend, turning in the second quickest lap in time trials on Saturday night and followed that up with a seventh-place finish in the A-Feature after starting ninth.
"It's everything everyone says it is," said Darrah with a smile. "It's intimidating to watch, and when you get out there with the cars and let them breathe, it's amazing how much speed you get. It's probably a track that I could get used to. For a night to get rained out, I was glad it was Friday night. Every lap here is another lap that I have under my belt."
Fan friendly: Fans were able to get up close and personal with the cars and stars of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Saturday afternoon at Eldora Speedway as the track hosted an open pit/autograph session. Fans were able to walk across the famed high-banked half-mile, by way of the flag stand, into the infield pit area to meet their favorite drivers, get autographs and pose for pictures.
"It's great to see all the fans here," said Jason Meyers over the Public Address system during the open pit festivities. "The folks at Eldora did a great job and thanks to all the fans for coming out and supporting this event."
A sight to be seen: Eldora Speedway opened their brand new hospitality suites located high off turns three and four over the weekend. The two levels have 16 spacious suites with an unequalled viewing platform. Each unit is climate controlled, has individual public address controls and private rest rooms, among other amenities.
Keep up with all the action: The number of "Followers" keeping up with the World of Outlaws via Twitter online and through text messages on cell phones continues to grow. Updates are provided throughout race nights beginning with hot laps and continuing all the way through the final checkered flag of the night. To sign-up visit: twitter.com/worldofoutlaws and receive live race updates, anywhere, anytime.
Photo Gallery: The Media Gallery section of www.WorldofOutlaws.com continues to be updated after each event. Visit www.worldofoutlaws.com/sprint/MediaGallery.aspx to see Photo Galleries from 2009 World of Outlaws events. A Photo Gallery from this past weekend's event at the famed Eldora Speedway will be online within the next couple of days.
Up next: The World of Outlaws head to the East Coast for three events in a four-day period beginning on Tuesday, May 12 at Delaware International Speedway followed by two full nights of racing at Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania on Thursday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15.