World of Outlaws Preview: Eldora Speedway Rossburg, OH--May 6, 2009--Many things have changed since the inaugural World of Outlaws season in 1978, but one that has remained the same is that for 31 consecutive years the series has visited the...
World of Outlaws Preview: Eldora Speedway
Rossburg, OH--May 6, 2009--Many things have changed since the inaugural World of Outlaws season in 1978, but one that has remained the same is that for 31 consecutive years the series has visited the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio. That tradition will continue this weekend as the series visited the track for the first time in 2009 for two full nights of racing on Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9.
Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion and the winningest driver in the history of Eldora Speedway, leads the series into the high-banked half-mile on the strength of 14 Top-10 finishes in 15 events this season, including a win at Tri-State Speedway in his home state of Indiana back on April 25. His most recent win at Eldora came in 2007 and he has nearly 60 victories in his career at the track.
Joey Saldana was the only driver that won more than once at Eldora last season with the World of Outlaws, picking up a victory in the Knight Before the Kings Royal in July and he was also victorious in September. Also scoring wins last year at the track were three-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz, Craig Dollansky and Daryn Pittman in the Kings Royal.
The World of Outlaws have competed 124 total times at Eldora since 1978 including preliminary features, with 30 different drivers picking up A-Feature wins over that span. Of the drivers currently competing full-time with the series, seven have visited the winner's circle with the series at the track.
Slidejobs- Eldora Speedway:
Master of Eldora: Steve Kinser has 57 career wins at Eldora Speedway, with six of those coming in the famed Kings Royal. Dating back to his debut at the track in 1977, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, has nearly 150 Top-10 finishes. His most recent win at the track came in 2007 in the Knight Before the Kings Royal. After a third-place finish at Knoxville Raceway last weekend, he continues to lead the World of Outlaws championship standings on the strength of 14 Top-10 finishes in the first 15 races of the season.
An impressive track record: Sammy Swindell, the three-time World of Outlaws champion has 33 career wins at Eldora Speedway. He lasted raced at the track in the spring of 2006, winning both of those events. He made his debut at the high-banked half-mile back in 1976, winning in just his second start at the famed track. The native of Germantown, Tennessee is eighth in points this season on the strength of 10 Top-10 finishes.
Home on the high banks: Jac Haudenschild has won 23 times at the track in his home state in his career, with eight of those coming in World of Outlaws events. The native of Wooster, Ohio has won the Kings Royal three times over the years. Haudenschild has well over 100 Top-10 finishes at the track dating back to his debut on the high-banked half-mile in 1978.
"I always like running Eldora," said Haudenschild. "It's one of the tracks that is fun to race on. We're looking forward to it and hopefully we can get the R19 up front."
Always a contender: Joey Saldana has 17 career wins at Eldora, including three last season. He has won seven times in World of Outlaws action at the half-mile and been victorious in each of the last three seasons with the series at the track. The native of Brownsburg, Indiana leads the World of Outlaws with five A-Feature wins this season and is third in points for Kasey Kahne Racing.
Racing at the boss' track: Donny Schatz, who drives for Tony Stewart who also owns Eldora, has four career wins at the track, including one last year. The North Dakota native has over 40 career Top-10 finishes at Eldora. He won at Knoxville Raceway last Saturday night to claim his fourth win of the 2009 campaign, all of which have been on half-mile tracks. He is currently second in points, just 25 markers behind Steve Kinser.
"Eldora is one of those places where I feel like I have left a lot on the table the last couple of years," said Schatz. "We got a Kings Royal win there in '07, and we've had good finishes, we just haven't had the ability to win like we have at places like Knoxville (Raceway) and that's something we want to turn around. I feel like if I don't start winning there, Tony (Stewart) will want to hire someone else to start running Eldora. We just have to get there and do a good job and get some victories. That's what we are all about right now, winning races."
A couple of wins: Jason Meyers has won twice in his career at Eldora Speedway. He finished second at the track twice last season en route to matching his career-best finish in the championship standings with a runner-up performance. The California native is currently fourth in points on the strength of 11 Top-10 finishes.
Three's company: Jason Sides has finished third in the early spring race at Eldora in each of the last two seasons with the World of Outlaws. The 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner has one with at the half-mile in his career, with that coming in the 2004 Kings Royal. He scored his 11th Top-10 finish of the season last weekend is currently fifth in points.
