POINTS BATTLE ESCALATES TO CODE RED If you haven't noticed the World of Outlaws currents points battle heating up then you haven't been paying attention. Over the past four weeks, the spread between the top 3 contenders has closed from...
POINTS BATTLE ESCALATES TO CODE RED
If you haven't noticed the World of Outlaws currents points battle heating up then you haven't been paying attention. Over the past four weeks, the spread between the top 3 contenders has closed from over 100 points to within 38 points after the completion of Friday night's race at Eldora Speedway. But the real heat is between the top two with Jason Meyers trailing Donny Schatz by only 9 points with 8 features left in this 2009 season.
"This is the opportunity we have always dreamed of," said Meyers. "We have wanted this for a long time and it is within our reach. Every race from here on out is the most important race of our careers. We are not getting excited about it, and we won't until it's over. We will keep digging and fighting until the end, with plans of coming out on top when it's all over."
Jason Meyers and the Elite Racing team came out charging on Friday night at Eldora setting quick time with a blistering 12.828 around the famed half mile. The quick time also awarded Meyers 5 valuable championship points closing the gap between Meyers and Schatz to only 13 points. The last car to circle the Eldora Speedway in the 12.8 bracket was Meyers in 2003 when he went a 12.81, just .103 off of the 12.707 track record held by Craig Dollansky. Rainy and wet conditions kept the track fast through the heat races with all heat race winners turning laps in the 12 second bracket. Meyers started in the 4th position and used the highline to move around pole sitter Dale Blaney for second place, locking the #14 GLR Investments car into the Crane Cams dash.
Next on the agenda was the pill draw and that is where the obstacles came into play. Meyers pulled the dreaded #10 out of the jar, lining him up at the tail of one of the fastest tracks of the year where passing would be very difficult. "You can't always pull the one," said Meyers. "This is when you find out how tough you really are." When the green flag dropped for the dash Meyers charged to the high side of one as he had done in the heat race, but this time found himself tight against the cushion and unable to make a move. Two laps later Meyers crossed over in turn 4 to move past the #6 car of Lasoski to move to 8th place, but then lost that position to Jason Sides on the next lap. Meyers would finish 9th in the dash lining him up inside the 5th row for the A main.
The Elite Racing team was hard at work between the dash and the A main making numerous chassis adjustments to the #14 KPC Chassis. "We have got to be better than that, way better. If we go back out for the feature like that, we are going to finish 15th. We tried some things there to get ready for the future and now we know where to adjust," said Meyers.
Meyers lined up in the 5th row of the A main behind Cody Darrah. As the green flag waved, Meyers raced underneath Darrah down the front chute and into 1, but then Darrah used momentum around the top to move back past off of turn 2. The cars raced side by side at blistering speeds with the track still only 3 car widths wide and barely off the bottom guard rail. Eldora is typically on the outside fence, but rain and clouds had caused the tracks very tacky conditions. When the caution flew for leader Sammy Swindell on lap 9, Meyers was still only in the 8th position. On the restart Meyers went low to try and take the 7th position, but was unable to make the pass. Meyers continued to try to find a hole with no success. On lap 12, the caution flew again for the flat RR of new leader Terry McCarl. Again another restart, but still no passing. Finally Meyers was able to pass the 15H of Hafertepe off of turn 4 to move into the 6th position. On lap 17, the red flag flew for the #2 car of Dale Blaney. Prior to the red flag, Meyers had closed on the 3c of Conley and on the restart Meyers went way up in the cushion and made the pass around the 3c machine. Meyers had now moved into the 5th position and was hot on the heels of the #89 of Darrah. Darrah and the #9 of Saldana were battling lap after lap and Meyers was in tow, searching for an opportunity. Lapped traffic was in the mix and you could have thrown a blanket over the top 5. But then the Darrah and Saldana touched sending Darrah into the inside wall. Meyers just cleared Darrah almost clipping him and possibly ending his night. The crash moved Meyers into the 4th position directly behind the #9 of Joey Saldana.
On the restart with only 4 laps to go, Meyers went high to try and pass Saldana but could not gain enough momentum. The two cars raced nose to tail for the remaining laps with Jason Sides taking the win, followed by Tim Shaffer, Joey Saldana, Jason Meyers, and Cale Conley rounding out the top 5.
The 4th place finish for Meyers versus the 6th place finish of championship point's leader Donny Schatz moved Meyers to within on 9 points now. With rain canceling the Saturday night at Lernerville, the two will head into one of the toughest tracks in the country next weekend separated by 9 mere points. "This is our chance. You don't get these chances every day and this is it. The #15 team and the #9 team are two of the toughest teams in the business and I can see this being a fight right down to the end. We are ready for, and to be honest, looking forward to it," said Meyers.
Up Next for the Elite Race Team....
Meyers and the Elite Racing team will be back in action this Friday at Williams Grove Speedway for twin features on Friday and the $50,000.00 to win National Open on Saturday. One interesting fact is that for the makeup feature on Friday night, Meyers is lined up to start from the 6th row, with Schatz starting in the 12th row and Saldana on the front row for the dash. This weekend will be one that no sprint car fan in the country is going to want to miss.
Saturday 9-26 Lernerville Speedway - Sarver, PA
Rain forced the postponement of the Commonwealth Clash for the World of Outlaws at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania originally scheduled for Saturday, September 26. The event has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 31 and will now be the third to final race of the season.