World of Outlaws Wrap-up: Mini Gold Cup Night ...
World of Outlaws Wrap-up: Mini Gold Cup Night #1
Chico, CA-- March 14, 2009
Fine tuning the horsepower: Joey Saldana's, Kasey Kahne Racing crew, made the long tow back to the Midwest after the Las Vegas race on February 26 to do visit Tim Engler's shop in Indiana, as they looked to fine tune their Mopar engines. The team which is owned by the NASCAR star is the only one that utilizes Mopar power on the World of Outlaws circuit. They then traveled back to the West Coast to use what they learned during a test at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California, where the World of Outlaws will compete next weekend and also were able to apply that knowledge on en route to winning on Friday night in the opener of the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico.
"We learned a lot," noted Saldana of his team's visit with Engler. "For the last year we have been coming out here and running laps. To come out tonight and set a new track record and win the race, shows that their effort paid off. I can't thank my guys enough. It was a great effort by our whole team. Last year we didn't win until Dodge City (in June). After looking back at the dyno numbers and things, it was great to win five races last year and finish fourth in points, because we were so far behind guys like Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz. Hopefully tonight shows what we have for them this year."
Contiuing to climb: Jason Meyers picked up his best finish of the season on Friday night in the opener of the Mini Gold Cup, finishing second. After a hard crash at Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago that forced him to a back-up car for that main event, Meyers and his team worked countless hours back at their shop in Fresno, California leading up to the Mini Gold, which he is the defending winner of. With his runner-up finish, Meyers moved into the sixth position in the World of Outlaws championship standings, just five markers out of the Top-Five.
"This entire team has been working so hard to get it to where it needs to be," shared Meyers. "Everyone that is behind us has put their best foot forward and are just waiting for us to step up and make it happen and I think we are on the right track. We've been working hard and I look forward to coming back tomorrow and then going to Tulare and putting this car back up front where it should be."
Adapting to the situation: Terry McCarl earned his best finish of the season with the World of Outlaws on Friday night coming home third, after winning his first Crane Cams Dash of the season to earn the pole position for the 40-lap main event. Despite the number of caution flags in both the third heat race which he competed in and the A-Feature, McCarl was able to adapt to shorter green flag runs as he kept his car at the front all night.
"I had the heat race with all the yellows as well," McCarl said with a smile. "On the long runs I would get going and I am a long run type of guy, so I hated seeing all of those yellows. That's just how dirt track racing is, especially on a short track and it was a good show for the fans."
From the back to the front: For the second time in the last three races, Steve Kinser came from the back of the field to pass the most cars and earn a Top-Five finish. The 20-time series champion was relegated to the 24th starting spot on Friday night after a hard crash in the Crane Cams Dash forced him to a back-up car. By way of World of Outlaws rules, a competitor has to start at the back of the field if a back-up car is utilized. Kinser has now finished in the Top-10 in all five events this season and moved to second in points as he looks for his record 21st championship.
Keeping the streak alive: Donny Schatz, the three-time and defending World of Outlaws champion, was running in the fourth spot in the main event on Friday night when he came to a stop on the high side of turn two with a fuel leak. He went to the work area and his crew got him back on the track where he restarted at the rear of the field. He wound up finishing 10th to join Kinser as the only drivers that have finished in the Top-10 in each race this season and leads the championship standings by 32 markers. The North Dakota native began 2008 with 48 consecutive Top-10 finishes.
A yeoman's effort: Sammy Swindell, the three-time World of Outlaws champion, earned his fourth Top-10 finish of 2009 on Friday night. After starting 10th, the native of Germantown, Tennessee made it all the way up to second on the 34th lap. Unfortunately the steering on his car broke late in the event and he lost a few spots after the final restart with four laps to go and wound up seventh. He moved into fourth in the championship standings and is just one point out of third.
Log on and tune in: The finale of the Mini Gold Cup will be Cybercast on DIRTVision.com with live streaming video and audio. To purchase the Mini Gold Cup Cybercast and see some of the most exciting bullring racing anywhere on the planet visit with award winning World of Outlaws announcer Johnny Gibson calling all of the action visit www.DIRTVision.com.