Series Gillette spotlight - veteran drivers

Veteran Drivers Look Forward to Inaugural World of Outlaws Visit to Gillette Thunder Speedway Gillette, Wyoming-- August 13, 2008--Craig Dollansky, Jac Haudenschild, Daryn Pittman and Joey Saldana have raced at a lot of tracks in their...

Veteran Drivers Look Forward to Inaugural World of Outlaws Visit to Gillette Thunder Speedway

Gillette, Wyoming-- August 13, 2008--Craig Dollansky, Jac Haudenschild, Daryn Pittman and Joey Saldana have raced at a lot of tracks in their careers from coast-to-coast as well as in Australia and even New Zealand, and they still all get very excited when they visit a venue for the first time. That will be exactly the case on Thursday, August 14 as the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series heads to Gillette Thunder Speedway in Wyoming, to take to the high-banked 3/8-mile, in what is the most anticipated motorsports event in the state this season.

Gillette Thunder Speedway will serve as the third of six inaugural races this season for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. It will also be the series first visit to the state of Wyoming since 1999. All 18 drivers following the World of Outlaws trail full-time will be making their maiden voyage to the track located in Northeast Wyoming, which hosted the World of Outlaws Late Model Series earlier this season.

Craig Dollansky, who is currently third in the World of Outlaws championship standings and has won seven A-Feature events this season, has competed twice in Wyoming in his career, picking up a sixth-place finish in his first career start in the state back in 1997 at Sweetwater Speedway. The native of Elk River, Minnesota has Top-10 finishes in both inaugural events contested this season to-date by the World of Outlaws. He has won three times this season on high-banked 3/8-mile tracks similar to Gillette Thunder Speedway.

"I always enjoy going to places for the first time," said Dollansky, who pilots the Snap-on Tools Maxim. "Everyone rolls in there and no one really knows what to expect. You just have to take a look at the race track and get yourself prepared as fast as you can."

Haudenschild is one of just three drivers that has competed in all three World of Outlaws events in Wyoming, joining 20-time series champion Steve Kinser and two-time defending series champion Donny Schatz. In his three starts in the state, the native of Wooster, Ohio has three Top-10 finishes, including a fourth-place run in 1999 at Sweetwater Speedway, his most recent start in the state.

In two inaugural events this season aboard the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Maxim for the Carnahan Motorsports team, Haudenschild has picked up two Top-10 finishes. He was fourth at Virginia Motor Speedway back in May and was eighth a couple weeks ago at 34 Raceway in Iowa and he looks to add to these strong runs at Gillette Thunder Speedway on Thursday.

"It's the first time for everybody this week, so it's equal for everyone," Haudenschild said. "We are looking forward to it and we always enjoy heading west to race. There are a lot of good fans out there and we have a good time."

Joey Saldana, who is in the midst of his third full season behind the wheel for Kasey Kahne Racing, owned by NASCAR star Kasey Kahne, will be making his first career start in the state of Wyoming at Gillette Thunder Speedway on Thursday aboard the Budweiser/Open Joist Mopar-powered JEI. He finished fifth earlier this season in an inaugural event at Virginia Motor Speedway.

"At least you go there knowing that everyone is equal," noted Saldana. "No one has any knowledge of what will happen to the car or the tires or the track or anything. From that aspect everyone is on a level playing field, whether they are rookies or veterans or whoever. Everyone has a fair shot at winning the race."

Daryn Pittman, who won for the fourth time in 2008 on Tuesday night at Red River Valley Speedway, has been on a recent hot streak since winning the 25th Annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in July. In inaugural races this season, he picked up a runner-up finish at Virginia Motor Speedway and was sixth at 34 Raceway. The native of Owasso, Oklahoma has one career start in the state of Wyoming, with that coming in 1999 when he finished seventh at Sweetwater Speedway.

"I'm really excited," shared Pittman who drives the Titan Garages Maxim. "I told my wife yesterday that normally everyone is worn out from Knoxville and I'm excited. I am glad we have a lot of races. This is probably the busiest after Knoxville that I have seen our schedule since I have been around. I couldn't be happier for it. I'm ready for Gillette (Thunder Speedway) and we'll see if we can get another one there."

Saldana, who finished second on Tuesday night in the finale of the Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway points out a couple of crucial elements to having a good night at Gillette Thunder Speedway, as he looks for his second win on a 3/8-mile track this season, having taken the checkered flag at Dodge City Raceway Park earlier in the season. It all begins in time trials, where a new track record is expected to be set.

"We have to do what we did last race," explained Saldana. "We have to finish at the front of the heat to get in a position to redraw for the dash. That is the key. Hopefully we can do that again."

On Thursday, August 14 at Gillette Thunder Speedway, adult general admission tickets will be $35 if purchased in advance and $40 the day of the race. Adult reserved seating will be $40 in advance and $45 the day of the race. Seating for juniors, ages 10-under will be $20. For tickets call: 866-581-6892 or visit:

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Kasey Kahne , Donny Schatz , Craig Dollansky , Daryn Pittman , Joey Saldana