WORLD OF OUTLAWS SPRINT SERIES: THE WEEK AT A GLANCE Colorado Springs, CO -- May 4, 2005 WHAT The World of Outlaws Sprint Series begins its busiest stretch of the season to date beginning Friday where it runs for the first time at Lake Ozark...
WORLD OF OUTLAWS SPRINT SERIES: THE WEEK AT A GLANCE
Colorado Springs, CO -- May 4, 2005
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series begins its busiest stretch of the season to date beginning Friday where it runs for the first time at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Mo., followed by races Saturday at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill., and Monday in another series debut at Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, Okla. All three events are $10,000-to-win features.
* Lake Ozark Speedway is about 45 minutes south of Jefferson City, Mo., off Highway 54 at the Highway 52 exit. The track is at the end of the frontage road on the south side of Highway 54.
* Tri-City Speedway is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, a half-mile south of Interstate 270 on SR 203.
* Tri-State Speedway is 1 mile west of Fort Smith, Ark., on I-540 in Pocola, Okla.
* Friday at Lake Ozark Speedway, pits open at 3 p.m., grandstands at 4 p.m. with hot laps at 6:30 p.m. and racing to follow.
* Saturday at Tri-City Speedway, gates open at 4 p.m. with hot laps at 6 p.m. and racing to follow.
* Monday at Tri-State Speedway, the show begins at 7 p.m.
* For Friday at Lake Ozark Speedway, reserved seats are $35 and a pit pass is $45.
* For Saturday at Tri-City Speedway, reserved tickets are $32 and general admission is $30.
* For Monday at Tri-State Speedway, advance tickets can be purchased for $30 while pit passes are $45. Kids 11 and under will be $15 on the day of the show only.
* The World of Outlaws Sprint Series is at www.woosprint.com.
* Lake Ozark Speedway is at www.lakeozarkspeedway.com.
* Tri-City Speedway is at www.tricitymotorsports.com.
* Tri-State Speedway is at www.tri-statespeedway.com.
ABOUT THE TRACKS
* Lake Ozark Speedway is a 1/3-mile banked oval. The track width is 75 feet all the way around with 10 degrees of banking in the corners and 5 degrees of banking on the front and back straights. Chad Kemenah established the track record 11.538 seconds for a 410 sprint car, but the World of Outlaws have not raced at Lake Ozark.
* Tri-City Speedway is semi-banked half-mile oval where Mark Kinser set the single-lap record 15.917 seconds on June 16, 1999.
* Tri-State Speedway is high-banked 3/8-mile oval where the World of Outlaws have never raced.
TELEVISION THIS WEEK
* At 8 p.m. ET Wednesday (May 4), The Outdoor Channel will broadcast coverage of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series event from 81 Speedway in Wichita, Kan.
* Coverage of the race this past weekend at Knoxville Raceway will be broadcast May 11 on The Outdoor Channel.
NEWS & NOTES
* On the Web: The Official World of Outlaws Sprint Series Web site is overhauled and coming alive Wednesday at www.woosprint.com. Among the features to be included are driver biographies with individual statistics and pictures, race-by-race statistics, detailed track information and race coverage, series news and team press releases.
* Rookie battle heats up: In each of the features last weekend at Knoxville Raceway, Tim Kaeding started 20th and worked his way to a sixth-place finish. Those runs in hist Dennis Roth-owned car helped move him into the lead for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award. Shane Stewart is only 20 points behind in his Rudeen Racing powered by mIn Motorsports machine with Brandon Wimmer in third driving the Wimmer-Luck Motorsports car.
* Lake Ozark debut: The race Friday at Lake Ozark Speedway is on a 1/3-mile oval. It will mark the fourth race on a track that size this season for the Outlaws, with three different winners. In February, Tim Shaffer captured the A-main at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., followed the next night by Craig Dollansky's win at Bakersfield Speedway. On April 2, Kraig Kinser won his second feature of the season by taking the checkered flag at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo.
