World of Outlaws Wrap-up: The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas, NV-- February 27, 2009-- Looking to stay on top: Donny Schatz used his third World of Outlaws win of 2009 on Thursday night at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor...
World of Outlaws Wrap-up: The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, NV-- February 27, 2009-- Looking to stay on top: Donny Schatz used his third World of Outlaws win of 2009 on Thursday night at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to extend his lead in the championship standings as he chases his fourth consecutive title. He began the night by turning the fastest lap in qualifying to earn five bonus points. Dating back to the end of last season, Schatz has won five of the last seven A-Feature events for the World of Outlaws. In his last 16 starts in the United States and Australia he has 11 victories. He'll have a couple of weeks before having a chance to add to this total, as the March 7 event at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville has been postponed due to rain.
"I love the challenges," said Schatz. "That is what I am here for. I love being at the races, but this time of the year the weather can be bad and we don't want to go to some place and get rained out. It is what it is and we'll go back home and enjoy our time there. When we get back racing, it's going to be full bore."
On the right track: Sammy Swindell, the three-time World of Outlaws champion, picked up his best finish of the young season coming home second on Thursday night in the World of Outlaws return to Las Vegas. The 2006 inductee into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame paced the field for eight laps after passing Craig Dollansky in lapped traffic. Swindell also was third quickest in time trials to earn three bonus points and is up to fourth in the championship standings, just 11 markers behind longtime rival Steve Kinser who is third.
"The car is pretty close," said Swindell after Thursday night's race. "We came back from Florida and looked at some things and made some changes. Everything is coming around. We're still trying to build this team. It's been a lot of work, but I think when we run we'll be competitive. We just have to get the breaks and when we get those, we should get the wins."
Continuing to gel: Craig Dollansky picked up his best finish of the early part of the 2009 World of Outlaws season with a third-place performance at Las Vegas. It also marked his first Top-Five finish with the series since joining Kasey Kahne Racing in the off-season, as a teammate to Joey Saldana. Dollansky led a number of laps early in the race on Thursday after winning the Crane Cams Dash to earn the pole position for the 30-lap contest.
"We're making some gains here with this Kasey Kahne team and everyone is working hard," noted Dollansky. "These two race teams are great race teams. There are some things here that we work with that are different (from other teams). We are trying to make both of these teams strong every night and we are starting to get a good feel with things. We'll just try to stay on top of that as best as we can. I feel like we are gaining momentum."
Running up front: Jason Sides continued his strong start to the 2009 campaign with a fourth-place run at Las Vegas. He has three Top-Five finishes in four starts this year with the World of Outlaws and moved up to second in the championship standings behind Donny Schatz. Sides was second fastest in qualifying on Thursday night to earn four bonus points. Sides had veteran driver Terry Gray helping turn the wrenches again this week.
"Anytime we come away with a Top-Five is great," said Sides. "We are still starting off the season and anytime we can run well, that helps the whole team. This is one of those cars that we tested for Steve (Kinser) last year and it seems to be working. We have Terry Gray with us helping us out again. If we can keep that momentum going, we should be in good shape."
A new look : Joey Saldana recently debuted a redesigned web site that can be accessed via www.joeysaldana.com. The site contains, new, results, photos and much more. A new feature to the revamped site is "Shannon's Space," a blog written by Saldana's wife Shannon. T-shirts, hats and other Saldana merchandise can be purchased online via the web site.
Time is running out in Alltel DIRTcar All-Star voting: Voting continues for two more days for the 2009 Alltel DIRTcar All-Star. Each driver that won an A-Feature event during the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH earlier this month is eligible. The top vote getter on February 28 will receive $10,000, and the top vote getter in each of the four divisions that competed in the event will receive $1,000. World of Outlaws drivers that are eligible include Joey Saldana and Donny Schatz. Also eligible in the sprint car category is Stevie Smith. Fans can vote via text message or online.
To cast a vote online visit www.AlltelAllStar.com.
Up next: The Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California on March 13-14, which will mark the first time since 1992 that the World of Outlaws have sanctioned the Mini Gold Cup. Former winners of the event in World of Outlaws competition include: 1989 World of Outlaws champion Bobby Davis, Jr., Jac Haudenschild, Brent Kaeding, 20-time series champion Steve Kinser and Jimmy Sills