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Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: River Cities Speedway Grand Forks, ND-- June 24, 2008--Ever since the 2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule was announced most of the drivers had ...

Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: River Cities Speedway

Grand Forks, ND-- June 24, 2008--Ever since the 2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule was announced most of the drivers had Friday, June 27 circled on their calendars. That's because the series will make their second consecutive visit to the blazing fast, high-banked, River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The track is one of just three tracks on the schedule where the drivers flirt with sub-10-second laps. The race will serve as the opener of the 2008 Gerdau Ameristeel Northern Tour, which will encompass four tracks in the state of North Dakota beginning this weekend and wrapping up in August.

Donny Schatz, the two-time defending Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws champion who hails from North Dakota, has one career win at River Cities Speedway, with that coming in 1995. He finished third in the World of Outlaws debut at the track last season. He currently leads the series with seven A-Feature wins, including in the series most recent event at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas. Schatz leads the championship standings by 55 markers over Jason Meyers, and is the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in all 22 events this season.

Jason Meyers has three career Top-10 finishes at River Cities Speedway, including a runner-up performance in 2000 in a World of Outlaws Gumout Series event at the track. The native of Clovis, California leads the series with 18 Top-Five finishes in 2008, as he continues to chase his first World of Outlaws title. He has won five A-Feature wins this season.

Craig Dollansky is a former winner at River Cities Speedway, taking the checkered flag in 2000 holding off Meyers in that World of Outlaws Gumout Series event. In three starts at the high-banked three-tenths mile, he has three finishes of eighth or better. The Minnesota native has four A-Feature wins this season, to go along with 21 Top-10 finishes in 22 starts. He is currently third in the championship point standings.

Joey Saldana turned in an impressive performance in his debut at River Cities Speedway last season. Having never seen the track until the afternoon of the race, he proceeded to set fast time in time trials, win a heat race, win the Crane Cams Dash and then win the A-Feature, leading all 40 laps. The second generation driver recently won his first event of the season at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas. He is fourth in points on the strength of 19 Top-10 finishes.

Jac Haudenschild won in his debut at River Cities Speedway in 1999, holding off fellow World of Outlaws driver Craig Dollansky for the triumph in weekly competition. In four career starts at the three-tenths mile track, he has four finishes of seventh or better, with three of those being in the Top-Three. He made a late charge on Saldana last season to make a bid for the win, coming up just inches short at the line in a photo finish that had the capacity crowd on their feet.

Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion has made three starts in his career at the track, earning two Top-10 finishes, including a third in 2006 with the National Sprint Tour. Kinser has two A-Feature wins this season and is just six points out of the Top-Five in the standings, on the strength of 12 Top-10 finishes.

Kerry Madsen, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner finished fifth at River Cities Speedway last season. He has two Top-10 finishes in three career starts at the high-banked track. The native of St. Mary's, NSW, Australia has 14 Top-10 finishes this season and is seventh in points.

Shane Stewart has made nine career starts at River Cities Speedway, earning two wins in 2001 with the World of Outlaws Gumout Series. He has seven career Top-10 finishes at the track and was fifth in his last visit there in 2006. He has won once this year and is currently eight in points on the strength of 12 Top-10 finishes driving for the Roth Motorsports team.

Chad Kemenah made his first career start at River Cities Speedway last season. The 2006 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year is currently ninth in points, with 10 Top-10 finishes. He finished fourth last Friday night at Dodge City Raceway Park.

Terry McCarl has won twice at River Cities Speedway during his career. The first win for the veteran driver was in 1999 and he followed that up with another triumph in 2003. He has six career Top-10 finishes at the high-banked track. The native of Altoona, Iowa has nine Top-10 finishes this season as he is 10th in points.

Daryn Pittman has made three starts in his career at the three-tenths mile, earning finishes of sixth or better in each of those events. He recently matched his season best performance with a runner-up finish at Dodge City Raceway Park. The native of Owasso, Oklahoma is just outside of the Top-10 in points.

Sam Hafertepe Jr. made his first career start at the track last season. The sophomore driver from Sunnyvale, Texas earned two Top-10 finishes last weekend at Dodge City Raceway Park and has eight on the season, as he continues to close in on the Top-10 in points.

Kraig Kinser, the 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has four career starts at River Cities Speedway and has finished in the Top-Five in all of those. His best finish of the lot was in 2001, when he was second in a World of Outlaws Gumout Series race at the track. He recently picked up his fifth Top-10 finishes of the season.

Jason Sides has five Top-10 finishes at River Cities Speedway in his career. He finished third in his debut at the track back in 1999. The 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has four Top-10 finishes this season.

Tim Shaffer made his first career start at the track last season, finishing just outside of the Top-10. The 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has four Top-10 finishes this season, with two of those being in the Top-Five.

Tony Bruce Jr. made his first start at River Cities Speedway last season during his rookie campaign with the World of Outlaws. The native of Liberal, Kansas picked up a Top-Five finish at the famed Knoxville Raceway a couple of weeks ago.

Chad Hillier, who continues his sophomore season with the World of Outlaws also made his debut at River Cities Speedway last season. The Washington native earned a Top-10 finish at Tri-City Speedway earlier this month and has been running very consistent the last few weeks.

Lucas Wolfe, the leading contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season will miss the event after suffering a back injury at Tri-City Speedway earlier this month.

2007 Race Recap: Joey Saldana became the first driver in 2007 to put together a clean sweep of a racing program at at World of Outlaws event, turning the quickest lap in time trials, winning a heat race, winning the Crane Cams Dash and eventually claiming the A-Feature event, leading all 40 laps of the main event in the process.