* Halfway there: The event this weekend at Granite City is on a half-mile track. Including preliminary features, the series has raced nine times this year on half-mile circuits with Steve Kinser winning three times (Volusia, Eldora and Knoxville), and Jeff Shepard (Volusia), Craig Dollansky (Manzanita), Kraig Kinser (Las Vegas), Donny Schatz (Las Vegas), Sammy Swindell (Eldora) and Danny Lasoski (Knoxville) each winning once.
* Measuring up: The race Monday at Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, Okla., is on a 3/8-mile oval. The series has raced five times this season on tracks that size, at Pike County Speedway, Houston Raceway Park, Batesville Speedway, Outlaw Motor Speedway and 81 Speedway. Steve Kinser held off Brooke Tatnell to win at Pike County, Donny Schatz edged Steve Kinser at Houston, Kraig Kinser dominated at Batesville, Steve Kinser snuck past Jason Meyers late at Outlaw, and Daryn Pittman cruised to victory at 81 Speedway.
* Victory parade: Steve Kinser's win Saturday at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, was his sixth victory of the season. Next on win list is Donny Schatz with three victories. Kraig Kinser was the hottest driver on the circuit in early April, winning on back-to-back nights at Batesville Speedway and I-55 Raceway. He also has a preliminary feature win at Las Vegas. Daryn Pittman became the seventh different main-event winner this season when he took the checkered flag April 23 at 81 Speedway in Wichita. Craig Dollansky has won a feature and a preliminary, while Tim Shaffer and Jeff Shepard have each won a feature. Danny Lasoski won his second Preliminary Feature of 2005 Friday night at Knoxville Raceway, and Sammy Swindell has a Preliminary Feature win at Eldora.
* Looking back: When the World of Outlaws Sprint Series raced last May at Tri-City Speedway, Joey Saldana became the ninth driver to win a 2004 World of Outlaws Sprint Series main event by leading all 25 laps to win at Tri-City Speedway. Saldana, who started driving the No. 2 Larry Woodward-owned Volcano Joe's Coffee car in early April, raced ahead of "Mean 15" leaders Steve Kinser and Danny Lasoski throughout the feature to claim his first victory of the season and the 13th in his career.
* The Mean 15: The impressive 2005 edition of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series' Mean 15 racers includes Craig Dollansky (No. 7 owned by Karavan Motorsports), Tim Kaeding (No. 83 owned by Dennis Roth), Kraig Kinser (No. 11k owned by Steve Kinser Racing), Steve Kinser (No. 11 owned by Steve Kinser Racing), Danny Lasoski (No. 20 owned by Tony Stewart Motorsports), Paul McMahan (No. 11h owned by David Helm), Jason Meyers (No. 14 owned by the Elite Racing Team), Brian Paulus (No. 28 owned by Pender Motorsports), Daryn Pittman (No. 21 owned by Titan Racing), Joey Saldana (No. 2 owned by Woodward Racing), Donny Schatz (No. 15 owned by Schatz Motorsports), Tim Shaffer (No. 6 owned by Parsons Motorsports), Jason Sides (No. 7s owned by Sides Motorsports), Brandon Wimmer (No. 7tw owned by Wimmer-Luck Racing), and the No. 35 Rick Wright-owned car.
* On tour, too: Several other drivers have committed to running the bulk of the schedule with the World of Outlaws Sprint Series in 2005 with hopes of earning a spot in a future Mean 15: Australian Brooke Tatnell is back in the series with Rush Racing. Terry McCarl, who has won the past six 410 sprint championships at Knoxville Raceway. Shane Stewart, the current leader in the battle for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year title. Randy Hannagan, a long-time Outlaws competitor is running occasionally with the series again. Sammy Swindell, a sprint car legend and three-time Outlaws champion. Kevin Swindell, 16, who became the youngest driver to finish in the top 10 with the Outlaws when finished sixth in the feature at Parramatta City Raceway in January.
* Tune into the Web: If fans can't get to any of the three tracks this weekend to see the racing this weekend, they can experience the excitement of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series live on Dirtvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network, where announcer John Gibson keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the event. To listen to the audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo. Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. Companies who are interested in advertising on the new DIRT Radio Network should contact Mark Noble, DIRT MotorSports VP Sales and Marketing, at 719-884-2141. For technical support or questions, e-mail email@example.com.
