Las Vegas race report 2006-03-10

Las Vegas Victory the 267th World of Outlaws Feature Win of Sammy Swindell's Career Las Vegas -- March 10, 2006 -- High wind, cold temperatures and snow. Perfect conditions for a World of Outlaws Sprint Series event. Well, maybe the weather...

Las Vegas Victory the 267th World of Outlaws Feature Win of Sammy Swindell's Career

Las Vegas -- March 10, 2006 -- High wind, cold temperatures and snow. Perfect conditions for a World of Outlaws Sprint Series event. Well, maybe the weather wasn't ideal, but that didn't prevent fans from coming out to see the World of Outlaws racers put on a crowd-thrilling show Friday night in the Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Three-time World of Outlaws champion Sammy Swindell dueled with pole-sitter Jac Haudenschild for the first 10 laps before finally taking over the lead on Lap 11 and deftly maneuvering through traffic to earn the 267th World of Outlaws victory in his legendary career. With Donny Schatz and Terry McCarl giving chase, Swindell worked the bottom groove in the first two corners and the top in Turns 3 and 4 to become the sixth different winner in six World of Outlaws events this season.

Mean 15 racer McCarl was on the move on Lap 12, but just as he worked past Haudenschild to slide into second a caution waved. With a lapped car between Swindell and McCarl on the restart, Swindell shot down the frontstretch in the Volcano Joe's Coffee Maxim and dove to the bottom in Turns 1 and 2. McCarl cleared the lapped car quickly in the Big Game Treestands Eagle and started to work on Swindell as Schatz, who paced the 34-car field in time trials, began to close the gap from third in the ParkerStore J&J, eventually working his way past McCarl to finish second.

The three cars hit traffic with Swindell again low in the first two corners and going to the top in Turns 3 and 4. With three to go, McCarl and Schatz pushed hard to catch Swindell, splitting traffic on the high-speed, half-mile oval. But Swindell was strong all night and used his Mopar-powerplant to drive off with the $10,000 checkered flag.

Randy Hannagan turned in his second consecutive top-five finish by running fourth in the Terry Hannagan Racing Maxim while Joey Saldana picked up a fifth-place finish in Kasey Kahne's Mopar-powered Central Merchant Services JEI.

Brooke Tatnell motored to sixth in the Garlic Jim's Pizza Eagle with Haudenschild finishing seventh in the Wright One Construction Maxim. Craig Dollansky was on a mission as he charged through the field from 19th on the grid to finish eighth in the Karavan Trailers J&J, as Justin Henderson in the Dan Dan the Sonic Man/Race Girl Schnee and Jeremy Campbell in the America's Best Value Inn Maxim rounded out the top 10.

With temperatures dipping into the 30s and snow periodically blowing around, the track was in incredible condition, offering three different grooves with almost no rubber down. It forced teams to make many adjustments from how their machines were set up for the Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals opener on Thursday night, which was won by Schatz. But the cold temperature actually helped Swindell, as his car was slow on the initial start, allowing him to see where the leaders were trying to run.

"The track was a lot different Thursday night," said Swindell, of Germantown, Tenn., who recently was named to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. "On the original start it didn't take off at all and I went back to third. I was watching those guys and looking for the best way to go forward.

"When I was in the dash, the line was the top in Turns 1 and 2 and the bottom in Turns 3 and 4. There weren't a lot of guys who could hit the bottom in Turns 1 and 2 but they were all on top in Turns 3 and 4. You always want to run the shortest line you can but also the one with the most grip."

The observant Swindell changed his line in his Guy Forbrook-owned car to run where nobody else was racing. That helped him grab the lead and hold onto it through traffic to pick up the win.

"He hit lapped traffic just right," said Schatz, a Mean 15 racer from Fargo, N.D. "You can't dwell on what you didn't do. We weren't as good as we should have been."

Still, by winning on Thursday night and slipping in front of McCarl on Friday night, Schatz has built a 15-point lead in the championship chase over McCarl and Saldana.

"We just want to keep going," Schatz said. "We won't approach the points any different than we have in the past. The performances are there. It's a long season but it's nice to be up on top and have everybody chasing us."

