Shaffer wins Las Vegas Preliminary with last-lap pass LAS VEGAS, NV (February 28) -- Tim Shaffer executed a daring last-lap pass of Jason Meyers to win the Preliminary Feature Friday when the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series opened the J.D.
Shaffer wins Las Vegas Preliminary with last-lap pass
LAS VEGAS, NV (February 28) -- Tim Shaffer executed a daring last-lap pass of Jason Meyers to win the Preliminary Feature Friday when the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series opened the J.D. Byrider Outlaw Nationals at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Shaffer caught Meyers in the second corner, raced wheel-to-wheel with him down the back straightaway and drove the #83 Beef Packers Eagle past Meyers deep in turn four as they headed toward the checkered flag.
"I saw Jason's car smoking and I think he was starting to slow down," Shaffer said. "He had a really fast car tonight, but Dennis Roth and this whole team gave me an excellent race car for the feature. This thing was rolling around the corners like you wouldn't believe. It was tough to try to run the top and stay fast -- it was so heavy up there that it wanted to bog the motor down, but this Kistler (engine) and Hoosier tires pulled me through it."
Shaffer was the third-fastest qualifier in the 35-car field, 04 seconds faster than Meyers. Meyers earned the privilege of starting the 25-lap feature outside the front row, however, by winning the Second Dash Race. Shaffer followed Jason Sides and Sammy Swindell across the finish line in the First Dash Race for the right to start inside the third row.
Meyers beat Sides down the front stretch as the green flag fell in the Preliminary Feature and was seven car-lengths ahead when they entered lapped traffic five laps into the race. Sides, who ranked in the top three in the World of Outlaws Gumout Series point standings the last two years, narrowed the gap to three car-lengths within a lap, however.
Joey Saldana took the leaders out of lapped traffic midway through the race when engine problems in his #17 Eagle Raceway Eagle forced him to stop on the front straightaway. Engine problems also cost Saldana the lead with one lap remaining in the Second Heat Race. Shaffer passed Swindell for third place in the low groove between turns three and four during the ensuing restart. Shaffer and Swindell passed Sides after Jeff Hodgson stopped in the second corner late in the 14th lap.
Johnny Herrera, making his 2003 O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series debut in Billy Wilburn's #2W Heintz Brothers Maxim, won the Second Heat Race. He passed Sides and Swindell during laps 16 and 17 to take over third place in the Preliminary Feature. The 1986 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year passed Sides in the low groove between turns three and four, then passed Swindell in the same spot the next time around as the front wing on the #1 Ore-Cal Eagle peeled back. Swindell coasted into the pit area after Sides passed for fourth place early in the 18th lap.
Meyers was 12 car-lengths ahead of Shaffer when his engine started smoking with five laps remaining. Shaffer narrowed the gap to two car-lengths within two laps and pulled off the winning pass late in the final lap.
Herrera finished in third place, ahead of Sides, fast-qualifier Mark Kinser, O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Jac Haudenschild, Danny Lasoski, Jeff Shepard, Daryn Pittman and Brian Paulus.
Kinser, who led the series in fast-times between 1995 and 2001, paced the qualifying session with a 125.244-M.P.H. lap around Las Vegas' semi-banked, ½-mile oval.
Paulus won the "B" Feature, then started next to Pittman on the eighth row in the Preliminary Feature. Pittman and Paulus each raced past six cars to finish in ninth and 10th place.
Defending and 17-time O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series champion Steve Kinser swept the main events at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway a year ago. "The King of the Outlaws" drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim past seven cars to finish 12th Friday.
Brian Brown, making his 2003 O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series debut in the #6 Casey's General Stores Maxim, collided with Dennis Moore, Jr., as the green flag fell in the Second Dash Race. Moore flipped and collected Donny Schatz, who also flipped. The #7 VMAC Maxim driven by Craig Dollansky suffered a cut right rear tire in the incident. Under new O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series rules, Dollansky was not allowed to replace the tire to restart the race. Both Schatz and Moore started at the rear of the evening's main event in backup cars.