World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: East Coast Swing II & K-C Raceway Concord, NC--August 2, 2009--The busiest stretch of the season for the World of Outlaws wrapped up on Saturday night at K-C Raceway in Ohio as the checkered flag flew for the 13th time...
World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: East Coast Swing II & K-C Raceway
Concord, NC--August 2, 2009--The busiest stretch of the season for the World of Outlaws wrapped up on Saturday night at K-C Raceway in Ohio as the checkered flag flew for the 13th time in a 28-day period, with the series competing at 11 tracks in six states and one Canadian province. Ten different drivers picked up wins over this span, with Donny Schatz and Danny Lasoski the only driver to pick up more than once victory.
Closing in on the stretch run: Donny Schatz has one focus down the stretch as he chases his fourth consecutive World of Outlaws championship, and that is winning races. He has said countless times this year that if a driver wins enough races the points take care of themselves. With another high paying event on the docket this coming weekend with the inaugural Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway, on Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8, Schatz enters the $20,000 to-win event with a 50-point advantage on Jason Meyers with roughly 25 nights of racing remaining in 2009.
"I'm looking forward to the Ironman 55 and the Nationals and then heading out west," said Schatz. "We don't have much left of the season, so we have to really pick up the pace."
Back in Victory Lane: Jason Sides won in the finale of the Six Nations Showdown at Ohsweken Speedway last Wednesday night to earn his first World of Outlaws win since 2007. That win also came at Ohsweken as well and was his first since 2004. The win last week was the third of his career with the World of Outlaws and he looks to return to victory again soon.
"I sure hope it does," quipped Sides when asked if his next win will come again soon. "They are fun and it's always great to get a win. The money don't hurt either."
Alphabet soup: Jessica Zemken came all the way from the C-Main through the B-Main to finish seventh in the opener at Ohsweken Speedway last Tuesday night. After trouble in qualifying relegated her to the 37th spot in time trials, she handily won the C-Main to start at the tail of the B-Main where she passed 10 cars in just 12 laps to earn the final spot in the A-Feature. In the main event, she lined up 24th and charged all the way to seventh to earn her second Top-10 finish of the season with the series to go along with a six-place run earlier in the year at Canandaigua Speedway in her home state of New York.
Back in a sprint car: Erin Crocker returned to a sprint car for the first time 2005 when she climbed back into one of the 850-horsepower beasts at Ohsweken Speedway in Canada. She was back behind the wheel for veteran car owner and chief Mike Woodring, who she drove for in the past. The Massachusetts native was sixth quick in time trials in the finale and finished a respectable 15th in just her second start in a sprint car in over four years. The team plans to run a number of World of Outlaws events later this month and next month as the series heads west.
A new track record: Joey Saldana shattered the existing track record of 12.944 second at Ohsweken Speedway in the finale last Wednesday night, by putting down a lap of 12.420 seconds to set the new standard at the 3/8-mile north of the border. A total of 16 drivers including track owner and promoter Glenn Styres broke the track record in time trials.
From turning wrenches to climbing behind the wheel: Kevin Loveys and Mikey Kruchka, who used to work as crew members for Jeremy Campbell on the World of Outlaws circuit, both competed on their home soil at Ohsweken Speedway. Kruchka has been racing for the last couple of seasons, while the 2009 season is Loveys' first behind the wheel. Loveys finished fifth in the second heat race of the finale to qualify for his first World of Outlaws A-Feature event where he finished a very respectable 19th with a field of nearly 40 cars in attendance.
A true team effort: Craig Dollansky's win on July 26 at Lebanon Valley Speedway was his first of the season and the 13th overall for Kasey Kahne Racing this season. His teammate Joey Saldana has won 12 times to lead the series. Dollansky is currently seventh in points as he continues his first season with the team owned by the NASCAR star.
"Joey and his team have been doing a great job," said Dollansky. "We're just going to keep plugging away and working on our next win."
Fast at the Grove: Jason Meyers was fastest in time trials in the opener of the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway on July 24. It was his first career fast time honor at the always challenging half-mile. He battled Greg Hodnett early in the A-Feature for the lead and wound up finishing third in that event to pick up the eighth Top-Five finish of his career at the track. The California native timed in fifth fastest in the finale of the of Summer Nationals and raced his way into the Crane Cams Dash which will be run along with the 30-lap A-Feature when the World of Outlaws return to the famed track in October for the National Open.
Extra incentives: Steve Stimley from Jake's Carts presented the fast qualifier each night of the Summer Nationals a $100 bonus. Jason Meyers claimed the bonus in the opener, while Williams Grove fan favorite Cody Darrah picked up the award in the finale. Ed Stimely, Steve's brother presented the drivers that drew eighth, ninth and 10th in the Crane Cams Dash on Friday night carbon fiber for their race cars courtesy of his company TQ Fiberglass. Those awards went to Donny Schatz, Fred Rahmer and Mark Smith.
Young and fast: Cody Darrah set fast time in the finale of the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove, with Aaron Ott second and Lucas Wolfe third. The combined age of the trio of Pennsylvania natives is just 58 years old. Wolfe, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year with the World of Outlaws, tops the list at 22 years of age, with Darrah checking in at 19 and Ott just 17 years of age.
Making history: The Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway on July 22 saw Danny Lasoski and Stevie Smith each pick up A-Feature wins in the Twin-30 format that was utilized. For Lasoski it was his first career event at the track. The event was postponed one day by rain and about an hour after the checkered flag flew on Steve Smith's win in the second Twin-30 the skies opened up.
"It was a neat event and great for the fans," said Lasoski after the race. "Anything that is good for the fans, I am all for it."
Charging hard: After winning the opener of the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway last week, Danny Lasoski lined up 19th for the finale. The format used was that all lead laps cars would be inverted after the first Twin-30. Lasoski worked his way all the way back up to seventh to win the overall championship for the 2009 Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup.
"I knew there a long road to hoe," said Lasoski. "We didn't know what the track would do. We didn't know if would be able to get up there. Once the race track widened out, we moved around a little bit and we got by some guys."
Running strong: Stevie Smith's win in the finale of the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup was the 67th of his career and his first since with the series since 2005. He is currently eighth on the all-time win list and is three behind Dave Blaney who is seventh with 70 wins.
"I'm really proud of this Zemco team and glad to be part of it," said Smith. "These guys work really hard and it always feels good as a driver to give back to them. We got better about halfway through and at the end we had a great race car."
Posse at the Silver Cup: In addition to Stevie Smith, a number of other drivers from the Pennsylvania Posse were at Lernerville Speedway for the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup. Cody Darrah, Lance Dewease, Doug Esh, Greg Hodnett and Fred Rahmer all made the trip west. Dewease finished seventh in the first Twin-30 and eight in the finale.
Photo Gallery: The Media Gallery section of www.WorldofOutlaws.com continues to be updated after each event. Visit www.worldofoutlaws.com/sprint/MediaGallery.aspx to see Photo Galleries from 2009 World of Outlaws events. A Photo Gallery from the second night at Ohsweken Speedway and the event K-C Raceway will be posted very soon.
Keep up with all the action: The number of "Followers" keeping up with the World of Outlaws via Twitter online and through text messages on cell phones continues to grow and recently surpassed the 1,200 "Follower" mark. Updates are provided throughout race nights beginning with hot laps and continuing all the way through the final checkered flag of the night. To sign-up visit: twitter.com/worldofoutlaws and receive live race updates, anywhere, anytime.
Up next: The inaugural Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri on Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8, with the winner of the 55-lap finale taking home $20,000.