World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: The Duel in the Dakotas at River Cities Speedway Concord, NC-June 21, 2010 A rousing success: A Pre-race Pit Party was held on Saturday afternoon prior to the opener of The Duel in the Dakotas at River Cities...
World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: The Duel in the Dakotas at River Cities
Concord, NC-June 21, 2010
A rousing success: A Pre-race Pit Party was held on Saturday afternoon prior to the opener of The Duel in the Dakotas at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota for fans that purchased two-day tickets in advance. Fans had the opportunity to walk around the pits, meet their favorite drivers, get autographs and take photos. The Class of 2010 Poster were handed out by SLS Promotions and were a big hit with fans, as it features the race cars of each of the 16 full-time World of Outlaws drivers this season along with Work'N Woody. Hot dogs were grilled during the Pit Party with nearly 2,000 being served over the course of the three-hour event. Fans also received various giveaways on a picture perfect afternoon with sunny skies and warm temperatures.
"It's really neat," said current World of Outlaws point leader Joey Saldana of the Pit Party. "Having a six-year old son myself, you get to be a fan in a different way. You see it in a totally different light. There are a lot of drivers that come to the track and are focused and want to race and do their job. Obviously having a son you realize that there are more important things than that. You have to kind of sit back and realize that these people look up to you and getting your autograph is pretty cool. I got to do that with him and that Class of 2010 Poster is pretty cool. It's a neat deal and it's great to be able to do it at a facility like this that supports our racing."
Close to home Donny Schatz finished on the podium in the finale of The Duel in the Dakotas on Sunday night. He finished seventh in the opener after working his way back through the field, following a spin while battling for the second spot. The native of Fargo, which is a about an hour south of Grand Forks, won the dash on Saturday night to earn his series-leading sixth pole of the season. The World of Outlaws will race twice more in Schatz's home state this year with the Magic City Showdown set for August 20-21 at Nodak Speedway in Minot, where the four-time and defending series champion, was born and raised.
"To be able to come and race in North Dakota is great," said Schatz. "I wish we could have won the race, but we haven't put our fair share of wins on the board. I guess you have crawl before you can walk. I guess Top-Three's are a start and we'll get them out of the way and hopefully we'll get back to Victory Lane soon."
A Hall of Fame Podium: The front straightaway was filled with Hall of Famers in the opener of The Duel in the Dakotas as Steve Kinser was victorious over Jac Haudenschild and Sammy Swindell. The trio has combined to win over 850 A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws in their legendary careers. There have been 13 seasons dating back to 1985 in which they all have won with the series in the same year.
A helping hand: After Ben Gregg, the leading contender in the battle for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award got upside in time trials on Saturday night in his debut at River Cities Speedway, a number of teams pitched in to help crew chief Kirk Dewease and Gregg's crew get the car ready for a heat race. Among the teams offering a helping hand were the crew of the No. 14 machine driven by Jason Meyers and the crew of Joey Saldana's machine among others.
A familiar face: Jason Sides has a familiar face back helping turn the wrenches on his machine as Shane Finch, from Australia, who has been with Sides a number of years made the trip across the pond for the stretch run of the season, joining crewman Doug Rankin to give Sides two full-time helpers on the road.
"Having Finchy back definitely takes some of the burden off me and Doug," said Sides with a smile. "Doug has been busting his butt all year and doing a great job. It's always good to have an extra person out here, especially when it's someone you work well with."
First timers: Casey Mack and Thomas Kennedy both raced their way into the dash with the World of Outlaws for the first time in their respective career during The Duel in the Dakotas. Mack snagged the second spot from Joey Saldana on the final lap of the second heat race in the opener on Saturday night with a huge crowd applauding the effort. Kennedy found himself in the dash after winning the third heat race in the finale over Jason Meyers and Lucas Wolfe. Mack is the grandson of Hall of Fame Don Mack, the promoter at River Cities Speedway. Kennedy's father Lou is a two-time NOSA champion up in the North Dakota area.
Racking up the points: Joey Saldana was second quick in time trials each night at River Cities Speedway to earn a total of eight bonus points in the series championship standings. He leads the series with 14 qualifying efforts among the Top-Five, which has earned him 48 bonus points in the standings. Among the three drivers at the top of the standings, Saldana leads the way, while Jason Meyers has earned 34 bonus points in time trials and Steve Kinser has picked up 19 points.
"Last year we felt like one of the reasons we lost the points was that we didn't qualify well," explained Saldana. "Donny (Schatz) and Jason (Meyers) just killed us in that category. When you look at a whole season those little bit of points add up and what we lost it by was probably a lack of qualifying. We've paid attention to qualifying and yes you can win races by not qualifying well, but it definitely makes it easier and the points are easy points they are given to you for really just going out and running one lap by yourself. That's the easiest part of the night. Racing these cars with the competition so tough, it's hard to give up points to those guys. We've just focused on that and I think we've done a better job so far this year."
Up next: An inaugural event at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Nebraska on Friday, June 25 followed by a return to Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas for the first time since 2003.
Keep up with all the action: The number of "Followers" keeping up with the World of Outlaws via Twitter online and through text messages on cell phones continues to grow and recently surpassed the 4,000 "Follower" mark. Updates are provided throughout race nights beginning with hot laps and continuing all the way through the final checkered flag of the night. To sign-up visit: twitter.com/worldofoutlaws and receive live race updates, anywhere, anytime.
On sale now: Tickets for a number of premier World of Outlaws events are currently on-sale, including for Kasey's King of Sedalia Presented by Budweiser at Missouri State Fair Speedway on July 29, as well as Kasey's King of LaSalle on July 8, in addition to the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup Twin 30's at Lernerville Speedway on July 20, and the Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway on August 6-7. Also on sale now are tickets for the World of Outlaws stop at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in New York on October 9 and the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, November 4-6. For tickets visit www.WorldofOutlaws.com/tickets.