Hannagan Looks to Continue Success at Heartland Park Topeka Randy Hannagan last competed at Heartland Park Topeka in 2002, with the World of Outlaws and will return to the high-banked 3/8-mile for the first time since then on Friday, September...
Hannagan Looks to Continue Success at Heartland Park Topeka
Randy Hannagan last competed at Heartland Park Topeka in 2002, with the World of Outlaws and will return to the high-banked 3/8-mile for the first time since then on Friday, September 14. The event will mark the third and final race of the season in the state of Kansas for the series.
The 1995 World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year isn't very concerned that some changes have been made to the track since the last time the series competed at the state-of-the-art facility five years ago. After all, he is used to visiting over 50 different tracks each season and has been doing that for the greater part of the last 10 years.
"We're the World of Outlaws, we will be up-to-speed the minute we unload," smiled Hannagan, driver of the Penthouse Magazine Maxim.
After competing on a high-banked 3/8-mile track on Wednesday night in the series inaugural visit to Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa, where he finished a very strong sixth after working his way to the front from the 12th starting spot, Hannagan and his team will have a good baseline to work of off on Friday night. In his last visit to Heartland Park Topeka in 2002, Hannagan was second fastest in time trials, just 0.04 seconds short of the track record, and finished eighth on the first night of racing and 11th in the finale.
"We always enjoy going to Topeka," he said. "It's been a few years since we have been there. From what I remember, it's a real good race track and always has really good racing. We also ran well over there, so that is a good thing."
After a nearly 1,700 mile trip from the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California last weekend to Clay County Fair Speedway this week, Hannagan was glad to reward his team with a solid finish on Wednesday night. They had little time to savor it though, as they had to pack the trailer and quickly head south to Topeka for Friday's event.
"This is the World of Outlaws and you don't get much rest," he quipped. "We had a tough trip from out west and have had a lot of driving this week."
Hannagan, who hails from San Jose, California, was able to spend a few days with family and friends during the week-and-a-half that the World of Outlaws were in California. Calling Pittsboro, Indiana home now, Hannagan will return to the Hoosier state after the event at Charter Raceway Park in Wisconsin on Sunday night. It will be the first time in seven weeks that he will have been home.
"I got to see my family before Calistoga and also after Chico," said the former Calistoga Speedway track champion. "I was able to spend a couple of days with them before I flew over to Spencer (Clay County Speedway). Unfortunately I had some motorhome problems so I have to fly back to the Midwest, but that allowed me to spend some extra time in California with my family."
Hannagan is solidly in the 15th spot in the World of Outlaws championship standings heading into action at Heartland Park Topeka on Friday night. He has nine Top-10 finishes on the season, with two of those being in the Top-10. He led a number of laps earlier in the season at Knoxville Raceway, where he earned a season-best runner-up finish. With over 20 teams following the series full-time, he is quick to point out just how high the level of competition is in the series each and every night, and how important it is to be fast each time the car hits the track.
"This is most definitely the toughest season the World of Outlaws of Outlaws has had since its inception," said Hannagan. "It's a huge testament that World of Outlaws racing is strong and that 410-sprint car racing is strong in America."
With 13 points paying events left on the 2007 schedule, Hannagan has one goal in mind and that is to pick up an A-Feature win. He has set fast time twice this season in time trials and also had a Crane Cams Dash win to his credit. That quest for his first win of the season will see him compete at Heartland Park Topeka on Friday night, followed by an event at Charter Raceway Park in Wisconsin on Sunday, which was postponed by rain last month.
"We are going to try to make the best of the end of the year and try to get a win before the year is out," shared the veteran driver. "We anticipated doing a little better than we have and we have some races left to end the year on a strong note."
After competing in two events earlier this season at Dodge City Raceway Park in the state of Kansas, Friday night's event will be the final time for sprint car fans in the Jayhawk state to see the World of Outlaws in 2007. Hannagan looks to keep the momentum going from Wednesday night as the series invades the state-of-the-art facility for a full night of racing, including hot laps, time trials, heat races, the Crane Cams Dash and A-Feature.
"It is good to go to Kansas and take 410-sprint car racing to the fans that normally do not get to see it," Hannagan said. "We need to go to places a few more times where they don't get to see us."