WORLD OF OUTLAWS SPRINT SERIES: THE PENNSYLVANIA SWING AT A GLANCE Colorado Springs, CO -- May 18, 2005 WHAT Beginning Friday night, the World of Outlaws Sprint Series has six race nights in nine days. First up is the Commonwealth Clash at ...
WORLD OF OUTLAWS SPRINT SERIES: THE PENNSYLVANIA SWING AT A GLANCE
Colorado Springs, CO -- May 18, 2005
Beginning Friday night, the World of Outlaws Sprint Series has six race nights in nine days. First up is the Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., featuring a $5,000-to-win preliminary Friday followed Saturday by a $12,000-to-win main event. The series then rolls east May 24 for Thunder on the Hill at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa., for a $10,000-to-win feature. The Outlaws shift May 26-27 to intimidating Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., for two-night, $5,000-to-win and $12,000-to-win events. Next up will be a one-night, 10,000-to-win feature May 28 at Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland before the series takes a day off to begin another stretch in New York.
To get to Lernerville Speedway, take SR 28 north of Interstate 76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) to exit 17, then go 4.6 miles north on SR 356.
To get to Grandview Speedway, take SR 100 3.5 miles north of SR 73, then go a half-mile east on Passmore Road. The track is about 10 miles north of Pottstown.
To get to Williams Grove Speedway, take U.S. 15 seven miles southwest of I-76 (Pa. Turnpike), go 1.5 miles northwest on SR 74, then west on Park Place.
Hagerstown Speedway can be found 6 miles west of Hagerstown, Md., on US Route 40 (Old National Pike).
At Lernerville, time trials on Friday and Saturday begin at 7 p.m. with racing to follow.
At Grandview, gates open at 3:30 p.m. on May 24 to advance ticket-holders with racing at 7:30 p.m.
At Williams Grove, both nights of racing, May 26-27, begin at 7:45 p.m.
May 28 at Hagerstown, gates will open at 5 p.m. with on-track action beginning at 7:30 p.m.
On Friday at Lernerville, reserved adult (13+) tickets are $30, reserved student (6-12) tickets are $15, general admission adult (13+) tickets are $28, GA student (6-12) tickets are $14, and GA child (5 and under) are free. Pit passes are $25 for a DIRT member and $35 for a non-member.
On Saturday at Lernerville, reserved adult (13+) tickets are $32, reserved student (6-12) tickets are $16, general admission adult (13+) tickets are $30, GA student (6-12) tickets are $15, and GA child (5 and under) are free. Pit passes are $25 for a DIRT member and $38 for a non-member.
Lernerville also is offering a two-day pass with reserved adult (13+) tickets at $56, reserved student (6-12) tickets at $26, general admission adult (13+) tickets at $52, and GA student (6-12) tickets at $28, and GA child (5 and under) are free. Pit passes are $25 for a DIRT member and $38 for a non-member.
At Grandview Speedway, adults are $30, children (6-11) are $10 and children under 6 are free.
May 26 at Williams Grove, reserved tickets are $28 and general admission tickets are $27. Pit passes are $25 for members and $30 for non-members.
May 27 at Williams Grove, reserved tickets are $30 and general admission tickets are $28. Pit passes are $25 for members and $30 for non-members.
At Hagerstown, reserved tickets are $35, general admission tickets are $30 and pit passes are $35.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series is at www.woosprint.com.
Lernerville Speedway is at www.lernerville.net.
Grandview Speedway is at www.grandviewspeedway.com.
Williams Grove Speedway is at www.williamsgrove.com.
Hagerstown Speedway is at www/hagerstownspeedway.com.
ABOUT THE TRACKS
Lernerville Speedway, which is owned by DIRT MotorSports, is a high-banked, 4/10-mile clay oval. Joey Saldana established the track record with a lap of 12.334 seconds on May 15, 2002.
Grandview Speedway is a high-banked, 1/3-mile oval. Sean Michael owns the record with a lap of 11.533 seconds on May 26, 2002.
Williams Grove Speedway is a semi-banked, half-mile oval. Brian Paulus set the record of 16.140 seconds on April 26, 2002.
