Man of Steel: Jason Meyers wins the Ironman 55 Being on the road with the World of Outlaws and racing approximately 80 times a year can easily take a toll on those who cannot withstand the grueling schedule reaching coast-to-coast and even north...
Man of Steel: Jason Meyers wins the Ironman 55
Being on the road with the World of Outlaws and racing approximately 80 times a year can easily take a toll on those who cannot withstand the grueling schedule reaching coast-to-coast and even north of the border. In this form of racing you have to be strong and you have to bounce back from adversity. This weekend Jason Meyers proved how tough he was by overcoming a blown engine in qualifying and then taking on 55 grueling laps at I-55 Raceway. Not only did he endure through the week of racing action, but Meyers ended the weekend by winning one of the most notable races of the season.
Fulton New York: Fighting Back
Sometimes being strong does not mean being the fastest on the track. Sometimes it means fighting back when luck throws you a curve ball. Jason Meyers and his Elite Racing crew did jut that on Tuesday night at Fulton Speedway in New York. After the team lost an engine in qualifying, they fought back to make the best of what had been thrown at them.
Meyers would transfer to the A-main through his heat race, but then the work would begin for the main event. Starting in the 22nd position, Meyers would have plenty of work before him. By Lap 10, Meyers had climbed into the 13th position and had his eye on a top-ten finish. Meyers would battle with Chad Kemenah and Lucas Wolfe for the 12th position. First Meyers would get past Wolfe on Lap 17.
With laps running down, Meyers would move into the top-ten on Lap 27. With a final scramble for position over the last three laps, Meyers would get past Danny Lasoski and Donnie Schatz to finish in the 8th position. Steve Kinser went on to win the event, and Meyers would take the KSE Hard Charger Award.
"Tonight we did not give up and fought back all night," Meyers said. "I have to really thank my crew for doing such a quick engine change and getting everything back on track. We were able to pick a lot of positions up in the feature and walk away with a top-ten finish. It was not what we wanted, so we will have to regroup and get ready for Pevely."
I-55 Raceway: The Prelude to the Ironman 55
On Friday night at I-55 Raceway Meyers ran strong, but just fell a few positions short. After recording quick time in qualifying, Meyers in the #14 DDNI KPC secured the fifth starting position in the dash. Upon the start of the main event, Meyers fell back to 6th on the start as Dollansky got around him going into Turn 1.
Meyers would spend the early part of the event chasing Kraig Kinser, but when given a chance on Lap 5, Meyers would pull to the inside of Kinser to retake the 5th position. Meyers would then set his sights on Craig Dollanksy. Meyers closed on the 7 car, but was unable to make the pass before the first yellow flag of the event flew on lap 17.
On the restart, Steve Kinser would get by using the high line. With Kinser on the move, Meyers would set his sights on 5th place running Donny Schatz. Meyers would close on the #15 car, but was unable to make the pass. With Tim Shaffer going on to take the victory, Meyers would have to settle for a 6th place finish.
"We have been in a little bit of a lull this last month," stated Meyers. "I keep saying that with hard work we will overcome it and get back to Victory Lane. My guys are working really hard right now. Fortunately we got some good information that will hopefully help us tomorrow night. We are going to make those changes and hopefully come back to the track stronger tomorrow."
I-55 Raceway: The Ironman
A lot can happen in 55 laps. That was apparent as Jason Meyers won the Ironman 55 by just .092 of a second after one of the longest races on the World of Outlaws schedule, which is ironic since the longest race produced the closest racing action of the season.
Meyers opened the night with a top-ten qualifying run and backed that up in the dash capturing the second starting spot for the feature event. When the feature began, pole sitter Tim Shaffer dashed out into the lead on Lap 1, but on the next revolution of the circuit, Meyers fought back getting to his inside on the back stretch. Shaffer would retake the lead coming out of Turn 4, so Meyers tucked in and stalked Shaffer as the field first started encountering lapped traffic.
After a restart on Lap 7, Meyers would start on the bottom and the 15h of Sam Hafertepe Jr. would get to his outside to take away the second position, but Meyers fought back. Another yellow flag would slow racing action on Lap 10 and on the following restart Meyers would fall back to fourth momentarily as Joey Saldana got past him, but he fought back to retake the third position. Meyers would then set his sights on Hafertepe. When the field started encountering traffic, Meyers was able to use it to his advantage to retake the second position.
Back in the second position, Meyers started reeling in leader Tim Shaffer. The two would run nose-to-tail for several laps, before Meyers got to his outside in traffic. Meyers would steal the lead from Shaffer on Lap 29 and pull out to a sizable margin. Meyers would have to endure another restart on Lap 32, but held the lead. Just as Meyers was building another gap over second place Shaffer, another yellow flag caused the officials to throw the red so that crews could fill their cars with fuel.
Meyers would choose the low line for the final restart. Meyers would hold on to the lead, but Lucas Wolfe was closing quickly. With two laps to go Wolfe was nose-to-tail with Meyers. Coming to the checkered flag, Wolfe would use a slide job to get around Meyers in turns 3 and 4. Drag racing to the line Wolfe got a little sideways which let Meyers edge him at the line by just .092 of a second.
After enduring 55 laps, Meyers took home a $20,000 payday and recorded his eighth win of the season. This was also Meyers' 43 career World of Outlaws win.
"To win any race here, let alone a 55-lap race is pretty special," Meyers said. "We had a great race tonight and learned some things last night that we were able to use tonight. We just keep getting better. We struggled a bit here in the middle of the season and kept digging and kept our heads down. This entire team is doing an amazing job. I have to thank DDNI, GLR Investments, Media Tile, TriQuint, Elite Landscaping and everyone who is behind us week after week. It was a long race and we were a little tight at the beginning, but we set up for that. I waited for the car to kind of come to me and it did after the fuel came off a little bit. It ended up being a very good car tonight. I was thinking I made the wrong decision when he (Lucas Wolfe) came by me, but I was able to get back by him. He drove a great race and is a very good drive and has many good years ahead of him. It's great to race guys like that. We feel very confident going into Knoxville. We needed this. We have been working very hard and it hasn't been paying off, so for it to pay off tonight is exactly what we needed heading into Knoxville Nationals."
The Elite Racing team will be making their yearly homage this week to Knoxville, Iowa for the Knoxville Nationals. After unveiling their special paint scheme at 2:00 pm at the Hall of Fame Museum on Tuesday August 10, the team will be ready to race. Meyers will qualify on Wednesday night August 11 with the finale on Saturday night August 14.
Jason on Knoxville Nationals
"Knoxville is definitely one of those races that you circle on your calendar each year. My team has been working on the car for awhile now. It makes it extra special that we have the Lane Group on board again this year and with the All Star Performance paint scheme unveiling on Tuesday. Everything is coming together to make this a great Knoxville Nationals. Once the fanfare is all over on Tuesday, it is time to get into race mode. With the race being 50 laps this year it should be extra challenging. We came close to winning in 2008, so hopefully this will be the year we get to redeem ourselves."
-source: elite racing