Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Heartland Park Topeka Topeka, KS-- September 11, 2008--A busy swing through the Midwest continues for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series at Heartland Park...
Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Heartland Park Topeka
Topeka, KS-- September 11, 2008--A busy swing through the Midwest continues for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series at Heartland Park Topeka on Saturday, September 13 for "Thunder at the Heartland." The series has contested five A-Feature events at the facility dating back to 1999 with four drivers picking up wins, including a couple on the temporary quarter-mile that was constructed on the adjacent drag strip.
The first race on the permanent 3/8-mile came in 2001, with two-time series champion Donny Schatz picking up the win in that event. Schatz won again at the track last season and has had a $1,000 bounty placed on him for the event, which would go to any driver that can beat him at the track. In addition, there is a $500 bonus for Schatz if can win his second consecutive race at the track and third overall.
Schatz heads to Heartland Park as the series most recent winner at Clay County Fair Speedway in Iowa where he edged his teammate Kraig Kinser on Wednesday night for his 14th A-Feature win of the season. Schatz leads the World of Outlaws with 49 Top-10 finishes in 51 A-Feature events as he chases his third consecutive title. The North Dakota native has six Top-Five finishes in his career at Heartland Park.
Jason Meyers, who is second in points, set fast time at Heartland Park last season en route to a fourth-place finish at the track. He has three career Top-10 finishes at the track, including a couple on the ¼-mile. Meyers has won nine times this season including eight A-Feature events as he chases his first World of Outlaws title. He leads the series with 41 Top-Five finishes.
Craig Dollansky has nine finishes of sixth or better in 10 career starts at Heartland Park. The Minnesota native has three runner-up finishes as he chases his first win at the track. He has won seven times this season and is third in points on the strength of 44 Top-10 finishes.
Joey Saldana has five Top-10 finishes in his career at Heartland Park. He finished seventh at the track last season. The second generation driver won earlier this season in the state of Kansas at Dodge City Raceway Park. In his third season driving for Kasey Kahne Racing, he has racked up 38 Top-10 finishes, with 28 of those being Top-Fives.
Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion has five Top-10 finishes in his career at Heartland Park Topeka, including a couple of runner-up performances. He won his first race in the state of Kansas back in 1978 at the Topeka Fairgrounds. The Indiana native has won six times this season and is solidly in the sixth position in points.
Jac Haudenschild has a couple of Top-10 finishes at Heartland Park Topeka during his career. He recently won his third career Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California which paid $50,000. In his first season driving for the Carnahan Motorsports team, the native of Wooster, Ohio has 39 Top-10 finishes.
Kerry Madsen, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, finished sixth at Heartland Park last season in his fourth career start at the track. The native of St. Mary's, NSW, Australia picked up his 33rd Top-10 finish of the 2008 season on Wednesday night at Clay County Fair Speedway as he closes in on his first win.
Chad Kemenah, the 2006 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, finished eighth in his debut at Heartland Park Topeka last season. He finished fourth earlier this year in the state of Kansas at Dodge City Raceway Park. The Ohio native has 31 Top-10 finishes this season and is solidly in the eighth spot in points.
Terry McCarl has made two starts at Heartland Park in his career and has picked up Top-10 finishes in both of those events. The six-time Knoxville Raceway and Huset's Speedway track champion is currently ninth in points on the strength of 20 Top-10 finishes.
Daryn Pittman finished third at Heartland Park last season. He has four Top-10 finishes at the track in his career. The native of Owasso, Oklahoma has won four times this season, including the $50,000 Kings Royal at the famed Eldora Speedway. He has three career wins in the state of Kansas.
Sam Hafertepe Jr. made his debut at Heartland Park Topeka last season during his rookie campaign with the World of Outlaws. He has nine career Top-10 finishes in the state of Kansas. He recently picked up his 14th Top-10 finish of the season at Clay County Fair Speedway in Iowa.
Kraig Kinser, the 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, has made a handful of starts at Heartland Park Topeka in his career. The third generation driver picked up his first win of the season at Grays Harbor Raceway in Washington a couple of weeks and led a number of laps at Clay County Fair Speedway before finishing second. He is in the midst of his first season driving for Tony Stewart Racing.
Jason Sides, the series top rookie in 2003, finished seventh in his first start at Heartland Park in 2001. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee has 14 Top-10 finishes this season as he chases his first win of the 2008 campaign.
Tony Bruce Jr. the only World of Outlaws driver that hails from the state of Kansas made his first start at Heartland Park last season. He has two career wins in his home state and won his first World of Outlaws race earlier this season at 34 Raceway in Iowa.
Chad Hillier, who is in his second full season with the World of Outlaws also made his debut at Heartland Park Topeka last season. He has six Top-10 finishes this season as he continues to gain valuable experience competing night in and night out.
Lucas Wolfe, who is in his first full season on the road with the World of Outlaws, has raced three times in his career in the state of Kansas, with those coming back in 2006. He will be making his debut at Heartland Park Topeka on Saturday, September 13.