Hagerstown Speedway is a semi-banked, half-mile oval. Mark Kinser established the track record of 14.945 seconds on July 31, 1999.
NEWS & NOTES
On the Web: The Official World of Outlaws Sprint Series Web site is overhauled and now alive at www.woosprint.com. Among the features are updated driver biographies with individual statistics and pictures, race-by-race statistics, detailed track information and race coverage, series news and team press releases.
Lernerville dominance: The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has raced at Lernerville Speedway every season since 1979. Sammy Swindell has won 15 times in Outlaws events, including once in 2004, and Steve Kinser has won 14 times, also once in 2004. Tim Shaffer, a native of Aliquippa, Pa., who has victories this season in Tulare, Calif., and Eldon, Mo., won the 1993 sprint division season title at Lernerville.
History lesson: Brad Doty, a current commentator for World of Outlaws Sprint Series coverage Wednesdays on The Outdoor Channel and one of the top drivers in series history, won the Lernerville track championship in 1980. Doty was inducted into the Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2001, the same year as Lernerville's revered founder and longtime owner, Don Martin, who passed away in 1993.
New owners: After 37 years of ownership by the Martin family, DIRT MotorSports completed its purchase of Lernerville Speedway earlier this year. Running a weekly program of 410 sprints, dirt late models, big block-modifieds and pure stocks, Lernerville has long been the premier dirt-track facility in Western Pennsylvania, a region rich in dirt and asphalt racing history.
Rocket man: How big is it for a regional racer to defeat the Outlaws? Ask Ed Lynch Jr., a three-time Lernerville champion known as the Apollo Rocket. For nearly 20 years, Lynch had been trying to top the World of Outlaws when on July 23, 2002, he finally conquered them in a thrilling late-lap duel against Tim Shaffer, a former track champion who hails from Aliquippa. Lynch captured the $35,000 Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup feature, sending the crowd into a frenzy in a victory he simply called unbelievable. Can it happen again this weekend? Well, Lynch did win the weekly race last Friday night at Lernerville.
King reigns: Steve Kinser is the only Mean 15 racer to have won at Grandview, where he has four victories in 11 World of Outlaws events, including feature wins in each of the the past two seasons.
King of the Grove: Coming into this season, Fred Rahmer had posted 61 victories at Williams Grove Speedway, including one against the Outlaws. In World of Outlaws competition at Williams Grove, which many racers admit is one of their most challenging racetracks, Steve Kinser has won 24 A-mains and 12 Preliminary Features. His total of 36 wins is twice as many as the 18 total races Mark Kinser, who is second on the list, has won at the Grove. Donny Schatz, who has four A-main wins and four Preliminary Feature wins, is the next closest Mean 15 racer to Steve Kinser in the overall victory rankings in World of Outlaws competition at the Grove.
Tough track: Only once since 2000 has a current Mean 15 racer won a World of Outlaws feature at Hagerstown Speedway. Daryn Pittman accomplished the feat on May 18, 2002. In fact, Danny Lasoski's win on May 30, 1999, is the only other victory by a Mean 15 racer going all the way back to Steve Kinser's win on May 29, 1994. Since 1995, Mark Kinser has won five features at Hagerstown while Sammy Swindell has won four times and Stevie Smith has three victories.
Race for a cause: The upcoming race June 22 at Missouri State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, Mo., will feature not only the World of Outlaws Sprint Series, but also a celebrity late model race including drivers Danny Lasoski, NASCAR's Tony Stewart and the NHRA's Gary Scelzi. The event will support the Michael Ross Memorial Foundation, which donates its proceeds to the Bay Cliff Health Camp, a summer camp that offers a therapy center and outdoor recreation camp for handicapped children. Advanced Grandstand Reserve tickets are on sale now at Yeager Cycle (660) 826-2925 for $32. The day of the race Grandstand Reserve tickets are $34, General Admission is $32, children 6-13 are $10, and children 5 and younger are free.
