Gillette Thunder Speedway preview

Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Gillette Thunder Speedway Gillette, Wyoming-- August 12, 2008-- Over the last 30 years, the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series has visited countless tracks from...

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

Gillette, Wyoming-- August 12, 2008-- Over the last 30 years, the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series has visited countless tracks from coast-to-coast, but one track that the series has never made a stop at was Gillette Thunder Speedway in Gillette, Wyoming. That all will change on Thursday, August 14 as the series makes their inaugural appearance at the high-banked 3/8-mile, as the 2008 Gold Rush Tour kicks off.

The event at Gillette Thunder Speedway will be the third of six new venues that the series will visit in 2008 and will mark the series fourth visit to the state of Wyoming for the World of Outlaws and the first since 1999. Three different drivers have won in Wyoming with the series, with all 18 current full-time drivers searching for their first win in the state.

Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion and Donny Schatz the two-time defending series champion are the only drivers that have competed in all three of the series previous races in the state of Wyoming.

Schatz currently leads the series with 12 A-Feature wins and has a 131-point advantage in the standings as he chases his third consecutive title. The North Dakota native is the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in each and every event this season. He heads west having won his third consecutive Knoxville Nationals last weekend, making him just the second driver in history to accomplish that feat, joining Kinser.

Kinser has won over 50 times in his career at tracks that he visits for the first time. The native of Bloomington, Indiana currently has 548 career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws. He has won five times this season and is fifth in the championship standings on the strength of 27 Top-10 finishes.

Jason Meyers is second in points on the strength of six A-Feature wins as he makes his debut at Gillette Thunder Speedway. The California native has racked up 35 Top-10 finishes in the first 39 events this season as he makes a bid for his first World of Outlaws title. He led a number of laps at Knoxville last Saturday night before recording a runner-up finish.

Craig Dollansky has one career start in the state of Wyoming and heads to Gillette with seven A-Feature wins this season. The Minnesota native is third in points on the strength of 34 Top-10 finishes.

Joey Saldana is currently fourth in points driving for NASCAR star Kasey Kahne. The second generation driver has won twice this season, including on a 3/8-mile track at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas. He has 31 Top-10 finishes through competition on August 2.

Jac Haudenschild has competed twice in his career in Wyoming. The veteran driver is currently in the midst of his first season behind the wheel of the Carnahan Motorsports machine. He has picked up 29 Top-10 finishes as he closes in on his first win of the season and is solidly in the sixth spot in the championship standings.

Kerry Madsen, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, finished third in the most recent World of Outlaws event at Charter Raceway Park in Wisconsin on August 2. The native of St. Mary's, NSW, Australia has 25 Top-10 finishes as he too closes in on his first win of 2008.

Chad Kemenah, the series top rookie in 2006, heads to Wyoming eighth in points, on the strength of 23 Top-10 finishes, with nine of those being Top-Five performances. He led a number of laps at Wilmot Speedway in Wisconsin on August 1 as he seeks his first win of the 2008 campaign.

Daryn Pittman has competed once in his career in the state of Wyoming, picking up a Top-10 finish in 1999. The native of Owasso, Oklahoma has three wins this season, including in the 25th Annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway, in addition to being victorious at Williams Grove Speedway and most recently at Wilmot Speedway.

Terry McCarl has had a great deal of success in his career when he visits tracks for the first time. The six-time Knoxville Raceway and Huset's Speedway track champion won in 2006 with the series in their inaugural visit to Nodak Speedway in North Dakota. He has 14 Top-10 finishes on the season and is 10th in points, as he closes in on his first win of the season.

Shane Stewart, the 2005 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has 17 Top-10 finishes this season, along with a win at Knoxville Raceway. He is just outside the Top-10 in points beginning the second half of the season.

Sam Hafertepe Jr. will make his first trip to Wyoming on August 14 for the event at Gillette Thunder Speedway. The sophomore driver has 11 Top-10 finishes this season as he chases his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win.

