World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: New Yorker 25 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Concord, NC--October 12, 2009 Standing room only: One of the largest crowds in the history of Rolling Wheels Raceway Park was on hand for the World of Outlaws event...
World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: New Yorker 25 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park
Concord, NC--October 12, 2009
Standing room only: One of the largest crowds in the history of Rolling Wheels Raceway Park was on hand for the World of Outlaws event on Saturday night. The campground began filling up long before the grandstand gates opened and the stands were packed well before hot laps took to the track. The crowd continued to file in well into the evening as fans headed over to the track after the events at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse wrapped up. The pits were also full, and some of the later arriving Modifieds had to be parked in the infield.
Foucsed on wins: Donny Schatz nearly picked up his 13th win of the season, leading during the middle stages of the New Yorker 25 before finishing second. The three-time and defending series champion currently leads the World of Outlaws with 38 Top-Five finishes as he chases his fourth consecutive series title. Schatz is on top of the standings by 18 markers over Jason Meyers, as he chases his fourth consecutive series title. He and his Tony Stewart Racing team are currently focused on winning races and working on things for next season and not focusing on the points.
"The focus hasn't changed," stated Schatz on Saturday night when asked about the point standings. "It's not going to change. You can ask me when we get to Texas and it still won't change. It probably won't change until we go into Charlotte on the last night."
Earning every point: Jason Meyers began the New Yorker 25 by setting fast time to earn five bonus points in the standings as he continues to keep pace with Donny Schatz in the standings. It was the eighth time this season he has been fastest in qualifying, second only to Donny Schatz and Jason Sides who have been quickest 10 times each. Heading into the event at Rolling Wheels, Meyers was 14 markers out of the lead and moved to 12 points out after time trials, as Schatz was third quick and earned three bonus points. Meyers ended finishing fifth in the main event and is now 18 markers out of the lead with three races remaining as he chases his first World of Outlaws title. The native of Clovis, California leads the World of Outlaws with 52 Top-10 finishes this season.
"Right now you have to give it everything you got and earn every point you can, because everything matters," explained Meyers. "Whether you are battling for second or 22nd, every single point matters right now. We'll just go out and try to put good numbers on the board and see what happens."
Back at Super DIRT Week: The New Yorker 25 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park served as the World of Outlaws first event during Super DIRT Week since 1995. The series has competed during Super DIRT Week 15 times in the event's storied 38-year history. The winged warriors were also scheduled to take to the track at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse on Friday, October 9, for the "King of the Mile" exhibition, with four drivers participating, though that event fell to rain.
The winning combo: Heading into the New Yorker 25, Tim Shaffer had competed at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park eight times in his career at the track and had a best finish of eighth twice. On Saturday he won the Crane Cams Dash to start on the pole for the main event where he led early and then took the top spot again on a late restart from Donny Schatz to earn his first World of Outlaws win of the season and his first career win in the state of New York.
"Brian Kemenah," deadpanned Shaffer when asked what the difference was in his start at Rolling Wheels this time versus the past. "Brian (Kemenah) and the guys do such a great job and it makes me look good. I have a great team here."
What a streak: Steve Kinser has made 27 career starts at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park dating back to 1980, and with a third-place finish on Saturday night has finished in the Top-10 in each and every one of those starts. The 20-time series champion has won 10 during that span and racked up 20 Top-Five finishes. After turning in the second fastest lap in time trials, he raced his way into the Crane Cams Dash where he charged from the eighth starting spot to finish third to start on the second row of the main event.
Heading east: Cody Darrah made his first trip from Pennsylvania to New York to compete over the weekend. He also made his first start in the No. 19 for Kasey Kahne Racing as he filled in for Brad Sweet who had a previous commitment. Darrah began the night by turning in the fourth fastest lap in time trials of the 42 cars that took to the track. He followed that up by a convincing win in the fourth heat race to earn a spot in the Crane Cams Dash. He started 10th in the A-Feature event and finished a very strong sixth, one week after winning for the first time in his career with the World of Outlaws.
"This is a wonderful opportunity these guys gave to us," said Darrah. "The guys who work on this car work very hard. This is definitely top notch equipment. The car was a little bit better than where we finished, that's for sure. I was new to this place and made a couple of mistakes there, but that's nothing that experience won't fix. That's the one thing we struggle with is lack of experience. If we could go down the street and buy a big bag of it at the local hardware store, that would help, but we can't do that. It was a very good solid night for us."
It's been a while: Andy Priest, who hails from New Castle, Pennsylvania, qualified for his first World of Outlaws A-Feature events since 1995 on Saturday night. He won the third heat race, to earn a spot in the Crane Cams Dash for the first time in his career. It was also the first time he has won a heat race with the World of Outlaws in his career. Priest finished ninth in the dash to earn a fifth row starting spot in the main event. Unfortunately he was caught up in an accident on the first lap of the New Yorker 25 bringing his night to an end.
Up next: The first edition of WoO Fest at Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore, Texas on Saturday, October 24 which will be the third to final race of the season for the World of Outlaws.