World of Outlaws Preview: Lone Star Speedway A new era begins at Lone Star Speedway on Friday, April 10 as the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to the blazing fast half-mile in Kilgore, Texas for the first time since 2004. World of ...
World of Outlaws Preview: Lone Star Speedway
A new era begins at Lone Star Speedway on Friday, April 10 as the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to the blazing fast half-mile in Kilgore, Texas for the first time since 2004. World of Outlaws driver Sam Hafertepe Jr.'s family purchased the track in the off-season and has spent countless hours preparing the facility and the racing surface for the return of the best sprint car drivers in the world for a full night of racing.
The World of Outlaws have competed a total of eight times at the track over the years including preliminary features, with the two winningest drivers in series history winning all of those events. Sammy Swindell, the three-time World of Outlaws champion has six career victories at the half-mile while 20-time series titlist Steve Kinser has won twice. Both drivers will be in action this week at Lone Star Speedway and are chasing their first wins of the 2009 season.
Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, won a Gumout Series race at the track in 2002 over Jason Sides. Lasoski is also seeking his first win of the season as he continues his first year aboard the familiar No. 6 machine for longtime car owner Lonnie Parsons.
Heading into the event at Lone Star Speedway, Steve Kinser has closed to within 11 points of three-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz in the championship standings as he chases his record 21st title. Just eight points behind Kinser is Jason Meyers, who is chasing his first career World of Outlaws title, with Joey Saldana just behind him. Five drivers have picked up wins in the first nine events of the 2009 season for the World of Outlaws.
Slidejobs- Lone Star Speedway
A true homecoming: Sam Hafertepe Jr. will return to his home state and what is now his home track, after his family purchased Lone Star Speedway in the off-season. The 23-year old driver worked extensively at the track over the winter preparing it for racing action. The native of Sunnyvale, Texas has competed once at the track in a sprint car, and that came in the World of Outlaws last visit to the half-mile in 2004.
"It's something we have been anticipating for quite a while, with my dad owning the track," said Sam Hafertepe Jr. "It's been a lot of hard work and we have put so much into it. Hopefully we'll have a good showing for all of our hometown fans."
An unmatched win total: Sammy Swindell, the three-time World of Outlaws champion has seven career A-Feature wins at Lone Star Speedway in eight starts, with six of those coming in World of Outlaws events. He won in the series debut at the track in 1984 and was victorious in each of his first seven starts at the track. The only race he competed in and did not win, was a fourth-place effort in his most recent start there in 2003.
Always strong at Lone Star: Steve Kinser has two wins at Lone Star Speedway in his career, along with eight Top-10 finishes in nine starts. The 20-time series champion was victorious in the series most two recent stops at the fastest half-mile in Texas in 2003 and 2004. He leads the World of Outlaws with eight Top-10 finishes in nine starts this season and is just 11 points out of the lead in the series championship standings.
A former winner at Lone Star Speedway: Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, was victorious at Lone Star Speedway in his debut at the track in 2002 in a Gumout Series event. In his other two starts at the track, the native of Dover, Missouri finished seventh in each one. He is closing in on his first win of the 2009 campaign.
Looking for one more spot: Donny Schatz, the three-time and defending series champion has only raced twice in his career at Lone Star Speedway, but finished second and fourth in those events. He has won three times this season on half-mile tracks and is tied for the series lead in wins and is the current series point leader. He won the most recent World of Outlaws event in the state of Texas in 2007 at Houston Raceway Park.
Chasing history: Jason Meyers, who is currently third in the World of Outlaws championship standings, is seeking to become the first driver ever from California to win a World of Outlaws title. He finished second in points last season and is just 19 markers out of the lead heading into the two nights of racing this weekend. He has one win this season along with seven Top-10 finishes. He raced twice in his career at Lone Star Speedway.
Continuing to build: Craig Dollansky continues to gain momentum in his first season with Kasey Kahne Racing. The native of Elk River, Minnesota is eighth in points on the strength of five Top-10 finishes. He has two career starts at Lone Star Speedway and finished 10th in his last visit to the track in 2004.
"I definitely miss going to Texas and I'm glad we have a couple of races there this year," shared Dollansky. "I'm looking forward to going back down there."
Eighth wonder: Joey Saldana has made two starts at Lone Star Speedway in his career and has finished eighth in each of those races. He looks to better that this season as he heads to the half-mile fourth in points, on the strength of three A-Feature wins, along with four Top-10 finishes for Kasey Kahne Racing.
A first time visitor: Terry McCarl, who is currently fifth in the World of Outlaws championship standings, though does not plan to run the entire schedule, will be making his first trip to Lone Star Speedway this week. The six-time Knoxville Raceway and Huset's Speedway champion has seven Top-10 finishes in nine starts with the World of Outlaws this season.
Oh so close: Jason Sides finished second in his first start in a 410-sprint car at Lone Star Speedway in 2002 in a Gumout Series event. He has six Top-10 finishes in his career at the half-mile in 10 starts. He has a couple of runner-up finishes this season on half-mile tracks as he closes in on his first win of the year. The 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year is currently seventh in points on the strength of five Top-10 finishes in nine starts.
"We haven't been to Kilgore in the past couple years, so I'm anxious to get back there," said Sides recently. "Then we go right to Houston, which has been a really good track for us too. I'm pretty excited to go race that weekend in Texas."
A strong run: Kraig Kinser finished third in his last start at Lone Star Speedway in 2004. He is coming off a very strong fourth-place performance at Manzanita Speedway on March 28, where he earned his fifth Top-10 finish of the season for his Tony Stewart Racing team.
Looking forward to the high banks: Jac Haudenschild always enjoy racing on high-banked, fast race tracks, especially half-mile like Lone Star Speedway. He made his debut at the track in 1986, finishing fourth, one spot behind his longtime friend and fellow Ohio native Brad Doty. Haudenschild has two Top-10 finishes in four starts at the track. He has four Top-10 finishes this season as he chases his first win of the year.
Pennsylvania first timers: A pair of drivers from the Keystone state will visit Lone Star Speedway for the first time this week. Lucas Wolfe, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and Brian Ellenberger from Butler, Pennsylvania, who is a contender for the rookie title this year, will both make their debut at the blazing fast half-mile. Each is coming off a season-best finish at Manzanita, with Wolfe picking up a fifth-place run, while Ellenberger wound up a solid 13th.
By the Numbers: Lone Star Speedway
0.5- Miles around Lone Star Speedway
1- World of Outlaws driver that hails from the state of Texas, Sam Hafertepe Jr.
2- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the series at Lone Star Speedway, Steve Kinser & Sammy Swindell; Events in the state of Texas this season for the World of Outlaws
3- Drivers that have won on half-mile tracks with the World of Outlaws this season
4- Current and former series champions that will be in action at Lone Star Speedway
5- A-Feature wins in World of Outlaws action for Sammy Swindell at the track in his career; Events this season so far on half-mile tracks for the World of Outlaws
6- Drivers that have been quickest in time trials this season with the World of Outlaws
7- A-Feature events contested by the World of Outlaws at the track dating back to 1984; Total wins for Sammy Swindell at the track in his career, including preliminary features
8- Top-10 finishes for Steve Kinser in the first nine races of 2009 to lead the series
9- Drivers that have won the Crane Cams Dash to earn a pole position this year
11- Points that separate Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser atop the World of Outlaws standings; Drivers that have led laps in A-Feature competition this season; Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that have competed at Lone Star Speedway in the past
13.05- Track record established by Danny Lasoski in 2002 in time trials
27- World of Outlaws championships that will be accounted for by drivers competing at Lone Star Speedway (Steve Kinser-20, Sammy Swindell-3, Donny Schatz-3 and Danny Lasoski-1)
65- Laps led in feature events by Donny Schatz to lead the series through action on March 28
2004- Year that the World of Outlaws last competed at Lone Star Speedway
1161- Combined career A-Feature wins for the full-time World of Outlaws drivers that will be competing at Lone Star Speedway
1186- Miles from Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix where the World of Outlaws competed on March 28 to Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore, Texas
10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, April 10
39,550- Dollars earned by Donny Schatz this season to lead the series
51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Friday, April 10
Tickets: On Friday, April 10 at Lone Star Speedway, general admission tickets for adults will be $25, with children ages five-under admitted free of charge in the general admission seats. All reserved tickets will be $30. For tickets visit www.lonestarspeedway.com or call the track at 903-986-9731.