Jason Sides begins the second half of the season with the momentum of four consecutive Top-10 finishes on his side. The 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has nine Top-10 finishes through action on August 2.

Kraig Kinser continues his first season behind the wheel for Tony Stewart Racing as a teammate to Donny Schatz. The third generation driver has eight Top-10 finishes as the series heads west.

Tony Bruce Jr. recently won his first World of Outlaws event at 34 Raceway in Iowa. He led all 35 laps and held off 20-time series champion Steve Kinser for the win. He too will be making his first trip to Wyoming to race.

Chad Hillier continues to gain valuable experience in his second full season on the road with the World of Outlaws. The Washington native has picked up Top-10 finishes in three of the last five series events.

Paul McMahan will make his first start in the state of Wyoming on August 14 at Gillette Thunder Speedway. The veteran driver has nine Top-10 finishes this season, including seven since joining forces with the Parsons Motorsports team.

Lucas Wolfe will make his second start after returning from a back injury, when he makes the trip to Gillette. Prior to sustaining the injury, the rookie driver had four Top-10 finishes.

What to look for at Gillette Thunder Speedway:

* The event will be the third of six inaugural races for the World of Outlaws this season. Tony Bruce Jr. and Jason Meyers have been victorious in debut events this season.

* In his career, Steve Kinser has won over 50 times in his inaugural visit to tracks. He enters action this week with 548 career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws, including five this season.

* The World of Outlaws have competed 10 times this season on 3/8-mile tracks, with five drivers having picked up A-Feature wins.

* The 2008 World of Outlaws season is one of the most competitive in series history, with 18 drivers following the tour full-time. There have been 10 drivers win A-Feature events this season, with 18 different drivers leading laps in A-Feature events, along with 15 drivers claiming wins in the Crane Cams Dash to earn pole positions in A-Feature events.

* Donny Schatz continues to chase his third consecutive series title and remains the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in each of the first 39 races this season. He leads the series with 12 A-Feature wins and has a 131-point lead on Jason Meyers.

*Jason Meyers picked up a win at Virginia Motor Speedway earlier this season in the series inaugural visit to the track and always runs strong when the series visits tracks for the first time.

By the Numbers- Gillette Thunder Speedway:

0.375- Miles around Gillette Thunder Speedway

1- Race in the state of Wyoming this season for the World of Outlaws

2- Drivers that have competed in the previous three series events in Wyoming, Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz

3- Events contested in the state of Wyoming by the World of Outlaws dating back to 1997

4- Wins for Donny Schatz on 3/8-mile tracks to lead the series

5- Drivers that have won on 3/8-mile tracks with the series this season

10- Events contested on 3/8-mile tracks by the World of Outlaws through August 2

11- Races scheduled for the World of Outlaws in the month of August

15- Full-time World of Outlaws drivers that have at least one A-Feature win with the series in their career

17- Sprint Car races that have been held at Gillette Thunder Speedway dating back to 1999

18- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws

22- Series championships that will be accounted for by drivers in attendance at Gillette Thunder Speedway on August 14

31- Top-Five finishes for Donny Schatz & Jason Meyers to lead the series

39- Top-10 finishes for Donny Schatz in the same number of races this season

284- Laps led by Craig Dollansky through August 2 to lead the series

580- Miles from Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, North Dakota where the World of Outlaws compete on August 12 to Gillette Thunder Speedway

1999- Year the first sprint car race was held at Gillette Thunder Speedway

10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Thursday, August 14

51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Thursday, August 14

247,135- Dollars earned by Donny Schatz through August 2 to lead the series

Tickets: On Thursday, August 14 at Gillette Thunder Speedway, adult general admission tickets will be $35 if purchased in advance and $40 the day of the race. Adult reserved seating will be $40 in advance and $45 the day of the race. Seating for juniors, ages 10-under will be $20. For tickets call: 866-581-6892 or visit: www.fatboyzpromotions.com.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , 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.
Teams Williams