CHARLOTTE, NC (May 24) - Lowe's Motor Speedway is rolling out the red carpet for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws (WoO) when they host the Wix Filters Southern Showdown and christen their beautiful new 4/10-mile dirt track on Thursday and Friday.
CHARLOTTE, NC (May 24) - Lowe's Motor Speedway is rolling out the red carpet for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws (WoO) when they host the Wix Filters Southern Showdown and christen their beautiful new 4/10-mile dirt track on Thursday and Friday. Dale Blaney and the Amoco #93 Team have become fixtures in the Top-Ten with the Outlaws this season and are looking forward to putting on a show in the heart of NASCAR country.
"All of us Outlaw guys are looking forward to racing in Charlotte," said Blaney, the 1998 WoO Rookie of the Year. "We race quite a bit, but there are only a few occasions when we get this kind of media attention. I know there is a tremendous amount of pressure at the Amoco Knoxville Nationals, and I'm not saying that these races at Lowe's Motor Speedway will put us under the same pressure, but if we can do well I think it would be great for everybody. I'd really like to do well for Amoco. They've been a great sponsor. I'd also like to well for our team, because the guys work really hard to give me a competitive car every night."
Blaney, who drives for his brother, Winston Cup Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year Candidate Dave Blaney, is currently sixth in the WoO standings after scoring 14 Top-Ten finishes in the first 29 races. The Blaney brothers built this team last fall with one thought in mind: being successful. Their fresh start includes utilizing Maxim Chassis, Mopar Engines and a new crew that consists of D.J. Lindsey and Gene Jenkins.
"I wanted to give Dale the best shot at being successful, " said DB Racing owner Dave Blaney, who was the WoO Champion in 1995 and runner-up four times before joining Bill Davis Racing in 1998. "They're beginning to run consistently in the Top-Ten and seem poised to win a race soon. I can see the confidence coming back, and that's a big thing in racing."
Blaney and the DB Racing crew have been working hard to prove they deserve to be considered contenders at every WoO event. After working through some early season problems, the team has been consistent. Blaney has qualified the #93 Amoco Maxim 11th or better in 17 of the last 19 races including a Fast-Time at I-80 Speedway, and has Top-Ten finishes in 11 of those programs with a stretch of seven consecutive including four Top-Fives during that span. Last weekend at Hagerstown Speedway, mechanical problems cost the team two Top-Ten finishes.
"We thought it might take some time," said Blaney, who moved into sixth-place following a fifth at Tri-City Speedway on April 15th. "D.J., Gene and I are beginning to work well together, and they are doing a great job of getting the car comfortable for me. We knew the Maxim cars were good and that the Mopar's had plenty of horsepower, but we've been pleasantly surprised with how quickly we've been able to get the combination working well together. We'd like to get more Top-fives and have more chances to win, but we're confident that will come in time.
"Recently, we've just had little things knock us out that are really out of our control. On Saturday, we broke a rearend gear while running eighth, and th e following night we broke a valve spring in the Feature. That's the second time we broke a vale spring this year. Those things usually don't happen that frequently, but we know we've got things headed in the right direction." The track layout at Lowe's Motor Speedway has been described to being similar to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH. Blaney won the biggest race of his career at Eldora in 1998 when he claimed the $100,000 first place check by winning the Historical Big One. Blaney knows the atmosphere for both races will be similar to Eldora and is happy the team will get the chance to race in this kind of spotlight.
"Our sport is headed in the right direction, and we need to be racing in markets like Charlotte," said Blaney, a former draft choice of the Los Angeles Lakers. " I know a lot of the NASCAR people will be on hand, and I'm sure they're going to enjoy the show we put on. I really hope we can get two good lanes to race on so that everyone can experience what sprint car racing is all about."
Both nights of the Wix Filters Southern Showdown will be aired live on TNN Sports and the Performance Racing Network.