2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Jason Meyers The moment the checkered flag flew on a very successful 2007 season, Jason Meyers began focusing on what it would take to be a contender for the 2008 Advance Auto...
2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Jason Meyers
The moment the checkered flag flew on a very successful 2007 season, Jason Meyers began focusing on what it would take to be a contender for the 2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series title. After spending countless hours with his team in the shop over the winter, he is ready to hit the track in pursuit of his first series championship.
Meyers kicked off his 2008 season by competing in the famed Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma last month. He then competed in two events at Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway in Australia, where he finished fourth and sixth against a host of fellow Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series drivers. Upon returning home to California, he and his team put the final touches on their equipment in preparation for the season opener next week.
"It's always great to go to Australia," said Meyers. "Parramatta City Raceway does a great job, and it's always good to see our fans, as well as spend some time in the sun after all of the cold here in the winter. Going to Australia does help you get into a rhythm for the season. I don't care how long you have done this, when you don't race for two months there is a little bit of rust to knock off. To go over there and get to do that at a very competitive event definitely helps."
After finishing 2007 as one of the hottest drivers in all of racing, winning three events in the final month of the season, including the finale of the inaugural Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway, Meyers looks to carry that momentum into the 37th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida. In his career at the half-mile he has three Top-10 finishes in just a handful of starts.
"I'm looking forward to getting the season started and hopefully starting off on the right foot this year," said the native of Clovis, California.
Meyers won five A-Feature events with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in 2007 and finished fifth in championship points on the strength of 49 Top-10 finishes, with 34 of those being in the Top-Five. He was victorious at Eldora Speedway in Ohio, US 36 Raceway in Missouri, Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas, Lebannon Valley Speedway in New York and at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway.
He was one of just seven drivers that led more than 100 laps of feature racing competition on the year. In addition, Meyers was fastest in time trials on five occasions and won the dash nine times to earn the same number of pole positions.
"We didn't have the start to the year last year that we wanted, and we were behind in the development of our chassis and it definitely showed," Meyers explained. "We fought back from that all year long. I think it's big for our team and everyone involved with our team, our sponsors and engine builder to go down to Florida and start off right. Hopefully we'll start out at the top of the points and never look back."
Meyers enters the 2008 season with 18 career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws. He has won at 13 tracks that are the schedule this season. He also will have a chance to compete at a number of tracks in his home state of California, including Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California, where he captured his first overall Trophy Cup title last November. After having some things out of their control hinder a number of strong runs last season, Meyers is confident that some new measures the team has in place will help them contend for even more victories in 2008.
"We need to get some more wins," he noted. "We need to be putting up at least 10, if not 15 wins a year. We had some mechanical failures last year that took us out of races and that is what really kills you in a point championship. We have to eliminate those things. We have taken steps this year to have more of a quality control system within our race team, to go over things. We've taken a lot of steps to improve and to bring our team to the next level."
Meyers has the same crew in place that led him to the five wins with the series last season, including crew chief D.J. Lindsey, who was named the 2007 World of Outlaws Crew Chief of the Year. They have put countless hours in at their shop in California to prepare for the 80-plus race schedule that awaits them this season, including three separate visits to California.
"I'm really excited about the guys that I have on this team, with D.J. Lindsey and Brian Bloomfield," said Meyers. "They are in my opinion the best you will find in sprint car racing. They both do a great job and they both complement each other very well. I think that will improve our chances even more for a championship in 2008."
After he and his wife Robyn welcomed their first child, a baby girl Delaney into the world last September, Meyers spent plenty of time at home in the off-season over the holiday's. In fact, it was the first time in about four years that he had an extended period of time away from the track and was able to take a vacation. That has him energized and anxious to get back on the track.
"It's been a lot of fun," he said of his first off-season with a baby at home. "There was something to do other than just work on race cars. Robyn and I had a blast with Delaney. There are new things every day, and it's definitely tougher to figure her out than it is to figure out a race car. We enjoyed our time at home and we are ready to go racing and get back on the road and make some things happen this year."
In his career, Meyers has finished in the Top-Five in the championship standings the last three times that he has completed a full season with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. His main goal for 2008 is to win his first title with the series, which he is quick to point out, will be no easy task with the level of competition that is expected each and every night this year.
"We have to eliminate the falling out of races, and we have to convert some of the fifth places finishes to Top-Three finishes," he said. "Just a little extra push and I think we have done that. We have eliminated some of the problems that we had and we have been working hard all winter to start off on the right foot. If we can pick up where we left off last season, we should be in good shape."