Middleton - series spotlight Tim Shaffer

Shaffer Ready to Try His Hand on New Racing Surface at Orange County Fair Speedway Middletown, NY-- May 17, 2008--Tim Shaffer always looks forward to the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series East Coast swing for a couple of...

Shaffer Ready to Try His Hand on New Racing Surface at Orange County Fair Speedway

Middletown, NY-- May 17, 2008--Tim Shaffer always looks forward to the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series East Coast swing for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, being a native of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, he is able to spend a couple of days at home at with his family and sleep in his own bed. It also provides his team a number of chances to race in a short period of time without having to travel very far, which is a very welcome sight this season, after Mother Nature has wreaked havoc on the early part of the season.

After three events in his home state this week, Shaffer will travel to the historic Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York for the series annual stop at the always daunting 5/8-mile on Sunday, May 18. At Orange County, the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series drivers reach some of their highest speeds of the year on the long straight-a-ways on the semi-banked track, which originally was built for horse racing back in 1857.

"It's a fast place and it's a momentum place," noted Shaffer, who drives the Casey's General Store Maxim. "It usually gets hard and slick, and it's a good racy place. It changes up throughout the night and you have to keep up with it. It will be a lot of fun."

Prior to the 2008 season, the racing surface at Orange County has been reworked, with hundred of truckloads of new clay brought in to soften up the track, which has been referred to for years as, "The Hard Clay." Until he rolls his car onto the track for hot laps on Sunday night, Shaffer and his team will be going off past set-up information when preparing the car for the event. The new surface has been receiving race reviews from the drivers and teams that compete there on a weekly basis.

"It will definitely change things, depending on how much they have added and what they have done," explained the 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year. "If that is the case, it will throw some guys off and everyone will be trying some different stuff."

With the event at Orange County being one of just two on a 5/8-mile tracks this season along with the traditional Memorial Day visit to Rolling Wheels Raceway Park also in New York, Shaffer enters the race with the same mindset that he has for an event on a ¼-mile, a 1/3-mile or any size track, with complete focus on getting the car dialed in during hot laps to put himself in a good position for time trials and the rest of the racing program.

"You just have to treat it like any other race," he said. "The main thing is to get your car right for the night. You work with the team and you look for the best set-up that you can."

The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series began their East Coast swing on Tuesday night at Shaffer's home track of Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania and competed at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania on Thursday night.

Rain postponed the finale at Williams Grove on Friday and will be made up on Saturday night. Following that event, Shaffer and his team will quickly pack up and head east to Orange County Fair Speedway for Sunday night's event. Also on the horizon are events at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway and the series debut at Virginia Motor Speedway to follow next week as the East Coast swing continues. This has Shaffer and his fellow drivers excited as they begin to race three and four times a week.

"It is a good time of the year when things start picking up and we start running during the week and on the weekends," said Shaffer. "We just need this rain to stop following us. It seems like it has been following us around the country. The racing is always good out here."

Shaffer competed a couple of times in Pennsylvania earlier this season, while there were rain induced breaks in the World of Outlaws schedule. He finished second at Williams Grove Speedway at the end of March against a very strong field, that included a number of fellow World of Outlaws drivers, and he also competed a couple of times at Lernerville, earning Top-10 finishes in those events.

"It's hard to stay sharp and to stay focused," he deadpanned of the rain plagued start to the season. "You just need to keep racing. This is by far the most rainouts that I have ever seen. It's amazing that the weather can be that bad. We had one year where we thought it was following us around, but this year blows it away and we are not even in the heart of the season yet."

Shaffer enters this weekend with two Top-Five finishes in World of Outlaws action, with those coming at I-55 Raceway in Missouri and Eldora Speedway in Ohio. He is just 21 points out of the tenth position in the championship standings heading into action on May 18 at Williams Grove.

"You definitely click the more you race," said the 1993 Lernerville Speedway track champion. "Everyone goes through their motions and does their jobs. It clicks because you are doing it all the time and everyone is working together."

Shaffer was fifth quickest in time trials at Orange County Fair Speedway last season and ran in the Top-10 for most of the A-Feature, winding up 11th at the checkered flag. He finished sixth in 1999 with the World of Outlaws in his first visit to the track. He looks to use all of this experience at the track on Sunday, May 18 to run at the front of the field.

"Definitely a feature win would make it a good night," he said. "You have to qualify good and run good in the heat. You need to make the dash to get a good start in the feature. It's the whole package deal. If it's like the old surface, the pill draw will mean a lot. Hopefully the new surface will not make the pill draw as important."

On Sunday, May 18 at Orange County Fair Speedway, general admission tickets for adults will be $32, with general admission tickets for senior citizens and children $30. Reserved tickets for adults will be $37, with reserved tickets for senior citizens and children $35. There will be an autograph session featuring Terry McCarl, Shane Stewart and Chad Hillier at approximately 4:15 p.m. Eastern on Sunday along the Midway.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Shane Stewart
Teams Williams