2007 World of Outlaws Preview: Jason Meyers Concord, NC--Feb. 2, 2007 -- Jason Meyers has always enjoyed making trips to victory lane, especially in World of Outlaws events. In 2005, his last full season with the series, he scored four A-Feature...
2007 World of Outlaws Preview: Jason Meyers
Concord, NC--Feb. 2, 2007 -- Jason Meyers has always enjoyed making trips to victory lane, especially in World of Outlaws events. In 2005, his last full season with the series, he scored four A-Feature wins as he finished a career best second in points. He also had four wins in 2003 as well as in 2004. He scored his first World of Outlaws win at Knoxville Raceway in 2001, as he became the first driver ever to accomplish this feat.
The native of Clovis, California finished fourth in points with the National Sprint Tour last season, with a victory at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio. He also scored Top-10 finishes with the World of Outlaws at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway, as well as Eldora Speedway. He also triumphed in the Cotton Classic at Kings Speedway late in the season in his native state.
He spent three weeks last month in Australia, competing at Parramatta City Raceway, against many fellow World of Outlaws competitors. He picked up a win along with five Top-Five finishes in the seven races he competed in. Only once does did he finish lower than eighth.
"Anytime you can get a jump on the season it helps," said Meyers. "You certainly never forgot how to do what you do, but it does help to knock the rust off and get the aggression fired back up. It helps you get ready to go again and get comfortable in the car. To go down there and run well helps. The whole time we were down there, we ran strong, and that helps get your confidence going. It just gets you ready for the season."
With a very solid field of cars expected for the DIRTcar Nationals, Meyers knows that his team has to be on top of their game from the first instant they take to the track. Along with the nearly 30 teams that will begin the season full-time with the World of Outlaws, competitors from the O'Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions will be on hand, as well as the always stout drivers from Pennsylvania.
"It's the toughest way to start the season," said the 2000 Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year. "I remember going down there to start two years ago, and you have some of the regulars missing the show. You normally don't want to worry about the points until halfway through the year, but it kind of starts your point season off wrong if you go down there and miss a show. It certainly makes it tough to start down there with that big of a field with that quality in the field. It is definitely something you have to go down there prepared for."
After the DIRTcar Nationals, Meyers and the rest of the World of Outlaws teams will have 12 days to make the cross-country trip to Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., a track that Meyers knows very well. It will be one of three separate visits to his home state over the course of the nearly 10 month season.
"It's nice to get to race close to home, but at the same time you get really busy when you race close to home," explained Meyers. "Number one you're trying to get home for a few days and then trying to catch up with people as well as going to your shop and reloading on things. It's normally kind of a stressful time. My family jokes that I've got to get back out on the road before they can see me. It is nice to race at home though. I have grown up on those tracks and cut my teeth around there. It's always nice to get back there, but also a busy time as well. There is the stress there, but also being on the road all year, it is nice to get home."
Meyers is excited at the nearly 90 race schedule that faces him this season. Like most racers, he would race every night of the week if that were possible.
"In order to stay in a rhythm, you need to race," he commented. "Sitting around during the week and having weekends off, certainly doesn't help you in that way. When we're out on the road, we want to race as much as we can. It doesn't bother me if they shorten the season up at the beginning or end of the year, but if we're on the road we might as well be racing. There's no sense in being home in the middle of the summer. The more the merrier for us."
With eight races to be broadcast on ESPN2 beginning on Sunday June 17 as part of the "Summer of Money," Meyers looks for many new fans to be exposed to sprint car racing worldwide. With that in mind, the series will return to Canada for the first time since 1982 to contest a race at Ohsweken Speedway in Ontario on July 25, and then two nights of racing at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta on August 17-18.
"I think the Outlaws have done a great job putting the television package together," said the veteran driver. "I'm guessing that this will be one of the best television packages that sprint car racing has ever seen. I think it will be great for the teams and the sponsors that are on board now, and hopefully it will further open some doors to corporate sponsorship coming into the sport. We're really looking forward to that."
With only 24 spots available each night in the A-Feature and nearly 30 cars starting the season off full-time with the series, it will be vital to be fast right off the truck each and every night.
"That puts more importance on everything," said Meyers, when pondering the increased number of teams competing full-time with the series. "Realistically I don't think that many cars will finish, the year, but maybe they do. That would be phenomenal. The bottom line is that there are only 24 spots in the main every night and if you miss five or six shows in a row, the budget tightens up a lot. What it's going to do is put a lot of importance on the first ten or 15 races. You're going to have to get out on top and get yourself established early in the season in order to be there at the end. I think it's great that there are that many cars out there. It shows how strong the interest of the participants is in our sport, and I hope they can make it all year."
After finishing ninth in World of Outlaws points in 2003, Meyers bettered that to fifth in 2004, and was a career best second in 2005. With one more spot to gain, Meyers will give it everything he has as he seeks his first World of Outlaws title this year. He will have veteran Crew Chief D.J. Lindsey back for a second year to lead the team, and they look to build on the very solid foundation they formed last season.
"The championship is our one and only goal for this season," he shared. "We've been working very very hard all winter. We've been working night and day to get everything prepared, and make some advancements in our team and our engine program. I'm really looking forward to it. We're looking to come out and try to get to the front right away."