Circle time: The Commonwealth Clash this weekend at Lernerville is on a high-banked, 4/10-mile oval, the first time the series has raced on a track that size this year. The series has raced five times this season on tracks similar in size, at Pike County Speedway, Houston Raceway Park, Batesville Speedway, Outlaw Motor Speedway and 81 Speedway. Steve Kinser held off Brooke Tatnell to win at Pike County, Donny Schatz edged Steve Kinser at Houston, Kraig Kinser dominated at Batesville, Steve Kinser snuck past Jason Meyers late at Outlaw, and Daryn Pittman cruised to victory at 81 Speedway.
A grand track: Grandview Speedway, site of the Outlaws race on May 24, is a high-banked, 1/3-mile oval. It will mark the fifth race on a track that size this season for the Outlaws, with three different winners. Tim Shaffer has captured A-mains May 6 at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Mo., and Feb. 25 at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. Craig Dollansky won Feb 26 at Bakersfield Speedway near Bakersfield, Calif. On April 2, Kraig Kinser won at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo.
Victory parade: Jason Meyers became the eighth different feature winner May 7 at Tri-City Speedway when he held off Sammy Swindell for the victory. Steve Kinser leads the win list with six victories, his most recent coming April 30 in the finale at Knoxville Raceway. Next on list is Donny Schatz with three victories. Kraig Kinser was the hottest driver on the circuit in early April, winning on back-to-back nights at Batesville Speedway and I-55 Raceway. He also has a preliminary feature win at Las Vegas. Tim Shaffer picked up his second victory of the season May 6 at Lake Ozark Speedway. Daryn Pittman was winner April 23 at 81 Speedway in Wichita. Craig Dollansky has won a feature and a preliminary, while Jeff Shepard won a feature at Volusia Speedway Park. In Preliminary Features, Danny Lasoski has won twice, most recently April 29 at Knoxville Raceway, and Sammy Swindell has won once, at Eldora.
Rookie race: Tim Kaeding continues to lead the battle for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of Year Award, but his advantage over Shane Stewart is a slight 8 points. Brandon Wimmer, who is spending this week taking finals in preparation for his high school graduation, also is in the mix for rookie honors.
Looking back I: In the 2004 Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville, Steve Kinser passed Sammy Swindell late in the 22nd lap and took the checkered flag with nine car-lengths to spare. The $10,000 victory was his sixth of the season.
Looking back II: When the Outlaws raced last May at Grandview Speedway, Steve Kinser drove seven cars for his seventh victory of the season.
Looking back III: In the spring race at Williams Grove in 2004, Don Kreitz, Jr., made history when he pulled off a last-lap pass of Steve Kinser to win the main event. Kreitz and Fred Rahmer, who won the Preliminary Feature, became the first non-World of Outlaws Sprint Series regulars to combine for a double-feature sweep in series history.
Looking back IV: Last May at Hagerstown Speedway, Steve Kinser was less than two laps from winning when he collided with a lapped car, leaving Greg Hodnett to claim the $10,000 first prize. Hodnett, the 1993 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, became the 11th different driver to win a World of Outlaws Sprint Series main event in 2004.
The Mean 15: The impressive 2005 edition of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series' Mean 15 racers includes Craig Dollansky (No. 7 owned by Karavan Motorsports), Tim Kaeding (No. 83 owned by Dennis Roth), Kraig Kinser (No. 11k owned by Steve Kinser Racing), Steve Kinser (No. 11 owned by Steve Kinser Racing), Danny Lasoski (No. 20 owned by Tony Stewart Motorsports), Paul McMahan (No. 11h owned by David Helm), Jason Meyers (No. 14 owned by the Elite Racing Team), Brian Paulus (No. 28 owned by Pender Motorsports), Daryn Pittman (No. 21 owned by Titan Racing), Joey Saldana (No. 2 owned by Woodward Racing), Donny Schatz (No. 15 owned by Schatz Motorsports), Tim Shaffer (No. 6 owned by Parsons Motorsports), Jason Sides (No. 7s owned by Sides Motorsports), Brandon Wimmer (No. 7tw owned by Wimmer-Luck Racing), and the No. 35 Rick Wright-owned car now being driven by Travis Rilat, who set quick time May 7 at Tri-City Speedway.
