Circled on the Calendar: Lucas Wolfe Anxiously Awaiting Return to Williams Grove Speedway Mechanicsburg, PA-- May 14, 2008--When Lucas Wolfe first announced he was going to compete full-time with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint...
Circled on the Calendar: Lucas Wolfe Anxiously Awaiting Return to Williams Grove Speedway
Mechanicsburg, PA-- May 14, 2008--When Lucas Wolfe first announced he was going to compete full-time with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in 2008, he had a couple of dates marked on his calendar, with the first of those being the series annual spring stop at Williams Grove Speedway in his home town.
The native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania grew up in the shadows of the legendary half-mile and always dreamed of the day that he would wheel a car around the track, as well as the day he would be able to do it full-time with the World of Outlaws. He will have plenty of opportunities to do that this season, as the series will make three separate visits to the track for a total of six events in 2008.
Wolfe will make his first Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series starts at the track as a full-time member of the series on Thursday, May 15 and Friday, May 16. The event on Thursday will be 25 laps in length and pay $8,000 to-win, while Friday's race will be 30 laps and pay $12,000 to the victor. On top of this, the cameras from SPEED will be in on hand each night to tape all of the action for broadcast on May 31 and June 8.
"It will be good to head over there," noted the rookie driver. "Hopefully we'll be able to get all of the races in. I am definitely looking forward to it. It will be good to go home. We've been out here for about a month now and it's time to go back home and get everything together and reorganize some stuff. It will be nice to get back to the track that I know the best. Hopefully we'll have some good results."
While he has been anxiously looking ahead to the events at his home track, he is approaching them like any other on the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule. With nearly 80 races from coast-to-coast dotting the calendar this year, Wolfe and his team focus on each individual race as they come, and continually seek to improve as a team, as they continue to learns the ropes of life on the road.
"I don't think it really adds any pressure," said the driver of the Allebach Racing Maxim of his return to Williams Grove. "Actually I am hoping that I'll be a little more comfortable. When you were a local guy and the Outlaws came in, you have pressure, because it is the biggest race. Now I am fortunate to be at all of the big races. It's definitely one that I want to do well at. There will be an expectation to do well, and we'll just go up there hope to have a good result."
In his career at Williams Grove Speedway, Wolfe has eight wins and nearly 70 Top-10 Finishes. Last season he had three Top-10 finishes with the World of Outlaws at his home track, including a third-place showing on the second night of the Summer Nationals. His first triumph at the track in a 410-sprint car came in 2004, over Lance Dewease and Don Kreitz Jr., two of the winningest drivers in the history of the storied track.
Wolfe competed three times at the legendary half-mile back in March during a rain-induced break in the World of Outlaws schedule, and scored a runner-up finish in one of those events. Competing on a weekly basis against the always tough Pennsylvania Posse for the last number of years helped Wolfe honed his skills as a driver and gained the confidence to compete on a national level. He has the utmost respect for the drivers in the Central Pennsylvania area.
"There are a lot of guys there that have a ton of experience up there," explained the reigning Selinsgrove Speedway track champion. "There is nobody better to learn from than those guys. All the fellow Outlaws guys that I am racing with now are some of the best guys and are all in the same class at the top guys back home. If you can run with the top guys in that area, you can win races anywhere. I think they are all in the same group."
Wolfe, who leads the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award standings, has found Mother Nature to be his biggest challenge thus far during his freshman season with the World of Outlaws. With over half of the races this season postponed by rain, it has taken him a little big longer to get used to life on the road and the rigors of completing the always demanding schedule the series maintains.
"It's been difficult, especially after the longer breaks," he said. "When you get back in the car it feels a little strange. It takes you a little time to get comfortable in the car again. It's been hard to improve your car. We have been off a little bit and have been trying to improve. It's been tough to build toward something consistently because you race once and then are off for a few weeks. That's probably been the most difficult part. Hopefully that will all get straightened out and we will get some good racing in here in the near future."
During a couple of breaks in the World of Outlaws schedule, Wolfe was able to compete at a couple of tracks that the series will visit later this season. First, he made a stop at Huset's Speedway in South Dakota on May 4 and finished a very strong third in his first visit to the high-banked 3/8-mile which is a very challenging track to driver's who have never raced there before.
He also was in action last weekend at 34 Raceway in Iowa, where the World of Outlaws will make their debut on July 30 and finished fifth against a strong field saw World of Outlaws drivers sweep the Top-Five positions, with a number of fellow series drivers competing in that event also.
"Number one, we wanted to race so we were happy to get two nights in," shared Wolfe. "The fact that we'll go back to both of those places was a big determining factor there. That is valuable time that we got at those places and hopefully we'll be even better when we return to them."
Wolfe currently is 15th in the World of Outlaws championship standings with a Top-10 finish at Eldora Speedway. He has five finishes of 15th or better. He will have three opportunities to race this weekend in a four-day period as the series schedule begins to pick up steam.
"We have been fairly decent," he noted. "We aren't where we want to be yet. I think we are continuing to improve and over time we will continue to get better. Hopefully as the races pick up we'll get better and better and get to where we want to be."
On Thursday, May 15 at Williams Grove Speedway, Reserved tickets will be $30, with Adult General Admission tickets $28. Tickets for students will be $15, with children 12-under admitted free of charge. On Thursday, there will an autograph session at 5:30 p.m. behind the main grandstand, featuring: Wolfe, along with two-time defending series champion Donny Schatz and Daryn Pittman.
On Friday, May 16 at Williams Grove Speedway Reserved tickets will be $32, with Adult General Admission tickets $30. Tickets for students will be $15, with children 12-under admitted free of charge. On Friday, there will also be an autograph session at 5:30 p.m. behind the main grandstand featuring: Craig Dollansky, Joey Saldana and Tony Bruce Jr.