* Hear it firsthand: RACEceiver is the Official Driver Communicator of DIRT MotorSports. A compact radio receiver that conveniently fits into a driver's pocket, a RACEceiver allows each driver to hear directions from series officials, which greatly enhances the safety and timeliness of events. A similar version available to fans will allow RACEceiver users to hear what information series officials are relaying to the drivers. For more information about RACEceiver, visit www.raceceiver.com, call 866-301-7223, or look for their sales trailers at various events.
Craig Dollansky, a Mean 15 racer from Elk River, Minn., who is second in points
* On the World of Outlaws schedule picking up speed heading into May: "It's our busy time of the year. When you get into May, June and July you just need to make sure you're prepared with your equipment and that you're situated to make it through those three months. You definitely need to be situated as far as equipment goes in case you run into trouble. It's just a lot of preparation. -- For me, I've been going back and forth to home each week. Starting next week that will be few and far between, being from Minnesota. Come the next three months that will be pretty tough. Maybe in July when we get to racing in the Midwest a little bit I'll get home for a day or two here and there, but for the most part we're looking at being gone for the next three or four months."
Tim Kaeding, a Mean 15 racer from San Jose, Calif., who is leading the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year standings
* On adjusting to life on the road after running on weekends locally in California: "Yeah, that's what I did back home the past couple of years was just race on weekends. That's something the Outlaws have always been known for, traveling and racing every third day. I can't wait for it. Once it comes about, I think we'll get going a little bit better. I think a lot of other guys will, too. It's one of those things that once it hits us hopefully everybody has their stuff together to where they can make it through the end of the year."
* On benfits of an intense schedule: "It gives you more time in the car and more time to think about what's going on with the car, what's wrong with the car. It's one of those things, the more you race the better you're going to get. Look at Steve Kinser, and how many races he's got compared to a lot of these guys out here. He can go out and watch the racetrack and run the same line a guy ran in the B-main and make it twice as fast as he was. I think it will give us a lot more seat time, a little bit more time to work together with the crew and just make everything better throughout the year."
Kraig Kinser, a Mean 15 racer from Bloomington, Ind., who has two feature wins this season
* On how drivers handle seemingly ordinary things while traveling so much: "Laundry's not too bad. We pile as many clothes as we can get and by the time they get dirty we start doing laundry. A lot of the hotels we go to have washing machines and we stay up for a while doing laundry. It's not too bad. Once you get used to the road, it's not that bad. I don't know how some of these guys who work on these cars stick around and do it all the time because it is a grueling, grueling life. If you can last more than a year out here just working on a car, under paid, just out here every day working in the hot sun in the middle of the summer, it's quite an accomplishment for a lot of these guys. I don't know how they do it. They really have a love for the sport."
Steve Kinser, a Mean 15 racer from Bloomington, Ind., who won Saturday night for the sixth time this season
* On the schedule intensifying: "You got to be prepared when it starts happening. Any time about the second week in May through the end of August, it's wide open. That's when you've got to be strong, through those three months, at least. That shows where you're at and how good you're prepared for the rest of the year."
* On racing night after night: "If you do have bad night, then maybe the next night you go back and have a good run and you forget about that. It's just something where you work all winter to get prepared for the rest of the year and you find out how strong your race team is, especially June, July and August. There's a lot of races in those three months."
* On life on the road: "It's something I have done for a long time and I'm sort of used to it. I have probably more trouble when we have some time at home. I enjoy getting home, I've just never been home enough to have any kind of routine or anything. Once you're there for a week or two, you're ready to get out and race a little bit."
Reeve Kruck, owner of the No. 21 Titan Racing USA team, who was in his native Australia when he found out driver Daryn Pittman won April 23 at 81 Speedway
* On the victory at Wichita, his first as an Outlaws car owner: "I was at an Australian Football League game in the afternoon and I didn't care that we lost the football game because we won the race. We had a good time after that."
