World of Outlaws Preview: Virginia Motor Speedway Jamaica, VA--May 20, 2009--After making the first visit in the 30-plus year history of the World of Outlaws to the state of Virginia last season, the series will return to the Old Dominion State...
World of Outlaws Preview: Virginia Motor Speedway
Jamaica, VA--May 20, 2009--After making the first visit in the 30-plus year history of the World of Outlaws to the state of Virginia last season, the series will return to the Old Dominion State this weekend for the Paul Sawyer Memorial at Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica. The half-mile will serve as the second of a busy three-race Memorial Day weekend, with $10,000 awaiting the winner on Saturday, May 23.
Last season in the series debut at Virginia Motor Speedway, Jason Meyers was victorious over Daryn Pittman and Sam Hafertepe Jr. For Meyers it was his fifth win of the early part of the 2008 season and it helped him extend his lead in the championship standings. He would eventually finish second in points at year's end.
Joey Saldana set a new track record at Virginia Motor Speedway last season in time trials, leading a parade of 20 drives that shattered the existing mark. Saldana bested the existing track record by well over a full second. Meyers, along with Lucas Wolfe and Chad Kemenah picked up heat wins, while Pittman won the Crane Cams Dash to earn the pole position. It was Meyers getting the jump on Pittman at the start to lead the field into turns one and two. Pittman took the lead on the 17th laps, with Meyers getting back by on the next circuit and leading the remainder of the 30 laps.
A total of 10 of the drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws in 2009 competed at Virginia Motor Speedway last season, with 2001 series champion Danny Lasoski and current Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender Brian Ellenberger making their first visit to the half-mile this weekend.
Slidejobs- Virginia Motor Speedway:
1 for 1 : Jason Meyers made his debut in Virginia last season and picked up the win in that event. He looks to stay undefeated at the track this season after leading 29 of the 30 laps last year, with Daryn Pittman getting by him for a single lap before he got back to the point. Meyers has won twice this season and is currently fourth in points.
Home on the half-miles: Donny Schatz has won five times this season, with all of those victories coming on half-mile tracks. The three-time and defending series champion is the current series point leader over 20-time champ Steve Kinser. Schatz finished seventh in his debut at Virginia Motor Speedway last season.
"You have a race at one of the biggest tracks, that is live on TV right in the heart of NASCAR country, and everyone wants to show the world how good they are," noted Schatz. "Then, 24 hours later, you are in another state racing, and then, 48 hours after that, you are on a track 700 miles from where you started the weekend. A lot can happen during those four days, so having a crew that's prepared for anything can separate you from winning and losing."
Looksing to add to the list: Steve Kinser has won in nearly every state he has ever competed in and looks to extend that list to the state of Virginia this weekend. The 20-time series champion leads the series this season with 15 Top-10 finishes in 18 races and has one win, with that coming in his home state of Indiana. He is currently second in the series championship standings.
A new track record: Joey Saldana set a new track record in time trials last season at Virginia Motor Speedway circling the half-mile in 14.537 seconds at 123.822 miles per hour. He wound up finishing fifth in the A-Feature event. He is tied with Schatz for the series lead with five wins this season, with two of those coming on half-miles. He is third in points as he chases his first series title.
Up to speed: Craig Dollansky finished in the Top-10 in his first trip to Virginia Motor Speedway last season. He is currently in the midst of his first season driving for Kasey Kahne Racing as a teammate to Joey Saldana. The native of Elk River, Minnesota has 12 Top-10 finishes and is currently fifth in the standings.
First time visitor: Danny Lasoski has raced in more states than he can remember in his career, but one he has never raced in is Virginia. He will make his first visit to the Commonwealth this weekend as he continues his first year behind the wheel for the Parsons Motorsports team.
Fast out of the box: Jac Haudenschild finished fourth at Virginia Motor Speedway last season after turning in the fourth fastest lap in time trials in his debut at the track. The native of Wooster, Ohio is up to eighth in points on the strength of seven Top-10 finishes.
Second chance: After having some bad luck last season at Virginia Motor Speedway, Kraig Kinser looks to change his luck in his second trip to the track. The third generation driver, who pilots a machine for NASCAR star Tony Stewart's team, has seven Top-10 finishes this season and is ninth in points.
"If I remember right, Virginia Motor Speedway was really fast and qualifying in the right spot was important," noted Kinser. "We didn't and we had a long night. The big thing for us is to get as many races in as we can and try to improve every time we hit the track. We know this weekend is a great opportunity for us and we're geared up for it."
A strong run: Lucas Wolfe finished seventh last year at Virginia in his debut at the track. The reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year matched his season best finish last week at the sprawling half-mile at Delaware International Speedway with a fifth-place performance.
Career best finish: Sam Hafertepe Jr. picked up the best of his World of Outlaws career at Virginia Motor Speedway last season registering a third-place performance. He has since matched that a couple of times. Of the drivers competing this weekend at the track, the native of Sunnyvale, Texas has the most experience at Virginia Motor Speedway, as he has made two career starts at the half-mile.
Another new track: Brian Ellenberger, who is contending for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, will make his debut at Virginia Motor Speedway this weekend as his rookie season on the road continues.
By the Numbers: Virginia Motor Speedway
0.5- Miles around Virginia Motor Speedway
1- Event in the state of Virginia in the 31-year history of the World of Outlaws
2- Drivers that led laps in the A-Feature at Virginia Motor Speedway last season
3- Track records that have been set in time trials this season
5- Drivers that have won on half-miles with the World of Outlaws this season; Wins for Donny Schatz on half-miles this season to lead the series
10- Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that competed at Virginia Motor Speedway last season; Events on half-mile tracks this season through May 15 for the World of Outlaws
12- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws
14.537- Track record set by Joey Saldana in time trials last season
16- Drivers that have won a Crane Cams Dash this season to earn a pole position
18- Events contested by the World of Outlaws through May 15
29- Laps led by Jason Meyers en route to winning at the track last season
39- Points that separate Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser in the series standings entering the three races this weekend
112- Laps led by Joey Saldana this season to lead the series 123.822- Track record in miles per hour set by Joey Saldana last year
318- Miles from The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway where the World of Outlaws compete on May 22 to Virginia Motor Speedway on May 23
551- A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws for Steve Kinser entering the weekend
2008- Year the World of Outlaws first competed at Virginia Motor Speedway
10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Saturday, May 23
51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Saturday, May 23
Tickets: On Saturday, May 23 at Virginia Motor Speedway, General admission tickets for adults are $30, Senior's (Ages 60+) are $27, military are $27, with Students (Ages 7 -- 17) just $15 and children 6-under are free with a paying adult. Reserved seating will be in the Paul Sawyer Tower only and features executive style seating with armrests and seat backs. Reserved seats, regardless of age, are $35. For ticket information visit www.vamotorspeedway.com.