World of Outlaws Racers Excited To Drop Green Flag On Las Vegas NASCAR Weekend Las Vegas -- March 9, 2006 -- During any given week, Las Vegas is full of glitz, glamour and certainly excitement. But beginning tonight, that excitement level will...
World of Outlaws Racers Excited To Drop Green Flag On Las Vegas NASCAR Weekend
Las Vegas -- March 9, 2006 -- During any given week, Las Vegas is full of glitz, glamour and certainly excitement. But beginning tonight, that excitement level will turn into a fervor as the World of Outlaws Sprint Series drops the green flag on the traditional March weekend of NASCAR racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
With Joey Saldana leading the World of Outlaws championship standings in the Kasey Kahne Motorsports machine, and NASCAR star Ken Schrader competing in a companion dirt late model event, the anticipation for the Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals has never been greater.
For the next two nights, the Greatest Show on Dirt will thrill fans by racing at incredible speeds in their 850-horsepower winged sprint cars, all the while making daring maneuvers at the half-mile Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This year, the Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals features two single-day shows worth a combined $103,000, paying $10,000 to the winner each night. In addition, all cars will have to qualify on Thursday and Friday in the same format used in the season-opening event at Volusia Speedway Park, where Chad Kemenah and Saldana took the checkered flags.
On both nights, racers will be aiming for five bonus points as the fastest qualifier, too. The single-lap record of 13.719 seconds at 131.205 mph has stood since March 6, 2004.
Two separate shows also will enable the cameras from The Outdoor Channel to film each program and give each night of racing it's own show. The March 9 event will air at 8 p.m. (Eastern) on March 22 and the March 10 show will be broadcast at 8 p.m. on March 29. The shows also will be rebroadcast each week at 1 a.m. Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.
"It's huge," said Mean 15 racer Daryn Pittman, a native of Owasso, Okla., who finished fifth Saturday night in Tucson, Ariz. "I think everybody lives for Vegas all year. It's awesome at the beginning of the year with the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and at the end of the year with the NHRA. It's a first-class facility. It's a lot of fun and everybody enjoys going. Everybody puts a little more pressure on themselves to perform. We've been good the last few times we've been to Vegas so hopefully we'll go in there and keep it up."
Donny Schatz captured the feature last March at Las Vegas for his third victory on the half-mile oval. After dominating the winter events in Australia, and picking up a victory in an All Star Circuit of Champions event last month, Schatz believes he can pick up his first win of the World of Outlaws season tonight.
"It's exciting with NASCAR going on across the road," said Schatz, a Mean 15 racer from Fargo, N.D., who finished second in Tucson. "I'm very fortunate to have won three times in Las Vegas. This racecar is pretty awesome right now so hopefully we can go and get No. 4. It could be really where our season will feel like it's starting. It's where it started for us last year and we hope it's where things start going good for us again. We're going to cross our fingers and hopefully we can go in there and come out with a victory and start working our way toward many more."
For others this season on the World of Outlaws trail, they will be seeing the big half-mile for the first time.
"This is new to me, I've never seen it," said Chad Kemenah, a four-time titlist with the All Star Circuit of Champions who captured the season-opening event at Volusia Speedway Park. "Maybe it's something like Volusia. I've seen a lot of pictures and watched it on TV. I've got a couple of racetracks in mind, but you never know until you see it. I think we'll adapt pretty quick."
One of many drivers who impressed fans last weekend in Arizona was Brian Carlson, who has raced with the Outlaws before at Las Vegas. Last Friday at Manzanita, Carlson powered his way to a spot in the dash and followed it up at Tucson with a heat race victory.
"We've had some good quick times," said Carlson, a Mean 15 racer from Linden, Ind. "The car feels nice and I guess I'm hungry. I want to come out here and I want to prove myself."
As for The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Carlson knows the conditions can change drastically, forcing teams to continuously work on their setups throughout the event.
"One thing I expect from Las Vegas is never expect anything because it's different every time you show up," Carlson said. "You really don't make any decisions or have any expectations until you get to the track and see it."
If fans are unable to make it to Las Vegas, they can listen to live audio broadcasts of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series event as well as the late model show on the DIRT Radio Network through DIRTVision.com beginning at 6:30 Pacific/9:30 ET.
Highlighting the off-track activities during the event will be the Mean 15 racers taking part in an autograph session at 2:30 p.m. on Friday at the midway near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway 1.5-mile oval in conjunction with qualifying events for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series event on Sunday.
Also joining the schedule are dirt late models, which will race each night in non-sanctioned events that will include qualifying races and $3,000 to-win, 30-lap features. NASCAR star Ken Schrader and World of Outlaws Late Model Series star Rick Eckert will be racing in the late model event.
The high-powered Sprint Cars will make their first visit of 2006 to the Dirt Track at LVMS on March 9 and 10 as part of the annual NASCAR Weekend. The Outlaws will return for their season finale on Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28, as part of the NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals.