Concord, NC-- March 22, 2010-- Another King at the track: " The King" Richard Petty was in attendance on Friday night at Volunteer Speedway for the opener of Kasey's King of Bulls Gap Presented By Budweiser. The racing legend saw his driver in the...
Concord, NC-- March 22, 2010-- Another King at the track: " The King" Richard Petty was in attendance on Friday night at Volunteer Speedway for the opener of Kasey's King of Bulls Gap Presented By Budweiser. The racing legend saw his driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Kasey Kahne, set a new track record in qualifying in his first 410-sprint car race of 2010, which was also his first visit to Volunteer Speedway. Petty, who won seven NASCAR titles and 200 races watched the action from atop the World of Outlaws Command Center in the pit area.
"It's pretty exciting," shared Petty on Friday night. "This is the closest we've been to one of these deals and we had the chance to come over here. We got to see a lot of the guys we used to know and see them run. It was a good time."
A NASCAR contingent: Also in attendance on Friday night was longtime NASCAR team owner Jack Roush, who also took in a large portion of the evening standing atop the World of Outlaws Command Center in the pit area. Dave Blaney, the 1995 World of Outlaws champion, was on-hand at Volunteer Speedway as well. Also at the track on Saturday was two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart, who owns the cars of 20-time series champion Steve Kinser and four-time defending series titlist Donny Schatz.
And then there was one: Jason Meyers was victorious in the finale of Kasey's King of Bulls Gap Presented By Budweiser following a seventh-place run in the opener, to extend his streak of Top-10 finishes to open the 2010 season to nine. He is the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in each and every World of Outlaws event this year. Meyers also is the current series point leader, holding a five-point advantage over 20-time series champion Steve Kinser, as he chases his first series crown.
"We're very confident right now," shared Meyers after his win on Saturday night. "We have a great race car. We came in here last night (Friday) and second guessed a few things and make a few wrong decisions. These guys keep working hard and now have three weeks to go work and do some testing on things we have been working on. I'm really looking forward to the summer swing."
Injury update: Joey Saldana, who was victorious on Friday night, broke his left hand after getting upside and into the wall in a chain reaction accident following an early race red flag on Saturday night at Volunteer Speedway. He is scheduled to meet with a hand specialist in Indianapolis on Tuesday to determine whether surgery will be needed or not. Saldana is currently third in the World of Outlaws standings and has two wins along with eight Top-10 finishes, with seven of those being Top-Fives.
Putting on the promoter's hat: Kasey Kahne donned the promoter's hat for Kasey's King of Bulls Gap Presented By Budweiser, which marked the first two events of the four-race Showdown for the Bud Crown, which the NASCAR star will promote in partnership with the World Racing Group. The Top-Three in event points following the final Showdown for the Bud Crown race in July will split a $15,000 point fund from Budweiser.
"I was here in 2007 and it was a great race," said Saldana on Friday night at Volunteer Speedway. "I was hoping to get back here and I'm glad to be back and very glad to have the World of Outlaws back here. Thanks to everyone for coming out tonight."
Getting faster and faster: Paul McMahan had a very strong weekend at Volunteer Speedway, finishing fourth and fifth aboard the No. 91 machine for Kasey Kahne Racing, as he continues to fill in for the injured Cody Darrah. McMahan has finished eighth or better in six consecutive races and jumped all the way up to eighth in points after this past weekend. He was one of three drivers for Kasey Kahne Racing that finished among the Top-Five on Friday night.
"The car was pretty good all weekend," said McMahan. "We were able to get in the dash both nights, which always helps. To put three cars in the Top-Five on Friday night was a good night for all of us."
A number of career firsts: Ben Gregg, one of the contenders for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season with the World of Outlaws, had a career-best weekend in his first two races at Volunteer Speedway. He won the second heat race on Friday night, which was his first heat race win with the World of Outlaws, which put him in the dash for the first time in his career with the series. He followed that up by matching his career-best finish with the series coming home 11th in the main event. He also ran strong on Saturday night coming from 26th to finish 14th in the feature to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award for the first time in his career.
A new track record: Kasey Kahne blistered the existing track record at Volunteer Speedway, turning a lap of 10.258 seconds at an amazing 140.378 miles per hour on the ultra high-banked four-tenths-mile. The old mark of 11.672 second was broken by 37 of the 38 drivers that took to the track for time trials.
"I was surprised when I got out of the car and saw the time," Kahne told the crowd on Friday night. "The track was definitely fast enough to set a track record tonight. The crew did a great job on the car. The laps in qualifying definitely felt good."
First timer: Lance Dewease made the trip down to Volunteer Speedway from Central Pennsylvania and led the first 13 laps of the main event on Saturday night before finishing second. He and his team switched cars after failing to make the feature on Friday night and were fast right out of the box on Saturday. He finished second in the fourth heat race to earn a spot in the dash, where he ran second to earn a front row starting spot for the A-Feature. Dewease had the highest finish of the drivers that were making their debut at the ultra high-banked and blazing fast track.
"We were no good last night (Friday)," shared Dewease after his runner-up finish in the finale. "We showed up with a new car and knew we would struggle when we saw what the place looked like. We had a different car for today and I couldn't ask for much better of a race car. We chased it all night long and kept getting it a little bit better and were just a little off there in the feature. Anytime you can run second with these guys it's a good job."
A couple of Top-Fives: Brad Sweet visited Volunteer Speedway for the first time over the weekend and got up to speed very quick aboard the No. 49 for Kasey Kahne Racing. He ran fourth in the opener at the high-banked four-tenths-mile and followed that up with a third-place effort in the finale.
"It was pretty cool to have all of our cars up front," Sweet said after Friday night's run. "My car got going pretty good in the main event and got into the Top-three and fell back to fourth there at the end. All in all it was a good night. It's definitely a small track, but it's a track that you have to be aggressive at with the bank on it. You have to attack the track and it's a fun place to race at."
A consistent weekend: Bill Rose, who raced his way into the dash with the World of Outlaws for the first time in his career at Houston Raceway Park on March 13, made the dash for the second consecutive weekend this past Saturday night at Volunteer Speedway, after a win in the fourth heat race. He finished a solid 13th on Saturday night after an 18th-place performance in his debut at the track on Friday night.
Up next: The World of Outlaws return to action on Saturday, April 10 with an inaugural event at Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, Oklahoma.