World of Outlaws Preview: Tri-State Speedway Nothing quite beats opening night at a race track, with excitement in the air, the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, and of course the melodic sounds of the engines serenading the crowd.
World of Outlaws Preview: Tri-State Speedway
Nothing quite beats opening night at a race track, with excitement in the air, the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, and of course the melodic sounds of the engines serenading the crowd. That type of festive atmosphere will greet drivers and fans alike this weekend at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana, as the World of Outlaws roll into town to help open the season at the venerable and always racy high-banked ¼-mile bullring in southern Indiana.
The series first competed at Tri-State Speedway in 1979 and has contested 28 events at the track over the years, with 13 different drivers taking home the checkered flag. Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, leads the way with seven victories at the track in his home state. Sammy Swindell, the three-time World of Outlaws title winner, who will also be in action this weekend, has won four times with the series at the track.
Craig Dollansky won at Tri-State Speedway last season and has been victorious in two of the last three races at the high-banked bullring for the World of Outlaws. He enters this weekend fifth in the series championship standings as he continues his first season driving for Kasey Kahne Racing.
The event at Tri-State Speedway will be the fourth of a five-race swing on high-banked bullrings for the World of Outlaws as the season kicks into high gear. Donny Schatz, the three-time and defending series champion enters the weekend as the current series point leader and holds a 28-point advantage over Steve Kinser, with Jason Meyers third, Joey Saldana fourth and Craig Dollansky is fifth.
Slidejobs- Riverside Tri-State Speedway:
A second home track: For Steve Kinser, Tri-State Speedway is not quite his home track, as Bloomington Speedway holds that regard, but the Indiana has had a great deal of success over the years at ¼-mile located in Haubstadt. He has won a total of 21 times at the track dating back to 1978, with seven of those wins coming in World of Outlaws events. He has finished in the Top-10 in nearly all of his starts at the track over the last 30 years, with a majority of those being Top-Five performances. His most recent win there came in 2007.
Short track prowess: Sammy Swindell has eight career wins at Tri-State Speedway, with four of those coming in World of Outlaws events. He picked up his first win at the track in 1974 and his most recent win at the track came in 1998. His last start at Tri-State Speedway came in 2004, when he finished second, after beginning the night by setting a new track record in time trials.
At home on the high banks: Craig Dollansky has won two of the last three World of Outlaws events at Tri-State Speedway. He led all 40 laps last season there after starting second and getting the jump on Steve Kinser who started on the pole. Dollansky has finished in the Top-10 in six consecutive races at Tri-State Speedway. He is currently fifth in points this season as he continues his first year behind the wheel for Kasey Kahne Racing.
Looking to add another track to the list: Donny Schatz has won at most of the tracks on the World of Outlaws schedule, but Tri-State Speedway is one that he has yet to visit the winner's circle at. He has seven consecutive Top-10 finishes at the track, including a career-best third last season. The North Dakota native made his debut at the track in 1997, finishing sixth.
"Tri-State is always a fun place to race," noted Schatz. "The Helfrich family does a great job giving us a quality track to race on. I haven't quite mastered it, yet, but we seem to be getting better there every time we go. Last year, we finally got a podium finish there, so I feel like we are getting closer."
Running up front: Jason Meyers won his second race of the season last weekend at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky and is up to third in the World of Outlaws championship standings as he chases his first series title. He has raced just four times in his career at Tri-State Speedway and has three Top-10 finishes, including a third-place effort in 2007. He won earlier this season on a ¼-mile track in his home state of California at Silver Dollar Speedway.
Hoosier Hospitality: Joey Saldana is one of three drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws this season that hails from the state of Indiana, and he has competed numerous times over the years at Tri-State Speedway. He has seven Top-Five finishes, including last year as he closes in on a win at the famed high-banked ¼-mile. He has won twice this season on tracks that size and leads the series with five overall victories.
Knowing the way to victory lane: Terry McCarl won at Tri-State Speedway in 1996 adding another track to the impressive list of facilities he has won at during his career. The Iowa native has four Top-10 finishes in just a limited number of starts at Tri-State Speedway, with most of those coming in World of Outlaws event.
Chasing that first win: Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, enters action this weekend ninth in the series championship standings on the strength of six Top-Five finishes as he closes in on his first win of the 2009 campaign. In his career at Tri-State Speedway, he has six Top-10 finishes.
Master of the high banks: Jac Haudenschild has always run strong at Tri-State Speedway and has 10 career Top-10 finishes at the high-banked track. He finished second there in 2007 as he looks for his first win at the facility located in Haubstadt, Indiana. The veteran driver from Wooster, Ohio will be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame this season.
Up close and personal: The festivities will kick off on Saturday, April 25 at Tri-State Speedway with an autograph session at 4:30 p.m. Central outside the east grandstand area, featuring all three World of Outlaws drivers that hail from the state of Indiana: Steve Kinser, Kraig Kinser and Joey Saldana.
By the Numbers: Tri-State Speedway
0.25-Miles around Tri-State Speedway
2- Drivers that have won World of Outlaws events on ¼-mile tracks this season, Joey Saldana and Jason Meyers
3- World of Outlaws drivers that hail from the state of Indiana, Steve Kinser, Kraig Kinser and Joey Saldana; Events in the state of Indiana for the series in 2009
4- Wins for Sammy Swindell in World of Outlaws events at Tri-State Speedway
5- Consecutive years the World of Outlaws have competed at Tri-State Speedway
7- Wins for Steve Kinser with the World of Outlaws at the track
8- Total wins for Sammy Swindell in his career at Tri-State Speedway
11- Drivers competing full-time with the series this season that raced in the event at Tri-State Speedway last season
11.110- Track record established by Sammy Swindell in time trials in 2004
12- Events that have been contested by the World of Outlaws through April 17
13- Drivers that have won an A-Feature with the series at the track dating back to 1979
21- Total wins for Steve Kinser in his career at the track
28- A-Feature events contested by the World of Outlaws at Tri-State Speedway dating back to 1979
40- Laps led by Craig Dollansky to win at the track last season
112- Laps led by Joey Saldana this season to lead the series
329- Miles from Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas where the World of Outlaws compete on Friday, April 24 to Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana
1979- Year the World of Outlaws first competed at Tri-State Speedway
10,000-Dollars the winner will receive on Saturday, April 25
51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Saturday, April 25
58,275- Dollars earned by Joey Saldana through April 17 to lead the series
Tickets: On Saturday, April 25 at Tri-State Speedway, general admission tickets on the day of the race are $30 for adults, $15 for children ages 6-12, with kids 5-under admitted free of charge in the general admission section. Reserved tickets for adults are $35, with reserved tickets for children ages 12-under $25. For ticket information call 812-768-6025 or visit www.tristatespeedway.com.