World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte & Inaugural Event at Tri-City Speedway in Pennsylvania Concord, NC - May 31, 2010 - The battle at the top tightens: Following the two races this past ...
World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte & Inaugural Event at Tri-City Speedway in Pennsylvania
Concord, NC - May 31, 2010 - The battle at the top tightens: Following the two races this past weekend the battle at the top of the World of Outlaws championship standings tightened up even more, with Steve Kinser using a runner-up finish at Tri-City Speedway and a fourth-place effort at The Dirt Track at Charlotte to move into second, just 18 markers behind Joey Saldana, with Jason Meyers third only 21 markers back. Saldana finished second on Saturday night and was seventh on Sunday night. Meyers was sixth at Tri-City and ninth at Charlotte and also was among the Top-Five in time trials both nights to earn bonus points in the standings as he chases his first title.
Running hard: Jason Sides who won earlier this season after an epic battle with Tim Kaeding at Houston Raceway Park that saw the pair run side-by-side for most of that race, running some of the hardest laps of his life, had to run just as hard on Sunday night as he battled 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser for the win. The pair was in lapped traffic for most of the race, splitting lapped cars a couple of times, with Sides taking the lead on the ninth lap and leading the final 16 circuits.
"Steve (Kinser) makes you run hard," noted Sides in Victory Lane. "If there is an opening you have to take it when you can. We got to lapped traffic and he made a choice to run around the outside of them and left the bottom open a little bit and I committed to the bottom. The engine broke around lap 16 or so, and started laying down, but it hung on till the end and I'm glad it did."
A huge crowd: A picture perfect day greeted the World of Outlaws for the inaugural event at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pennsylvania on Sunday night. A huge crowd was on hand with fans camping out for the weekend at the track, with many others arriving very early in the afternoon to get a good seat for all of the action. Fans tailgated in the parking lot for hours prior to the race and long after the final checkered flag flew.
Leader of the pack: Donny Schatz used his win on Saturday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte to put himself atop the standings in the LaCrosse Footwear Extreme Tough Challenge which pits the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series stars against the stars of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series in an eight-race competition. Schatz was victorious over Joey Saldana and Lucas Wolfe, with Steve Kinser and Danny Lasoski, who finished fourth and fifth also earning points in the standings. The Top-Five finishers in each of the eight designated races will earn points. Shane Clanton from the World of Outlaws Late Model series is currently tied with Schatz for the lead, with $5,000 going to the winner, who will be crowned at the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in November.
Missing man formation: World of Outlaws drivers saluted fellow driver Jesse Hockett, who passed away last week, with the 'Missing Man Formation' on Saturday night at Charlotte, with pole sitter Joey Saldana pulling out in front of the field during the traditional Four-Wide Salute to the Fans to honor the 26-year old. Many drivers in the field also carried a decal commemorating Hockett on their machines. Hockett, who hailed from Warsaw, Missouri, scored his best career World of Outlaws finish last season at Silver Dollar Speedway during one of the preliminary features of the Gold Cup Race of Champions.
Two for two: Toni Lutar, one of the contenders for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award, made the dash for the first time in his career with the World of Outlaws on Saturday night at Charlotte and followed that up with another appearance in the dash on Sunday night in his debut at Tri-City Speedway in Pennsylvania. The native of White Rock, British Columbia, Canada also won his first heat race with the World of Outlaws on Sunday night taking the second heat over Lucas Wolfe and local hot shoe Rod George.
Plenty of momentum Lucas Wolfe used a very strong weekend that saw him finish third on Saturday night and fourth on Sunday night to move up to seventh in the World of Outlaws championship standings. He is currently just one marker behind Paul McMahan who is sixth in the standings. For Wolfe, it marks the highest he has ever been in his career in points as he continues to close in on his first series win. The 2008 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has 11 Top-10 finishes with six of those being Top-Five performances.
"We have a lot of momentum," shared Wolfe. "I think we are as competitive as anybody. We're just not quite putting the whole night together, but we're close. We've been challenging a lot of races this year. I think that momentum-wise and competitive-wise we are very strong right now. Hopefully we'll be able to carry that into some of the races when we get to the busier part of the schedule and be able to stay up here."
Hard charging: Donny Schatz who was victorious on Friday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte came from the 17th starting spot on Sunday night in his debut at Tri-City Speedway to finish fifth to earn his 10th Top-Five finish of the season, along with the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award. The four-time and defending series champion gained four spots on the opening lap and was up to ninth by just the third circuit. He broke into the Top-Five on the white flag lap of the 25-lapper.
"It was a great run," said Schatz. "When you need yellows, I guess you can't get them and that's what we needed. We had a good enough car to win. I got racing with some guys that raced pretty hard. I'm glad we were able to get forward that way. A yellow would have been a miracle saver for me and we could have been up there racing for the win."
Non-stop action: The inaugural event at Tri-City Speedway in Pennsylvania went green-to-checkers on Sunday night in seven minutes and 53 seconds with Jason Sides pulling away slightly at the end to win by 1.398 seconds over 20-time series champion Steve Kinser. A couple of events have gone non-stop this season in the first 21 races of the season.
"It's not surprising with this group of guys, they do it all the time," noted Kinser of the caution-free feature.
One of his favorite tracks: Dale Blaney has had a good amount of success over the years at Tri-City Speedway with a couple of wins and several Top-Five finishes. He built on that on Sunday night coming home third after turning the quickest lap in time trials For Blaney it was his best World of Outlaws finish of the season.
"We have a lot of laps here," said Blaney. "Probably more laps than anyone here. We always seem to run well here and enjoy racing here. We've had a tough last few days so it was good to overcome that and pick up a solid run tonight. I wish we were racing here again next week."
A career night: Andy Priest, who has a couple of career wins at Tri-City Speedway scored his best-ever finish with the World of Outlaws on Sunday night, coming home eighth after turning the second fastest lap in time trials. Priest finished fifth in the second heat to earn a spot in the dash for the second time in his career against the World of Outlaws. He won a heat last year at Rolling Wheels Raceway in New York to make the dash for the first time in his career with the series on that night.
"We definitely would like to race more, which would help us," stated Priest after the race. "We qualified early tonight which helped with the second quick and then getting in the Top-Five to go to the dash. We started seventh and finished eighth and these guys race more, that's the difference. We're happy with a solid finish though and hopefully can hit some of the bigger races down the road and just race more."
On sale now: Tickets for the third round of the Showdown for the Bud Crown, Kasey's King of Sedalia Presented By Budweiser at Sedalia's State Fair Speedway in Missouri on June 16 are on sale now. Kasey Kahne, who is promoting the event along with the World Racing Group, will race at Sedalia. Tickets are also available for the final round of the Showdown for the Bud Crowd, Kasey's King of LaSalle Presented By Budweiser at LaSalle Speedway in Illinois on July 8. Tickets are also available now for the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup Twin 30's at Lernerville Speedway on July 20. To purchase tickets for these events visit www.worldofoutlaws.com/tickets.
Up next: The World of Outlaws head to the legendary Knoxville Raceway in Iowa for the three-day Hall of Fame Classic, June 3-5.