The "March to the Mean 15" Kicks Off at Route 66 Raceway Joliet, IL -- July 7, 2005 -- The March is on. One of the most unique sprint car battles in years kicks off Friday when the World of Outlaws Sprint Series launches the "March to the Mean...
The "March to the Mean 15" Kicks Off at Route 66 Raceway
Joliet, IL -- July 7, 2005 -- The March is on. One of the most unique sprint car battles in years kicks off Friday when the World of Outlaws Sprint Series launches the "March to the Mean 15" at Route 66 Raceway.
After struggling through much of this season with four different drivers, car owner Rick Wright dropped out of the Outlaws Mean 15, the fiercest collection of sprint car racers in the world led by 19-time series champion Steve Kinser.
To fill that void, four teams that have toured with the series throughout this season are going to engage in a five-race fight to grab the opening. Among the rewards awaiting the winner will be a change in status within the series that can lead to an increase in financial support.
The eligible teams for the "March to the Mean 15" include the Rush Racing No. 8 car driven by Brooke Tatnell (fifth in owner's points), the Rudeen Racing No. 26 car driven by Shane Stewart (ninth in owners' points), the No. 24 car driven by Terry McCarl (14th in owners' points) and the Lon Carnahan-owned No. R19 car driven by Jason Solwold (17th in owners' points).
The team that accumulates the most points during the next five full-points events beginning Friday at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., will determine which team moves into the Mean 15. If there are no rainouts, the winner will be determined on July 19, the night of Lernerville Speedway's Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup race, a fitting event to conclude the March because it honors one of sprint car racing's legendary promoters.
"It's a cool thing, it's something to promote the drivers," said Tatnell, a native of San Souci, New South Wales, Australia, who wished the March would have started Monday night with his victory at Cedar Lake Speedway. While Tatnell's team is fifth in owners' points, he is 11th in the drivers' standings after missing the first four races this season because of a snag with immigration.
McCarl, a six-time Knoxville Raceway champion who has four top-five finishes in the past five A-features, definitely is excited to launch the March on Friday.
"I think it's awesome. I think it's the only fair way to do it," said McCarl, of Altoona, Iowa. "With four news teams coming in this year, it wouldn't be fair to go by owner or driver points because that's not even equal. It's going to be great for the fans and great for us. May the best man win. If we don't win it, then I can live with it because we got beat on the racetrack. That's the way it should be."
Stewart, a native of Bixby, Okla., is leading another popular race within a race this season. He leads the battle for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award over Tim Kaeding, Brandon Wimmer and Solwold.
"I think it's good," said Stewart, who is coming off a fourth-place run Wednesday night at The Raceway at Powercom Park. "They could have just put Brooke in there because of owners' points, but I think they're doing the right thing. All of us are running pretty good right now. It's going to be tough, no doubt, but I'm excited about it and I'm sure the rest of the guys are, too. It's pretty important to get in that Mean 15. It's important for our car owner. We'll definitely have our elbows up."
Solwold, a native of Mt. Vernon, Wash., and a former champion at Skagit Speedway, has limited experience on the tracks that will play host to the March, but he hasn't allowed that to slow him down.
"We're just trying to get faster as every night goes by and we'll see how it goes from there," he said.
The March to the Mean 15 will begin Friday at Route 66 Raceway and include races at I-55 Raceway, Attica Raceway Park, Eldora Speedway and Lernerville Speedway. Should an event be rained out, the March will conclude at Williams Grove Speedway.