2009 World of Outlaws Season Review: Lucas Wolfe Concord, NC--December 9, 2009-- Hard work and determination best characterized the 2009 season for Lucas Wolfe, as he and his father Randy, who served as his crew chief, took to the road with the...
2009 World of Outlaws Season Review: Lucas Wolfe
Concord, NC--December 9, 2009-- Hard work and determination best characterized the 2009 season for Lucas Wolfe, as he and his father Randy, who served as his crew chief, took to the road with the World of Outlaws for the second consecutive season. On most days, it was just the father and son duo driving up and down the road and doing all the maintenance on the car.
Wolfe wrapped up his sophomore season with the World of Outlaws 10th in the series championship standings aboard the Allebach Racing Maxim on the strength of 18 Top-10 Finishes with five of those being Top-Five performances. After missing a significant amount of time during his rookie season due to injury, he was able to compete in every race this past season gaining more priceless experience on the road.
"You always want to do better," shared Wolfe. "I think we were disappointed with a few of things that we thought we would be able to take advantage of better this year. It was good to be able to get the whole season in this year which was a positive. Hopefully the third season next year when we come back will be even better yet."
Wolfe visited 13 tracks for the first time in 2009, and also returned for the second, third and in some cases fourth time to a number of facilities. His best finish of the season was a fourth on the second night of the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in California. He also picked up Top-Five finishes at the legendary Manzanita Speedway in Arizona early in the season, as well as at Delaware International Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway, Eagle Raceway in Nebraska and Charter Raceway Park in Wisconsin
"For the most part we did run better on the tracks that we went to for the first time in '08 and went back to in '09," noted the sophomore driver. "I think we improved on most of them. The tracks we knew the best seemed to be the ones we ran the worst on, which was kind of disappointing. It's definitely a tough deal and you never know how it's going to go. It takes a lot to run out here and it's disappointing to see the season end, but February comes around fast and I'm looking forward to that."
After cutting his teeth on the always tough Central Pennsylvania sprint car circuit, where the famed Williams Grove Speedway was his home track, Wolfe is used to competing against stout competition each night and that is exactly what he faces on the road with the World of Outlaws no matter what track the series visits.
"It's always tough," said the native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. "The best of the best are out here running with the Outlaws. That's what we are striving to become. Certainly all of the areas that you go to have tremendously strong local fields and not just in Pennsylvania but in California and Knoxville and Ohio. It certainly makes you better when you can go in and run with the guys that are best in those regions. That's one of the positives of being out here."
After finishing 18th in points in 2008, Wolfe improved that eight spot this past season and also earned 10 more Top-10 finishes and two more Top-Fives. He was quickest in time trials twice in 2009 and raced his way into the Crane Cams Dash 21 times to earn Top-10 starting spots in feature events.
"We really tried to get faster at all the tracks this year, since we visited them for the first time last year," Wolfe explained. "The hardest thing is to be good every night. We had some nights where we were good and some nights where we were awful and those are the nights you have to improve on. You have to be good everywhere you go, because these guys don't give you anything, you have to get what you can."
For his hard work and dedication, Randy Wolfe was named the 2009 World of Outlaws Crew Chief of the Year at the series Awards Banquet in Concord, North Carolina following the World Finals, joining a pretty prestigious list of past recipients of the honor. Competing against teams that had two and three full-time crew members, Randy and Lucas persevered and were always one of the first teams to arrive at the track and last to leave.
"The way things were, it was the best situation and to be out here, it was what we needed to do," explained the second generation driver of the team consisting of him and his father. "Hopefully in the future we can have a full-time guy with us. I think it was the right decision this year to be out here and hopefully it's something we can improve on next year as well."
Wolfe has come close to picking up his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win a couple of times over the last two seasons and that is his number one goal heading into the off-season and the 2010 campaign, to get that first one.
"I don't think it will take anything different than what we have been doing in the past," he said when asked what it will take to get that first win. "It has to be on the right night. A lot of nights we have been competitive all night and just missed it at one point in the night and a couple of nights we had a car good enough to win, we just started too deep in the field. We just need to get our ducks in a row a little bit better. Those are all things that come with time and as we get better at each place we go, those things will come."
Wolfe is counting the days until the 2010 season kicks off in Florida, as he is anxious to climb back in the seat. To stay sharp in the winter, he will take part in a couple of indoor races and recently competed in the famed Western World in Arizona along with a couple of other fellow World of Outlaws drivers.
"It's too much time for me," he deadpanned of the off-season. "I hate the off time. As far as a driver goes, it's way too much time. Hopefully we'll be able to fill in some time and do some other racing and stay sharp so that we can hit the ground running in February when we get to Volusia."
The 2010 World of Outlaws season kicks off on February 5-7 with the 39th annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park.
By the Numbers Lucas Wolfe 2009:
2- Fast time honors for Wolfe in qualifying this past season
5-Top-Five finishes for the native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania in 2009
6- A-Feature events that Wolfe competed in in his home state of Pennsylvania this past season
10th- Spot in the final standings that Wolfe wound up in 2009
13- Tracks that Wolfe visited for the first time in 2009 after missing a significant portion of 2008 due to injury
13.8- Average finishing position for the sophomore driver this past season
18- Top-10 finishes for the 2008 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year in 2009
21- Times that Wolfe raced his way into the Crane Cams Dash this past season
24- States that the second generation driver competed at in 2009 with the World of Outlaws
42- Tracks that Wolfe competed at this past season
7629- Points for Wolfe in 2009 to finish 10th in points
80,425- Dollars earned by Wolfe in 2009