Tim Shaffer Slices to Win Opener of the Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway Pevely, MO-August 6, 2010- Tim Shaffer has been the hottest driver in all of racing over the last week. Heading into the opener of the Ironman 55 weekend on Friday night at I-55...
Tim Shaffer Slices to Win Opener of the Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway
Pevely, MO-August 6, 2010- Tim Shaffer has been the hottest driver in all of racing over the last week. Heading into the opener of the Ironman 55 weekend on Friday night at I-55 Raceway, the veteran had won in four straight starts over a six-day span. He extended that streak to five consecutive wins in seven days, as he was victorious in the opener of the two-day event at the high-banked 1/3-mile bullring.
Shaffer started on the front row of the 30-lapper and chased Jason Sides, who started on the pole, in the early going. For Shaffer, it was his first World of Outlaws win of the season and the 13th of his career.
"It was a team effort on everyone's part," said Shaffer. "We have a lot of people with this team that can't come to the races all the time and I want to thank every one of them. Aaron Call and Janet Holbrook gave us a great opportunity and a great team and we are trying to make the best we can and it's working out. It makes it special that we can win races for them and it's just fun."
Shaffer used lapped traffic to his advantage on the seventh lap, powering his way to the outside of Sides coming off the high side of turn two aboard the Kistler Engines J&J. Once out front, Shaffer set sail, slicing his way through lapped traffic to open a sizeable lead on the Jason Sides. He had Sides and Craig Dollansky gain some ground on him in the late going, with Dollansky finishing just a half-a-second behind and Sides only eighth-tenths-of-a-second back in third.
"I was too tight early and couldn't do anything with him," Shaffer explained. "I did have to wait, not that I wanted to, but the car was making me and it worked out to our advantage. Sometimes in lapped traffic running second is better, then I got the lead and had to worry about it, but it worked out for me and just made the right decisions and here we are."
The only caution of the main event flew on the 18th lap, with Shaffer choosing the high side of the track on the double file restart with Sides lining up below him. Shaffer used a very strong restart to quickly jump out to a sizeable lead and would lead the remainder of the 30-lap contest which was co-sanctioned by the World of Outlaws and All Star Circuit of Champions.
"I wasn't sure what to do really," he admitted. "I was digging pretty hard and the car was hooked up and I thought if I could get some momentum going down the hill. It just worked out."
Craig Dollansky battled Jason Sides down the stretch for the second spot to extend his string of races in which he has finished first or second at I-55 Raceway to five. He started sixth and was up to fourth in just one lap, getting around Jason Meyers and Kraig Kinser. He then worked on Donny Schatz until just past the halfway point of the race for third, taking the spot on the 17th circuit, before getting around Jason Sides for second with eight laps to go.
"Last year we won this race and finished second the second night so hopefully tomorrow night we can reverse them," said Dollansky. "We had a good car tonight. We had a good car in the dash and got to racing with Kerry (Madsen) and Jason (Sides) and I wasn't ready for Kerry to come left like he did and I tried to woe up as quick as I could. We got the car sideways trying to avoid him and we got together a little bit and that put us into a hole as well him. It's unfortunate, but we gained a few spots there back in the dash and got ourselves into the sixth starting spot. From sixth to second is not bad with the guys that were starting on the front row."
Jason Sides, who started on the pole and led the first six laps, ended up third in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim to earn his 18th Top-Five finish of the season and second consecutive podium.
"You hate to give up a win when you start on the front row," Sides said. "To give it up to anyone though, Tim (Shaffer) would be the guy. He is a buddy of mine and he needs it as bad as I do. All in all we had a good night. We went out late and qualified descent. We were up front in the heat and got into the dash and everything kept rolling."
Steve Kinser finished fourth in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim to pick up his series leading 31st Top-Five finish of the season. He began the night by turning the second fastest lap in time trials to earn four bonus points in the series standings. He now trails Joey Saldana by a mere five markers as he chases his record 21st title.
Donny Schatz finished fifth in the Armor All/STP J&J to earn his 24th Top-Five finish of the season. The four-time and defending series champion remains fourth in points.
Jason Meyers finished sixth aboard the GLR Investments KPC. He opened the night by setting fast time to earn five bonus and remains third in points, just 54 markers out of the top spot as he chases his first title.
Joey Saldana, the current World of Outlaws point leader, came all the way from the 19th starting spot to finish seventh in the Budweiser Maxim to retain the point lead as he too seeks his first title and earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award in the process.
Lance Dewease finished eighth in the Advanced Development Services J&J, with Paul McMahan ninth in the Great Clips Maxim. Danny Lasoski rounded out the Top-10 in the Casey's General Stores JEI.
Dollansky was able to close in on Shaffer late in the race as the pair negotiated some lapped traffic during the final 13-lap green flag run of the night.
"We definitely learned some things here tonight and I was hoping to stay in lapped traffic there longer," stated the native of Elk River, Minnesota. "It seemed like a short race and I was surprised it was over as quick as it was. We'll work on things for tomorrow and hopefully come back strong tomorrow night."
Sides was also able to gain ground in lapped traffic on Shaffer en route to his fourth consecutive Top-Five finish at I-55 Raceway as he looks for his first win at the high-banked bullring.
"We needed it to go a little bit longer in lapped traffic," said Sides as well. "It was just starting to work in our favor. I think we had something for them and hopefully we learned something for tomorrow night. It's 55 laps tomorrow so we'll have a lot better chance."
The World of Outlaws wrap up the Ironman 55 weekend on Saturday, August 7 with $20,000 awaiting the winner of the 55-lapper.
IRONMAN 55 NIGHT #1 NOTES
* FAST QUALIFIER: Jason Meyers paced the 30 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked 1/3-mile oval at 10.467 seconds at 114.531 mph. For his qualifying effort, Meyers earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Steve Kinser (4), Kraig Kinser (3), Tim Shaffer (2) and Donny Schatz (1).
* I-55 RACEWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: David Gravel, Donny Schatz and Craig Dollansky won heat races. Jason Sides won the dash. Sam Hafertepe Jr. won the Last Chance Showdown.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 48 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, I-55 Raceway, Eldora Speedway-twice, Dodge City Raceway Park, River Cities Speedway, LaSalle Speedway, Beaver Dam Raceway and Lernerville Speedway), Virginia Motor Speedway, I-96 Speedway and North Central Speedway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park, Jackson Speedway, River Cities Speedway, Lakeside Speedway, Eldora Speedway, Autodrome Drummond and Fulton Speedway), Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, Tri-State (Okla.) Speedway, Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park , Tri-City Speedway, Missouri State Fair Speedway and Ohsweken Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park, The Dirt Track at Charlotte and Ohsweken Speedway), Lance Dewease (Lernerville Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway and Cedar Lake Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway and Knoxville Raceway), Sammy Swindell (Dodge City Raceway and Huset's Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway and Junction Motor Speedway), Dale Blaney (Limaland Motorsports Park), Doug Esh (Lebanon Valley Speedway), Greg Hodnett (Williams Grove Speedway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway) and Tim Shaffer (I-55 Raceway).
* 1/3-MILE-WINNERS: I-55 Raceway is a high-banked 1/3-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced six times on a track that size this season. The winners include: Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, I-55 Raceway and Beaver Dam Raceway), Jason Meyers (Thunderbowl Raceway and North Central Speedway) and Tim Shaffer (I-55 Raceway).