2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Lucas Wolfe Since the first time he sat in a sprint car, Lucas Wolfe has been preparing himself to compete full-time with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car ...
2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Lucas Wolfe
Since the first time he sat in a sprint car, Lucas Wolfe has been preparing himself to compete full-time with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. The native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania will have that opportunity this season as he will be a contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award.
Wolfe will drive for Allebach Racing, the team for which he has competed since he began racing Micro Sprints in 2001. The car will carry their familiar 5W and his father Randy Wolfe will be the crew chief on the Maxim cars with Don Ott power.
"Everything is starting to get settled in and we are excited for the season," said Wolfe, who has earned two Top-10 finishes with the All Star Circuit of Champions over the last week. "We've been working hard to make sure we have everything ready for our first year on the road."
Wolfe will get a taste of life on the road right off the bat in the first month of the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series season, as the tour will head to the West Coast for a trio of events after the season opening Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park and a stop at Pike County Speedway in Mississippi. Four consecutive weekends of racing are set with seven races in that span.
"I think one of the biggest challenges we will have is the logistics involved in running the series," noted the native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. "You'll be away from your home base for as much as six weeks at a time and maybe even more. The biggest thing will be that we have to adjust to planning ahead and preparing a little bit differently."
Though it will be the team's first full season on the road, they have been racing together for a number of years, and that is something Wolfe believes will help lessen the learning curve they will face.
"Something I am very happy about is that we have kept basically everything in tact with the team," said the reigning Pennsylvania Speedweek champion. "It's tough going out there for your first year and it would be even tougher if everyone on the team was new. Hopefully the chemistry we already have will help lessen the learning curve."
Wolfe will visit over 50 tracks for the first time this season with the series. He will make his first trip to California to compete and also will visit Canada a couple of times with the series. While he will be racing against a number of drivers that have been racing sprint car longer than he has been alive, he is not intimidated by that.
"It's hard to overcome experience," said Wolfe. "There will be times when you run a good race and make one mistake and that can be the difference in costing you a number of positions. All the guys have been through that and it's something you have to contend with. I don't know how intimidating it is, because we race with them so much as it is. It's not like I haven't raced with them before. I guess it would be pretty intimidating if I had never had the opportunity to race with them."
Wolfe ran a very aggressive schedule in 2007, competing nearly 100 times in both 410 and 360 sprint cars. Hew was victorious 10 times, including at Eldora Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway, where the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series will compete a number of times this season.
Wolfe began racing at the age of five and amassed 90 wins and two championships in quarter midgets, before moving up to Micro Sprints in 2001. In his first season in a Micro Sprint at Linda's Speedway in Pennsylvania, he earned six wins en route to the Rookie of the Year title. The following season he won the track championship at Trail-way Speedway, also in Pennsylvania. In 2003, he began competing in a 410-sprint car at the famed Williams Grove Speedway and the surrounding tracks in Central Pennsylvania.
"The numbers are very important, because the more you race, the more you get into a rhythm," he shared. "That gives you more opportunities to have good nights. It's a huge benefit to be able to go out and run a big schedule like the Outlaws do. I'm still trying to learn and get better and I am excited to run a lot of races."
Wolfe will have six opportunities to race in front of his home crowd in 2008, as the World of Outlaws make three separate stops at Williams Grove Speedway. The first of those visits will be on May 15, for two full nights of racing. The series will also contest the Williams Grove Summer Nationals in July and the National Open in September at the half-mile.
"It will be a little strange at the beginning of the year not getting to race there, and that will take a little adjusting," said the rookie driver when asked about his home track. "It will definitely be exciting to come back and race at the place where I have done a lot of my racing in the last couple of years. It will be good to see a lot of the people that I have competed with in a lot of my races."
Wolfe earned six Top-10 finishes with the World of Outlaws last season, and in his career has 13 Top-10 finishes with the series. He finished third at Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York in 2007 as well as on the second night of the Williams Grove Summer Nationals, last July.
In 2007, he set fast time twice in World of Outlaws events, including during the inaugural Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway, as well as at Williams Grove. He raced his way into the Crane Cams Dash 10 times to earn Top-10 starting spots in A-Feature events last season. His best career finish with the World of Outlaws came in 2006, when he was second at Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York.
"It will be tough the first time around," he said of visiting new tracks. "You have to watch as much as can and walk around the tracks. There are also a lot of guys that are good to talk to. I've formed a lot of good relationships over the last few years with people that are good with advice. It's amazing what asking a couple of questions here and there can do to help."
With over 80 races and ten of thousands of miles of travel awaiting him and his team, Wolfe is excited for the season and is ready to extend his sprint car racing education on a nightly basis with the best in the business. Being a rookie driver, Wolfe is focused on one race at a time and his biggest goal is to continue to gain experience and learn all that he can.
"We would definitely like to win some races, but that's everyone's goal going in," Wolfe said. "I think we have good enough equipment to be in contention. We would like to be successful and at the end of the year to be in a better position than where we were going in, as far as the team and competition level."