Series California Tripleheader preview

Series California Tripleheader preview
Mar 29, 2011, 2:29 AM

Hanford, Merced, Calistoga

World of Outlaws Sprint Cars Set Sights on California Tripleheader WeekendE

Take Two: California Tripleheader on Tap for Outlaws

Events in Hanford (March 31), Merced (April 1) and Calistoga (April 2) turn up heat on title chase

CONCORD, N.C. - March 28, 2011 - The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series California Spring Break has included two exciting events with a sure-to-thrill tripleheader set for this week beginning Thursday (March 31) atGiant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford followed Friday (April 1) at Merced Speedway and Saturday (April 2) at Calistoga Speedway.

Craig Dollansky kicked off the swing March 12 with a victory in the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway, and then after rain postponed the A-main March 18 at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway, Joey Saldana held off hometown hero Jason Meyers on March 19 at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif.

Heading into the busy spring stretch, it's the perfect time to reflect on how the season is taking shape through nine events with this California weekend sure to impact the Road to the World Finals:

With his victory at Thunderbowl Raceway, Joey Saldana moved into a tie with Steve Kinser atop the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championship standings. Kinser is aiming for the 21st championship of his storied career while Saldana is leading the points for the first time since last September in his quest for his - and team owner Kasey Kahne's - first championship.

Defending series champion Jason Meyers is still looking for his first victory, and considering he'll start from the pole on Thursday night at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway and was the runner-up at Tulare, it doesn't appear he's too far from accomplishing that goal as he looks to repeat his championship performance from last year.

( Four-time champion Donny Schatz has steadily climbed the standings and is also seeking his first victory of the year. His consistent Top-5 finishes will to keep him in the title hunt until he winds up in victory lane.

A victory at Royal Purple Raceway and five Top-5 runs have Sammy Swindell sitting fifth in points as he aims for his second win this weekend in California.

Jason Sides started off incredibly strong with a victory on the final night of the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia followed by runner-up finishes at Pike County Speedway and Royal Purple Raceway. Sides will be looking to get back on track at Hanford on Thursday night, where he'll start on the outside of Row 2.

Cody Darrah's rookie campaign is off to a strong start with four Top-Five runs and 12 laps led. The young Pennsylvania star is racing on all of the California tracks for the first time with the World of Outlaws, but the size and shape of half-mile Calistoga Speedway should suit his style.

Paul McMahan already has three quick times this season in only nine events, and that doesn't include the record he shattered at Volusia the night before the Outlaws started racing. His five Top 10s this season have him in the title hunt, and he'll be starting seventh at Hanford for California native Dennis Roth.

Craig Dollansky has led 86 laps this season, only one short of series leader Steve Kinser, but misfortune struck twice while he was in front. He left no doubt in the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway to earn a dominating victory. He'll start on the outside of Row 3 Thursday night at Hanford as he seeks his second victory of the year.

Lucas Wolfe rounds out the Top 10 in the championship standings with five Top-10 runs this season. Wolfe has steadily climbed into the title chase since Florida, and is only 64 points out of the Top Five.

Kraig Kinser is settling into his new ride at Parsons Motorsports. A strong run at Florida, including a pole and a Top-Five finish on the second night of the season, has him looking for strong results this year.

Chad Kemenah used a strong run at Royal Purple Raceway to gain momentum this season, including a couple of Top 10s. Kemenah started on the outside of the front row at Royal Purple and led the first eight laps, hanging on for a Top Five.

Bill Rose is aiming to capture the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award and looking to kick start his season with the World of Outlaws on Thursday night at Hanford, where he'll start ninth. Rose did win a non-wing event the week before at Silver Dollar Speedway.

Ben Gregg's sophomore season with the World of Outlaws has him solidly in the Top 15 through nine races as he begins racing at some tracks for only the second time in his career.


Winners: There have been nine World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events in 2011. The winners include: Steve Kinser - 4 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 11 and 12, Pike County Raceway on Feb. 25, the Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 4), Joey Saldana - 2 (Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 3, Thunderbowl Raceway on March 19) Craig Dollansky - 1 (Silver Dollar Speedway on March 12), Jason Sides - 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 13), Sammy Swindell - 1 (Royal Purple Raceway on Feb. 26).

Up next: "The Greatest Show on Dirt" wraps up its California Spring Break with events on Thursday, March 31 (rain date make up for A-main) at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway; Friday, April 1, at Merced Speedway; and Saturday, April 2, at Calistoga Speedway. The series then heads back to the Midwest for events on Friday, April 15, at Paducah (Ky.) International Raceway and Saturday, April 16, at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo

- source: WoO

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