On tour, too: Several other drivers have committed to running the bulk of the schedule with the World of Outlaws Sprint Series in 2005 with hopes of earning a spot in a future Mean 15: Australian Brooke Tatnell is back in the series with Rush Racing. Terry McCarl, who has won the past six 410 sprint championships at Knoxville Raceway. Shane Stewart, who is battling for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year title. Jason Solwold, who has seven top-10s has been running with the series since Volusia Speedway Park. Randy Hannagan, a long-time Outlaws competitor is running occasionally with the series again. Sammy Swindell, a sprint car legend and three-time Outlaws champion. Kevin Swindell, 16, who became the youngest driver to finish in the top 10 with the Outlaws when finished sixth in the feature at Parramatta City Raceway in January.
Tune into the Web: If fans can't get to any of the three tracks this weekend to see the racing this weekend, they can experience the excitement of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series live on Dirtvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network, where announcer John Gibson keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the event. To listen to the audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo. Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. Companies who are interested in advertising on the new DIRT Radio Network should contact Mark Noble, DIRT MotorSports VP Sales and Marketing, at 719-884-2141. For technical support or questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hear it firsthand: RACEceiver is the Official Driver Communicator of DIRT MotorSports. A compact radio receiver that conveniently fits into a driver's pocket, a RACEceiver allows each driver to hear directions from series officials, which greatly enhances the safety and timeliness of events. A similar version available to fans will allow RACEceiver users to hear what information series officials are relaying to the drivers. For more information about RACEceiver, visit www.raceceiver.com, call 866-301-7223, or look for their sales trailers at various events.
Craig Dollansky, a Mean 15 racer from Elk River, Minn., who is second in points
On what makes the racers in Pennsylvania racers so tough: "There's just a lot of good drivers and good teams that race in Pennsylvania so every time we come in there it's pretty tough competition and good racing."
On why Williams Grove is so challenging: "If everything is going well and you're operating there, it's a fun track to be on. But if you're struggling and you're off a little bit, it can be a long night. It's a fun racetrack and it's great to go east and race. There are a lot of great fans and there's a lot of history."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "We've run quite a few races already but it's definitely going to get busy for the next three months. It's something I'm looking forward to. I definitely don't like the downtime we've had, but it's nothing anybody can control when you're getting rained out."
Steve Kinser, a Mean 15 racer from Bloomington, Ind., who has won a series-high six features this season
On why Williams Grove is so challenging: "The biggest part of Williams Grove is that it's a little different racetrack than probably any other racetrack in the United States. It is a track that if you run there every week it does help you to get a good setup. It is a hard racetrack, especially for people who haven't run it very much. -- When you get to Williams Grove, you better have things going good for you. I've gone there while I was running good and had trouble. You got to watch it."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "It's a point where you can gain a little bit or lose a little bit because you have good enough local racers that are going to make it tough on you, too. It's not the same as going out and everybody is going to run in the top 12 or 15. You can get stuck back there."
Jason Meyers, a Mean 15 racer from Clovis, Calif., who picked up his first victory of the season May 7 at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill.
On what makes the racers in Pennsylvania racers so tough: "Many of the Pennsylvania Teams are very strong financially and the area is blessed with a large collection of talented racers and mechanics. These teams also race just as much as the outlaw teams and at the same tracks a lot. This allows them to tune their setups specifically to these tracks."
On why Williams Grove is so challenging: "There is no other track like it in the country. You have the odd shape, the slick red clay and the backstretch bridge. Not to mention the competition."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "This will be the first swing of this kind for the 2005 season. It will definitely separate the men from the boys. Every element, from late nights to tough competition, will test a team's strength and abilities."
Danny Lasoski, a Mean 15 racer from Dover, Mo., and the 2001 series champion
On what makes the racers in Pennsylvania racers so tough: "The PA Posse are the toughest local contingent we will face all season. There are a handful of cars out there just as fast as the rest of us with some great drivers behind the wheel. A lot of those guys race three to four times a week just like we do but on the same tracks over and over. Track experience is a huge advantage for any team and our record at Knoxville Raceway proves that theory. You run enough laps at a place you know exactly what to expect and how to make the car react to the track conditions. When you put talented drivers with tons of track experience in some great equipment, you'll see those guys give us a run for the money. There are already 18 wicked-fast cars running every show with the World of Outlaws, you throw in 15 more fast cars and it will be a dogfight every night to get in the show. There will be some great teams watching the features from the pits and it is our job to make sure the Bass Pro Shops car is not one of them."
