World of Outlaws Fast Talkers: Manzanita Speedway The legendary Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix will host the World of Outlaws one final time this weekend on Saturday, March 28. Prior to heading to the half-mile that has been in operation since ...
World of Outlaws Fast Talkers: Manzanita Speedway
The legendary Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix will host the World of Outlaws one final time this weekend on Saturday, March 28. Prior to heading to the half-mile that has been in operation since 1951, World of Outlaws drivers shared their thoughts on the historic track and the final appearance for the series at the track. The experience level at the blazing fast half-mile ranges from Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion and three-time series titlist Sammy Swindell, who have been competing at Manzanita since the late 1970's, to current Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender Brian Ellenberger, who will make his first and only start at the track this weekend. The series visited Manzanita Speedway for the first time during their inaugural 1978 season with Hall of Famer Lealand McSpadden picking up the win in that historic event.
Craig Dollansky, Driver of the No. 19 DirectTV Maxim
"Manzanita has always been a pretty racy track over the years when we have been there. It sounds like this is going to be the last one, so it will be different not having that place there. We are looking forward to going back one more time this weekend."
Brian Ellenberger, Driver of the No. 22 Ti-22 Performance J&J
"I am really looking forward to going out there. I have been to the track a couple of times and have never had the opportunity to race on it. I'm just fortunate to be able to get over there and do it once before they knock it down."
Sam Hafertepe Jr., Driver of the No. 15H Fusion Energy Boost J&J
"You definitely want to leave a lasting impression at the place since it's our last time there. Hopefully we can go in and have a strong finish...It's a different track for us. We have never run that great there, but we have some ideas for what we want to do there. This year hasn't been going the way we expected and we are trying some new things and maybe things are starting to pan out and maybe they are not. We've got a new attitude going there and hopefully we are headed in the right direction."
Jac Haudenschild, Driver of the No. R19 Owens-Corning Fiberglass Maxim
"I always liked running Manzanita. I like the big fast half-miles. Manzanita always has been a nice track to race at and we are going to miss it...They had the Western World there for years and we never won the Western World, but we ran pretty good in it. That used to be one of the biggest races we had on the Outlaws tour. I'm definitely going to miss that place."
Tim Kaeding, Driver of the No. 83 DTR Transport KPC
"The race track has been around for such a long time and has so much history, especially for us guys on the West Coast. Hopefully it will be some good racing this weekend...We went and tested there a few weeks ago and it was a decent track when we tested. Hopefully they give us a good race track to race on and it's a good last showing for the Outlaws at Manzanita...It's a different track. You have the small track on the inside that you kind of have to dodge getting into (turn) one. It makes it interesting at the start of a feature if you want to pass anybody. It's definitely a high speed half-mile."
Chad Kemenah, Driver of the No. 8K Kantor Oil Company Maxim
"My dad's cars raced there back in the (19) 70's. It's a pretty neat race track and I would like to go there and get a good finish...I have not had the best of luck there. I've been decent fast-wise, just haven't been able to finish for whatever reason. Hopefully we can go back there and get me and (Crew Chief) Bonzai (Bruns) out of the doghouse here."
Kraig Kinser, Driver of the No. 20 Bass Pro Shops Maxim
"It's Manzanita and it has been around a long time and there is a lot of history there. It's sad to see the place go. I've never had the best of finishes there, so it would be great to have a strong run and give the track a good send-off.
Steve Kinser, Driver of the No. 11 Quaker State Maxim
"I've always enjoyed running there. I've been racing there since the late 70's. It's always been a good race track for us and I've had a lot of success there. I've always enjoyed going to that area and racing, but I guess nothing lasts forever. That's just sort of the way it is. I hate to ever lose race tracks, especially half-mile tracks. I really enjoy running the half-miles a lot. It seems like you lose tracks now, it's some of the half-miles. I guess over the last 10 or so years there have been quite a few half-miles and 3/8-miles built, but you still miss tracks....That track has all the history behind it, many years before I started going there. I can remember my dad (Bob Kinser) going out there and racing in the 60's. There have been a lot of great race drivers that have had the opportunity to race there."
Danny Lasoski, Driver of the No. 6 Casey's General Stores JEI
"I always love going to the Phoenix area. All the fans there are fantastic. The history of Manzanita Speedway is very neat. I was lucky enough to win the Western World once and a few Outlaws races there. It's a real special race track for me and we really hate to see it go."
Kerry Madsen, Driver of the No. 55 TK Concrete Maxim
"Hopefully we can better that track record (set in 2007) or at least keep it. That would be kind of wild. It will be the last weekend that we have Sonny Kratzer as crew chief, so we'll go in there and try to win one. It will be Sonny and my last hurrah together and maybe we can win one before we head back to the east.
Jason Meyers, Driver of the No. 14 GLR Investments KPC
"Being from the West Coast, Manzanita was certainly the greatest half-mile that we got to go to. It's been a great race track for a lot of years. There is a lot of history there. We won that race last year and would certainly like to go back and win it again. We're looking forward to getting out there, the weather is always good. We're real disappointed to see the place go, but there is not much we can do that about. We'll go in there and try to take the Elite Racing team to Victory Lane."
Joey Saldana, Driver of the No. 9 Budweiser Maxim
"My dad had some success there in the Western World when it used to be a pretty big race. For myself, I have never won a race there and it would be neat to go out and win the last race there. My dad has had success there and hopefully we can finish it off with a win to say that I have been able to win a race at Manzanita like my dad has."
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 Armor All J&J
"I was lucky enough to win there 10 years ago in the Western World. That was one of my first big wins and 10 years is a long time ago. I've won there a few times since and I would like to go there and get a win this time. It would be like winning the last race in 1999 before the Millennium, which will always have a soft spot in my heart...It's a disappointment to know that it's your last time going to any race track. It is what it is, and we want to make the best of what we can there. Hopefully we can have a great showing for the fans one last time for the World of Outlaws at Manzanita. We haven't raced any other place in Phoenix since I have been around and it's always fun to go to that city and area. There are a lot of sprint car fans there and hopefully we can pick up a win there."
Jason Sides, Driver of the No. 7S Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim
"It is such a historic place, that it's sad to see it go, but I know that times are changing. We have always liked the place and have always seemed to run pretty decent there. It is growing up out there and I can understand that, but everyone will hate to see it go."
Sammy Swindell, Driver of the No. 10 Tom Rolfe Trucking Maxim
"It's one of the first places I went to, back in the (19)70's. We went out the first full year that I really ran sprint cars. We went out for the Western World and had a great time. It's been a great place to visit. It's been a great challenge of a race track and has a lot of history, so I hate to see it go. Maybe they'll build another track down there hopefully."
Lucas Wolfe, Driver of the No. 5W Allebach Racing Maxim
"I'm happy we are able to go back there this year and hopefully it will be a good event and a good send-off for it. It's such a historic track and has probably seen as good of races there, as there has ever been anywhere. It's unfortunate that we keep losing race tracks, but hopefully it's a trend that will change soon."