Fast Talkers: National Open at Williams Grove Speedway Mechanicsburg, PA -- September 25, 2006 -- After sweeping all three nights of the Summer Nationals in July, the World of Outlaws Sprint Series returns to Williams Grove Speedway for the...
Fast Talkers: National Open at Williams Grove Speedway
Mechanicsburg, PA -- September 25, 2006 -- After sweeping all three nights of the Summer Nationals in July, the World of Outlaws Sprint Series returns to Williams Grove Speedway for the third and final time this season to battle the Pennsylvania Posse this Friday and Saturday in the National Open. Current Championship point leader Donny Schatz who has 14 A-Feature wins along with the Knoxville Nationals title, will look to win the National Open for the third straight year and fourth time overall. The event will pay $50,000 to winner on Saturday night. Before making the trip east, World of Outlaws drivers shared their thoughts on the event, as well as racing at Williams Grove, and of course the rivalry between themselves and the always tough Pennsylvania Posse.
Becca Anderson, driver of the No. 19 Upstate Kenworth Maxim
"It's going to be a good thing to go back to 'The Grove.' We been on some big tracks that we can compare it to, and we've really been running pretty decent. I'm looking forward to going back to Pennsylvania. When you go to Pennsylvania, it is its own place. You have 10-15 guys that can win on any given night, and could come out here on the road and win. It's really tough and you have to be on your 'A-Game,' because every lap counts when you are in Pennsylvania."
Jeremy Campbell, driver of the No. 10c Americas Best Values Inn/G-Force Racing Gear Maxim
"I like Williams Grove. I had been there a while back before this season and it was always fun. This year has been rough on us out there. Hopefully we can go out there and make it in the show, and try to do good. That is where we have been struggling, trying to make the show out there. We have another motor put together and hopefully that will help put us in the show...Those guys are tough out there. They race there every week and if you race somewhere every week you're going to do good. It is tough, but we'll just do out best and see how it goes."
Brian Carlson, driver of the No. 18 Lincoln Electric Maxim
"Anytime you head to Pennsylvania you test out how your abilities are, and how much motor you have under the hood. Those guys have as strong of stuff as anyone in the country. It's exciting just to go back there and run on a big race track. With the history that surrounds the National Open, it will be an exciting two-day event for us."
Craig Dollansky, driver of the No. 7 Karavan Trailers/Team Race Chic Maxim
"It's pretty much the last big paying event of the year left. We haven't been able to pick one of those up yet this year, and we would love nothing more than to go into Williams Grove and win the National Open. It's one of the biggest events that we run throughout the year. 'The Grove' is definitely one of my favorite places to go race, and we had a good strong run last time we were in there. We'll just go in there and see what we can do."
Randy Hannagan, driver of the No. 1x Penthouse Magazines Maxim
"It's one of the really big races of the year for us. We're going to Pennsylvania where the competition is really tough. We haven't had that much luck out there, but we ran pretty good there in the summer. I did not get to run the spring race, but in the summer we made the show and we have some good stuff that we can build off of. I'm excited to go back and try it, and I think we can be competitive and run up front there."
Jac Haudenschild, driver of the No. 35 Wright One Construction Maxim
"We're looking forward to going back to Williams Grove. I like the race track and I like going over there and racing. We struggled a little bit the last time we were there. We are looking forward to it again this year, and hopefully we can get the Rick Wright car up front...I think everyone knows those guys are tough at that track. They are tough anywhere. The Outlaw guys have been running good this year, and I think everyone is pumped up and ready to go...It always is good when it pays the big money. You really don't think about the money, you are just out there racing and trying to get up front."
Justin Henderson, driver of the (No. D1 Jolt Energy Gum/Protected By Data Dots Schnee powered by Hollywood Racing Engines
"Last time we were there, we were getting better and better at Williams Grove. We're ready to rock. I can't wait to get back there, and am happy that Jolt Energy Gum and Schnee have kept a good car under us, so we can get back there...Of course it matters to battle those guys. It makes our jobs tougher. Normally when we race local competition, they are not nearly that good, plus the tracks are usually similar to other tracks that we go to around the country. When you go to Williams Grove, it's different than anything you have ever seen. We are only there a couple times a year, and those guys race it all year long."