Paul McMahan has four Top-10 finishes in his career at Heartland Park, including a ninth-place performance last season. He has 15 Top-10 finishes this season as he closes in on his first win of the year.
2007 Race Recap: Donny Schatz became the first two-time winner on the permanent 3/8-mile at Heartland Park Topeka, edging Tim Shaffer for the win.
Schatz had a major scare on lap 16, as he was battling Shaffer for the lead exiting the fourth turn, when his car came out of gear, dropping him back to third. He quickly got the car back in gear and began to chase Daryn Pittman before a caution flag flew.
Shaffer led from the pole, though the red flag flew before a full lap was completed for a five car pileup, leading to a complete restart. On the restart, Shaffer again bolted to the lead into the first and second turns, with Schatz in-tow. Also on the opening lap, Daryn Pittman got around Randy Hannagan for third.
Shaffer encountered traffic just five laps into the race, allowing Schatz to close. Schatz looked high a couple of times exiting both the second and fourth turns for the lead, but could not quite pull even with Shaffer. The caution flag then flew a couple of times, giving the leaders open race track to work with.
On the ensuing restart, Shaffer again charged down the front straightaway and quickly opened a six car length advantage, though he was back in traffic on the ninth lap, giving Schatz another chance to battle for the lead.
Schatz got a run on Shaffer exiting turn four on lap ten and the two almost made contact on the frontstretch before a very enthusiastic crowd. Schatz chased Shaffer with the pair again almost making contact twice more as they raced wheel-to-wheel.
Pittman moved into second on lap 16 when Schatz's car jumped out of gear as he was battling for the lead off the fourth turn. The caution flew the next lap, putting Pittman right behind Shaffer.
Shaffer pulled away on the restart, with Schatz moving back to second on lap 18. For the next nine laps, Schatz continued to look for a way around Shaffer. He found the opening he needed on lap 27 as Shaffer got held up trying to lap a car. From there, Schatz maintained a comfortable lead as he worked through traffic, at many times keeping a slower machine between himself and Shaffer.
Pittman finished third, with Jason Meyers fourth and Randy Hannagan fifth.
What to look for at Heartland Park Topeka
*Donny Schatz, the two-time defending series champion is the defending winner of the race and has won twice at the track in his career. A bounty of $1,000 has been placed on him which will go to any other driver that can win, and also if he wins, he will earn an extra $500.
*Craig Dollansky has finished sixth or better in 9 of 10 races at Heartland Park as he chases his first win at the high-banked 3/8-mile. He has won seven times this season and is currently third in points.
*Steve Kinser, the 20-time series champion has 10 wins in his career in the state of Kansas, but is still seeking his first victory at Heartland Park Topeka. He won his first race in the Jawhawk state in 1978 at the Topeka Fairgrounsds.
*The race will mark the third and final event of the season in the state of Kansas for the series, with two different winners in the first two events in the Jawkawk State in 2008.
*Tony Bruce Jr. the only full-time World of Outlaws driver that hails from the state of Kansas has won twice in his home state during his career.
By the Numbers- Heartland Park Topeka:
0.375- Miles around Heartland Park Topeka.
1- World of Outlaws driver that hails from the state of Kansas, Tony Bruce Jr.
2- Drivers that led laps in the A-Feature event at the track last season
3- Events in the state of Kansas for the World of Outlaws this season;
4- Drivers that have won an A-Feature with the World of Outlaws at Heartland Park Topeka dating back to 1999
6- Current World of Outlaws drivers that have led laps in feature competition at the track
7- Drivers that have set fast time in time trials with the series at the high-banked 3/8-mile
9- Drivers that have won on 3/8-mile tracks this season with the World of Outlaws
10- Drivers that have won events on 3/8-mile tracks this season with the World of Outlaws
11.500- Track record established by Joey Saldana in time trials on June 24, 2002
13- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws this season
17- Events contested on 3/8-mile tracks for the World of Outlaws this season
23- Drivers that have won a Crane Cams Dash this season to earn pole positions in A-Feature events
32- Laps led by reigning World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz in his career at the track
121- Miles from U.S. 36 Raceway in Osborn, Missouri where the World of Outlaws compete on September 12 to Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas
353- Laps led by Jason Meyers this season to lead the series
1989- Year that Heartland Park Topeka opened
1999- Year that the World of Outlaws first raced at Heartland Park Topeka
10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Saturday, September 13
51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Saturday, September 13
Tickets: On Saturday, September 13 at Heartland Park Topeka, General admission tickets will be $30 in advance and $32 the day of the race, with reserved tickets $33 in advance and $35 the day of the race. Pit combos, which include a reserved seat and a pit pass will also be available for $35 in advance and $40 the day of the race.
For ticket information 1-800-43RACES or visit: www.hpt.com.
Next Up: The series inaugural event at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri on Sunday, September 14.