An Amazing Race: Jason Meyers Wins Ironman 55 & $20,000 in Thrilling Fashion over Lucas Wolfe Pevely, MO-August 7, 2010- 55 laps at I-55 Raceway and the Second Annual Ironman 55 came down to the final one and just a couple of feet on the race ...
An Amazing Race: Jason Meyers Wins Ironman 55 & $20,000 in Thrilling Fashion over Lucas Wolfe
Pevely, MO-August 7, 2010- 55 laps at I-55 Raceway and the Second Annual Ironman 55 came down to the final one and just a couple of feet on the race track as Jason Meyers won a thriller over Lucas Wolfe on the final circuit. Wolfe used a huge slide job coming off turn four to take the lead on the 55th and final lap, with Meyers winning a drag race down the front straightaway by a mere 0.092 seconds, which was the closest finish of the season.
The $20,000 win for Meyers was his eighth of the season and his second career triumph at I-55 Raceway, where he has finished in the Top-10 in each of his last seven starts at the high-banked 1/3-mile co-owned by Ken Schrader and Ray Marlar. The win helped Meyers close to within 46 markers of current point leader Joey Saldana, who finished fifth, while he is just 37 points behind Steve Kinser, who finished sixth on Saturday night and is currently second in the standings.
"To win any race here, let alone a 55-lap race is pretty special," said Meyers. "We had a great race car tonight and learned some things last night that we were able to use tonight. We just keep getting better day after day. We struggled a bit here in the middle of the season and kept digging and kept our heads down. This entire team is doing an amazing job."
Meyers took the lead from Tim Shaffer on the 29th lap on the low side of turns one and two and quickly opened a gap once out front. The native of Clovis, California was credited with leading a total of 26 laps en route to the victory. He started on the outside of the front row aboard the GLR Investments KPC and chased Tim Shaffer who started on the pole in the early going, before Sam Hafertepe Jr. took the second spot on the seventh lap. Meyers would move back into the runner-up spot 10 laps later and then worked on Shaffer for the next 13 laps.
"It was a long race and we were a little tight at the beginning, but we set up for that," explained the winner. "I waited for the car to kind of come to me and it did after the fuel came off a little bit. It ended up being a very good car tonight."
Wolfe closed the gap on Meyers over the last three laps on Saturday night and with two to go, was all over his back bumper. Coming to the checkered flag Wolfe used a monstrous slide job in turns three and four to take the top spot and charge down the front straightaway with Meyers right behind him. Meyers went low at the start finish/line to inch out the native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
"I was thinking I made the wrong decision when he came by me, but I was able to get back by him," shared Meyers of the last lap last corner action. "He drove a great race and is a very good driver and has many good years ahead of him. It's great to race guys like that."
Wolfe, who lined up third, fell back to fifth on the seventh lap. He worked his way around Joey Saldana on lap-16 to move into fourth, before taking third from Sam Hafertepe Jr. on the 24th go-around. He gained significant ground on Meyers in the late going, giving him a chance at scoring his fist career World of Outlaws A-Feature win.
"I was close there and got a good opportunity at the end to slide him and was pretty good the whole time," Wolfe said. "At least I got a shot at him. I was following him and kind of biding my time waiting to get a shot and it all came together good there at the end. I just wasn't quite able to hold him off
Wolfe had a steady night aboard the Allebach Racing Maxim, opening the finale of the Ironman 55 by turning the ninth fastest lap in qualifying, finishing second in a heat race and third in the dash to earn the inside second row starting spot in the 55-lap main event. Following the stock car main event, the track crew at I-55 Raceway did a complete rebuild of the high-banked bullring, providing a very racy surface for the main event.
"It was a great track tonight and I'm glad they worked on it," said Wolfe. "I wish we raced here more. It was a lot of fun and hopefully we come here a few times next year."
Tim Shaffer, who opened the Ironman Weekend with a win on Friday night, started on the pole in the finale and led early en route to a third-place finish in the Kistler Engines J&J. He and Sam Hafertepe Jr. traded the top spot unofficially six times over a three lap period from lap 10-12, with Hafertepe officially being credited with the top spot at the line each time, as he used slide jobs in turns three and four to retake the top spot each time after Shaffer used slide jobs in turns one and two to move back out front.
"It was a great race," stated Shaffer. "We were just a little too tight and those guys were a lot freer. I thought the track would get slicker. We're happy with third. It was 55 laps and we survived. It was a very good weekend for us."
Kraig Kinser finished fourth in the Quaker State Maxim to earn his fifth fourth-place finish of the season as he continues to close in on his first win of the 2010 campaign.
Joey Saldana came home fifth in the Budweiser Maxim, one spot ahead of Steve Kinser in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim, to gain a couple of points on the 20-time series champion the series standings. Saldana currently has a nine-point lead over Kinser as he chases his first title.
Donny Schatz came home seventh in the Armor All/STP J&J on Saturday night, with Paul McMahan eighth in the Great Clips Maxim. Kerry Madsen was ninth in the Hall Haulage KPC, with Jason Sides rounding out the Top-10 in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim.
The World of Outlaws return to action on Friday, August 20 and Saturday, August 21 with the Magic City Showdown at Nodak Speedway in Minot, North Dakota, to kick off the 2010 Gold Rush Tour.
IRONMAN 55 NIGHT #2 NOTES
* FAST QUALIFIER: Sam Hafertepe Jr. paced the 31 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked 1/3-mile oval at 10.827 seconds at 110.723 mph. For his qualifying effort, Hafertepe earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Craig Dollansky (4), Donny Schatz (3), Joey Saldana (2) and Chad Kemenah (1).
* I-55 RACEWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Kraig Kinser, Jason Meyers and Jason Sides won heat races. Tim Shaffer won the dash. Fred Rahmer won the Last Chance Showdown.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 49 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, I-55 Raceway, Eldora Speedway-twice, Dodge City Raceway Park, River Cities Speedway, LaSalle Speedway, Beaver Dam Raceway and Lernerville Speedway), Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, Tri-State (Okla.) Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway, I-96 Speedway, North Central Speedway and I-55 Raceway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park, Jackson Speedway, River Cities Speedway, Lakeside Speedway, Eldora Speedway, Autodrome Drummond and Fulton Speedway), Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park , Tri-City Speedway, Missouri State Fair Speedway and Ohsweken Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park, The Dirt Track at Charlotte and Ohsweken Speedway), Lance Dewease (Lernerville Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway and Cedar Lake Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway and Knoxville Raceway), Sammy Swindell (Dodge City Raceway and Huset's Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway and Junction Motor Speedway), Dale Blaney (Limaland Motorsports Park), Doug Esh (Lebanon Valley Speedway), Greg Hodnett (Williams Grove Speedway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway) and Tim Shaffer (I-55 Raceway).
* 1/3-MILE-WINNERS: I-55 Raceway is a high-banked 1/3-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced seven times on a track that size this season. The winners include: Jason Meyers (Thunderbowl Raceway, North Central Speedway and I-55 Raceway), Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, I-55 Raceway and Beaver Dam Raceway), and Tim Shaffer (I-55 Raceway).