World of Outlaws Wrap-up: Paducah International Raceway Building momentum: Jason Meyers picked up his second win of the season on Friday night at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky. He also moved up to the third spot in the World of...
World of Outlaws Wrap-up: Paducah International Raceway
Building momentum: Jason Meyers picked up his second win of the season on Friday night at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky. He also moved up to the third spot in the World of Outlaws championship standings after earning his 10th Top-10 finish of the season. He is just 12 markers behind 20-time series champion Steve Kinser, who is second in points and 40 out of the lead. Both of Meyers' wins this season have come on short tracks, with Silver Dollar Speedway in his home state of California the other facility he won at. With the schedule picking up in the next few weeks, Meyers looks to continue his consistent start to the season as he chases his first World of Outlaws title.
"In this sport, you always want to be hot," noted Meyers after his win at Paducah. "You definitely want to be warming up as we get busy. We get to go tomorrow night to a place we won last year and hopefully we can win it again."
Continuing to lead: Donny Schatz, the three-time and defending World of Outlaws champion, used a runner-up finish on Friday night to extend his lead in the series championship standings to 28 markers over Steve Kinser. It was the second consecutive weekend that Schatz has extended his lead as he looks to become the only driver other than Kinser to win four consecutive World of Outlaws titles. The North Dakota native has nine Top-10 finishes this season, with seven of those being Top-Five performances.
"We're in good shape," shared Schatz on Friday night. "We just need to keep rolling. I'm proud of my guys. Every night they give me a car that will go anywhere on the race track. It will go on the top, the bottom or the middle and that is an accolade to this team and that's why they do what they do and win the races they do."
Closing in on a win: Steve Kinser finished fourth on Friday night to pick up his series leading 11th Top-10 finish of the season in 12 races. He remains second in the championship standings, 28 markers behind Donny Schatz as he chases his record 21st title. He has a combined nine World of Outlaws A-Feature wins at the two tracks on the schedule next weekend, Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas and Tri-State Speedway in his home state of Indiana.
Tight points race: The Top five drivers in the World of Outlaws championship standings are separated by just 75 points after the first 12 events of the nearly 80-race 2009 campaign. Donny Schatz, the three-time and defending series champion has led the standings from the outset and currently has a 28 point advantage over Steve Kinser, with Jason Meyers third, just 12 markers behind Kinser and 40 out of the lead. Joey Saldana is fourth in points, 15 markers behind Meyers and 55 out of the lead, with Saldana's Kasey Kahne Racing teammate Craig Dollansky 20 points behind him in fifth and 75 out of the lead.
Hard work & determination Chad Kemenah made his first start with the World of Outlaws since winning at Manzanita Speedway on March 28. After winning that event, the Hard 8 Racing team that Kemenah had been driving for ceased operations. After running a couple of races back in Ohio the last few weeks, the 2006 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner, made the tow down to Paducah International Raceway on Friday with some help from a number of folks back in the Buckeye state. He made the trip worth it, as he finished a very solid fifth, with limited resources and just a couple of helping hands in the pits.
"We had a good run and had fun tonight," said Kemenah after Friday's race. "We had probably the smallest truck and trailer in the pit area and we were just trying to make the race tonight. I'll probably go back and end up owning a race car again. I have to thank Ron Hammond for doing this deal and getting me here and my father in law (Bob Hampshire) and my wife (Tracy), along with my two crew guys, A.J. (Havens) and Adam (Brough). They are kind of doing this kind just for fun right now and we'll see what happens. We're hoping to get some help and maybe with runs like this, we can get some help."
Another strong run: Randy Hannagan, who won earlier this season with the World of Outlaws in his home state of California at Thunderbowl Raceway, finished third on Friday night, after lining up 10th. The 1995 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has four Top-10 finishes in just a handful of starts with the World of Outlaws this season. He began the night by turning the second fastest lap in time trials of the very strong 36-car field. He had one of the fastest cars in the second half of the race, taking advantage of an open red flag with 13 laps remaining that allowed his crew to make some adjustments on his machine.
"We changed a little bit and it definitely helped," explained Hannagan. "We have to just keep making those changes that work."
A new track record: Joey Saldana was fastest in time trials on Friday night to set a new track record at Paducah International Raceway, shattering the existing track record by nearly three-tenths of a second and becoming the first driver in the history of the track to turn a sub 13-second lap. Three drivers broke the old track record in qualifying, with Randy Hannagan and Terry McCarl also eclipsing the mark. It was the second time this season that Saldana has been fastest in time trials, and both times he has set a new track record, with the other coming at Silver Dollar Speedway in California.
Paducah Photo Gallery: The Media Gallery section of www.WorldofOutlaws.com continues to be updated after each event. Visit www.worldofoutlaws.com/sprint/MediaGallery.aspx to see Photo Galleries from 2009 World of Outlaws events. A Photo Gallery for the Paducah race will be online within the next couple of days.
Up next: A pair of events on high-banked ¼-mile bullrings beginning on Friday, April 24 at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas followed by a stop at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana on Saturday, April 25.