World of Outlaws Fast Talkers: 56th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions Chico, CA--September 7, 2009--The 56th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions for the World of Outlaws at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California is just around the corner ...
World of Outlaws Fast Talkers: 56th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions
Chico, CA--September 7, 2009--The 56th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions for the World of Outlaws at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California is just around the corner beginning on Thursday, September 10, continuing on Friday, September 11 and wrapping up on Saturday, September 12. Prior to heading to the ¼-mile bullring, all 11 drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws shared their thoughts on the $50,000-to win event. Jac Haudenschild is the defending race winner, scoring a victory for the third time in his career in the famed event last season. Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, leads all drivers with 12 triumphs in the Gold Cup. Joey Saldana, who leads the World of Outlaws in win this season, was victorious in the event in 2007, while three-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz claiming a Gold Cup in 2004, with 2001 series titlist Danny Lasoski winning it in 2000.
Craig Dollansky, Driver of the No. 19 DirecTV Maxim: "It's definitely a big event and they do a great job with it. We always look forward to going out there. That's the word close. Last year we ran second and we won our preliminary night. I think we have been in the Top-Three in each of the last five years or so. Hopefully we can go in there this year and get it done. We'll go out there and give it everything we have and see what happens. It's always good to get some laps at a track prior to going for a big event. That's a track I have always enjoyed going to and racing at. They work hard at trying to get the track prepared so there is some good racing. Being there earlier this year should be good for us and we have also learned some things since then, so hopefully all of that will help us when we go back."
Brian Ellenberger, Driver of the No. 22 Ti-22 Performance J&J: "I'm real excited for the Gold Cup. It's a race that I have always read about and paid attention to. I was fortunate enough to get out there and get to run at Chico (Silver Dollar Speedway) earlier this year. I enjoyed running out there and am definitely looking forward to getting out to the track and participating in the Gold Cup. It will absolutely help having been there and we ran well on the first night and got in the show. We almost got in the show on the second night and got tangled up while in a transfer spot in the B-Main. It certainly always helps to be able to get on a track and have laps there, especially going back for the Gold Cup."
Jac Haudenschild, Driver of the No. R19 Owens-Corning Fiberglass Maxim: "We always look forward to the Gold Cup. The (No.) R19 has been pretty good this year. We have been a little up and down, but we excited to head over there. It's a nice little track there and usually it's pretty heavy so we are definitely looking forward to running there. It's a little similar to a few other places we have run, but it always helps to race a track earlier in the year like we did there this year. They always have a good car count and the local guys always run good there. It will be a tough one to win. It's nice to be winning races and especially the ones that pay the big money like the Gold Cup. Hopefully we can get it again."
Kraig Kinser, Driver of the No. 20 Bass Pro Shops Maxim: "It's definitely a tough event. The guys you race with have a big impact on your weekend there, because it's such a short bullring track. You have to try to stay out of trouble and get as many points as you can to get a good starting spot for the main night. It definitely helps having been there earlier this year. They have changed the track since we have been there so it will be a little bit newer for all us. We'll get there and look at the track and makes some changes. I don't think it will be the same as when we were there earlier this year. We'll just take it when we get there. You definitely have to have a good qualifying night and you don't want to take yourself out of contention on your qualifying night, which you can do. You just want to run as hard as you can and as clean as you can and have your car in a good shape for the end of the night."
Steve Kinser, Driver of the No. 11 Quaker State Maxim: "It's always a great race and I look forward to going there. You always wonder a little bit what the track will be like and what the track prep will be. Everyone has been there enough that they know what they are doing. It depends on who has things working right. It's not that much different than any other night or any other race. The main thing is that no matter what track conditions you get, you get your car rolling around there as best as you can. When you get in those kinds of races, qualifying is very important. That is a hard track to come from the back at. It would be nice to get qualified well and be in the top three or four rows."
