Exciting Racing at Paducah Ushers in Hoosier National Right Rear Tire Program Paducah, KY -- April 7, 2007 -- It's amazing the difference one tire can make. On Friday night at Paducah International Raceway, the World of Outlaws sprint car stars...
Exciting Racing at Paducah Ushers in Hoosier National Right Rear Tire Program
Paducah, KY -- April 7, 2007 -- It's amazing the difference one tire can make. On Friday night at Paducah International Raceway, the World of Outlaws sprint car stars gave fans a glimpse of how exciting the action will be this season with the new Hoosier National Right Rear Tire program.
Several drivers charged through the field, including eventual winner Danny Lasoski who started 15th on the grid. It was the deepest in the field any driver had come to win this season.
One of the main goals of the new Hoosier National Right Rear Tire program was to provide the type of tire that would lead to more side-by-side action and keep fans on the edge of their seats. That goal was certainly achieved on Friday night at Paducah, the first event that featured the new tires. Side-by-side racing was the norm and kept the large crowd warm on an otherwise frigid night.
The new tires feature a much stiffer sidewall construction similar to the type of tires that were run 10 years ago. As a result, the cars are loose entering the corner in contrast to the locked-down conditions fans have seen in recent years. Ultimately, it puts more emphasis back on the driver. The teams will be choosing from three new tire compounds. The right rear tires available to World of Outlaws competitors include the SC12, SC15 and SC25, with the 105/18-15 HARD or Hoosier F55 available for extreme conditions.
Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, raved about the new tire after surging to his first victory of the season. Contact on the first lap of his heat race set Lasoski back, but his team worked hard throughout the program, counting heavily on their Hoosier Racing Tires.
Lasoski, a native of Dover, Mo., was a major proponent of the Hoosier National Right Rear Tire program when it was announced last December during the Performance Racing Industry show. Lasoski believes the tire will help even the competition from touring professionals to weekly 410 Sprint Car racers across the country that compete against the Outlaws only a handful of times each season. Plus, Lasoski noted the $25 per tire savings will benefit teams over the course of the long race season.
"With the tire rule, it puts everyone on the same level," Lasoski said after shining in the Friday night lights at Paducah. "I think the fans saw a great race."
Chad Kemenah agreed after finishing third, marking his best finish of the season. Kemenah, who powered to the front from the 11th starting position, raced side-by-side for most of the night and was very pleased with the performance of his Hoosier right rear tire.
"It definitely puts everyone closer," Kemenah said. "The fans got a good show and that is what we are all here for."
Joey Saldana, who was aiming for his fourth consecutive victory and fifth win overall, led the first 32 laps at Paducah before finishing second. The current World of Outlaws championship points leader, Saldana and his team have been fast every night this season and the new tire policy definitely didn't slow them down.
"The tire is a lot different," Saldana said. "It seems like the cycle of getting hot and cold really affects them. It's the same for everybody, and it's definitely something you'll have to adjust your driving style to. It will be interesting for everybody, especially the fans who will see some great racing."
Other drivers that made significant gains on Friday night with the new Hoosier National Right Rear Tire program in place included 2006 series champion Donny Schatz, who marched from 18th to sixth. Schatz was able to pass cars on the high and low side of the track as he earned his 11 Top-10 finish in the first 12 races this season.
Following Schatz was Terry McCarl, who raced his way into the main event by winning the B-Main. After lining up 22nd, McCarl steadily worked his way forward and wound up seventh. In addition, Jason Meyers used his right rear to advance from 23rd to eighth at the checkered flag.
With the event on Saturday night at I-55 Raceway called off by dangerous below-freezing temperatures, the next chance to see the World of Outlaws in action will be this weekend, April 13-14, at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, as the TV cameras will be rolling to film the action for the World of Outlaws return to SPEED at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 13. No doubt the combination of the new right rear tire and Eldora's intimidating high-speed, high-banked, half-mile oval will leave fans breathless.