Hannagan Ready for I-55 Raceway Pevely, MO--April 6, 2007 -- Randy Hannagan will always remember the date March 24, 2001. On that frigid night before a capacity crowd at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri, he earned his first career World of...
Hannagan Ready for I-55 Raceway
Pevely, MO--April 6, 2007 -- Randy Hannagan will always remember the date March 24, 2001. On that frigid night before a capacity crowd at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri, he earned his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win. He began that evening by turning the second fastest lap in time trials, with a very solid field of 46 cars on-hand. He followed that up with a win in the second heat race. A second-place finish in the dash, earned him the outside front row starting position in the 40-lap finale, where he powered to the lead on the opening circuit, and endured several challenges over the course of the thrilling event.
On Saturday, April 7, the native of San Jose, who now calls Pittsboro, Indiana home, will return to the high banks of I-55 in search of his first World of Outlaws win of the season. Fresh in his mind will be that triumph from 2001, as another chilly night will greet the best sprint car drivers in the world.
"You're first A-Feature, you will always remember that," said Hannagan, driver of the Penthouse Magazine Maxim. "I can remember every lap of that night. We've had other success there as well, and I look forward to going back there. It's always a good fun race track."
Hannagan set fast time at I-55 Raceway last July, and has been very consistent at the high-banked 1/3-mile over the years. He followed up his win in 2001, with a very solid Top-10 finish at the facility in 2002. Last season, he recorded two finishes in the Top-15.
"You go back to your notes and see what you did the last time you were there and just try to do the same thing again, as well as improve on it," he said, when discussing why he is so consistent at the track.
Hannagan opened the 2007 campaign by winning an unsanctioned event in Florida in early February, leading into the season opening Florida DIRTcar Nationals for the World of Outlaws. With large car counts each night this season, every lap on the track has been vital, from the time the first green flag waves in hot laps until the final checkered flag of the night flies on the A-Feature. The veteran driver is quick to point out how important time trials are in setting the tone for the evening.
"Right now qualifying is everything," he explained. "It determines your night. Fortunately for some they get it done, and for myself and others, we are not getting it done right now. We've made some changes to try and improve that, and we'll see if hopefully work or not."
With 28 full-time teams following the World of Outlaws trail this year, the level of competition is at an all-time high every night. Having competed with the series for a number of years, Hannagan knows what it takes night in and night out to be successful against the best sprint car drivers in the world.
"The best way to put this year is that it will be like 95 nights of the Knoxville Nationals," commented Hannagan. "Every lap is the most important lap you are going to cut throughout the year, whether that's qualifying or the heat races. The heat races are stacked and the invert is really not in anyone's favor. It's a tough deal. Some people are going to make it, and some people aren't."
With his past success at I-55 Raceway, Hannagan is ready to hit the track as the World of Outlaws schedule begins to pick up. After a couple of weekends with single events, Hannagan looks forward to the increased work load beginning this week, as the series returns to the Midwest. After a strong run two weekend's ago, he endured some bad luck last weekend, but feels things are on the right track.
"For the most part, I feel confident going to Pevely, but there are times when you go there and you may have a problem with car or the motor and it just sets you behind for the night," he stated. "That is something we are trying to eliminate, the problems. Everyone on the crew does a great job, and we want to make sure we have no problems on the race car so we can go out and race. Anytime you have to take the hood off at the race track or start working on parts and pieces of your race car, besides the set-up, that makes it a long night."
With 11 races in the books, Hannagan is solidly in the Top-20 in World of Outlaws championship points and just 82 markers out of the 15th spot. After some bad luck earlier in the season, he believes his crew which consists of Steve Moulton and Chris Stillwell has plenty of strong points to build on, as they return to tracks that they know very well.
"I think things are going in a direction that is suited for us," said the 1995 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year. "It's still early and hopefully we can rebound and make the best of it."
On Saturday April 7 at I-55 Raceway, reserved seating wil be $32, with general admission $30, and kids 12-under will be admitted free of charge in the general admission seats. For ticket information, please contact the track at 636-479-3219 or visit www.i55raceway.com.