McCarl continues to impress as the season goes on. He raced his way to a top-10 points finish in 2005 by improving his performance as the series visited tracks for the second and third times last year. Now as the six-time Knoxville Raceway champion sees these tracks for a second consecutive year, it's obvious through its efforts that his team is focused on winning a title.

"We had a great car," said McCarl, a Mean 15 racer from Altoona, Iowa. "I missed the bottom one time and Sammy got me and then we both got Haud."

McCarl was on the move before the caution with 12 laps down slowed his momentum, giving Swindell a chance to race out quick as McCarl had to work around a lapped car. But it didn't take either him or Schatz long track down Swindell, but Swindell was so efficient through traffic after finding his preferred line that running him down was a tall order.

After leaving Las Vegas, the World of Outlaws Sprint Series will invade Batesville Speedway on March 31 in Batesville, Ark., and then roll into I-55 Raceway April 1 in Pevely, Mo., just south of St. Louis. The following week, the Outlaws will return to historic Eldora Speedway for a two-night event.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series is brought to the fans across the country by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire and The Outdoor Channel. Promotional Partners include AMB i.t., Choice Hotels and The University of Northwestern Ohio. Contingency sponsors include DART Machinery, MSD Ignitions, and Wrisco Industries.

LAS VEGAS NATIONALS NIGHT TWO NOTEBOOK

* FAST QUALIFIER: Donny Schatz paced the 34-car field in the ParkerStore J&J with an AMB i.t.-timed lap around the 1/2-mile oval in 14.349 seconds at 125.444 mph. For his qualifying effort, Schatz earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including Brooke Tatnell (4), Joey Saldana (3), Chad Kemenah (2) and Jeremy Campbell (1). The single-lap record of 13.719 seconds was established on March 4, 2004.

* SIGNING DAY: While the World of Outlaws Mean 15 racers took over The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this week for the Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals, Friday afternoon they spent some time on pavement -- signing autographs and taking pictures with hundreds of fans outside the 1.5-mile oval. Jeremy Campbell's America's Best Value Inn Maxim served as the backdrop after his second-place run in the Las Vegas Nationals on Thursday night as the Mean 15 racers gathered outside the entrance to the NASCAR track to meet and greet fans. "It was cool," Daryn Pittman said. "It was fun to see people in NASCAR clothes excited about meeting us and talking about coming to watch us."

* VICTORY PARADE: Sammy Swindell's victory Friday night at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was his first World of Outlaws victory this season. By winning, Swindell became the sixth different racer in six events to visit Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. In addition to Swindell, the win list includes Donny Schatz (March 9 at Las Vegas), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Joey Saldana (Feb. 10 at Volusia) and Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia).

* HALF-MILE WINNERS: The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a big half-mile oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has raced five times this season on half-mile ovals. Winners include Chad Kemenah (Volusia), Joey Saldana (Volusia), Danny Lasoski (Manzanita), Donny Schatz (Las Vegas) and Sammy Swindell (Las Vegas).

* QUALIFYING EVENTS: Sammy Swindell earned his first World of Outlaws pole of the season by winning the first dash. Jac Haudenschild joined Swindell on the front row by winning the second dash. -- Greg Wilson, Daryn Pittman, Willie Hernandez and Rob Chaney advanced to the feature by transferring from the B-main. -- Heat race winners included Donny Schatz, Brooke Tatnell, Terry McCarl and Kevin Swindell.

* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on March 15 all the action from the World of Outlaws event at United Sports Arizona Race Park. The first show from the Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals will air on March 22 followed March 29 by the second event. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).

* ON THE WEB: The Official World of Outlaws Sprint Series Web site is at www.dirtmotorsports.com/sprint. Among the features are updated driver biographies with individual statistics and pictures, race-by-race statistics, detailed track information and race coverage, series news and team press releases. Also, links to the Media Guide and 2006 Official Rulebook can be found at the bottom of the home page.

* UP NEXT: After leaving Las Vegas, the World of Outlaws Sprint Series will invade Batesville Speedway on March 31 in Batesville, Ark., and then roll into I-55 Raceway April 1 in Pevely, Mo., just south of St. Louis. The following week, the Outlaws will return to historic Eldora Speedway for a two-night event.

-woo-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Kevin Swindell , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Donny Schatz , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Greg Wil , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah