MEYERS FINSHES 3RD AT SKAGIT, AND CLOSES IN ON THE POINT LEADER DRAMATICALLY. Meyers came into Skagit Speedway trailing 3-time and defending champion Donny Schatz by 86 points in the 2009 World of Outlaw championship, knowing that the end of the...
MEYERS FINSHES 3RD AT SKAGIT, AND CLOSES IN ON THE POINT LEADER DRAMATICALLY.
Meyers came into Skagit Speedway trailing 3-time and defending champion Donny Schatz by 86 points in the 2009 World of Outlaw championship, knowing that the end of the season is quickly approaching he would have to make up the ground quickly. "Donny Schatz and his team are very good at what they do and that is why they have won three championships. We have got to make every night count right now and make sure we finish races if we plan to fight for the championship," said Meyers.
Meyers began the evening qualifying in the 10th position, lining him up next to the 24t of Tyler Walker on the front row of the 2nd heat race. Meyers battled Walker down the front straight and into turn 1 with Walker taking the advantage. Meyers went onto finish 2nd, as the track was quite narrow and did not allow passing, qualifying him for the Crane Cams Dash.
Meyers pulled the 6 pill for the dash and lined up outside the 3rd row. On the start, Meyers charged to the top of turns one and two, but could not find a clear line. Slipping to the 7th position on lap 2, Meyers would settle in and finish in the 7th position lining him up inside the fourth row for the A main.
The Elite Racing team was hard at work between the dash and the A main making numerous chassis adjustments to the GLR Investments KPC chassis. During the intermission, track officials worked on the race track to try and widen the groove in order to permit more passing between the competitors. For the majority of the night, the track had been very fast, but also very narrow which prevented the cars from passing.
At the drop of the green flag for Friday nights A main, Meyers charged into the 6th position where he would ride for the next 10 laps. The track was still very narrow and lapped traffic seemed to be the only chance to make a move on the car in front of you. Several cautions and red flags came during the 30 lap event as the narrow conditions provided some very violent crashes. Meyers steadily worked his way to the front eventually making it to the 3rd position behind leader Joey Saldana and 2nd place Jason Sides. On a late race restart, Meyers pulled side by side with the 7s of Sides, but could not complete the pass.
Meyers came home in the 3rd position earning 144 championship points for the evening. Saldana's race win brought him closer to Meyers in the point's standings, and a violent crash involving the 15 of Donny Schatz allowed Meyers and Saldana both to close on the point leader. At the close of the night, Meyers trails Donny Schatz by only 52 points in the championship.
"Tonight was a tough night for everyone, but our team fought hard all night and I think we learned some things tonight that will make us better from the start tomorrow night. We did what we needed to do tonight and that was finish," commented Meyers.
Jason Meyers and the Elite Racing team will be back in action Saturday night at Skagit Speedway as they look to win the race they came so close to winning in 2008, before losing the lead to Saldana on a late race restart.
REDEMPTION FOR MEYERS WITH 20K VICTORY AT SKAGIT SPEEDWAY!
When Jason Meyers walked into the pit area tonight he had one thing on his mind, and that was the challenge that was in front of him of winning a race that slipped away from him in 2008 on a late race restart. "I have tried to win at this track for a lot of years, and I always seem to come up short whether we run second or fall out when leading as we did in the 2002 World of Outlaw event when contact with a lapped car knocked the front end out of my car. Skagit is somewhat of a home track for me, being on the west coast and it would mean a lot to our entire team to win here," said Meyers proceeding Saturday nights race.
The GLR #14 drew the 2 pill for qualifying and would use that position to break the track record being the first car to qualify in the 10 second bracket at Skagit Speedway. But that record would not hold as local racer Jamie Barnes would eclipse Meyers by less than .06 seconds, only to be beat by Jason Sides who set the new record with an impressive 10.787 seconds.
Meyers lined up in the 4th starting position in heat four behind Lucas Wolfe. The 1st and 3rd qualifiers had already raced their way into the dash automatically qualifying Meyers for the Crane Cams dash as long as he finished in the top 5 in the heat. Meyers and Wolfe went straight to the top with Wolfe taking the lead down the back straight away. Meyers put all four wheels in the cushion entering turn three and moved into the 2nd position behind leader Wolfe as they exited turn four. Meyers would finish 2nd behind Wolfe.
The dash draw was up next and it came down to the 3, 5, and 7 when it was Meyers' turn to draw. With fingers crossed, a young fan sporting his new Jason Meyers T-shirt reached into the jar and pulled out the 7 pill placing Meyers inside the 4th row for the dash. "Well that's not what we wanted to see, but it will have to do," commented Meyers. When the green flag flew, cars went in all directions as Meyers charged the cushion moving into 6th. When the cars entered turn three, Meyers jumped the high side again and Jac Haudenschild put a slide job on him. Meyers quickly turned back underneath the R19 and moved past the 5th place car as well. Meyers then set his sights on the 33 of Barnes, chasing him down when the yellow and then red flag flew for the 7k of Shane Stewart who had broken drive line. On the restart, Meyers maintained the 4th position where he would line up for the A main.
