Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway preview

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Thunderbowl Raceway Tulare, CA-- March 17, 2009--Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California is next up for the World of Outlaws with two full nights of racing on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March...

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Thunderbowl Raceway

Tulare, CA-- March 17, 2009--Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California is next up for the World of Outlaws with two full nights of racing on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21 as they continue their first of two swings through the Golden State in 2009, with the winner each night taking home $10,000. The high-banked 1/3-mile bullring always produces exciting racing and in eight feature events for the series at the track dating back to 2003, eight different drivers have picked up wins.

Jac Haudenschild won at Thunderbowl Raceway last season after taking the lead from 20-time series champion Steve Kinser in heavy lapped traffic. It was the second consecutive night the pair battled for the top spot on a California bullring weaving in and out of traffic. Kinser won the inaugural World of Outlaws A-Feature event at the track six years ago and seeks his first win of 2009. He is the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in each of the six A-Feature events contested this year and is just 16 points behind three-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz in the championship standings.

Schatz won for the first time in his career at Thunderbowl Raceway in 2007 in the Dave Helm Memorial. Also that same season Joey Saldana, who won the opener of the Mini Gold Cup last weekend, picked up a victory at Tulare, as did perennial California frontrunner Tim Kaeding.

Sammy Swindell, the three-time World of Outlaws champion, won at the track in 2005 and seeks his first win of 2009 when the series invades the bullring this weekend. Terry McCarl was victorious at the track in 2004 and picked up a podium finish in the opener of the Mini Gold Cup last weekend and will be in action again with the series at Thunderbowl Raceway.

All but one of the drivers currently following the World of Outlaws tour competed at Thunderbowl Raceway last season, with Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender Brian Ellenberger of Butler, Pennsylvania making his debut at the track this weekend. A contingent of always tough California drivers will also be in attendance, vying for the 24 starting spot each night.

Slidejobs- Thunderbowl Raceway

Looking to keep the streak alive: Thunderbowl Raceway is Jason Meyers home track. The native of nearby Clovis, California has three career wins at the track, with the most recent in 2006, to go along with 21 Top-10 finishes. He has 14 consecutive Top-10 finishes at the track dating back to 2005. Meyers picked up his first win of the 2009 season last weekend in the finale of the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway, which vaulted him into the third spot in the championship standings as he chases his first series title.

"I can't wait to go to Tulare (Thunderbowl Raceway) and see if we can keep this streak going," said Meyers after winning at Silver Dollar Speedway.

Consistency is key: Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, has 11 Top-10 finishes in 12 career starts at Thunderbowl Raceway including three wins. He finished second last season at the track after leading the first 19 laps of the race and battling with Jac Haudenschild in the late going. Kinser most recently won at the track in 2006. He has finished in the Top-10 in all nine of his starts with the World of Outlaws at the track and is the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in all six A-Feature events contested this season.

Putting on a show: Jac Haudenschild battled Kinser along with Sam Hafertepe Jr. last season for the win in heavy lapped traffic at the track, earning his second career trip to Victory Lane at the high-banked bullring and first with the World of Outlaws. He had six Top-10 finishes in a limited number of starts at the track. The native of Wooster, Ohio, who will be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame this year, has three Top-10 finishes this season.

Champ on the high banks: Donny Schatz, the three-time and defending World of Outlaws champion, won the Dave Helm Memorial at Thunderbowl Raceway in 2007 to earn his first trip to Victory Lane at the high-banked 1/3-mile. He has seven career Top-10 finishes in 10 starts at the track. He leads the World of Outlaws with three A-Feature wins this season and is the current series point leader.

One more spot: Jason Sides has two runner-up finishes at Thunderbowl Raceway in his career, including in 2007 when he finished second to Schatz. The 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year picked up his fourth Top-10 finish in the first six races of the season last weekend in the finale of the Mini Gold Cup. He is currently fourth in the World of Outlaws championship standings.

Continuing to climb: Sammy Swindell, the three-time World of Outlaws champion, is currently in the eighth spot in the series championship standings. He won at Thunderbowl Raceway in 2005 and has seven Top-10 finishes in nine starts at the track. He competed last year in the Trophy Cup at the high-banked 1/3-mile finishing sixth or better on all three nights of the event. He has four Top-10 finishes in the first six races this season.