Danny Lasoski, Driver of the No. 6 Casey's General Store JEI: "We're always excited to go to the Gold Cup Race of Champions. We won it a couple of years ago and are excited to go back. I've heard they have put some new dirt on the track and hopefully they have it really wide and a couple of lanes where we can pass and put on a great show. Every time we come out here (to the West Coast) the fans are just fantastic and I know that the Padjen's always try to put on a great show. It really is one of the toughest races to qualify for. You are going out there on their turf (California drivers) and they get around that ¼-mile really fast. We're just excited to bring the Casey's General Stores car there and hopefully we can put it in Victory Lane. It would be fabulous to win it again. That would be another notch in our belt and Lonnie Parsons (team owner) deserves it."
Jason Meyers, Driver of the No. 14 GLR Investments KPC: "It's a race we have always wanted to win and came so close last year. Going back this year we hope we can get it back. There are a couple that got away last year and we haven't been able to get any of those back yet. We have Chico coming up and hopefully we can get that one back. The last couple of years I have run the spring race anyway there, even though it was not a World of Outlaws race, and it always helps to go to a race track. Chico is a place that I have run probably more than at than any other track on the tour, along with Tulare (Thunderbowl Raceway). Chico is a small track and a lot can happen and you have to have some breaks go your way. We'll just go out there and see how it plays out. Winning a World of Outlaws race is special no matter where it's at. Being from California and with the important of the Gold Cup it would be very special to myself and our team to win that race."
Joey Saldana, Driver of the No. 9 Budweiser Maxim: "It's a great event. The fans really get into it there and they have a lot of support with their 410 (Sprint car) class there on a weekly basis. It's a huge event not only for the World of Outlaws, but for Chico (California) itself. It's a cool race and for guys like from the Midwest to be able to go out there and compete with the California guys is huge. We've been lucky enough to win it once and it's a pretty prestigious race for a sprint car driver and hopefully we can win it again. It should help some that we were there earlier this year. Last year we struggled there and couldn't get a handle on our car and the year before we were so good. We definitely messed something up last year, but going back earlier this year we got back on track. It was a good effort for our team and we were fast both nights, we just got caught up in an accident the second night. I look forward to going back for the Gold Cup, because we definitely have a good car. We have been strong on the 3/8-(mile) and shorter tracks. We've had a good West Coast swing so far and hopefully Chico is a good end to that swing."
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 Armor All J&J: "I'm looking forward to it. It's one of those places where we haven't been in a position to win it the last several years. I'm looking forward to getting there and we have been working hard to get our short track package better and myself better on that. I can't wait to get there and hopefully we'll be able to race for a win at the Gold Cup. It really won't matter that we raced there earlier this year, because things have changed there quite a bit this year. They have hauled dirt in and took it off and in the spring it's always wet there. It will be fun to go there in the heat of the summer. I'm just looking forward to getting there and having a good weekend. It pays a good check and I want to make sure we are there to get a big part of it."
Jason Sides, Driver of the No. 7S Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim: "That's a good place and we have had some good runs there the last few years. Being there twice a year is good for us. It's one of those places where we need to be two or three times a year. Earlier this year we had a not so good run there, but that was not our fault. We'll go back this time and see what we can do. They've added some different dirt to the race track, so we'll see how that plays out. It's usually the same when we go back there at the end of the year, with the warm weather and how wet the track is and the curb. For the most part it should be the same, at least I am hoping that anyway and we'll go from there. That's one of those places where the locals are really good. Just to get qualified for the show is important and getting a good starting spot."
Lucas Wolfe, Driver of the No. 5W Allebach Racing Maxim: "We're definitely looking forward to it. It's always a big event and fun there. We had a good time down there last year. We struggled a little bit there and were better earlier this year when we were there in March. Hopefully that will come through and we'll have a strong result. For me it helped going there earlier this year, especially compared to the guys that have been around a while and have been there a lot of times. For me it was good to get there earlier in the year and hopefully that will help out. It's a big race and one you always look forward to and certainly want to do well at. It pays a lot of money to win and hopefully that's a position we'll be in."