Jason Sides tops World of Outlaws Sprint Car finale at DIRTcar Nationals
Kinser settles for second in bid to sweep opening weekend at Volusia Speedway Park
BARBERVILLE, Fla. - Feb. 13, 2011 - An emotional Sunday night at Volusia Speedway Park in the Sprint Car finale of the 40th Annual DIRTcar Nationals by University of Northwestern Ohio wrapped up with Jason Sides and his daughter celebrating in victory lane.
After splitting the first four nights, all eyes were on Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell to see if one of the legendary drivers could win for the third time in five nights. For Craig Dollansky, Sunday night was about redemption after going out three laps short of victory on Saturday. In the end, it was Sides who capped off a strong season-opening weekend with the ninth victory of his career in the Wetherington Tractor Services Maxim.
"This is a very special win for me," said Sides, of Bartlett, Tenn. "It means the world to me that my family could be here. It's the first time that my wife, daughter and parents were here to see me win a race."
Like Saturday, Dollansky again was dominating the main event in his Big Game Treestands car. He charged out to a big lead and was holding off Kinser's Bass Pro Shops Maxim when trouble began, and by Lap 24 he could no longer hold his ground at the front of the field.
"It felt like something broke, like a shock or something," said a dejected Dollansky. "Come to find we had a bolt come loose on a left front radius rod so we were very lucky to make it around in once piece."
Dollansky's misfortune - he wound up fading to 11th - opened the door for Sides and Kinser. Sides, who started fourth, swept past Kinser into second, preventing the King of the Outlaws from sweeping the weekend.
"It was another great night for us in the Bass Pro Shops car," Kinser said. "Coming out of here with the finishes that we've had is a good way to start the season off for the #11 team."
Fred Rahmer was able to wheel his way to a third-place finish with Cody Darrah in the Great Clips car and defending series champion Jason Meyers in the All-Star Performance car rounding out the Top 5.
Joey Saldana raced his way to an 8th-place finish in his CARQUEST Maxim to win the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH Sprint Car Week championship second consecutive year.
"It's great to win another golden eagle," said Saldana, referencing the trophy given to winners and champions at the 40th Annual DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. "It's good to see that consistency start early for us and I hope we can maintain it throughout the season."
As the Outlaws depart from Florida, Kinser is already off to an impressive start to 2011 with two wins and a runner-up finish. Sides hopes to build on his early season momentum as the series takes a week off and then roars to life at Pike County Raceway in Magnolia, Miss., on Friday, Feb. 25, and at Royal Purple Raceway (formerly Houston Raceway Park) in Baytown, Texas.
For more information on the World of Outlaws, go to http://www.WorldofOutlaws.com. For more on the DIRTcar Nationals by University of Northwestern Ohio, visit http://www.DIRTcarNationals.com or follow the event on Twitter @DIRTcarNats.
DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH Notebook
KASEY KAHNE RACING QUICK AT VOLUSIA - Joey Saldana set quick time twice in three World of Outlaws nights at the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH while Paul McMahan was the fast timer on the other. During the course of the Sprint Car Week at Volusia, McMahan established a track record Wednesday on the half-mile oval when he turned a lap in 12.569 seconds at 143.209 mph. For comparison, the track record at half-mile Eldora Speedway is 12.707 seconds set by Craig Dollansky in 2002.
WINNERS - There have been three World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series feature events in 2011. The winners include Steve Kinser (2, Volusia Speedway Park) and Jason Sides (1, Volusia Speedway Park).
OUT FRONT - Craig Dollansky led 51 of the 60 laps over the final two nights of racing at Volusia Speedway Park, but issues with his car prevented him from winning. In comparison, Steve Kinser led a total of 33 laps and won two races while Jason Sides led only six laps yet won the finale.