On why Williams Grove is so challenging: "Williams Grove is unlike any other track we race at all year. It takes a driver a lot of laps to feel comfortable there. With the long straights and tight corners you pick up a lot of speed and then have to get the car set up for the corners. The track can be very demanding on the motor and you need a ton of horsepower to run with those guys. We finally got that place figured out and picked up a Grove Prelim in 2002 and got our second win last July. I'd love for us to bust out and get another one. With the quality of cars out here in PA, any win at The Grove is one well earned."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "It is a long season and I wouldn't say it would make or break a team's season but it could really hurt some teams out here. If you go a couple nights not making the show you either cash in your remaining provisionals or take a huge hit in the points. There is a very good possibility that you may see both of these scenarios in the coming weeks."
Paul McMahan, a Mean 15 racer from Nashville who finished third May 6 at Lake Ozark Speedway after a crowd-thrilling duel with Steve Kinser
On what makes the racers in Pennsylvania racers so tough: "Pennsylvania is a place when you look back in history, that's where everybody came from. People like Jan Opperman came from California to run in Pennsylvania. Gary Patterson, they all wanted come to Pennsylvania because if it wasn't the Outlaws, that was the next best competition to race against. It's not like it just happened, it's been that way for many, many years. Al Hamilton ran the Outlaws for many years and he's got great equipment. Jeff Shepard in the Apple Chevrolet car that has won tons of races with Greg Hodnett in it before. Fred Rahmer, Keith Kaufmann, the list goes on."
On why Williams Grove is so challenging: "The competition that's there. And it's a different racetrack. It's a big half-mile, but it has big, long straightaways with real tight corners so you've got to have a motor that runs and a car that handles, but you also have to be in the right place at the right time. It's not very often that you can start too far back in an Outlaws race and make it to the front. Qualifying is real important. That number you draw when you roll in can either help you or hurt you before you even set foot on the racetrack."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "Every time we go into Pennsylvania, you find out how good you are at that time. If you run good in Pennsylvania, you're going to run good everywhere else. If you don't run good in Pennsylvania, you're going to figure out why and when we come back next time you'll hopefully change. At this time of the year, it's not going to make or break a team, but it will get you prepared for that month of money. That's what will make or break a team."
Brian Paulus, a Mean 15 racer from Mechanicsburg, Pa., who has four top-10 runs in 2005
On what makes the racers in Pennsylvania racers so tough: "Think about it like this. The reputation in Pennsylvania has been so strong since the beginning of racing that through the generations, every couple of years a new guy comes out and is racing against guys who had to learn against some of the best. So then they got to become the best and then younger guys had to race against them. It's just the competition level has been so strong. When I was a kid, I was watching guys that were outlaws before Outlaws were Outlaws. Then the Outlaws became an organization and some of the guys like Bobby Allen and Rick Ferkel went out and traveled but some of the other guys who were racing with them maybe financially couldn't travel so they stayed in Pennsylvania. But they were as good as those guys but through circumstances never got to go. So as years went on, the ones who were kids began racing those really good guys. It's just years of repetition against good competition. -- They kind of leave the torch to the next guy."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "When we get into Pennsylvania, there will be a group of Outlaws sitting and watching the features. And, obviously, with the locals there will be a group of them watching the features. Mentally you have to stick with it and stay positive. You have to draw a good number, you have to time in good, you can't make any mistakes in the heat race, you can't make any mistakes in the Dash or the B-main and you can't make any mistakes in the feature because you need to leave your qualifying night on a positive note. Right now I feel like we're running pretty strong, I don't have any worries going in there, but who knows by the time Friday night is done how I'm going to be. It kind of does turn your head. There are years when Steve Kinser goes to Pennsylvania second in points and the guy leading the points is never making a mistake and by the time the Pennsylvania swing is over, Steve's in the lead in points and that guy is scratching his head trying to figure out what's going on. Steve's done it so many times, he knows, 'Hey, we had a bad night, let's put it back together and go make up for it.' A lot of guys go, 'Oh this Pennsylvania deal is so tough' and that's the end of it."
