Stevie Smith Captures the World of Outlaws Sprint Series Brad Doty Classic Attica, OH -- July 13, 2005 -- The World of Outlaws Sprint Series drove deep into Ohio sprint car country Wednesday night, and the competition was waiting to pounce in...
Stevie Smith Captures the World of Outlaws Sprint Series Brad Doty Classic
Attica, OH -- July 13, 2005 -- The World of Outlaws Sprint Series drove deep into Ohio sprint car country Wednesday night, and the competition was waiting to pounce in the 17th Annual Brad Doty Classic at Attica Raceway Park.
After grabbing the lead with a three-wide maneuver in Turn 1 on Lap 19, it was Stevie Smith, the series' 1990 top rookie, who held on for the 66th World of Outlaws A-feature victory in his career and his first Outlaws win since June 7, 2002, at Farmer City Raceway.
On a night when only two of the current Mean 15 racers -- Craig Dollansky and Paul McMahan -- and one who is closing in on the elite group -- Brooke Tatnell -- were able to qualify in the top half of the field for the main event, Smith earned the pole and battled with Tatnell and Dollansky for second while all three trailed Jeff Shepard early on in the 40-lap event.
Traffic quickly became a factor on the 3/8-mile oval. The two cars fighting for second both closed on Shepard. Traffic dictated which groove each car took. Tatnell first went high, then cut back to the bottom. Shepard stayed on the high side. Smith went low. With 17 laps down, Smith tried to slip past Tatnell, but the move didn't work as Tatnell was trying to hold off Smith and race past Shepard at the same time.
Two laps later the three pulled even down the frontstretch in front of the packed grandstands. With lapped cars scattered in front of them, all three cars scrambled into Turn 1. Smith found a line around the traffic and shot to the lead, Tatnell pushed his way through on the bottom and grabbed second, Shepard was left behind in third before he eventually faded through the pack.
Right behind that group of three were the charging cars of Greg Wilson and Dollansky. With eight to go, Dollansky darted past Wilson going into Turn 3 and began to reel in Tatnell, who again was trying to pick his way around lapped cars.
By that point, Smith, who was coming off of an impressive run during Pennsylvania Speedweek, had pulled away from the pack and Dollansky ran out of time to catch Tatnell, who extended his advantage in the March to the Mean 15 to 58 points over Terry McCarl.
Jac Haudenschild brought Dennis Roth's No. 83JR to the checkered flag in fourth, with Wilson fifth followed by Kenny Jacobs, John Ivy, Donny Schatz, Danny Smith and Randy Hannagan. It was the fifth consecutive top-10 run for Schatz.
"They're tough, they're going to win the majority," Smith said of the Outlaws. "We ran good here last time so I thought we had a pretty good chance, but I know we don't have all the answers. It's going to be tough [this weekend] at Eldora. They race a lot and they're all good drivers."
Smith was hoping to be patient in his run for the lead, but when his car hooked up with the track, he knew there was no time to waste.
"In a 40-lap race, it was about halfway through so I was thinking, 'Take your time. Don't crash this thing,'" said Smith, a native of New Oxford, Pa., and the 1990 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year. "I was watching those two race and I was going a different direction and I found something that helped us by moving around on the track."
Smith, the pole-sitter, believes that had he not given up the lead to Shepard on the first lap, he might have stayed in one groove. By being forced to race back to the front, he was able to move up and down the track until he found a line on the racing surface that made his car run.
With 48 cars in the pits at a track where the Outlaws haven't race since 1994, it was clear qualifying would be crucial. Many of the drivers who race regularly throughout Ohio, including at Attica, seemed to be able to make quick adjustments to their cars that ultimately moved them through heats and into the A-main.
"It was tough to qualify, but I think it's awesome when the Outlaws come into town and get their butts kicked," said Tatnell, a native of San Souci, New South Wales, Australia. "It's what sprint car racing is all about. It shows what class and caliber of drivers we have across the country. Where you drew had a lot to do with how you qualified. The track definitely slowed down. We were fortunate enough to put a good lap in for where we went out. The track was dicey, it was racy. The feature was pretty racy because you had the lapped cars in there. I thought we had a good shot at it. I got to racing with Jeff and then Stevie got by both of us.
"It probably hurt all three of us, but Stevie was the only one that came out of it good. Jeff and I probably spun the tires a little harder than what Stevie did. Our biggest problem was we just got caught up with the lapped car and killed our tires trying to get by him. But that's how fast the cars were. You had to get the lines perfect."
For Dollansky, it was another strong run in another new car. He won July 6 at Powercom Park in a new car before it was destroyed Friday at Route 66 Raceway when a right rear tire exploded and sent him hard into the Turn 3 wall. The team returned to their Wisconsin shop after racing at Pevely, Mo., and built another machine that Dollansky brought to the finish in third Wednesday night.