* On his reaction to the win: "My team was behind by 60 points, I was in a corporate box with 12 other [Brisbane] Lions supporters and I was the only one cheering. They looked at me like I was a bit strange because I was yahooing like a banshee. It was really good. Everybody did a fine job and everything just fit together. It was especially good when you start beside Steve [Kinser] and beat him. It was just bloody fabulous."
Danny Lasoski, a Mean 15 racer from Dover, Mo., who won the Preliminary Feature Friday night at Knoxville Raceway
* On life on the road: "I'm the single luckiest guy in the world. I'm doing something I love to do for a living. It's kind of tough being away from home, but we got an airplane so I get to get back. But the guys are on the road, and we've got a traveling shop here with this trailer so you try to make it the best it can be. Anybody who knows these World of Outlaws race teams knows they've dedicated their whole lives to this thing and that's why it's so successful."
* On the level of competition the Outlaws face: "Every race I go to, I go to win no matter who's there. I don't pay any attention to who is there. When you run with the World of Outlaws, you run with the best of the best 100 times a year. It doesn't really affect us."
Paul McMahan, a Mean 15 racer from Nashville, Tenn., with six top-10s in main events this season
* On the schedule turning busy: "It's a lot more fun when you race more than two nights a week. Whenever you can run three or four nights a week it makes the travel not as bad. Right now, we drive eight hours to get somewhere to race two days and then turn around and drive back home and sit around for four or five days before you get to do it again. It's nice to race three or four nights a week, but the downside is that I won't be able to see my kids and wife as much but this is what I do for a living so the more I can race, the better it is."
Terry McCarl, an Iowa native who posted his best results of the season on back-to-back nights last weekend at Knoxville
* On the traveling: "The traveling has been really easy, especially where I'm located in Des Moines. We've been home every weekend by noon on Sunday. But it's bad because we haven't been doing very well and the only thing that makes you feel better after a bad night of racing is racing again. And the only way to get out of a slump is to get on a roll in a positive way. For us, it's been kind of bad because we can't seem to get going good. We want to get to racing so we can work out the bugs and get past the little bit of a lull we're in. Traveling so far has been pretty easy, but I know it's coming the next three weeks or so. Traveling doesn't bother me. I want to race every night."
* On upcoming races in Ohio and Pennsylvania: "I hadn't been to Eldora since 1997 and I haven't been to Williams Grove since 1997 when I ran the All-Star deal. I haven't been to Lernerville Speedway since 1997. I really liked Don Martin and I liked going to that track. It's a fun track. He was a great guy and treated me real well a long time ago. -- Williams Grove is one of the few places in the world the locals have a bit of equality with the Outlaws because it's such a unique track, it's a real weird racetrack as a driver to feel comfortable at because it has such long straightaways and tight corners. It buries the left side of the car so hard because of wing speed and everything."
Jason Meyers, a Mean 15 racer from Clovis, Calif., who is fourth in points with 13 top-10s
* On traveling with the Outlaws: "My first year of being on the road was easy because you had never been on the road so you got to see all these great things and go to neat places. You just made it work. At the same time, it's difficult because you're learning where's the car wash, where's the Laundromat, where's this, where's that in a million different towns all year long. The second year, you've already seen all the good stuff so after that it's just the treacheries of it. After a couple of years of being on the road, you start to learn where everything is. You have enough clothes where you can go a couple of weeks without doing laundry and then you try to find the nice Laundromat instead of the dives. There's a lot that goes into it. You meet a lot of great people, and I think that's what makes it great to be on the road. Some people might be afraid of it and think it's a terrible life, but really you meet a lot of great people. You meet people in different towns that you look forward to going back to this town because you're going to see those people again. You just kind of create network out on the road. Life is normal after a while.
* On how e-mail plays a factor in today's driver lifestyle: "In today's day and age, if it wasn't for e-mail and cell phones you wouldn't see half these race teams out there as successful as they are. My task during every week consists of a lot of running the teams and making things happen and conveying things to sponsors. I do that through the cell phone and e-mail consists of a lot of running the teams and making things happen and conveying things to sponsors. I do that through the cell phone and through e-mail and if it wasn't for that it'd be like the Pony Express. E-mail makes it where I can still run a business being out here on the road, and that business we run is the race team. It allows us to be connected to the rest of the world whereas in the past we wouldn't have to be."