Daryn Pittman, a Mean 15 racer and native of Owasso, Okla., who earned a victory last month at 81 Speedway
On what makes the racers in Pennsylvania racers so tough: "It's a lot of things. The car owners, for one thing. The car owners continue to push each other for a local program as much as any group of car owners do. They keep providing teams with good enough equipment to run. That's what makes our sport get better. There are four or five really good car owners out there that continue to step up their program and build better cars. They're at the same level we are, therefore the drivers are able to step up and continue to keep up with the owners. They've got five or six guys that continuously try to beat each other and are extremely tough and have good equipment. Then you have a whole field of other regulars who are also tough. A back-marker at Williams Grove can probably win races at any other track in the country. Everything just kind of builds up together. Plus, the racetracks are so good and there are several of them within a few hours of each other, too."
On why Williams Grove is so challenging: "The competition. It might be a little bit tough of a racetrack, but it's no tougher than a lot of the places we go. The reason Williams Grove is so tough is because we've got 20 guys who we struggle to beat every night and then you add another really good seven or eight cars and another 12 to 15 that are tough to beat. That brings us up to more than 30 cars that are extremely good racecars."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "I think so. I'm honestly looking forward to it. I think a lot of the guys are definitely ready to get going and get racing. It gets us back into our groove that we're kind of used to. I look forward to it, but yet if you go up there and struggle for a couple it can definitely really wear on you and hurt your whole season. We have to get on a roll and finish in the top five as much as we can."
Donny Schatz, a Mean 15 racer from Fargo, N.D., who has three victories this season
On what makes the local racers in Pennsylvania so tough: "I think the combinations of great owners and great drivers make the guys out there so tough. You take Fred Rahmer and his owner Joe Harz and then Greg Hodnett drives for Al Hamilton and they have great equipment and great drivers. The guys in Pennsylvania have good motors, good cars and they race at a competitive level four nights a week. Fred Rahmer is one of the best no doubt. When those guys race at those tracks week in and week out, they find an edge there and are pretty tough to beat. It's exciting for us Outlaws to go into an area like that and try to beat them. The fans are the ones that really make the rivalry of the Outlaws versus the Posse. I don't think you'll find an Outlaw driver that dislikes the Pennsylvania Posse -- everybody respects them all and I think the Pennsylvania guys really respect us, too."
On what it takes to win at Williams Grove: "I went to Williams Grove for years and people told me it was a tough place with tight little corners, big long straightaways and you had to drive it so differently. I told myself that for a couple of years and then finally, I blocked everything out and just told myself that it really wasn't that different and just another racetrack. -- It's not as difficult as everyone makes it sound, the big key is to create your own driving style there. You have to drive a little different there. It's all about finding the best way around. I've been very fortunate there the past few years, but believe me there have been times where I've been as bad there as I've been good. I'm really proud to say that we've won a couple of National Opens and quite a few other Outlaw races there, and the Grove has been very good to me."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "These are the times of the year when you can really make a big turnaournd. We can make up for a terrible month of April in one week. That's what we want to do, we're not going to sit back and try to hold onto where we're at. We came out this year to win the championship and Steve's won a lot of races already, but there are a lot of races left, so we're by no means out of the picture. We know we can still win races. We're excited to get back on the track and heading to places where we know we've been fast before."
Tim Shaffer, a Mean 15 racer from Aliquippa, Pa., who won May 6 at Lake Ozark Speedway
On what makes Pennsylvania racers so tough: "They race hard every night, just like we do out on the road. There are not too many areas we go where the quality of the cars they have are like ours. They got the same kind of equipment, the best you can get. And they race hard every night."
On what makes Williams Grove so challenging: "It's different than what most people are used to. It's got straightaways that when you get out there you can't see the end of them, and then the corners that are like a paperclip, they're really tight. Another thing is the engine program. They're used to that, screaming down the straightaways and lugging the motor coming off the corner. I think some of those teams actually build engines just for that place, which makes it even harder to be competitive [against them]."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "It's going to be very competitive. Our deal is competitive right now with 18 to 20 good cars every night, then you're going to throw in another 10 to 15 on top of that. You better be on your game. This little swing over the years has really had teams fall apart. It just makes crew guys and team members and drivers and owners fight. It's a hard swing. The biggest thing is the competition is going to be awesome."