"Coming here and racing where there are a lot of strong Ohio cars that race here weekly, it's kind of like going to Williams Grove," said Dollansky, a Mean 15 racer from Elk River, Minn. "The heat races are tough, the qualifying is tough, it's tough all the way through. For us, it was a good run. We got thrown behind the eight-ball again at Joliet where we lost a car. The guys went back and built another brand new car and I was pretty happy with it. Hopefully one of these days we'll get ahead of the eight ball instead of behind it."
The race honored Brad Doty, the Outlaws' top rookie in 1982 who was paralyzed in a 1988 crash at Eldora Speedway. It was the first time the Outlaws sanctioned the 17th annual event, which was co-promoted by Doty, and emotions were running high throughout the night.
"It's a special event to be a part of," Dollansky said. "For us to be able to come here and run at the Brad Doty Classic, I think was great. It was just great to be a part of it. I know Brad worked hard at putting this event on and hopefully it's something they can do for years to come."
In Victory Lane, Doty couldn't hide his wide smile after the event went off without a hitch on a night when thunderstorms had been forecasted for more than a week.
"It was unbelievable," said Doty, who has 11 Outlaws A-feature victories to his credit. "The rain held off, of course it looked bad all over the place. What a race. Second, third and fourth. Lead changes. I couldn't ask for a better night. I just want to thank Mopar and all the media, everybody that helped promote this race and make it a success. We had a great crowd and it was an awesome race."
The Outlaws next head Friday to Eldora Speedway where they'll launch the Month of Money with the prestigious Knight Before the King's Royal and the $50,000-to-win King's Royal. After Eldora, the series rolls Tuesday into Lernerville Speedway for the $30,000-to-win Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup and July 21-23 to Williams Grove Speedway for the $20,000-to-win Summer Nationals.
THE MARCH TO THE MEAN 15 On the third night of the March to the Mean 15 featuring Brooke Tatnell, Shane Stewart, Terry McCarl and Jason Solwold, Tatnell continued to build on his lead as the competition in Ohio definitely affected the March. Solwold, who was second entering the event, was forced into the B-main, where he was unable to transfer to the main event. With several of the series' top racers also in the same predicament, Solwold was unable to use a provisional and had to settle for 75 points. Shane Stewart tangled with Brandon Wimmer on the first lap of the A-main and had wound up with a 26th-place finish. Terry McCarl made the biggest jump by racing to an 11th-place finish that moved him from fourth to second, only 58 points behind Tatnell's Rush Racing machine.
"It's an advantage right now, but all it takes is one hiccup," Tatnell said. "It's pretty awesome that we're having such a good run. We've definitely peaked at the right time of year, especially with all the big money races coming up. It gives us confidence going back to Williams Grove, that's going to be a test."
The remaining two races to determine the newest member of the Mean 15 are the Knight Before the King's Royal July 15 at Eldora Speedway, and the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup July 19 at Lernerville Speedway.
BRAD DOTY CLASSIC NOTEBOOK
* When Stevie Smith took the checkered flag Wednesday night at Attica Raceway Park, he became the 14th different A-feature winner this season on the Outlaws circuit. Steve Kinser leads the way with 12 victories, most recently winning June 18 at Eagle Raceway in the 22nd Annual Eagle Nationals. Kraig Kinser won his fourth A-feature of the season in June at Knoxville Raceway. He also has a preliminary feature win at Las Vegas. Jason Meyers earned his fourth win of the season July 2 at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D. Donny Schatz also has four A-feature victories, at Parramatta, Las Vegas and Houston and Joliet, Ill. Brian Paulus won June 28 at Huset's Speedway for his second victory of the season. Tim Shaffer picked up his second win of the season May 6 at Lake Ozark Speedway. Sammy Swindell won his second A-feature of the season June 4 at Eldora Speedway. Swindell also has a preliminary feature win April 8 at Eldora. Craig Dollansky has won two features, most recently at Powercom Park, and he also has a preliminary feature win. Single-event winners include Tim Kaeding June 11 at Sheboygan County Fair Park, Daryn Pittman April 23 at 81 Speedway in Wichita, Brooke Tatnell July 4 at Cedar Lake Speedway, Chad Kemenah July 9 at I-55 Raceway, and Jeff Shepard Feb. 11 at Volusia Speedway Park. In Preliminary Features, Danny Lasoski has won twice and Joey Saldana has won once.