Brian Paulus, a Mean 15 racer from Mechanicsburg, Pa., who finished fifth Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway
* On the schedule picking up: "This part of the season with just racing weekends is the easiest, most relaxing part of the season as far as the racing is concerned because you have all week to get your cars ready. You should be 100 percent every Friday night when you get to the track. The downside is that you have a lot of off-time that you're spending pretty much married to your crew, married to the driver, married to everybody around. It gets to be a little bit much. If you're actually married to somebody, that's one thing, but these are guys who have different game plans during the week. Maybe they have some free time but maybe somebody doesn't want to give it to him. So this is a tough part of the season, not because of the racing but because of the lack of racing. Then you hit May, June, July and the beginning of August where you're racing three, four, sometimes five nights a week and you're completely stressed out over the amount of races that you're doing, but you're having more fun racing. It's a give and take. There's time when you want the time and there's time when you don't. By the time the Knoxville Nationals come around, we're all going to be taking a big sigh of relief to go up to Montana and back up into Fargo to get a little bit of relaxation, take a little bit of time. But I can't wait right now until we get to Pennsylvania and start racing every couple of nights and get busy to a point where you don't have time to worry about your personal life, where your personal life is your racing life. That's what we look forward to."
Daryn Pittman, a Mean 15 racer and native of Owasso, Okla., who won April 23 at 81 Speedway
* On the travel increasing: "I think everybody at this stage of the year is ready to get to where we have at least one if not two midweek shows. Come August, they're begging to only race on Fridays and Saturdays. I look forward to this time of the year. I want to race as much as we can. We get worn out a little bit, especially when it gets hot and if you're struggling, but the more races the better. The more money we can make and the more laps we can get on our cars. And if you do have a bad night, generally you'll have a race pretty close after that so it's less time to dwell on it. I definitely like running at least three, four nights a week."
Joey Saldana, a Mean 15 racer from Brownsburg, Ind., who broke the track record Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway
* On the travel increasing: "For me, the more you race the more money you make, even if you're running in the back. More races is more money. The way we are right now, we need to race as much as possible just to get our team back on track. It doesn't bother me one bit. I'd rather run seven days a week, but the crew and the teams can't do that. As a driver, it doesn't bother me one bit. I'll go race seven days a week if I have to."
* On the competition at upcoming races: "You go to Williams Grove, you go to Eldora, you go to Knoxville, you get all the tough guys. Chillicothe will pretty much be like going to Eldora a couple of weeks ago. There were 50-60 cars and you have to be pretty spot-on if you're even going to make the show. There will be a lot of good cars and you got to have everything right. When you have that many cars, it makes you feel good when you do run up front or just run good. That's what we need right now, is just good runs to get out team pumped up."
* On his team's resurgence: "We've been running pretty decent the past couple of weeks. But you have to have results in this game. We've had the speed the past couple of weeks, we just have to have the results so you can read it in the paper. A lot of these owners don't get to come to the races, they just read it or watch the Internet and when they don't see their car it's hard to explain, 'Well, I was running good but I ran out of fuel.' So lately we've been running good but we need to have the results at the end of the day."
Donny Schatz, a Mean 15 racer from Fargo, N.D., who has three victories this season
* On schedule getting busy: "I'm looking forward to getting back racing. Everybody wants to get the racing going, maybe get a little bit nicer weather and get everybody in motion, keep things steady instead of just weekends and one-night-a-week deals. That gets kind of frustrating to have all this and then run one night a week, but that's how racing is. You can't have everything the way you want it or a lot more people would be doing it. -- Sometimes it's fun to race quite a few days in a row. Sometimes scattering it out, one here, one there, one there, for every couple of days isn't really what these teams like to do. They want to race and race hard in the shortest amount of time but you can only do that for so long, too."