Jason Sides, a Mean 15 racer from Bartlett, Tenn., who finished fifth May 7 at Tri-City Speedway
On what makes Pennsylvania racers so tough: "It's like going to Knoxville, they're just as tough as the Outlaws. They're that good. They have the car owners and the equipment equivalent to the World of Outlaws."
On what makes Williams Grove so challenging: "They run there so often the know how to get around that place. It has such long straightaways and small, short corners that it makes it tough for us not running there all the time like they do."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "It's good that we're getting to race instead of just one or two nights a week. The more laps we get to run, the better off all of us are."
Shane Stewart, a Bixby, Okla.,-native with 10 top-10s who is running for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award
On what makes Pennsylvania racers so tough: "Equipment. Their budgets are as big, some of them are bigger, than some of the Outlaws teams. They race as many times as we do throughout the year. I think Jason Johnson said he could race 130 races this year. That 130 races is split between four different racetracks so they run the majority of their races on those four tracks. You just get good. When you're equipment is good and the drivers are good in Pennsylvania, it just makes it tough."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "All of the Outlaws teams always talk about going into Pennsylvania. 'It's hard, it's this or it's that, you've got to save your provisionals for that series of races.' I don't think it makes or breaks your year, but it can definitely give you a mental boost, especially if you race good with those guys because as far as a non-traveling group of guys, they're by far the toughest guys we race with. When you can go in there and race good with them on their turf, it makes you feel good."
Brooke Tatnell, a native of San Souci, New South Wales, Australia, who has two runner-up finishes this season
On what makes Pennsylvania racers so tough: "I don't know what it is. You talk about football teams having home-field advantage. I think for a driver on the road, Williams Grove is the hardest place to adapt to. The guys that have got that down pat can pretty much get the best racetracks down pat. You look at Fred Rahmer, Pennsylvania's equivalent of Steve Kinser. Look at those guys with the years of experience they've got still racing as hard, if not harder, than anyone."
On what makes Williams Grove so challenging: "It's a hairpin. The best night I ever had there I flipped out of the ballpark, so that was a good night. It's a horsepower racetrack. You almost have to have a motor that's built for Williams Grove. I'm going there this year with the best opportunity I've ever had to run good there. I have everything that Fred Rahmer has right now at my disposal in motors. I don't know what it is. I guess I'll find out if it's something to do with that racetrack. I'm not intimidated by Steve Kinser so I'm not intimidated by the Pennsylvania Posse. They're tough, but you just have to be 100 percent on your game to beat those guys. I can tell you one thing, it doesn't matter who wins because whoever won was on their game."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "It can definitely make or break someone. With that many races in that short of time, we do that in Australia. We cram as much racing in over the Christmas period as we can. We're racing basically 21 times in 30 days so this schedule sort of suits me to what I'm used to. It's a mental thing. Financially, it'll break you. Mentally, you'll end up spending a lot more money trying to get your held pulled out of the gutter."
Brandon Wimmer, a Mean 15 racer from Fairmount, Ind., who is running for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award
On what makes Pennsylvania racers so tough: "They run those tracks every week. The more you run somewhere, the better you're going to get. A lot of those guys could go anywhere and race with us if they wanted to. They're all really good drivers with really good teams."
On what makes Williams Grove so challenging: "I think it's the shape of the track. You have to drive the car right to keep your momentum up going around that place. Some people can get around that place better than others. When you go race the Pennsylvania Posse, there are a lot of good cars. Your car has to be good and you have to be able to get around that place good."
On how this short run through Pennsylvania can let a team know how it stacks up within the series: "This is what the Outlaws are about, being able to go night after night and do your best. That's been part of the Outlaws ever since it started. It's part of the history of the World of Outlaws."
After completing this run of six races in nine nights, there's no break for the World of Outlaws Sprint Series as it heads to New York to race May 30 at Lebanon Valley Speedway, June 1 at Rolling Wheels Speedway, June 3 at Sharon Speedway and June 4 at Eldora Speedway.