Tonight's A main was 40 laps with $20,000.00 going to the victor. In 2008, Meyers led from lap 1 until lap 34 when Saldana moved past on a restart to take the win. "Last year was a heart breaker, and it took me a long time to get over that. We had done so well through traffic and it seemed like we had 10 restarts there at the end of the race and I was fine on 9 of them, but it was the 10th restart that counted and it cost us," said Meyers. Tonight was a new night though, and another chance for Meyers to capture victory at Skagit Speedway.
At the drop of the green, Meyers raced to the top in turns one and two, but the red flag flew for the #18 car who started in the 3rd position as he turned over entering turn one. On the restart, Meyers lined up again in the 4th position this time with Friday nights winner Joey Saldana to his inside. Meyers and Saldana raced side by side into turn one on the restart with Meyers going to the high side and exiting turn two in the 3rd position. Meyers went high in turn 3 and turned to the bottom of four passing Side for the 2nd position, only to see the yellow flag fly taking away the pass. On the restart, Meyers went to the high side again passing side for the 2nd position off turn two and now chasing Barnes for the lead. The leaders entered lapped traffic on lap 7 and on lap 8 Barnes went high in turn three to pass a lapped car as Meyers went to the bottom. Meyers made the pass on Barnes exiting turn four for the lead as Meyers closed the gap between the bottom and the lapped car before Barnes could fill the lane. The yellow flag flew on lap 9 for Barnes who had suffered a flat front tire after contact with Meyers and the lapped car.
For the remaining 31 laps, Meyers restarted with perfection and sliced through lapped traffic stretching his lead to 4.1 seconds at one point in the race. Several cautions and red flags flew throughout the event, with Meyers pulling away on each restart. On lap 32, Meyers entered lapped traffic again and was only held up once, as Saldana closed, but could not get close enough to pass. Meyers then cleared the lapped car and again stretched his advantage. One final restart on lap 34 saw Meyers again pull away. On lap 37, Meyers entered lapped traffic for the last time quickly passing the cars around the high side and capturing the win and the $20,000.00 prize with Saldana in 2nd.
"This one is really special to this entire team. This is the biggest paying Outlaw race I have ever won. I always seem to win the night before the big race, but then have trouble on the big money night. Last year, I led four of the money races and finished 2nd in three of them and did not finish the 4th. It feels good to get the monkey off our back," exclaimed Meyers in victory lane.
Meyers' victory and his 4th place qualifying effort earned him 152 points and propelled him to within 36 points of the championship leader Donny Schatz. Meyers and the Elite Racing team will head to Grays Harbor Raceway for competition on Monday evening and then to Cottage Grove Speedway in Oregon on Tuesday before traveling to their home state of California for the Gold Cup in Chico, CA next weekend. Heading to Chico, Wrapping up the Gold Rush Tour A BUSY WEEK FOR ELITE RACING AS THEY WRAP UP THE 2009 GOLD RUSH TOUR
The Elite Racing team and Jason Meyers will be busy the next few days as they compete on 4 of the next 6 nights traveling from Elma, WA to Chico, CA. These final three events will wrap up the 2009 Gold Rush Tour, leaving only 10 races in the 2009 season as the team's head east again towards the season finale World Finals in Charlotte, NC November 5-7.
In 2008, Meyers finished 6th in Elma, WA after rubber down conditions made for a long race with very little passing. On the following night, it appeared that Meyers was poised for victory as he made it to the lead before the track took rubber once again at the Cottage Grove Speedway. Unfortunately, contact between Schatz and Meyers sent Meyers into the front straightaway wall putting Meyers out of the race. Meyers had narrowed Schatz' 2008 point lead to only 66 points prior to that evening, but suffered a big setback with the DNF and Schatz' victory.
At the 2008 Gold Cup, Meyers rebounded winning his qualifying night and sitting on the front row for the 50K payday. Meyers lead 24 laps of the 40 lap event, but was collected by a spinning lapped car ending his chances for the victory. "This week last year was miserable for me to say the least. All week, we were right where we needed to be, and got the rug ripped out from underneath us time and time again. We hope this year will be different. All we can do is put our best effort forward and make every moment count. That's what we intend to do and time will tell how it will play out," commented Meyers.
With only 36 points separating Schatz and Meyers, the final races of the 2009 season should be very exciting for sprint car fans across the country as Jason Meyers and the Elite Racing team attempt to win their first World of Outlaws championship.