World of Outlaws Ready for SPEED This weekend at Tony Stewart's historic Eldora Speedway, cameras from SPEED will capture all of the action for the first of 20 televised World of Outlaws events that will begin with the debut at 2 p.m. on May...
World of Outlaws Ready for SPEED
This weekend at Tony Stewart's historic Eldora Speedway, cameras from SPEED will capture all of the action for the first of 20 televised World of Outlaws events that will begin with the debut at 2 p.m. on May 13.
In preparation for the event, the track crew at Eldora has battled Mother Nature while working non-stop to prepare the recently resurfaced and reshaped half-mile for the 2007 season. Eighteen degrees of banking will greet the competitors in the turns, along with nine degrees of banking on the straightaways. In addition, a new Musco Lighting system will not only help improve the drivers' vision on the track but also better illuminate the racing surface for television.
"Eldora Speedway is thrilled to host the first event to be broadcast as part of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series television package," said Larry Kemp, General Manager of Eldora Speedway. "We made a commitment when DIRT MotorSports came to us with a proposed television package; there was no question we would be on board. The television schedule will add to the sport's growth and we're pleased to be a part of that effort."
Drivers, crews and fans are thrilled with the television package that is in place this season for the World of Outlaws, beginning this weekend at Eldora. Between SPEED and the World of Outlaws "Summer of Money" tour on ESPN2, this weekend will mark the first of three sprint car broadcasts and one World of Outlaws Late Model Series broadcast from the track that is owned by two-time NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart.
Current World of Outlaws championship points leader Joey Saldana won twice at Eldora last season, including his second career triumph in the prestigious Kings Royal By Crown Royal. The 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, Saldana is excited to bring sprint car racing to a vast, enthused and knowledgeable audience on SPEED. Driving for NASCAR star Kasey Kahne, Saldana has won four races this season, including a string of three in a row to close out March.
"I'm excited to head to Eldora and having it as a television race is all the more better," Saldana said. "For our team it's huge. We have a new sponsor this season in Open Joist and the television package is one of the reasons they are here. We have to make sure to have something that is appealing to them and that the fans will watch on television. For Kasey Kahne Racing it will definitely help the team and our sponsors being on SPEED."
Reigning World of Outlaws champion and Knoxville Nationals winner Donny Schatz knows the importance of the World of Outlaws a potential 75 million homes on SPEED. A native of Fargo, N.D., Schatz is locked in an exciting battle with Saldana for the top spot in the championship standings. Entering this weekend's events, the 1997 Rookie of the Year has three A-Feature triumphs to his credit and has finished in the Top-10 in 11 of the first 12 races.
"We are really excited about kicking off this season's television package this weekend," Schatz said. "SPEED has given us an opportunity to showcase some of the best racing in the business and to provide great exposure for our marketing partners like ParkerStore. The schedule includes races at some of the most exciting tracks in the country, and this is a network that offers some of the best motorsports programming available so being included in that should only help attract new fans and help the sport."
Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, is glad to see the World of Outlaws return to SPEED. A native of Bloomington, Ind., Kinser enters the events at Eldora Speedway with an unmatched record at the half-mile. He has won 33 World of Outlaws A-Feature events at the track, in addition to winning with the All Star Circuit of Champions as well as the United States Auto Club. He currently has 534 career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws.
"Any kind of television exposure we can get is good for sprint car racing," Kinser said. "It's still not quite as exciting as being there live and seeing it firsthand. It's good for me and my sponsors and all the people involved with this. There are a lot of people across the country that enjoy watching the races, and we can't make it to every area at once. That part of it works really well."
Craig Dollansky won twice at Eldora Speedway last season, including the Knight Before the Kings Royal in July. A former World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion, Dollansky has three career A-Feature wins at the track, along with a couple victories in action with the All Star Circuit of Champions. He also holds the track record, established in time trials in 2002.
"Everyone is looking forward to the television package that we have in place now," Dollansky said. "It's going to start this weekend at Eldora, and I think that's a great track for where it to start. There's no added pressure for the team, but you want to start things off in regards to the TV package as best as you can."
Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, won his first race of the season last weekend at Paducah International Raceway and enters the event at Eldora with plenty of momentum. He jumped to the fourth-spot in points, only 156 markers out of the lead, as he chases his second career title. He won at Eldora for the first time in 1994 with the All Stars and notched his first World of Outlaws win at the track in 2004.
"It's definitely a step in the right direction for the World of Outlaws," Lasoski said of the television package for 2007. "Everything in our sport revolves around sponsorship. If we can put ourselves on television and have a great TV package, it helps not only the race teams get sponsors but also the series itself. That's the name of the game. If we can put on a good show in front of the fans at home, it's going to be a win-win for everyone."
SPEED will utilize nine different cameras, including two in-car cameras, to capture the excitement all weekend long. Calling the action will be Bobby Gerould with National Sprint Car Hall of Fame member Brad Doty adding analysis and Sean Buckley covering all the excitement from the pits.
The World of Outlaws sprint car stars will be on television 20 Sundays this season, beginning at 2 p.m. May 13 on SPEED with the action from this weekend's event at Eldora Speedway.