Eldora III: Race report

ROSSBURG, OH (August 8) -- Jason Meyers, who hit the retaining wall and almost spun a lap after taking the lead late in the race, held off hard-charging Jac Haudenschild to win Friday's "Night Before The Big One" event at Eldora Speedway. ...

ROSSBURG, OH (August 8) -- Jason Meyers, who hit the retaining wall and almost spun a lap after taking the lead late in the race, held off hard-charging Jac Haudenschild to win Friday's "Night Before The Big One" event at Eldora Speedway.

Meyers, who started driving Karavan Motorsports' #7 VMAC Maxim a week after Craig Dollansky suffered a back injury in the Infiniti Pro Series' Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 17th, led the final 8 2/3 laps to win his second "A" Feature of the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series' 25th Anniversary Season.

"This is just awesome," said Meyers, who also won at Fox Ridge Speedway. "D.J. Lindsey and Bryan Sundby have given me a great car not only tonight, but the whole time I've been in this car. Scott Benic was here helping out tonight as well, and the Maxim Chassis and Hoosier Tires worked to perfection. Charlie Garrett worked really hard building us this brand new motor, and I'm sure he'll be tickled to death that we won the first night out with it.

"It was getting pretty thin up there getting off of turn two, and I smacked the wall pretty hard there. I was surprised that nobody went by me. Jac did a great job. He started pretty far back there, so congratulations to him and his team.

"I kind of let my guys down in the Dash and gave up a front row starting spot, but the sign of a great team is when guys stick beside you when you make a mistake. We made some changes to the car after the Dash, and we were really good all the way through the feature.

"My mom, my sister and my wife just came out today. I haven't seen my wife in a couple of weeks, so we have a lot of reasons to celebrate tonight."

Meyers, the seventh-fastest qualifier in the seventh-fastest qualifier in the 32-car field, started the 30-lap main event inside the third row after following Ryan Coniam and fast qualifier Stevie Smith across the finish line in the First Dash Race.

Coniam burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature. Meyers and Jimmy Stinson exchanged fifth place during the first three laps.

Smith, who was two car-lengths behind Coniam when the entered lapped traffic during the sixth lap, took the lead with an inside move between the first and second corners two laps later. Donny Schatz, who won the Second Dash Race, drove his #15 Parker Stores J&J past Coniam deep in turn three several seconds later. Meyers passed Coniam for third place the next time around.

Meyers, who led the first 21 laps in Wednesday's main event at Hartford Speedway Park, lined up behind Smith after Schatz stopped in the second corner with a broken rear end early in the 12th lap. Kenny Jacobs stopped on the front straightaway with a blown engine one lap later.

Smith was seven car-lengths ahead of Meyers when he caught the back-markers during lap 19. The Fresno, CA, racer caught Smith quickly, and passed the 1990 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year for the lead with an inside move between turns one and two early in the 22nd lap.

Haudenschild, who started outside the fifth row, drove the #4 Racetohawaii.com Maxim around Smith entering the second corner the next time around. "The Wild Child" almost took the lead when Meyers hit the wall and turned sideways in turn two several seconds later.

Mechanical problems in the #11H Vivarin Maxim forced Paul McMahan to stop in the third corner early in lap 23. Chad Kemenah also dropped out of the race during the caution period.

O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the low groove in turn three and slid in front of Smith in the fourth corner to claim third place within a lap after the race resumed.

Haudenschild was only a car-length behind Meyers when the leaders entered lapped traffic again with 2 ½ laps remaining. "The Wild Child" bumped the wall in turn two as he tried to pull off a last-lap pass, and was two car-lengths behind at the checkered flag.

"We had a pretty good run tonight," Haudenschild said. "We were right there at the end, and I just kind of brushed the wall there in turn two on the last lap, but Mike Thurman and the guys did a great job. My car owner, Larry Woodward, has given me everything we need. It's great to have a good car owner and to be able to run up front again. We've had kind of an up and down season, and haven't gotten to race much. It's good to be able to be back out here on the road. We feel pretty good about our chances for tomorrow night. We'll just have to come back here and run one spot better."

Kinser held off Smith for third place. Sammy Swindell finished fifth, ahead of Coniam, NASCAR Busch Series driver Kasey Kahne, 17th-starting Greg Hodnett, Danny Lasoski and Brian Paulus.

The O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series will sanction the 43rd Annual Ford Dealers of Iowa Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway Wednesday through Saturday.

-WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Kenny Jacobs , Brian Paulus , Jason Meyers , Paul McMahan , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah