World of Outlaws Fast Talkers: Morgan Hughes National Open at Williams Grove Speedway Mechanicsburg, PA-- September 25, 2008-- The Morgan Hughes National Open at the famed Williams Grove Speedway is just around the corner for the Advance Auto...
World of Outlaws Fast Talkers: Morgan Hughes National Open at Williams Grove Speedway
Mechanicsburg, PA-- September 25, 2008-- The Morgan Hughes National Open at the famed Williams Grove Speedway is just around the corner for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Friday, September 26 and Saturday, September 27, with the finale to air LIVE on SPEED at 8 p.m. Eastern on Saturday night. Donny Schatz, the two-time defending series champion has won the race each of the last two years and a total of four times. Steve Kinser, the 20-time series champion also has four career victories in the event which will again pay $50,000 to win this year. Prior to making the trip to the always challenging half-mile in central Pennsylvania, each of the 17 full-time Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series drivers shared their thoughts on the National Open, as well as racing at Williams Grove Speedway.
Tony Bruce Jr., Driver of the No. 18 Best Well Services Maxim:
"It pays $50,000 to win, so I can't wait to get there. Growing up in the Midwest, I didn't know a lot about the race and my first time there was three years ago and it is a big event. There are a lot of fans that support that race and a lot of cars show up. It's definitely one of the Top-Five events of the season... It is a tough race to get in. Qualifying matters so much more, not that it doesn't already. It will be important where you draw in and qualify and hopefully can knock down a good lap and start up front...Having the live TV cameras there is a good thing for the sport and everything involved. We're going to focus on getting qualifying down and hopefully we'll be in the show and be on TV."
Sam Hafertepe Jr., Driver of the No. 15H Fusion Energy Boost J&J:
"It's definitely one of the hardest places that we race all year. We're pumped up for it. We are going to try a few different things there this time, and take a different approach to Williams Grove. We haven't really ever figured that place out yet. I'm excited to go back for the third time this season... Any race like that, it's prestigious to race at a track like that. To be on TV makes it even bigger and to win that, would be a huge deal...It's the toughest place we race, no doubt. There is no other track in the United States or Canada that we race at that has competition like that place does."
Jac Haudenschild, Driver of the No. R19 Owens-Corning Fiberglass Maxim:
"We always enjoy going to Williams Grove. The track is always racy over there. There are a lot of fast guys over there as well. Hopefully we'll get qualified well and get a good starting position run good with this R19... It's always nice to run for the big money like that. Williams Grove always pays good money. The car was been quick all year and hopefully we can get it going over there...It's always good when they are televised. Your sponsors can watch the car and the car owner can watch. It's always fun to be on TV and we are looking forward to it."
Chad Hillier, Driver of the No. 5 DIRT Inc. Maxim:
"It's a big race and it's always good when there is some extra money on the line. The Grove has always been the monkey on our back and hopefully things will change this time out there... You always want to do when lots of people are watching on TV, but every night is important to us and we do the best we can, regardless of who is or isn't watching. Hopefully it goes well... Qualifying determines your night at any show, including races that are not as big at that one (National Open). If you get in the Top-16 and race your way through the heat, you make your night what it is. When you have to start further back it's tougher to get up there and make anything of the night."
Chad Kemenah, Driver of the No. 8K Kantor Oil Company Maxim:
"Hopefully we can be as competitive as we were last time there. It's good to call the car owner on a positive note after the Grove, because a lot of times that doesn't happen. We made both features over there (in July) and led the one for quite a while. Hopefully we can go back and be competitive again.... Those guys race so much there and have that place figured out pretty good. Everywhere you race is tough. The competition at Williams Grove is tough and so is figuring out the race track. It's kind of a monster in its own... You always want to do well whether the television is there or not. The races all pay the same. It would be nice to do well on television, but you want to do well everywhere."
Kraig Kinser, Driver of the No. 20 Bass Pro Shops Maxim:
"You have to have good momentum going in there and we have some of that right now. It's a big race and you have to get qualified well and head in there with a clear head and do your best... It's certainly tough going in there and racing against all the people at the Grove. They have great competition there and that is pressure in itself... Every time you hit the track is important there. You have to put your game face on from the word go over there."
Steve Kinser, Driver of the No. 11 Q Oil Maxim:
"It's one of the biggest races of the year and always comes up at the end of the year. It's a pretty old race and we always look forward to running there. Hopefully we catch some good weather and have a good weekend... The big money on the line does help, especially if you win. It's one of the bigger paying races toward the end of the year and the last big race of the year. It's a good one to win... That's about as tough there as it is anywhere else. Those guys run really good there, and the track is different than anywhere else. They have as good a chance to win up there as any of the guys running out here."
Kerry Madsen, Driver of the No. 55 TK Concrete Maxim:
"I'm really looking forward to it. We had an awesome night there the first night last year and got in a first lap wreck on the main night. I'm looking forward to getting in the show and making a run at it. I've been looking forward to that race all year and I think we have a shot at it...That is absolutely one of the toughest places we race all year. If you are off just a little bit you go from making the heat race inversion and the A-Main to being C-Main material. It's pretty intense and you have to be on your toes. If you make one little mistake, you'll be on the C-Main. It's an intense deal."
Terry McCarl, Driver of the No. 24 Big Game Treestands Maxim:
"It's a historic event and a lot of names have won it. It pays $50,000 and is on live TV, so it has a lot of things going on. It's something to look forward to...We have to step it up there. A couple of years ago we were doing really well there and seem to have struggled there the last year or so. Hopefully we can get back on track at Williams Grove and win that thing. That would be a great way to finish off the year... I don't know (how important time trials is), because I have seen Donny Schatz qualify 32nd and come up and win the feature. My dad always said, 'If you are fast you are fast.' It definitely helps to get a good qualifying spot and be up front that way."
Paul McMahan, Driver of the No. 6 Casey's General Stores Maxim:
"The National Open is a great event. It has a lot of history behind it and it's the biggest race we have in the Eastern part of the United States. It's always nice to go Williams Grove. They have some great fans, and it's also one of the hardest places to race at... It's the toughest place we race all year. You go to the Grove and you can win one night and come back the next night and miss the show. I've done that before. We've been there several times where guys like (Fred) Rahmer, (Don) Kreitz and (Greg) Hodnett miss the show. It's not only tough for us, but it's tough for them also."
Jason Meyers, Driver of the No. 14 GLR Investments KPC:
"It's a big race for us. We have been running well there this year and it's a place we want to get a victory at. We're going in looking for good things, especially since Charlie Garrett who builds out motors, that is his home track. We were looking through out notes today and it's going to be important to draw a good pill (for qualifying). That's always important for this race. We're hoping for good things... You have to go in there on your game. There are so many good cars there that you have to be on your game right out of the gate. You have to qualify well and it's not over after that. You have to get out of your heat race. Once you do those two things, the track slows down a little and it becomes a little calmer of a night, if you do those two things well. The most important thing of the night if to qualify well and get through you heat."
Daryn Pittman, Driver of the No. 21 Titan Garages Maxim:
"It's right there with the Kings Royal as one of the biggest races of the year. There is a lot of history behind it. Williams Grove is one of the hardest places to win at. To win the biggest race that Williams Grove has, is a big challenge and hard to do. Honestly, I have been excited for the National Open. It's one of the races that kick started my success at that track and one of the first races we ran really well at there was the National Open. We've been pretty good there ever since. I enjoy and I like going back. We're going to give it everything we have and see if we can win one."
Joey Saldana, Driver of the No. 9 Budweiser/Open Joist Mopar-powered JEI:
"For sprint car drivers it's a big event. It pays money like the Kings Royal and Gold Cup and it's a very prestigious race. A sprint car guy would love to win it, especially with how big sprint car racing is on the East Coast. It's a huge race and a big event, and definitely one that I would love to win for myself and for my team... Being live on SPEED is huge for our sponsors, especially Budweiser. There is great exposure for the World of Outlaws on SPEED. That's one of the reasons that Budweiser is on the car. Also, JEI the chassis we run, are built in Pennsylvania so that make it big as well. Hopefully we can run up front... Any of these big races are tough to get into. At the Gold Cup this year, Donny Schatz and myself who have both won that race, had to take provisionals to get in. Anytime you put that kind of money on the line, the race will be tough. It will be just as tough as the Gold Cup, or Kings Royal or Knoxville Nationals, and I wouldn't expect the Pennsylvania guys to not make it tough. It will be a cool race
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 Armor All J&J:
"It's awesome. It's an awesome place to go and a fun race. Anything that pays 50-grand, we get super excited about. Justin Loh (Promoter) has been doing a great job all year long, and we have had a great race track there. I'm looking forward to another good weekend and good racing and lots of people. Hopefully we can get out of there with the trophy and the money. We'll just have to see what happens. We're excited to head back to Williams Grove, a place we feel very comfortable at. I'm looking forward to a good weekend."
Jason Sides, Driver of the No. 7S Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim:
"It is a big race and a prestigious race, in the likes of the Knoxville Nationals or the Gold Cup. It would definitely be a good one to win. We have run well there before. We've never been stellar there, but we have had some good runs. If we could have a good Top-Five or Top-Three there, it would make it a pretty good weekend... I'm sure we'll have plenty of cars there and it will be one lap of qualifying. You need a good draw to have a good number and you need a good one lap run to put yourself at the front of a heat or somewhere in the Top-16 so you are in the first two rows of a heat."
Brooke Tatnell, Driver of the No. 2 Snap-on Tools Maxim:
"It's one of those races that is up there with the Knoxville Nationals. The Outlaws guys are tough there and the Pennsylvania guys are really tough. It's a place that you definitely need a lot of laps around. For us, we're with a team that has run a lot of laps there this year and has won there this year. We're trying to adapt to a new program in a hurry... The cars are so close right now and everyone drivers so close and the motors are so close, that right now the marble draw is very important. An early draw will definitely help at that place."
Lucas Wolfe, Driver of the No. 5W Allebach Racing Maxim:
"It's always one that you look forward to. With it being at the end of the year, it was the last big race of the year. We're really looking forward to it this year because we are going back home and really haven't gotten to race there all that much this year. Hopefully it will be a good weekend. It's a lot of fun to go back there and you always look forward to it. It's a big event and seems to get bigger and bigger each year... It's a race you want to win, because of the names that have won it over the years."