World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: 56th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions Concord, NC--September 14, 2009 Gearing up for the stretch run: Jason Meyers used a very strong Gold Rush Tour, which saw him finish sixth of better in eight of the nine ...
World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: 56th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions
Concord, NC--September 14, 2009
Gearing up for the stretch run: Jason Meyers used a very strong Gold Rush Tour, which saw him finish sixth of better in eight of the nine events, including picking up three wins and seven Top-Five finishes to put himself in contention for the World of Outlaws title as the season hits the stretch run. The native of Clovis, California leads the series with 47 Top-10 finishes and is currently is just 29 markers behind Donny Schatz in points with 11 points paying events remaining as he chases his first series title
"Number one, it will take finishing every race," explained Meyers, when asked what it will take to contend for the title. "If between now and the end of the season you fall out of a race, I'd say your championship hopes are over. We're going to keep working hard and digging and make sure our car is the way it needs to be. Hopefully we'll stay up front and stay out of trouble."
Focusing on wins: Joey Saldana wrapped up the Gold Rush Tour by winning the final two nights of the Gold Cup Race of Champions to earn his 17th A-Feature win of the season and 18th victory overall. He also won the $20,000 finale at Skagit Speedway on September 5 and picked up wins on both nights of the Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton a few weeks back. The native of Brownsburg, Indiana is currently third in points, 36 points behind Jason Meyers for second and 65 out of the lead.
"Looking at the points right now and the way the season is, about all we can do is look back at races and think about what we could have done different," said Saldana. "We can go and make things better for next year. Donny (Schatz) is pretty stout and he doesn't make many mistakes, though this weekend he did and it wasn't a point's race. I'm not really concerned about winning the point's, I'm just concerned with winning races."
Gracious in defeat: Jason Sides led 39 ¾ of the finale of the Gold Cup before Joey Saldana slipped around him coming off the fourth corner on the last lap. The night before Sides led a number of laps as well before Saldana got around him relegating him to a runner-up finish. Sides is currently fifth in points as he continues the best season of his World of Outlaws career and has racked up 41 Top-10 finishes with 21 of those being Top-Fives.
"My hat is off to the Kasey Kahne crew, they did a great job," shared Sides after the finale of the Gold Cup last Saturday night. "Thanks to all the fans for coming out here tonight. You are what makes this event happen."
All about prestige: After winning the second qualifying night of the Gold Cup, Joey Saldana shared his thoughts on the race and what it would mean to win it again. He was victorious in the West Coast's biggest sprint car race for the first time in 2007, adding to the two Kings Royal victories he previously had to another of the "Crown Jewels" of sprint car racing to his resume.
"It's huge," said Saldana when asked on Friday night what it would mean to win a second Gold Cup. "This is one of the biggest races for a sprint car driver. It's neat when an Indiana guy can come out to these California tracks and be competitive. For me to be able to come out here and be competitive is huge for myself as a driver. The history behind this race is huge and winning it is like winning the Kings Royal or Knoxville Nationals. It's pretty prestigious so you want to win it."
A helping hand: Brian Ellenberger has three-time World of Outlaws champion and 1981 Gold Cup winner Sammy Swindell helping his team out during the second qualifying night of the famed event. Swindell finished second in the opener after winning the Crane Cams Dash and helped Ellenberger to a solid 15th-place finish with a strong field of 41 cars in attendance. Ellenberger is the leading contender this season for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award.
What a streak: Joey Saldana and Jason Meyers combined to win the final eight events of the Gold Rush Tour, capped off by Saldana's $50,000 triumph in the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California. Saldana picked up his first two wins of the Gold Rush Tour at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton. Meyers followed that up by winning the opening night at Skagit Speedway with Saldana taking the finale of that event. Meyers won again at Cottage Grove Speedway on September 8 and also on the opening night at the Gold Cup, with Saldana taking the final two wins of the famed event.
Condolences: The World of Outlaws offers their condolences to Brian Ellenberger, who missed the finale of the Gold Cup on Saturday after flying back home to Pennsylvania to be with his family, after the passing of his mother-in-law. Ellenberger will return to the tour later this week.
Continuing to build: Tim Kaeding finished third for the second consecutive race with the World of Outlaws in the opener of the Gold Cup last Thursday night, following a podium finish at Cottage Grove Speedway earlier in the week, in a race which saw him lead 16 laps after starting on the pole. The California native won earlier this season with the World of Outlaws at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas for the Roth Motorsports team. In addition to veteran mechanic Ray Brooks turning wrenches, the California-based team recently welcomed the reigning World of Outlaws Crew Chief of the Year to the team.
"We're building another new team here with Sonny Kratzer on board as crew chief and we're doing really good right now," shared Kaeding. "I'm going to take what we can get and finish the season out and we'll continue to have fun."
Strong weekend for the locals: A number of drivers that call Silver Dollar Speedway home had strong weekends during the Gold Cup. Jonathan Allard who hails from Chico set fast time in the opener and ran sixth in that preliminary feature before finishing a very strong fourth in the finale on Saturday night. On the opening night, Peter Murphy, 2009 track champion Bobby McMahan, Kyle Hirst and Kyle Larson all picked up Top-10 finishes. On the second night, Brent Kaeding finished third, with Brad Furr fifth and Tommy Tarlton was sixth. In the finale, Tarlton was eighth, with Sean Becker ninth and Brad Sweet 10th.
Up next: The third annual Arnold Motor Supply Shootout at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa on Wednesday, September 16.