MEYERS ON FIRE WINNING PRELIM NIGHT AT GOLD CUP GO HARD....OR GO HOME..... It's the 2009 Gold Cup Race of Champions and the point's race is on hold. This weekend is all about pride and $50,000.00. With the points chase on hold, Meyers and the...
MEYERS ON FIRE WINNING PRELIM NIGHT AT GOLD CUP
GO HARD....OR GO HOME..... It's the 2009 Gold Cup Race of Champions and the point's race is on hold. This weekend is all about pride and $50,000.00.
With the points chase on hold, Meyers and the Elite Racing team headed to Chico, CA this week on a roll and poised to go after the Gold Cup. Meyers qualified in the 9th position to start the evening, spotting him outside the front row of heat 1 next to local young gun Kyle Hirst.
When the green flag fell, Meyers used his outside starting position to power to the lead in turn one. Meyers went on to win the heat race qualifying the GLR Investments, DDNI, #14 for the Crane Cams Dash. Jason was greeted by his soon to be 2 year old daughter Delaney for the nights dash draw. Delaney reached into the cup pulling out the 3 pill placing dad inside of row 2.
The dash race saw the front two rows finish just as they started. The track had remained narrow and passing was still very difficult. Track officials went to work packing the track in an effort to widen the groove to allow passing in the A main. At the finish of the B main, the track was in great shape and ready for the A main drivers to put on a show.
Meyers had been fast throughout the night, and you could see in his eyes that he wanted this one. At the drop of the green, Meyers charged to 2nd place behind leader Sammy Swindell. The leaders set sail and by lap 4 were already in traffic. Meyers kept pace with Swindell as they worked their way through traffic and on lap 9, he made his move. Swindell went to the top of turns 1 and 2 to pass a lapped car getting hung up and Meyers immediately turned to the bottom making the pass off of turn 2. Meyers shifted gears after making the pass and stretched his lead to over a straightaway, slicing his way through traffic masterfully.
The advantage would all disappear though on lap 17 when the caution flag fell. Danny Lasoski had made his way to 2nd and challenged Meyers on the high side on the restart, but Meyers powered off turn 2 leaving the #6 car behind. Meyers moved to the high side to see if the groove had come in only to see Lasoski slip to the bottom. The two raced side by side off turn two, but the red flag flew allowing Meyers to maintain the lead. "That's the hard part about leading; you never know what is happening behind you. I saw that Danny had moved through the field and he obviously was good around the top on the restart, so I thought I had to go up there to avoid getting beat. As it turns out, I almost did get beat and I should have stuck with my line. I definitely got a gift tonight with that red flag," said Meyers. On the restart, Meyers was back in rhythm and it showed. Meyers again stretched his lead to over a straightaway taking the win for the 3rd night in a row. Meyers won his Gold Cup qualifying feature in 2008 before going on to lead 24 laps of the A main and having the win ripped from his grasp by a spinning lapped car.
The victory along with the heat race win and a 9th place qualifying effort placed the GLR #14 3rd overall in the points. After the second half of the field raced Friday night, Meyers slipped to 5th overall placing him inside of row 3 for the Saturday night finale with $50,000.00 going to the winner.
THE STREAK ENDS AS MEYERS FINISHES 3RD
In 2008, Jason Meyers was on his way to winning his first ever Gold Cup Race of Champions when a spinning lapped car came across the track taking the front end out of his #14 KPC chassis, ending his chances. "That was a heart breaker and one I intend to get back. Chico is like home to me and this race really means a lot to our entire team. Tonight we start 5th and if the track is right, I think we can get it done from there," commented Meyers before the night began.
The track was rather narrow early in the evening and many teams began to question if the track would allow for a good race. All their questions were answered after the B main when the track quickly went the other direction, or so they thought.
Meyers started the race from the 5th position and was 6th after lap 1. Slick track conditions and a few unruly ruts were the cause for over 6 stoppages during the main event including an open red flag halfway through the race. One of the first cautions came on lap 2 when Tim Kaeding sliding off of turn 4. This moved Meyers into the 5th position behind Sammy Swindell. Meyers then made his way past Sammy Swindell and Jonathan Allard on two of the following restarts. Jason Sides had set a torrid pace, but seemed to struggle when he entered lapped traffic. The leaders were in heavy lapped traffic on lap 17 and the race was getting ready to heat up when the caution flag flew again. Meyers challenged Saldana on the restart but could not get enough traction off of turn 2 to complete the pass. The leaders stretched out until lapped traffic, but once again the caution flag flew. On lap 34, the green flag flew for the last time and Meyers and Saldana were pounding the cushion trying to run down leader Jason Sides. As the leaders took the white flag, they caught traffic and Saldana and Meyers moved to within 2 car lengths of Sides. Down the back shoot Sides went to the middle of 3 and 4, but a lapped car slid up blocking him. Saldana went to the high scary side and Meyers charged the bottom. Saldana swept past Sides stealing the win and Meyers had to settle for 3rd as he crossed the line on the back bumper of the 7s of Sides.
It will be another 365 days before Meyers can once again try to win the Gold Cup. "It was a good run for us, just not as good as we would have liked. Sometimes you can get the job done, and other times you have to just get what you can. Tonight's track was wide, but did not really have two grooves. We needed lapped traffic and we just didn't get enough of it. Too many cautions tonight cost us our chance," said Meyers. Up Next for Elite Racing...
The Elite Racing team will now head to Spencer, IA to resume the points chase. With only 11 races left, and a 29 point deficit to overcome, Meyers is poised to win his first World of Outlaw championship. "The next 11 races should be very exciting for the fans. We are not going to change anything. I told the team, just do what you do. That is what got us here, and that is what will carry us to the top," commented Meyers.