* The Brad Doty Classic at Attica Raceway Park is on a 3/8-mile oval. The series has raced now raced eight times this season on tracks that size, at Pike County Speedway, Houston Raceway Park, Batesville Speedway, Outlaw Motor Speedway, 81 Speedway, Huset's Speedway, Cedar Lake Speedway and Attica Raceway Park. 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, Daryn Pittman cruised to victory at 81 Speedway, Jason Meyers outlasted the field at Sharon on a night when several top contenders ran into various trouble, Brian Paulus started on the pole and won at Huset's, Brooke Tatnell picked up his first win of the year at Cedar Lake, and Stevie Smith won his first Outlaws race since 2002 when he took the checkered flag at Attica.
* Stevie Smith was clearly thrilled with his victory. After long lines of fans formed outside his transporter, he indicated how much a victory over the Outlaws means to a driver and a team.
"They pay the best, it's the best organization, no question," Smith said. "The drawback is there are a lot of good drivers and teams. When you do win, you feel like you really accomplished something. When you get beat, you deserved to get beat because you're racing against the best. That's how I look at it. I'm just glad to walk out of here with a victory."
* The No. 20 Tony Stewart Motorsports machine driven by Danny Lasoski used it's fourth provisional of the season, which cost the team 10 points in the championship standings. On a night when 48 cars made the pill draw and qualifying critical to a team's success, Lasoski missed transferring out of his heat by one position and out of the B-main by two spots.
* Hoserville Ohio awarded $50 to each of the heat race winners Wednesday night while Jim and Nikki Valentine gave $300 to the quick-time winner, Chad Kemenah.
* In the Stacker 2® Dash to set the inside top six rows of the A-main, Stevie Smith held off the hard-charging Jac Haudenschild to earn the pole. Danny Smith maintained third while Rob Chaney was fourth, Dean Jacobs was fifth and Mean 15 racer Paul McMahan was sixth.
* In the second Dash that set the outside top six rows of the A-main, Brooke Tatnell shot out to the lead, but Jeff Shepard muscled around Tatnell on the outside to move in front. Tatnell tried racing through the low groove to get back by Shepard, but he ran out of time. Finishing third was Craig Dollansky, fourth was John Ivy, fifth was Greg Wilson and sixth was Kenny Jacobs.
* In the B-main, fast qualifier Chad Kemenah charged into the lead as Daryn Pittman dove to the inside of Brock Mayes to slide into second. Kraig Kinser surged from seventh to finish third, leaving Mayes in the final transfer spot to the main event. Tim Shaffer, Andrew Palker and Mike Linder all raced their way into the B-main by finishing in the top three of the C-main.
* In the first heat, John Ivy, of Fremont, Ohio, drove out to the lead as Paul McMahan powered his way into second. Pole-sitter Jason Dukes held on to finish third with Brooke Tatnell in fourth. Steve Kinser picked up the final transfer spot after starting ninth.
* In the second heat, Shane Stewart got the jump off of Turn 4 and motored into the lead before a caution flew for Todd Kane, who slid over the cushion in Turns 1 and 2. On the restart, Stewart again shot out front ahead of a wild scramble for second. Jeff Shepard and Brandon Wimmer raced side-by-side into Turn 1 as Jac Haudenschild worked his way past Danny Lasoski. When it all settled, Stewart was in front with Rob Chaney, Wimmer, Haudenschild and Stevie Smith earning the transfer spots.
* In the third heat, Terry McCarl drove to the front on the first lap before Joey Saldana went around him a lap later and pulled out to a big lead. McCarl held on to finish second with Greg Wilson, Jeff Shepard and Kenny Jacobs earning the remaining transfer spots to the feature.
* In the fourth heat, Donny Schatz continued his recent resurgence with a powerful showing. Despite two cautions and restarts, Schatz was able to pick up the checkered flag with Dean Jacobs, Danny Smith, Craig Dollansky and Randy Hannagan reaching the A-main. For Hannagan, he had to push his way from ninth to fifth to pick up the transfer spot.
* Chad Kemenah, a first-time World of Outlaws winner Saturday night at I-55 Raceway, paced the 48 cars that went through time trials with a lap around the 3/8-mile oval in 12.075 seconds at 98.385 mph. It was the fourth time this season that Kemenah has been the fastest qualifier while racing against the Outlaws. Butch Schroeder owns the track record with a lap of 11.306 seconds in 1998.
* The Outlaws next head Friday to Eldora Speedway where they'll launch the Month of Money with the prestigious Knight Before the King's Royal and the $50,000-to-win King's Royal. After Eldora, the series rolls Tuesday into Lernerville Speedway for the $30,000-to-win Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup and July 21-23 to Williams Grove Speedway for the $20,000-to-win Summer Nationals.
* The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 20 the 17th annual Brad Doty Classic from Attica Raceway Park.