</pre> Along the World of Outlaws Trail By Richard Day Donny Schatz' victory in the 38th Annual Williams Grove National Open was significant in many respects. The 1997 Rookie of the Year ...
</pre> Along the World of Outlaws Trail By Richard Day Donny Schatz' victory in the 38th Annual Williams Grove National Open was significant in many respects. The 1997 Rookie of the Year became the 13th driver to win a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature this season. It marked the first time in the series' 23-year history each of the top 12 drivers in the point standings visited victory lane. Thirteen different drivers have also won Preliminary Features. The 14 laps Schatz led at the end of the 40-lap main event were his first since he led 24 in the Amoco Knoxville Nationals championship feature. Since hiring Kenny Woodruff before the Nationals, Schatz has finished out of the top 10 only twice in 14 "A" Features. Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser won the Preliminary Feature, his first since opening night at the Nationals. "The King of the Outlaws" could have just as easily claimed the $25,000 first prize, but his late-season bad luck streak continued. Kinser was battling Williams Grove track champion Fred Rahmer for the lead late in the 12th lap when his #11 Quaker State Maxim hit a spinning Dean Jacobs in turn four and flipped. Kinser suffered a flat tire six laps later, and eventually finished 13th. After recording top-10 finishes in 45 of the first 49 "A" Features, Kinser has finished 11th or worse in four of the last six. With six events remaining on the 2000 schedule, Kinser can clinch his 16th championship by finishing ninth in the remaining main events and Preliminary Features. Sammy Swindell passed defending series champion Mark Kinser for second place in the point standings Saturday. Sammy, the 1997 Williams Grove National Open champion, earned his 13th Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the season and finished seventh in the main event. Mark, who leads the series with 22 Vivarin Fast-Time Awards, crashed while trying to pass Keith Kauffman for second place following a 38th-lap restart and received credit for 24th place. Swindell's crew changed engines in his
#1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth Thursday at Hagerstown Speedway and during both programs at Williams Grove. Former Rookies of the Year Joey Saldana (1996) and Dale Blaney (1998) are locked in a fierce battle for sixth place in the standings.
Blaney narrowed the gap to 17 points with a ninth-place finish while Saldana experienced all kinds of problems at the National Open. Joey was leading the Fourth NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race Saturday when the engine in his #17 HEM Saw Eagle lost power. He crashed while running third in the "B" Feature, then took a provisional only to have a rear end malfunction keep him from starting the main event. While both drivers have qualified for all 56 "A" Features, Saldana has one more victory but Blaney has recorded one more top-10 finish. Blaney used a provisional to start Friday's Preliminary Feature, but crashed with Jacobs early in the race. Sprint car racing's most outstanding drivers, teams and crew members will be honored at the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' 23rd Annual Awards Banquet at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas November 2nd. The World of Outlaws, Pennzoil, Goodyear, CHANNELLOCK, Vivarin, NAPA AUTO PARTS and Hoosier have contributed more than $800,000 to the point fund, which will be awarded to the series' top teams. The championship driver and car owner will each receive $100,000. CHANNELLOCK sponsors the Mechanic of the Year award and rewards the driver winning the most CHANNELLOCK Dashes during the season. SmithKline Beecham will present the Vivarin Perseverance Award. Series President Ted Johnson changed the name of the Rookie of the Year Award to honor the late Kevin Gobrecht in 1999, but the manufacturers who support the program remain. Contributions from Brodix, CSI Racewear, Crane Cams, Eagle Chassis, Gaerte Engines, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, J&J Auto Racing, Maxim Chassis, MSD Ignitions, Sander Engineering, Shaver Specialties, Schoenfeld Mufflers, Weld Racing and Wesmar Engines make it possible for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series to reward the Rookie of the Year award winner with a sizable bonus.