Texas II: Preliminary race report

Shaffer takes Texas Showdown opener. FORT WORTH, TX (September 12) -- Tim Shaffer has been one of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' hottest drivers since the Wild, Wild Northwest Tour ended two weeks ago. The 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of ...

Shaffer takes Texas Showdown opener.

FORT WORTH, TX (September 12) -- Tim Shaffer has been one of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' hottest drivers since the Wild, Wild Northwest Tour ended two weeks ago. The 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year turned up the heat even more Thursday.

Shaffer steered the #83 Beef Packers Eagle to the lowest point in the fourth corner to pass Craig Dollansky for the lead late in the 10th lap, and beat Brad Furr under the checkered flag by .65 seconds to win the Preliminary Feature as the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opened the Third Annual O'Reilly Texas Showdown at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

"The crew did an excellent job tonight," Shaffer said following his second victory in the series' last four Preliminary Features. "We had an opportunity to be at the front of the dash, and in the feature we capitalized in lapped traffic. My hat's off to my crew."

Speed Channel taped the action for a one-hour telecast scheduled for November 7th at 11 p.m.

Shaffer, who entered the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' 57th event of the season tied with Mark Kinser for fifth place in the standings, moved 12 points ahead of the two-time series champion with the $5,000 victory.

Shaffer was the eighth-fastest qualifier in the 30-car field separated by only 1.618 seconds. He earned the right to start the 30-lap feature on the pole by winning the First O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash.

Dollansky, who won his 13th dash of the season, raced around Shaffer in turn four as the green flag fell in the Preliminary Feature. The 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion opened a three-car-length advantage within three laps, only to have Shaffer catch him one lap later.

Dollansky was two car-lengths ahead of Shaffer when the leaders entered lapped traffic six laps into the race. Shaffer raced wheel-to-wheel with Karavan Racing's #7 V-Mac/Polydome Maxim down the back straightaway four laps later and surged ahead in the fourth corner.

Fast-qualifier Tyler Walker lost fourth place early in lap 12 when C&W Motorsports' #35 Maxim stopped in turn two with a blown power steering line. Shaffer controlled the race's only restart and opened a 2.5-second advantage within four laps.

Furr, who passed Dollansky for the runner-up spot early in the 11th lap, caught Shaffer as the leaders entered lapped traffic a second time seven laps later. Furr, who won the Southern Bleacher Classic at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track April 5th, was within .065 seconds of the leader before Shaffer increased his advantage by passing P.J. Chesson on the back stretch midway through lap 23.

Shaffer opened a half-straightaway lead within three laps, only to have Furr track him down in lapped traffic again. Only three car-lengths separated Shaffer and Furr at the checkered flag.

"We had a good starting spot and a good race car tonight," Furr said. "The wet track made the other cars tight, but we were good. We've been pretty good lately. We have momentum and we like our chances for Saturday (in the $12,000-to-win main event)."

Dollansky was disappointed in his third-place finish despite moving past Joey Saldana in the point standings.

"We were not good enough," Dollansky said. "We were alright at the start and good for the last five laps. At least this locks us in (into the O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash) for Saturday. We will do what we can then."

Danny Lasoski, who won the first Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track on March 31, 2000, finished in fourth place. Series points leader Steve Kinser finished fifth, ahead of 14th-starting Jac Haudenschild, Saldana, Danny Wood, Randy Hannagan and Second Heat Race winner Donny Schatz.

Walker, who paced the qualifying session with a 110.574-M.P.H. lap, remained confident about Saturday's feature racing program.

"I think I have a great chance on Saturday," the World of Outlaws Gumout Series points leader said. "I thought we had a great chance tonight. We were running really good, being patient and waiting for them to make mistakes. It was one those bad luck racing deals."

Destiny Hayes, only the second female to race in a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series event at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, followed the series from her home in Chico, CA, for the O'Reilly Texas Showdown.

"We finally got a good motor in it, but it was too late," Hays said after finishing 10th in the "B" Feature. "It was a good try. We were about to blow the motor, but our engine guy caught it. At least we made it out for the "B" Feature.

"They kept telling me the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track is just a little larger than Chico (Silver Dollar Speedway). It's very, very nice. Tonight, we learned how to run the track. Saturday, we hope to pass some cars."

-WoO-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Tyler Walker , Joey Saldana , Randy Hannagan , P.J. Chesson , Jac Haudenschild