2007 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Season Review: Jason Meyers
Jason Meyers didn't really want to see the 2007 season come to an
end, as he wrapped up the year on a roll, as one of the hottest drivers
in all of racing, winning events on four consecutive weekends, including
during the finale of the inaugural Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track
Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Meyers won five times in Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series competition this season and finished fifth overall in championship points. He racked up 49 Top-10 finishes, with 34 of those being in the Top-Five. He won the Crane Cams Dash nine times to earn the same number of pole positions in A-Feature events. He also was quickest in time trials on five occasions.
"It was a good season for us," said Meyers, driver of the Primerica Financial Maxim. "We struggled a little bit at the beginning of the year, but we bounced back from it pretty well. All of our sponsors stuck with us and we worked very hard as a team. We're working hard right now for next year. We hope to start out next year how we finished this year."
The native of Clovis, California visited the winner's circle for the first time in 2007 at Eldora Speedway on April 13, becoming the first driver to win on the reconfigured half-mile. That victory came in the midst of a string that saw him finish in the Top-10 in 12 consecutive races, as he continued to climb higher and higher in the championship standings.
In his first visit to the high banks of U.S. 36 Raceway in Missouri, Meyers was victorious, holding off a hard charging Tim Kaeding as the laps wound down. As the first East Coast swing of the season wrapped up, Meyers began another string of Top-10 finishes that reached eight races, which carried over to the series return to the Midwest and was capped off by a win in the Boot Hill Showdown at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas.
"Hopefully we can finish off next season even stronger than this year and make that run at the championship that has been eluding us for a few years," he said. "Hopefully with some good hard work over the winter, we'll have a shot at it."
A second-place run in the Kings Royal, during the "SuperClean Summer of Money" on ESPN2, paved the way for his fourth win of the season at Lebanon Valley in New York in July. He racked up eight more Top-10 finishes during the 2007 Gold Rush Tour on the West Coast, including a runner-up performance in the finale of the Harvest Classic at Calistoga in his home state of California.
"This was definitely one of the most competitive seasons ever," noted the native of Clovis, California. "This is the first time you have seen some changes in the industry that you have not seen for six or seven years and things are starting to advance. I think it will keep advancing and everyone will have to keep working hard to keep it up."
Meyers had a number of strong runs cut short by bad luck in 2007, though he did not dwell on those, but rather the hard work by his team. This was clearly evident after one of his toughest nights of the season, when he was caught up in an accident and got upside on the first lap at Ohsweken Speedway in Canada, destroying the car. The team thrashed for the next day and a half to build a new car and in the next race at I-96 Speedway in Michigan, they came home third.
"Those are the things that cost you championships," he said of flat tires and mechanical failures. "That's certainly not what cost us this year, but it cost us some wins. It's difficult to swallow, especially when you look back at it at the end of the year and wish you could have those races back. The fact is that you can't and we still had decent runs most nights and have to be happy with that. No matter how last night went, you show up the next to win."
Teamwork played a big role in Meyers success this season, as he was always quick to credit his crew for the countless hours they put in working on the car and traveling from race to race. His crew chief D.J. Lindsey was honored as the World of Outlaws Crew Chief of the Year at the series annual Night of Champions in Charlotte following the inaugural Outlaws World Finals.
"The most important aspect of our team is the people that we have in it," Meyers explained. "A lot of people don't understand that or don't get that. D.J. (Lindsey) and Brian (Bloomfield) are a real big part of what we do and we work very hard. The chemistry is irreplaceable. You can't buy that."
While it was a big year on the track for Meyers, it was also a very exciting year away from the track at home. Prior to the event at Orange County Fair Speedway in New York in late September where he finished fifth, Jason and his wife Robyn welcomed their first child into the world, a daughter Delaney Paige on September 24.
"It has been awesome," he said smiling. "It was tough being away from home at the end of the season. It certainly changes your life in a good way. Everyone thinks about what you can't do having a baby and it's not so much that. There are a lot of things that we can't do or that are tougher now, but that's not a big deal, because there are so many other exciting things that we can do. The biggest thing I think is that it makes you focus more. It gives you new goals to focus on and it gave us a new fire."
Meyers wrapped up his season by winning a portion of the Cotton Classic at Kings Speedway in Hanford, California and then he claimed the Trophy Cup at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare. After spending the Holiday's with family and friends, he take part in the famed Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before heading to Australia to begin the 2008 season.
"I'll go down under for a few days," said Meyers. "We can't pass up going down there to see our fans and friends. We will make it a lot shorter trip this year and be at home with the baby a little bit and have an off-season. It's been about four years since I've had an off-season. When you get three or four weeks at home, you look forward to getting back into the race car, but when you don't have that for about four years it starts to drag out a little bit. We'll spend a little time at home and get some rest and be with the family."