World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: National Open & Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway Concord, NC--October 4, 2009 Gaining a few points: Donny Schatz gained five points on Jason Meyers in the World of Outlaws championship standings after the two...
World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: National Open & Summer Nationals at Williams
Concord, NC--October 4, 2009
Gaining a few points: Donny Schatz gained five points on Jason Meyers in the World of Outlaws championship standings after the two events at Williams Grove Speedway on Saturday night. The three-time and defending series champion now holds a 14-point advantage with four races left on the 2009 calendar. Schatz finished second in the National Open and came all the way from 22nd to sixth in the completion of the Summer Nationals to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award. He leads the series with 37 Top-Five finishes and has won 12 times this year.
"We'll see what those other guys have and it is what it is," said Schatz, when asked what it will take to win his fourth consecutive title. "The funny thing is that things are now taking shape that we have been working on for the last couple of months. That was one of the best race cars I have ever driven around here (Williams Grove Speedway). I'm looking forward to next weekend and I am looking forward to a week off as well. I'm ready to go hunting. I'm looking forward to the end of the year. It's obviously going to be a close gig and that's what the World of Outlaws wanted and they are going to get it."
Three in a row: Greg Hodnett's win in the National Open was his third consecutive with the World of Outlaws in 2009 at Williams Grove Speedway. He has now won four times in his career with the series at the famed half-mile. The win also set a new career mark with the World of Outlaws for the veteran driver, besting the two victories he had in 2002.
"It means a great deal," said Hodnett. "I don't know if I have ever won three Outlaws races in one year much less in a row. I'm very fortunate to be with a great team. Jim and Sandy (Kline) give us an opportunity to be here and Lee Stauffer my crew chief along with Matt and Mike do a great job go keep this thing going. I'm very fortunate to be here."
Looking for a few more wins: Joey Saldana finished second in the completion of the Summer Nationals on Saturday night and charged from the 25th starting spot to finish seventh in the National Open after using a provisional to start the A-Feature. The native of Brownsburg, Indiana leads the World of Outlaws with 18 A-Feature wins this season and is currently third in points, 26 markers behind Jason Meyers and 40 out of the lead. Of the three tracks remaining on the 2009 schedule, Saldana has won at two of them.
"For us right now, we have to go out and win races. That's what we have been doing all year and we'll give it the best we can. Right now it's a race between Donny (Schatz) and Jason (Meyers). We're in there, but they are going to have to help me out if I am going to beat them. Those guys are solid every night and that's the way it is. You don't wish bad luck on anybody, but that about the only way I will beat them is if they do have some bad luck. We'll just keep working hard and continue to get better."
Expanding his horizons: Cody Darrah has added a number of tracks to the list of speedways that he has competed at in his young career this year. The native of Red Lion, Pennsylvania has raced at six different tracks with the World of Outlaws in 2009. Along with his win on Saturday night at his home track of Williams Grove Speedway, Darrah has six Top-10 finishes in World of Outlaws events this season including at the famed Eldora Speedway, Ohsweken Speedway where he set fast time back in July and Volusia Speedway Park in Florida. The 20-year old will add another track to that list this coming weekend as he'll compete at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in New York behind the wheel of the No. 19 machine for Kasey Kahne Racing, as he fills in for Brad Sweet who has previous commitments that weekend.
"It never hurts to have a home field advantage, but we have run some different tracks to get more experience and the success has kind of followed it," said Darrah after his victory on Saturday night. "It's phenomenal to be part of this deal."
Fast time for the first time with the Outlaws: Pat Cannon set fast time for the first time in his career with the World of Outlaws on Saturday night in the National Open, besting the 58 cars that took a lap of time trials. Cannon's lap of 16.368 seconds was the fastest lap turned in time trials at Williams Grove Speedway this season and was just two tenths of a second off the track record of 16.140 set by Brian Paulus back in 2002. Cannon finished sixth in the National Open to earn his best career World of Outlaws finish. It was his second consecutive Top-10 finishes with the series after a seventh-place performance on the first night of the Summer Nationals in July.
"It definitely boosts the confidence to be fast against these guys," said Cannon during the dash draw on Saturday night."We have a fast car and hopefully we can show that throughout the night."
Back in the saddle: Craig Dollansky returned to action with the World of Outlaws at Williams Grove Speedway for the National Open behind the wheel of the No. 27C machine for Heffner Racing Enterprises as a teammate to Hall of Famer Keith Kauffman. Dollansky charged from the 24th starting spot into the Top-10 and was running seventh with just two laps to go when he was caught up in an accident. The native of Elk River, Minnesota is currently working on his options to finish out the 2009 season on the World of Outlaws trail, as he is currently seventh in points, and he will be a teammate to Terry McCarl next season driving for Tod Quiring and Big Game Motorsports. Dollansky will be reunited with crew chief Mike Woodring and crew member Lester Groves and will bring back his familiar No. 7 based out of his shop in Princeton, Minnesota.
Back for more: Jac Haudenschild and the Carnahan Motorsports team recently announced that the veteran driver will return for his third consecutive season in the No. R19 machines in 2010. The 2009 inductee into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame will again be teamed with veteran crew chief Leonard Lee, with whom has he worked each of the last two seasons earning five wins over that time. Haudenschild is currently ninth in the World of Outlaws championship standings this season on the strength of 29 Top-10 finishes, with 13 of those being Top-Five performances as he chases his first win of the season.
Up next: A return to Super Dirt Week for the World of Outlaws with a stop at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge, New York on Saturday, October 10 for The New York 25.