Back on track: Craig Dollansky will make his first start for Kasey Kahne Racing at Eldora this weekend, and it will also mark his first start at the track since a violent crash last September ended his 2008 season early and required him to have surgery on his right arm. In his career at the blazing fast half-mile, the native of Elk River, Minnesota has six wins, including in the first race at the track last sprint and over 40 Top-10 finishes. He also holds the track record of 12.707 which he established in 2002.
Always near the front: Terry McCarl has seven career Top-Five finishes at Eldora Speedway as he looks to visit the winner's circle at the legendary track for the first time in his career. He made his debut at the track in 1993, finishing a very solid seventh and has over 20 Top-10 finishes at the facility.
Continuing to climb: Kerry Madsen doubled his output of career Top-10 finishes at Eldora last season scoring four runs of tenth or better in the five events contested by the World of Outlaws at the half-mile. He finished a career-best fourth in the April race and followed that up with three more strong runs, including an eighth-place showing in the famed Kings Royal.
Running consistent: Danny Lasoski has won twice in his career at Eldora and have nearly 60 Top-10 finishes. The 2001 World of Outlaws champion continues his first season driving for veteran car owner Lonnie Parsons of Iowa. He finished sixth last weekend at Knoxville Raceway and moved into the ninth spot in the championship standings.
Plenty of memories: Kraig Kinser has been attending races at Eldora Speedway for longer than he can remember, as he has seen his father Steve has turned countless laps and pick up numerous victories at the track. The third generation drive finished fifth in his last start at the half-mile last September and looks to carry that momentum into this weekend at his car owner Tony Stewart' s prized track.
"It's always fun heading to Eldora," said Kinser. "The track is fast and you have to be able to get up on the hill and pound the cushion. We had some things go against us there early last year but, in September, we were really competitive. The Bass Pro Shops car was really fast all night and we ended up with a top-five finish. Those are the kind of nights we'd like to have this weekend."
Not intimidated: Sam Hafertepe Jr., who is in his third full season with the World of Outlaws, continues to gain priceless experience at Eldora. He finished eighth and 10th with the World of Outlaws last season to earn his first two career Top-10 finishes at the track. He also was second in an unsanctioned race there last summer.
Looking for No. 2: Lucas Wolfe won for the first time in his career at Eldora in 2007. He picked up a couple of Top-10 finishes at the track last season as he looks to make his way back to Victory Lane at the famed half-mile as he continues his sophomore season on tour.
A track he knows: For the third consecutive weekend, Brian Ellenberger, who is a contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, will visit a track he has competed at in the past. He has three career Top-10 finishes at Eldora Speedway, including a third-place run in 2000.
By the Numbers: Eldora Speedway
0.5-Miles around Eldora Speedway
1- Driver competing full-time with the World of Outlaws this season that hails from the state of Ohio, Jac Haudenschild
3- Drivers that have won on half-mile tracks with the World of Outlaws this season
4- Drivers that won with the World of Outlaws at the half-mile last season
7- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws this season
8- Events for the World of Outlaws in Ohio this season
12.707- Track record established by Craig Dollansky in 2002
13- Drivers that have won a Crane Cams Dash this season to earn pole positions in main events
14- Top-10 finishes for Steve Kinser this season to lead the World of Outlaws
15- Events contested by the World of Outlaws through May 2
17- Drivers that have led laps in A-Feature competition this season
25- Points that separate Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz atop the World of Outlaws standings
30- Consecutive seasons that the World of Outlaws have competed at Eldora Speedway
57- Career wins for Steve Kinser at Eldora Speedway
94- Laps led by Joey Saldana at Eldora Speedway last season
124- Total races for the World of Outlaws at Eldora Speedway including preliminary features dating back to 1978
549- Miles from Knoxville, Iowa where the World of Outlaws competed on May 2 to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio
1978- Year the World of Outlaws first visited Eldora Speedway
10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, May 8; Dollars the winner will receive on Saturday, May 9
67,650- Dollars earned by Donny Schatz this season to lead the series
Tickets: On Friday, May 8 at Eldora Speedway, tickets for those ages 16-over will be $25, with tickets for those ages 12-15 just $15, with children ages 7-11 $6 with kids 6-under admitted free of charge. For tickets visit www.eldoraspeedway.com or call the track at 937-338-3815.
On Saturday, May 9 at Eldora Speedway, tickets for those ages 16-over will be $25, with tickets for those ages 12-15 just $15, with children ages 7-11 $6 with kids 6-under admitted free of charge. For tickets visit www.eldoraspeedway.com or call the track at 937-338-3815.