Saldana held off a furious charge by Jac Haudsenchild over the last two laps to earn the $10,000 payday by just 0.056 seconds, to mark the third closest finish of the season. Donny Schatz who battled Saldana for most of the race finished third, with Danny Lasoski fourth and Kerry Madsen fifth.

The race began with Saldana leading from the pole, with Steve Kinser quickly jumping into second. On the seventh lap, Kinser took the lead exiting the second turn in traffic, but Saldana powered back around the 20-time World of Outlaw champion coming off the fourth turn to officially be scored the leader at the line.

The pair along with Donny Schatz in third would continue to encounter dense traffic on the high-banked, high speed track. Saldana, Kinser and Schatz were bottled up in traffic for a couple of laps, before Schatz used the low side of the track to take the second spot from Kinser on the 26th lap. The red flag flew on the next go-around for an accident involving Kinser, who was running third at the time.

On the ensuing restart, Schatz would pressure Saldana for a number of laps, nearly taking the lead on several occasions. Schatz did take the lead on the 33 lap, but that was negated due to the caution flag flying. By way of World of Outlaws rules, a full lap must be scored for that lap to count. Thus, Schatz lined up in the second spot for the restart.

After enduring a couple more cautions, the three leaders were set for a two-lap shootout as the green flag flew. Haudenschild looked low entering the first turn, but could not quite make the pass. He tried the exact same move the next lap and took the leading as the pair exited the second turn. Joey Saldana used the momentum from the high side of the race track to power down the front straightaway and edged Haudenschild by mere inches at the line, in one of the most exciting races of the season, before a packed grandstand, with Schatz finishing third.

Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion finished fourth with Kerry Madsen rounding out the Top-Five.

What to look for at River Cities Speedway :

* The track record at River Cities Speedway is 9.66 seconds, while Joey Saldana set fast time last season in the World of Outlaws event with a lap of 9.952 seconds. The drivers will again be flirting with sub-10 second laps this season.

* Terry McCarl and Shane Stewart are the only World of Outlaws drivers that have won more than once at the track. Each has two wins at the high-banked facility.

* Donny Schatz, the two-time defending series champion who hails from the state of North Dakota has won once at the track in his home state and was third last season in the World of Outlaws debut at the track.

* Joey Saldana won by mere inches last season in a thriller with Jac Haudenschild. Saldana in his debut at the track completed a clean sweep of the racing program, setting fast time, winning a heat race, the Crane Cams Dash and eventually the A-Feature.

* Craig Dollansky is a former winner at River Cities Speedway. The Minnesota native has made three starts at the track and has finished eighth or better in all of them. He is currently third in points and has won four times in 2008 with the World of Outlaws.

* Jac Haudenschild has won at the track in the past, and always excels on high-banked bullrings. He is in his first season driving for the Carnahan Motorsports team and is fifth in points. He was just inches away from winning last season in a late race battle with Joey Saldana.

* Kraig Kinser will be making his first start at River Cities Speedway since 2004. In four career starts at the track, he has four Top-Five finishes.

By the Numbers- River Cities Speedway:

0.3- Miles around River Cities Speedway

1- Track record that has been established in time trials by the World of Outlaws this season

2- Drivers that turned sub-10 second laps in time trials last season at the track, Joey Saldana and Paul McMahan

3- Events that the World of Outlaws contested on three-tenths mile track last season; Drivers that won events on three-tenths mile tracks in 2007 with the series

4- Events for the World of Outlaws this season in North Dakota

7- A-Feature wins for current World of Outlaws point leader and North Dakota native Donny Schatz

9.66- Track record at River Cities Speedway

9.952- Lap turned by Joey Saldana in time trials last season at the track

11- Positions earned by Jac Haudenschild last season en route to a runner-up performance, which earned his the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award

12- Drivers that have been fastest in time trials this season with the World of Outlaws

15- Drivers that have led laps this season with the series in A-Feature competition; Drivers that have won a Crane Cams Dash to earn a pole position this season

18- Top-Five finishes for Jason Meyers to lead the series

40- Laps led by Joey Saldana last season en route to winning at the track

45- Drivers that competed with the World of Outlaws at River Cities Speedway in 2007

55- Point lead that Donny Schatz has over Jason Meyers in the World of Outlaws championship standings

153- Laps led by Craig Dollansky this season to lead the series

896- Miles from Dodge City Raceway Park in Dodge City, Kansas where the World of Outlaws raced on June 20 and June 21 to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota

10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, June 27

51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Friday, June 27

125,700- Dollars earned by Donny Schatz thus far in 2008 to lead the series

Tickets: On Friday, June 27 at River Cities Speedway, adult general admission tickets will be $30 if purchased in advance or $32 the day of the race, with general admission tickets for children (ages 6-12) $15, and kids 5-under will be admitted free of charge in the general admission seating. Adult reserved tickets will be $33 in advance or $35 the day of the race, with reserved tickets for children 12-under $15.

Two-day tickets for the Duel in the Dakotas, including the event at Red River Valley Speedway on Saturday, June 28 are also available for the Duel in the Dakotas by calling SLS Promotions at: 815-344-2023 or visiting: www.slspromotions.com.

There will also be a Meet & Greet at the Canad Inn located at 1000 South 42nd St. in Grand Forks, on Thursday, June 26 from 5-8 p.m. Central, featuring several World of Outlaws drivers who will be on-hand to sign autographs and meet with fans.

Next Up: The second event of the Gerdau Ameristeel Northern Tour at Red River Valley Speedway on Saturday, June 28, which will wrap up the Duel in the Dakotas.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Lucas Wolf , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Sam Hafertepe Jr. , Tony Bruce Jr.