Two in a Row: Jason Meyers Claims Rumble in Michigan for Second Straight year Lake Odessa, MI- May 22, 2010- From the very first time he visited I-96 Speedway back in 2000, Jason Meyers has been fast. He finished fifth in his debut at the track...
Two in a Row: Jason Meyers Claims Rumble in Michigan for Second Straight year
Lake Odessa, MI- May 22, 2010- From the very first time he visited I-96 Speedway back in 2000, Jason Meyers has been fast. He finished fifth in his debut at the track and since has finished seventh or better in each and every one of his seven starts at the half-mile. Meyers entered this weekend as the defending winner of the Rumble in Michigan and had finished on the podium in three straight starts at I-96. He made it two wins in a row at the blazing fast half-mile on Saturday night to score his sixth win of the 2010 campaign.
Meyers lined up third and fell back to fourth at the start, before charging past Dean Jacobs to move back into third on the back straightaway. The native of Clovis, California then got around Donny Schatz for second on the ninth lap and then took over the lead on the 25th circuit when Danny Lasoski lost a rear end while leading. Meyers would lead the final six laps of the 30-lap contest to score the 41st A-Feature win of his career with the World of Outlaws, which also moved him into second in the series standings as he chases his first championship aboard the GLR Investments KPC.
"This place has been really good to us," said Meyers in Victory Lane at I-96 Speedway. "It was a great race track here tonight. There were a couple of grooves. I wasn't very good on my restarts unfortunately, but I got them figured out there at the end. We had a great race car again here tonight. There are so many people that make this happen and I can't thank them all enough."
Meyers was out front for three double file restarts in the final six laps on Saturday night and chose the high side of the track each time. Meyers fought back after Joey Saldana took the lead in turn one on a lap-25 restart, to take the top spot back in turn two at the sweeping half-mile. On each of the final two restarts, Meyers quickly jumped to a lead and never looked back.
"The high side was the easy choice for me," noted Meyers. "If you could get a good jump the bottom that might have worked and Joey (Saldana) did get a jump on me on that one restart. I think you could have gone either way. It was a crapshoot and you had to make sure you got to roll off the corner. The car would go through the middle (of the corner) so well that once I figured that out, I knew we had something for them."
The race began with Donny Schatz who started on the pole leading the field into turn one. Danny Lasoski took the top spot from the four-time and defending series champion later on the first lap and would pace the field for the first 24 laps before his night came to an end on the back straightaway with the rear end problem.
A number of drivers had bad luck while running up front including Schatz, who blew a left rear tire while running third. Kraig Kinser was running fourth when his engine let go, while Jac Haudenschild blew a left rear tire while running fourth.
Meyers began the night by turning the second fastest lap in time trials to earn four bonus points in the series standings. He followed that with a strong runner-up finish in the third heat race after lining up fourth to race his way into the dash, where he finished third to earn a second row starting spot in the A-Feature.
"It's big and it's fast," stated Meyers when asked what makes him so successful at I-96. "We always enjoy these big half-miles. We've had a good set up here for the last few years, but with that being said, tonight was a lot different with the tires and the car just didn't act the same. We had a good car and we've had a good car all season and are just learning our new shock program and some other things."
Craig Dollansky used a strong restart with four laps to go to come from sixth to second, getting around Kerry Madsen, Tim Shaffer, Joey Saldana and Jason Sides. The veteran ended up second in the Big Game Treestands Maxim to earn his fourth Top-Five finish of the season which vaulted him to the eighth spot in the series standings, just 31 markers out of sixth. Dollansky earned the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award on Saturday night after lining up 12th in the 30-lap lap contest.
"We had a good race car toward the end," said Dollansky. "That red (flag) helped us out and we got some air pressure back up on in the right rear tire. Just a great run for the team and everyone that stands behind us. Things were definitely getting interesting there late in the race. Jason (Meyers) and his team are doing a great job and are very strong. We'll just keep plugging away here."
Jason Sides also used a couple of strong restarts in the late going to come from sixth to third over the last seven laps of the race aboard the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim to earn his seventh Top-Five finish of 2010.
"It was a good run," Sides said. "Those double file restarts helped us and I knew they helped Craig (Dollansky) as well and he had a good run on the last restart. We'll just keep plugging away and we're happy to be up here (on the podium)."
Joey Saldana, the current World of Outlaws championship point leader, finished fourth aboard the Budweiser Maxim after beginning the night by setting a new track record in time trials at I-96 Speedway. He currently has a 14-point advantage over Meyers and leads the series with 14 Top-Five finishes.
Chad Kemenah picked up his best finish of the season aboard the Golden Flavor Sesame Sticks Maxim coming from 13th to finish fifth. Kerry Madsen was sixth in the Halls Haulage KPC. Tim Shaffer was seventh in the Kistler Engines J&J, with Lucas Wolfe eighth piloting the Allebach Racing Maxim. Steve Kinser recovered from a flat tire while running sixth to come back through the field to finish ninth in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim to earn his 18th Top-10 finish of the season which leads the series. Dean Jacobs rounded out the Top-10 in the Northwest Ohio Towing Maxim.
The World of Outlaws return to action on Friday, May 28 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in the Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown which will air live on SPEED beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern.
I-96 SPEEDWAY NOTES
FAST QUALIFIER: Joey Saldana paced the 33 cars that took time with a record setting AMB i.t. timed lap around the semi-banked 1/2-mile oval at 14.834 seconds at 121.343 mph. For his qualifying effort, Saldana earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Steve Kinser (4), Jason Meyers (3), Lucas Wolfe (2) and Craig Dollansky (1).
I-96 SPEEDWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Kraig Kinser, Jac Haudenschild, Donny Schatz and Jason Sides won heat races. Donny Schatz won the dash. Brandon Wimmer won the Last Chance Showdown.
FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 19 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, Tri-State (Okla.) Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway and I-96 Speedway), Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, I-55 Raceway and Eldora Speedway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park and Jackson Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park) and Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park).
1/2-MILE WINNERS: I-96 Speedway is a semi-banked half-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced 11 times at a track that size in 2010. The winners include: Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway and I-96 Speedway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park and Jackson Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Joey Saldana (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway) and Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park).