For A Shot At $50,000, World of Outlaws Drivers First Must Capture Commonwealth Clash Norman, OK -- May 10, 2006 -- Storm is a word that has been heard quite often during the past month or so, as spring showers drenched dirt tracks around the ...
For A Shot At $50,000, World of Outlaws Drivers First Must Capture Commonwealth Clash
Norman, OK -- May 10, 2006 -- Storm is a word that has been heard quite often during the past month or so, as spring showers drenched dirt tracks around the country. Racers never like to hear the word rain, let alone storm, but this time they are bracing for a different kind of storm.
While the trees are turning green because of the wet stuff, Randy "The Hurricane" Hannagan and the World of Outlaws Mean 15 drivers have their sights set on another kind of green -- cold, hard cash. On May 19, the World of Outlaws invade Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. Winning at Lernerville is tough enough, but in the RacinSoles Victory Lane that night, the winner will be faced with a decision: Take a shot at $50,000 the next night at Sharon Speedway and be a hero to the fans, or turn it down and be booed out of the track. Doesn't seem like too difficult a choice.
If the Commonwealth Clash winner elects to take The $50,000 Challenge, he or she will start the A-main 24th on May 20 at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio, and have 40 laps to drive to victory -- and the monster bonus -- on the racy 3/8-mile oval.
The first leg of the $51,600 event paying $10,000 to the winner is tough enough. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has raced at Lernerville Speedway every year since 1979 and it has proved to be one of the most exciting venues on the circuit because of incredible support from fans, racers and the media. Now there's the added edge-of-your-seat bonus of feeling the intensity rise as the drivers know they must win at Lernerville on a night being filmed by The Outdoor Channel to have a shot at winning $50,000.
For tickets to the Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville and to see the World of Outlaws drivers go all out to have a shot at the $50,000 bonus, call 724-353-1511 or go to www.lernerville.com for more information. The first 500 adults through the gate will receive a World of Outlaws seat cushion. To see if the Commonwealth Clash winner can pocket the $50,000 bonus at Sharon, call 330-772-1186 or go to www.sharonspeedway.com. The first 1,200 adults to purchase an advance ticket for the event will receive a free "Challenge" T-shirt. In the event of inclement weather, a rain date is in place for May 21 at Sharon.
"We're all trying to win, but we're not thinking about money," said Hannagan, who will probably change his mind should he win the Commonwealth Clash and start staring at a $50,000 bonus if he can win the following night. "We're thinking about the best way that we can get to the front and win the race. If it happens and whomever it happens to -- hopefully that's us -- you can carry that over to Sharon Speedway and build momentum up. Sharon's another great race track, and I love racing at both of them."
Hannagan, a native of San Jose, Calif., who resides in Pittsboro, Ind., home, has plenty of laps at Lernerville with the Outlaws as well as the All Star Circuit of Champions.
"Running there over the years, it is a great facility," Hannagan said. "The racetrack is always good and we run good there. I just look forward to going there and seeing if we can bring back that $50,000."
Of course, Hannagan will be battling more than just the Mean 15. The racers in the region, like Ed Lynch Jr. and Rod George, have proven to be some of the best winged sprint car drivers around, and especially at Lernerville and Sharon. Hannagan has had epic battles in the past against drivers from the Keystone State, and looks for the Commonwealth Clash to be yet another classic.
"You're going to run in their backyard, and they have a lot of good drivers there," Hannagan said. "Any time you can go into someone's backyard and beat up on them, it makes you feel pretty good."
The weather also is beginning to cooperate. From a driver's point of view, they cannot wait to compete three or four times a week during the summer. Hannagan, who raced more than 100 times last season, is itching to be in the cockpit as much as possible.
"We did get a little bit of a break, but there's always calm before a storm," Hannagan said. "Right now, it's a pretty dormant here, but once we get going the storm will appear and we'll get to racing quite a bit. I try to stay busy with racing, to keep my mind with it. My mind is always on racing, no doubt. We've got some good building points, and now we just have to work with them."
With some downtime towards the middle to later part of April because of rain, Hannagan and his No. 1x Terry Hannagan Racing Maxim had plenty of time to make sure all the nuts and bolts were tight on the car, and the truck and trailer were packed and ready to hit the road.
"Preparation at the shop, that's where you win and lose races," Hannagan said. "You make it to where you can run good while at the shop. At the track, you go through your motions and you just have to be prepared."
Hannagan knows the rigors of competing full time with the World of Outlaws, as he picked up the 1995 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award Presented By Maxim Racing and ButlerBuilt. Many intangibles come into play when racing day in and day from coast to coast, both on the track and off.
"Right now, we're getting more consistent, but still not where we need to be," Hannagan said. "Right now, we're running in peaks and valleys. I believe I know why we are in the valleys and we know why we ran the peaks, and now we just have to build and get out of the valleys and we will be OK."
This will be the first of two visits for the World of Outlaws this season at Lernerville as Mean 15 racers will return in July for the prestigious Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup.
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. and The University of Northwestern Ohio. Associate sponsors are ButlerBuilt Motorsports Equipment, Maxim Racing, RacinSoles and Snap-on. Contingency sponsors include DART Machinery, MSD Ignitions and Wrisco Industries.
ABOUT THE TRACKS
* Lernerville Speedway (www.lernerville.com) is a high-banked, 4/10-mile clay oval. Joey Saldana established the track record with a lap of 12.334 seconds on May 15, 2002.
* Sharon Speedway (www.sharonspeedway.com) is a semi-banked, 3/8-mile oval. Danny Lasoski established the single-lap record of 12.844 seconds on July 30, 2003.