Talladega Event Produces Outlaws Standings Shakeup TALLADEGA, AL (April 26) -- The World of Outlaws Sprint Series point standings took on a whole new look during Saturday's Talladega Short Track event, as 12 drivers changed positions. Fans can...
Talladega Event Produces Outlaws Standings Shakeup
TALLADEGA, AL (April 26) -- The World of Outlaws Sprint Series point standings took on a whole new look during Saturday's Talladega Short Track event, as 12 drivers changed positions. Fans can expect similar shakeups throughout the year, as 17 teams are racing full-time during the series' 27th season.
"Young gun" Kraig Kinser, who leads the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year race, made the boldest move as he bolted from seventh to third in the rankings with his third top-five finish of the season. Kraig, whose father Steve has won two of the seven "A" Features at Talladega's high-banked, 1/3-mile oval, battled winner Jason Meyers throughout the 35-lap race. Kraig also came close to winning the NGK Spark Plugs Shootout at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track April 3rd, driving the #11K Delco-Remy Maxim ahead of the field for the first 27¾ laps before settling for the second runner-up finish of this brief career.
Meyers, who also won the February 28th main event at Perris Auto Speedway, led from flag-to-flag despite Kraig's valiant, relentless efforts. He drove the #14 Elite Landscaping under the checkered flag three car-lengths ahead of Shane Stewart, who passed Kraig late in the final lap. Meyers improved two positions in the standings to eighth place, two points ahead of the driver he subbed for a year ago: Craig Dollansky.
Jason Sides, the 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, moved into a ninth-place tie with Dollansky by driving the #7S Sides Motorsports Maxim into the top 12 for the eighth time this season.
Stewart's fifth top-five finish of the year in the #4M Ol' Glory Maxim pushed him into 14th place, six points ahead of rookie Jonathan Allard. Stewart recorded his first World of Outlaws Sprint Series victory at the Talladega Short Track, winning the Preliminary Feature on October 19, 2001.
Joey Saldana continued driving the #2 Volcano Joe's Coffee Maxim with the leaders. The 1996 Rookie of the Year has climbed into 12th place in the point standings by finishing among the top six in all five feature races since joining Larry Woodward's team three weeks ago. Saldana is 27 points ahead of NGK Spark Plugs Shootout winner Brian Paulus.
Donny Schatz broke a fifth-place tie with Daryn Pittman with his eighth top-10 finish of the year. "I feel like we're getting better, and the more times we hit the track the better," Schatz said following the Talladega race. "We're still trying to have a great total night and win our first feature of the season. My crew is doing a great job, and it will all pay off before too long."
Danny Lasoski's fourth top-five finish of the year allowed him to narrow the gap between him and standings leader Steve Kinser to 65 points. "The Dude," a two-time winner at the Talladega Short Track, drove 2002 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart's #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle into fourth place.
Tyler Walker maintained his 11th-place ranking by driving the #5 Wirtgen Maxim into 10th place from inside the eighth row at Talladega.
Rookies Erin Crocker and Brian Brown are only nine points apart after finishing 14th and 13th, respectively, in Saturday's race. Crocker ranks 16th, one spot ahead of Brown, as the series heads to Knoxville Raceway for this weekend's Spring Classic.