Back on Track: Jason Meyers Victorious at Virginia Motor Speedway Jamaica, VA- May 15, 2010- Jason Meyers and his team had very high expectations entering the first East Coast swing of the season and while the first two nights did not go quite...
Back on Track: Jason Meyers Victorious at Virginia Motor Speedway
Jamaica, VA- May 15, 2010- Jason Meyers and his team had very high expectations entering the first East Coast swing of the season and while the first two nights did not go quite as planned, they made up for it on Saturday night picking up their fifth win of the season in dominant fashion at Virginia Motor Speedway in the Third Annual Paul Sawyer Memorial.
Meyers started third and tracked down Joey Saldana on the eighth lap to move into second, before setting his sights on leader Jason Sides. Meyers took the lead from Sides on the high side of turn two on the 12th lap of the 30-lapper and would lead the remainder of the distance to score his second career win at Virginia Motor Speedway. For Meyers, it was his 40th career World of Outlaws A-Feature win, making him just the 12 th driver in series history to accomplish that feat.
"This team is what makes me good," said Meyers in Victory Lane. "There are so many people that work hard on this team I had a great race car tonight. This is a great race track, friendly fans and a beautiful facility. We just enjoy coming here to Virginia and look forward to next year."
The entire 30-lap event went green to checkers in just under nine minutes at the pristine half-mile before a very strong crowd. Meyers masterfully worked his way through lapped traffic aboard the GLR Investments KPC and was stout in open track as well.
"What a beautiful race track here tonight," Meyers stated. "You could run the top, the middle or the bottom, wherever you wanted to go. When you get race tracks like this, you get races like that. My hat's off to the promoter's and everyone here that gave us such a great race track."
Meyers entered the East Coast swing second in points, just three markers out of the lead, before falling to third after the two nights at Williams Grove. He remains third, but gained ground after setting fast time on Saturday night to earn five bonus points. He is currently 20 points behind Joey Saldana as that pair each looks for their first World of Outlaws title, though Meyers is not looking at points, but rather is focusing on winning races and being in contention to win races.
"It's a start," he noted of the win after the two tough finishes at Williams Grove. "It's a long season and you worry about winning races right now. This is what it's all about. We have had a great start to the season and we have a long ways to go and I'm looking forward to it."
Saldana wrapped up a very strong East Coast swing with his three Top-Five finish in three days, coming home second aboard the Budweiser Maxim on Saturday night. Saldana started second and ran there early in the race before Meyers got around him. Saldana then took the runner-up spot back from Jason Sides on the 20th lap and did all he could to catch Meyers late in the going and did gain some ground on him as the laps wound down.
"It was a great effort," said Saldana. "We have been running pretty descent so I'll take it. This is definitely the type of track that I need to work on and get better at and we were between two really good cars that run good on this style of race track. We'll take it and go on to next week."
Donny Schatz bounced back from a vicious wreck at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night to finish third aboard the Armor All/STP J&J at Virginia Motor Speedway. The four-time and defending series champion started fifth and got around Jac Haudenschild on the opening lap to move into fourth. He took the third position from Jason Sides on the 21st lap and battled Saldana for the rest of the race.
"It feels good with how I feel today," shared Schatz. "I'm kind of glad we are going to have a few days off this week, because my body is definitely going to need it. It's pretty awesome to have great people behind you and they put me in the best equipment with the best people. It's great to be in a situation like that and I'm glad to be here today."
Saldana was glad the race went non-stop on Saturday night as he weighed what Meyers and Schatz may have done on a double file restart.
"I'm pretty sure that Jason (Meyers) would have taken the inside and I'm sure Donny (Schatz) would have made it pretty tough on me going into (turn) one, so I'm glad we didn't have any double file restarts," said Saldana. "We'll take it and try to get better for next race."
Schatz had finished seventh each of the last two years at Virginia Motor Speedway and is very encouraged by the progress his team has been making recently as he looks to jump back into contention for his fifth consecutive title. He is currently forth in points on the strength of 14 Top-10 finishes.
"What an awesome race track," Schatz said. "Very rarely do you see them go 30 laps non-stop and we obviously ran a little harder tire and Joey (Saldana) did too. We were really coming at the end, but I guess it was only 30 (laps). We felt pretty good about it can't hang our heads as we are headed in the right direction and hopefully get back to Victory Lane soon."
Steve Kinser finished fourth aboard the Bass Pro Shops Maxim to earn his series leading 17th Top-10 finish of the season in 18 races. He remains second in points just 13 markers behind Joey Saldana as he chases his record 21st series title.
Jason Sides led the first 11 laps on Saturday night and wound up fifth in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim.
Brad Sweet picked up the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award coming from 14th to finish sixth in the Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Maxim. Craig Dollansky was seventh in the Big Game Treestands Maxim, with Jac Haudenschild eighth piloting the Owens-Corning Fiberglass XXX. Chad Kemenah was ninth in the Golden Flavor Sesame Sticks Maxim, with Kraig Kinser rounding out the Top-10 aboard the Quaker State Maxim.
The World of Outlaws return to action on Friday, May 21 at AtticaRacewayPark in Ohio and Saturday, May 22 at I-96 Speedway in Michigan.
VIRGINIA MOTOR SPEEDWAY NOTES
* FAST QUALIFIER: Jason Meyers paced the 23 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the semi-banked 1/2-mile oval at 14.702 seconds at 122.432 mph. For his qualifying effort, Meyers earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Joey Saldana (4), Jac Haudenschild (3), Jason Sides (2) and Kraig Kinser (1).
* VIRGINIA MOTOR SPEEDWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Craig Dollansky, Daryn Pittman and Donny Schatz won heat races. Jason Sides won the dash.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 18 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, Tri-State (Okla.) Speedway and Virginia Motor Speedway), Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, I-55 Raceway and Eldora Speedway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park and Jackson Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park) and Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park).
* 1/2-MILE WINNERS: Virginia Motor Speedway is a high-banked half-mile. The World of Outlaws have raced 10 times at a track that size in 2010. The winners include: Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park and Jackson Speedway), Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Virginia Motor Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Joey Saldana (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway) and Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park).