Twice as nice: Joey Saldana has two career wins at Thunderbowl Raceway with both of those coming in 2007, including in the spring World of Outlaws race at the track. The second generation driver has nine career Top-10 finishes at the high-banked 1/3-mile. He won the opener of the Mini Gold Cup last weekend and is one of just two drivers this year to pick up multiple wins, joining Donny Schatz.

Closing in on a win: Craig Dollansky, Saldana's teammate at Kasey Kahne Racing is closing in on his first win of 2009 as well as his first win at Thunderbowl Raceway. The veteran from Elk River, Minnesota has five career Top-10 finishes in just a handful of starts at the track. He finished fourth in the finale of the Mini Gold Cup last weekend to pick up his second consecutive Top-10 finish, moving him into the seventh spot in points.

Always near the front: Tim Kaeding has eight career wins at Thunderbowl Raceway, including in 2007 with the World of Outlaws. He dedicated that win two years ago to his grandmother who had passed away the same week as the race. His most recent victory at the track was last season with the Golden State Challenge Series. He has 18 career Top-Five finishes at Thunderbowl Raceway, including five last season.

Looking for a win: Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, has seven career Top-10 finishes at Thunderbowl Raceway. He finished on the podium his first start at the track in 2002. He has three consecutive Top-Five finishes with the most recent of those being a season-best runner-up performance in the finale of the Mini Gold Cup last weekend, where he tracked down Jason Meyers on the final lap, battling him for the win.

A career best run: Sam Hafertepe Jr. matched his career-best of third-place with the World of Outlaws last season at Thunderbowl Raceway, battling eventual winner Jac Haudenschild and 20-time series champion Steve Kinser for the lead in lapped traffic.

Another first time visit: Brian Ellenberger, who is a contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award in 2009, will make his first trip to Thunderbowl Raceway. He is in the midst of his West Coast debut with the series. He finished a solid 14th in the opener of the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway last weekend, with 54 cars in attendance.

By the Numbers: Thunderbowl Raceway

0.333- Miles around Thunderbowl Raceway

1- Driver that has finished in the Top-10 in all six events this season, Steve Kinser

3- Drivers that have won feature events with the World of Outlaws this season

4- Events on 1/3-mile tracks for the World of Outlaws last season

5- Drivers that have been quickest in time trials this season with the World of Outlaws

6- Drivers that have won the Crane Cams Dash to earn pole positions

7- Nights of racing for the World of Outlaws in California this season; Drivers that have led laps in feature racing competition this season

8- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws at the track

10- Total events contested by the World of Outlaws at Thunderbowl Raceway including preliminary features dating back to 2003

12.740- Track record established by Kevin Swindell on October 15, 2007

15- Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws who have competed at Thunderbowl Raceway in the past

16- Laps led by Jac Haudenschild at the track last season; Points that separate Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser atop the World of Outlaws championship standings

19- Laps led by Steve Kinser at the track last season

27- Championships accounted for by drivers competing with the World of Outlaws

44- Drivers that competed with the World of Outlaws at the track last season

65- Laps led by Donny Schatz in feature events to lead the series this season

305- Miles from Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California where the World of Outlaws competed on March 13-14 to Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare

2003- Year the World of Outlaws first competed at Thunderbowl Raceway

10,000- Dollars to win the feature event on Friday, March 20; Dollars to win the feature on Saturday, March 21

TICKETS:

On Friday, March 20 at Thunderbowl Raceway, tickets in the bleachers will be $35 and grandstands tickets will be $40. To purchase tickets contact the Thunderbowl Raceway office at (559) 688-0909. To view a seating chart log onto www.thunderbowlraceway.com.

On Saturday, March 21 at Thunderbowl Raceway tickets in the bleachers will be $40 and grandstands tickets will be $45. To purchase tickets contact the Thunderbowl Raceway office at (559) 688-0909. To view a seating chart log onto www.thunderbowlraceway.com.

-credit: WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Kevin Swindell , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Jac Haudenschild , Tim Kaeding , Sam Hafertepe Jr.