Nearly a Home Race: Brian Ellenberger Looks Ahead to Inaugural World of Outlaws Event at Tri-City Speedway in Pennsylvania Franklin, PA-May 27, 2010- There are not too many tracks on the World of Outlaws circuit where Brian Ellenberger has more...
Nearly a Home Race: Brian Ellenberger Looks Ahead to Inaugural World of Outlaws Event at Tri-City Speedway in Pennsylvania
Franklin, PA-May 27, 2010- There are not too many tracks on the World of Outlaws circuit where Brian Ellenberger has more experience than every other driver on the tour. In fact, there is just one track where that is the case and that's Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pennsylvania where the World of Outlaws will make their debut this weekend on Sunday, May 30 for a full night of racing.
Ellenberger, who hails from Butler, Pennsylvania which is about an hour south of Tri-City Speedway, will return to the half-mile for the first time since 2007 as the World of Outlaws make their debut at the track. A number of the drivers on the tour have raced at the facility once or twice during their career and one driver has made three starts, but no one has near the experience that Ellenberger has at the track located in Franklin. He has made more starts at the track than the other 15 full-time drivers combined.
"I'm excited to race there," said Ellenberger. "It's nice because it's close to home and my family and friends will be able to get up there and enjoy the race with us. It's a track I know and have raced at quite a few times. I haven't been over there for two or three years, but I'm definitely looking forward to getting back to Tri-City."
Ellenberger raced for the first time at Tri-City Speedway in 1997 finishing on the podium in that event and has racked up nearly 50 starts over the years at the track. He won at Tri-City in 2000 and has finished sixth or better in 19 of his last 21 starts at the half-mile He will return to the track this weekend aboard the Ti22 Performance JEI that he owns as he continues his sophomore season on the road with the World of Outlaws.
"Having laps there will absolutely help," he noted. "I know they've had an ownership change at the track since the last time I was there. They put some new clay on the track last year and I have talked to some of the people that have run over there and they have talked about how nice the track has been. I don't know how much of an advantage having raced there will be, but it certainly won't hurt."
Ellenberger has competed on half-mile tracks already 11 times this season, more than any size track the series has competed on. Four of the next five races for the World of Outlaws will be on half-miles, which continue a stretch of 11 out of 12 on the big tracks. Ellenberger will be able to use some of the notes from the other half-miles on the circuit when the series invades Tri-City Speedway on Sunday.
"It's a nice big half-mile," shared the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year. "Under the right conditions that place can be really fast. It's definitely similar to a lot of the half-mile we race at including at I-96 where we were last weekend."
Ellenberger, who claimed the World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award last season, is returning to most of the tracks on the circuit for the second and third times this season. He is still up against a steep learning curve of the veterans who have been to the tracks countless times, but he and his team are using every bit of information they learned and knowledge they gained last year in their first full year on the road.
"Without a doubt the laps help," Ellenberger said. "What we learned last year at these places and coming back with notes this year to them definitely is important. Being able to come back this year and have something to reference to as a driver definitely helps."
In addition to the 19 World of Outlaws events that are in the books so far this season, Ellenberger has gotten in a few other races at Lernerville Speedway in Western Pennsylvania on off weekends for the series. He scored a win at there on April 2 after a thrilling duel with Ed Lynch Jr. the winningest driver in a sprint car at Lernerville. He is looking forward to the schedule picking up in the next few weeks.
"We certainly like to race more and we've tried to fill in a few of the gaps racing over at Lernerville here and there," explained the native of Butler, Pennsylvania. "We've tried to stay sharp and try a few new things on the off-weekends that we have raced. I'm sure we'll be begging for a break in a few weeks once things really get going."
Ellenberger is currently 15th in the World of Outlaws championship standings. He finished 11th last season, picking up four Top-10 finishes along the way, including a very impressive third-place effort in his first ever trip to Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas last June. Ellenberger has a couple of goals as the 2010 season shifts into high gear over the next few weeks.
"We have to start consistently getting in the Top-10," he said. "The biggest thing for our team is get qualified. We've put ourselves at a disadvantage because we haven't been qualifying good. We feel like we have been racing good, but when you are lining up 17th or 18th back in the field its tough to race with these guys."
On Sunday, May 30 at Tri-City Speedway, adult general admission tickets will be $35, with children 10-under admitted free of charge. For tickets call the track at 814-676-3000.