* On the competition with the Outlaws: "It doesn't matter where you go. All the competition everywhere in the country is good, some places just happen to be a little better than others. Pennsylvania has a lot of good local cars, probably because they have a lot more money behind them than some of the other parts of the country. It doesn't matter if it's All Stars, NCRA, local show -- we're all going there for the same thing. We're all going there to race and we're all going there to try to win. If you go there thinking it's an All Star show, there's really no reason to worry about it. If you're going to be decent, you're going to be decent whether it's an Outlaws show or if it's a local show, so that's the way I look at it and I think that's the way it should be looked at."
Tim Shaffer, a Mean 15 racer from Aliquippa, Pa., who won earlier this season at Thunderbowl Raceway
* On travel picking up: "When we get to racing more, the more we make. Doing the weekend deal right now is kind of tough. You get out here and you're all geared up to go and then you don't get to race for another week. If you stay out here all week, it gets pretty boring so racing more keeps us all busy and it's definitely a lot more fun.
* On racing through Pennsylvania: "It makes it nice because I'll have my family with me to go through that swing there. It definitely makes it better."
Jason Sides, a Mean 15 racer from Bartlett, Tenn., with three top 10s who will be on the road nearly three months after Monday's race in Pocola, Okla.
* On the travel: "For the most part, we're loaded up to go for three months and then we'll come back home maybe just before Knoxville. It's good to get on the road. We have fun. Getting back home is good, too, but once you're on the road you can focus more on racing and rather than going back home and then back out racing. It gets you focused and concentrated more on racing. -- It's not that bad. It's just the traveling. The leaving the track, going to the car washes and getting cleaned up. Driving four or five hours and doing it all again."
* On days without racing while on the road: "There's always work to be done. It doesn't matter if it's washing the truck and trailer, doing laundry, car washing, maintenance to the car, getting other cars ready, there's always stuff to do."
Shane Stewart, a Bixby, Okla., racer with nine top-10s who is running for top rookie honors with the Outlaws
* On the travel increasing: "I guess this can make or break you this time of year with the World of Outlaws. The teams that can stay strong through May, June, July and August are teams that will definitely be there at the end for the points. I'm looking forward to it. I've never had a schedule this hectic coming up so we'll have to wait and see what happens."
* On racing at tracks in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York: "I've raced at a lot of them, and the ones I haven't raced at I've been to. I think I've seen almost all of them. I think there's a couple I haven't seen and I always look forward to going to new tracks. I'm looking forward to getting the Rudeen Racing team into Victory Lane.
* On racing against the All Stars at Chillicothe: "There are some really good All Star cars, and that's in their back yard. Those guys race at Chillicothe a lot, they'll be tough. [Chad] Kemenah, Danny Smith and Jeremy Campbell and all those guys will be really tough to beat. I look forward to going there. I had a really strong finish there about three years ago."
Brooke Tatnell, Australia native and driver of the Rush Racing car with six top-10s who led 19 laps during the Preliminary Feature Friday night at Knoxville
* On the schedule picking up: "I didn't travel halfway around the world to sit around all week. It's exciting when it picks up. I'm the first to say I've never been any good at Williams Grove and I'm looking forward to going there with this team because I think we're going to be competitive anywhere we go. The more racing we're doing, there's a lot of guys who can say it's draining and this, that and the other, but you know what, I've just come back from Australia after doing 30 races there, too. I haven't had a rest, but if you've got the passion and desire and want to do it bad enough, the more racing you do the better it's going to be."
Brandon Wimmer, a Mean 15 racer running for the top rookie honor who wraps up high school on May 19
* On his graduation plans: "Graduation is supposed to be on June 4, which is Eldora. I'll go to Eldora, but if it rains out I'll go to graduation."
* On the schedule getting busy: "I've done the past couple of summers running with them so I kind of know what it's like. This year will be different because I'll be out there every single night. It just helps keep you in rhythm with how to drive the car and how to set it up."
* On what to look forward to the most: "I think it's just going 100 nights a year instead of 50 of them. There will be several new tracks. I've been to most of them but it's always fun to go to a new track and test your skills at a new place."
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series heads May 14 to K-C Raceway in Chillicothe, Ohio, for The Ohio Challenge pitting the World of Outlaws against the All Star Circuit of Champions. The series then begins one of its most difficult road tests beginning with a two-night event May 20-21 at Lernerville Speedway.