World of Outlaws Preview: The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway Concord, NC--May 19, 2009-- Memorial Day weekend has traditionally been one of the biggest racing weekend's of the year and for the World of Outlaws that will again be the case...
World of Outlaws Preview: The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway
Concord, NC--May 19, 2009-- Memorial Day weekend has traditionally been
one of the biggest racing weekend's of the year and for the World of
Outlaws that will again be the case this week as they will compete three
times in a four-day period beginning on Friday, May 22 at The Dirt Track
Lowe's Motor Speedway, which will mark the third consecutive season that the series has competed at the state-of-the-art four-tenths miles in conjunction with their NASCAR weekend. The event will be televised live on SPEED beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern with flag-to-flag coverage with Bobby Gerould and Brad Doty on the call.
Donny Schatz wrapped up his third consecutive World of Outlaws title last fall at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, taking the checkered flag in the finale of the World Finals. The three-time and defending series champion has won twice in his career at the track and enters this weekend's race atop the series championship standings on the strength of five A-Feature wins.
Steve Kinser, the 20-time series champion, is not far behind Schatz, as he looks for his record 21st title. The native of Bloomington, Indiana has won twice in his career in Charlotte and has never finished out of the Top-10 in 13 career starts at the track. He leads the World of Outlaws with 15 Top-10 finishes this season and has one victory.
Last season three different drivers picked up wins in the three events at the track. In the last 10 races the series has held at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway, Schatz is the only driver that has won more than once. In the 14 A-Feature events contested at the track dating back to 2001 only three drivers have multiple wins, with Schatz and Steve Kinser each with two victories, while Mark Kinser tops the list with three triumphs.
The 2009 season has been one of the most competitive in the 31-year history of the series to date, with nine different drivers picking up wins in the first 18 events of the season, along with 20 drivers leading laps in A-Feature events entering this weekend's trio of races.
Slidejobs- The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
Looking to repeat: Donny Schatz, won the season finale at The Dirt Track
Lowe's Motor Speedway last year, an event that was also televised live on SPEED, to score his second career victory at the track. The three-time and defending series champion has 10 career Top-Five finishes at the track in 14 starts. Schatz, the current series point leader, has won five times this season and is tied for the series lead as he chases his fourth consecutive title. He is in the midst of his second season driving for Tony Stewart Racing, which is owned by the two-time NASCAR champion.
"We've got a big week ahead of us, both on the track and off the track," said Schatz recently. "We're excited about being able to work with our sponsors this week, and then have races in Charlotte and Virginia. Last time we were in Charlotte, we won the race and the championship, so we're looking forward to heading back down there."
Always up front: Steve Kinser has finished ninth or better in all 13 of his starts at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway dating back to 2000.The 20-time series champion has won twice at the high-speed four-tenths mile in his career. He is currently second in points and leads the series with 15 Top-10 finishes in 18 starts.
A home race for the team: Joey Saldana's Kasey Kahne Racing team calls the Charlotte area home and will have the chance to race at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Friday. In his career at the track, Saldana has eight Top-10 finishes dating back to 2000. The second generation driver is tied for the series lead with five A-Feature wins this season and is currently third in points as he chases his first title.
Looking to get back to the winner's circle: Jason Meyers was victorious in the inaugural Breaking the VAULT match races last season at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway during the World Finals, defeating nine other drivers including Donny Schatz in the final to take home the top prize in the one-on-one races, after being the first driver out and running the gamut. The California native was also victorious in Charlotte in 2007 and has eight career Top-10 finishes at the track.
Another home race: Craig Dollansky joined Kasey Kahne Racing in the off-season as a teammate to Saldana and the event at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway will serve as a home race for his team as well, which is based just down the road in Mooresville, North Carolina. Dollansky finished fifth last spring at the track and missed the World Finals as he was recovering from an injury suffered in September. In his career at the track, the native of Elk River, Minnesota has nine Top-10 finishes in 11 starts.
Looking to carry the momentum over: Jason Sides, who is off to a very strong start in 2009, wrapped up the 2008 campaign by finishing fifth in Charlotte. The 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has a couple of Top-Five finishes in a limited number of starts at the track. Entering the three events this week, Sides is sixth in points on the strength of 11 Top-10 finishes.
Moving on up: Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, is currently seventh in points, just 10 markers out of sixth after picking up his first win of the season last week at Delaware International Speedway. In his career at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the native of Dover, Missouri has seven Top-10 finishes including a couple of runner-up performances as he seeks his first win at the track.
Another quick mover: Jac Haudenschild is up to eighth in points and is less than 30 markers out of seventh as he closes in on his first win of the year. The veteran driver finished fourth and seventh at Charlotte last season and has five career Top-10 finishes at the state-of-the-art facility.
Racing in front of the boss: Kraig Kinser, who is in his second year with Tony Stewart Racing, will have a chance to compete with his boss in attendance on Friday night. The third generation driver finished second in the season finale at the track last season and was ninth in the spring there. He enters this week's event with seven Top-10 finishes on the season and is solidly in the Top-10 in points.
"I'm excited about this week," he shard. "We get a fresh start and big race in Charlotte. We ran second to Donny (Schatz) down there last year and, hopefully, we can be first and he can be second this time."
Looking for redemption : Lucas Wolfe, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, was running in the Top-Three last spring at the track when a hole in the fuel line ended his night. The native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania picked up his second Top-Five of the season last week at Delaware International Speedway and is currently just outside of the Top-10 in points.
Learning the track: Sam Hafertepe Jr. will compete at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway for the third consecutive season in 2009. He picked up his first career Top-10 at the track last spring. The native of Sunnyvale, Texas finished a solid 12th last weekend at the famed Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania after racing his way into the Crane Cams Dash.
A familiar place: Brian Ellenberger, who is a contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, has raced at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway in each of the last two seasons. He has made five career starts at the four-tenths mile.
By the Numbers: The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway
0.4- Miles around The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway
3- Drivers that won A-Feature events with the series at the track last season; Drivers that led laps in A-Feature competition at the track last season
4- Drivers competing with the World of Outlaws whose teams are owned by NASCAR drivers, Craig Dollansky, Kraig Kinser, Joey Saldana and Donny Schatz
8- Drivers that have been quickest in time trials this season
9-Drivers that have won A-Feature events in 2009 with the series
10- Drivers that have won A-Feature events at the track dating back to 2000
11.880-Track record established by Jeff Shepard in time trials in 2001
12- Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that competed at the track last season
14- Total events contested by the World of Outlaws at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway dating back to 2000
15- Top-10 finishes for Steve Kinser this season to lead the series
16- Drivers that have won a Crane Cams Dash to earn a pole position this season
18- Events contested by the World of Outlaws through May 15
20- Drivers that have led laps in A-Feature events this season
30- Laps led by Donny Schatz to win at the track last season; Laps led by Brooke Tatnell to win at the track last season; Laps led by Lance Dewease to win at the track last season
39- Points that separate Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser atop the World of Outlaws standings
112- Laps led by Joey Saldana to lead the series this season
449- Miles from Williams Grove Speedway where the World of Outlaws competed on May 15 to The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina
2000-Year the World of Outlaws first competed at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway
10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, May 22
51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Friday, May 22
81,650- Dollars earned by Donny Schatz this season to lead the series
Tickets: On Friday, May 22 at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, adult tickets will be $25, with tickets for kids 12-under just $10. For tickets visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or call the track at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).