World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: Missouri High-Banked Nationals & Knoxville Raceway Concord, NC--June 28, 2009 Honoring the champ: Donny Schatz was honored during a special ceremony Saturday afternoon outside of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame ...
World of Outlaws Wrap-Up: Missouri High-Banked Nationals & Knoxville
Concord, NC--June 28, 2009
Honoring the champ: Donny Schatz was honored during a special ceremony Saturday afternoon outside of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa for his third consecutive victory in the Knoxville Nationals last season. Bob Baker, the Executive Director of the Nationals Sprint Car Hall of Fame helped unveil the plaque and brick that adorn the Knoxville Nationals the Wall of Champions. Schatz's parents Danny and Diane also took part in the ceremony as well as Eddie Leavitt Jr., whose father Eddie Leavitt Sr. the Wall of Champions is named after. For Schatz it is the third brick in as many years that bears his name for winning sprint car racing's biggest event.
"To have your name on this wall once is a huge accomplishment, to have it three times in a row is amazing," said Schatz. "Hopefully we can be up here again next year, but there are a lot of guys that will do their best so that doesn't happen. It's definitely a great honor."
Nothing but respect: After battling Johnny Herrera for most of the 40-lap race on Friday night at U.S. 36 Raceway, Joey Saldana offered high regards for his long-time friend. The pair officially traded the lead five times, but unofficially they swapped it more than a dozen times as the weaved their way through lapped traffic on the high-banked bullring, with Saldana taking the lead on the final lap to pick up his 11th win of the season.
"It's great to see Johnny (Herrera) back out here running with the Outlaws," said Saldana. "He's been winning 30 or 40 races a year back in Albuquerque and wherever, so he deserves to be back out here."
A trophy to remember: Anytime Terry McCarl is involved in helping promoting a race, the trophy that the winner receives is guaranteed to be one of a kind and one that stands out and usually above all others. The nearly five foot tall trophy he had made for the winner of the Missouri High-Banked Nationals was created and built by hand by longtime sprint car supporter Duane Davis of Iowa, who passed away last month. McCarl dubbed the handmade trophy "Big Bertha." Davis served on the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Board of Directors and was a Hall of Fame member as well.
"This is a beautiful trophy that our good friend Duane (Davis) made for us before he passed away," said McCarl on Friday night. "He meant a lot to sprint car racing and truly loved the sport. He'll be greatly missed"
Ready to rock and roll: With the World of Outlaws schedule picking up as the weather heats up, three-time and defending series champion and current series point leader Donny Schatz is looking forward to racing three and four times a week as he chases his fourth consecutive title. He finished second and fourth this past weekend to extend his lead in the championship standings to 76 markers over Joey Saldana.
"When the going gets tough, the tough get going," said Schatz. "The harder you make it on us the better we like when it comes to the racing. This is what these teams thrives off of. Everyone is out here away from their families and give that up to be a part of the sport they love, and they love to go-go-go and we are coming up to that time."
Still learning after all these years: Terry McCarl has been racing for over 25 years and still is a student of the sport. After several near misses with the World of Outlaws this season, he picked up his first win of the season on Saturday night with the series, as he gears up for some of the higher paying and prestigious events that dot the calendar in the next month and a half.
"You learn something every night you race period," shared McCarl. "You think you know something and like last night you make a big mistake. Everywhere we have been this year, we have been fast. You miss the boat once in a while and you learn something every night. We are looking forward to the Nationals and the Kings Royal and big races like that and hopefully can pick up a big win this year."
Australian invasion: Garry Brazier made his first start with the World of Outlaws since 1999 on Friday at U.S. 36 Raceway in Missouri. The multi-time Australian champion raced his way through the B-Main into the main event. He also competed at Knoxville on Saturday night, with his night ending in the B-Main. He plans to compete in a number of World of Outlaws events over the next few months.
On board for the weekend: Work 'N Woody, the Official Pace Truck & Safety Vehicle of the World of Outlaws sported a new sponsor this past weekend for the events at U.S. 36 Raceway and Knoxville Raceway,, as Bosma Poultry Inc. adorned the left side board of the top wing on the iconic machine, with Eric Malies at the helm, having taken over from his parents Art & Carol who retired after last season..
Photo Gallery: The Media Gallery section of www.WorldofOutlaws.com continues to be updated after each event. Visit www.worldofoutlaws.com/sprint/MediaGallery.aspx to see Photo Galleries from 2009 World of Outlaws events. Photo Galleries from U.S. 36 Raceway and Knoxville Raceway will be posted shortly.
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. 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.
Up next: The World of Outlaws head north for a stop at Huset's Speedway in South Dakota on Friday, July 3, followed by a stop at Eagle Raceway in Nebraska on the 4th of July.