Dion Hindi, driver of the No. 11D RealTruck.com/SniperTuning J&J
"I had a chance to win this race with Donny (Schatz) last year, and that was a really good feeling at that race track. We'll see what this year has in store... Hopefully we'll have another good night there. We have had good and bad nights, and that is seemingly what happens at Williams Grove. You are car is either really good or really bad...If you are paying attention to who is driving a car, then you are not paying attention to the race track and your own race car. Once you're on the race track, like I have said before, a race track is a race track for the most part, and once you are on the race track they are just other cars you have to pass."
Chad Kemenah, driver of the No. 15K Underground Utilities Inc. Eagle
"Hopefully we can go and get a good run. We haven't had the best of luck at Williams Grove. The first thing out there is that you want to make the race. Hopefully we can get in the thing and come out with a good run...It has helped us with all the laps there this year. I had never really race out there too much. The more times we go out there, the more comfortable I feel. Hopefully we can put out some results when we get back...Anybody that roams into Pennsylvania will have a rivalry. The fans love their local drivers, and the local drivers are so good out there. Hopefully the Outlaws as a group, we can go in there, last time we faired really well, and repeat the same performance."
Jason Martin, driver of the No. 36 NOS Energy Drink/Mafia Motorsports Maxim
"It's a real big deal, and it pays so much money. We have been there so many times earlier this year that we were practicing and getting use to the track. A lot of us out here had never been there. It took me a couple times to get use to the race track itself. I think we were real confident last time we were there. We just had some bad luck. We were real fast and crashed. I think we will be good when we go back...It's a big deal. We want to win no matter who is racing against us. The cars are just another car, but some of the guys have been around such a long time, and it's something to put on your shoulders to say you beat them. We push pretty hard to win."
Terry McCarl, driver of the No. 24 Big Game Treestands/Bosma Poultry/AmeriCash Advance.com Eagle
"It's one of the biggest races of the year. It's definitely one of the top-three or four races that we race all year. It's definitely one that you want to win. It was big for me winning there in the summer. I am a bit of a historian of sprint car racing, and growing up around Knoxville, I always thought that Williams Grove was the 'Knoxville of the East.' It meant a lot for me to win a feature there, and I look forward to the National Open."
Daryn Pittman, driver of the No. 21 Titan Garages & Carports/ Hop-n-Sack Convenience Stores Maxim
"I would put it there as the second or third biggest race of the year. We finally got our first win there last time we were there. I think we have proved that the last three or four times we have been to Williams Grove that we are the car to beat. We're going with a lot of confidence, but there are a lot of guys that can win there. We're pumped about it, and obviously we will not be happy with anything but winning, but we can there second last year and there a lot of tough cars to beat. We have our work cut out for us and we are pumped, and hopefully we can go in there with a lot of confidence and have a good showing...Obviously the money is always great, but some of us were talking at Chico (the Gold Cup) and I think we would kill each other for $1500 to-win. The money is always great and the excitement makes you do a few things that maybe normally you would not do. I'm glad they put up the money. Having the title of National Open winner would be an awesome thing to put on anyone's resume."
Joey Saldana, driver of the No. 9 Dodge Mopar-powered/Curb Records JEI
"If we run as well as we did at Jackson (Minn.) Speedway, and I do what I am supposed to do as a driver, then I am very excited about going to Williams Grove. We had a really good performance there earlier this year. We got disqualified for weight, but the performance of the car and what we did to get to that point is what you need to do to win the $50,000. We went back for the Summer Nationals and ran top-five. If we can duplicate the performances that we have had and get a little better. When it comes to that kind of money everyone steps their game up. If we can get a little better and not do anything stupid, then I think we have a good shot at it."
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 ParkerStore J&J
"We're excited to get there. We have a great race car, and our motors are unbelievable right now. I just can't wait to get there and get it going on, and see if we can't get this thing to victory lane and get that 50-grand...Anytime you can go to Williams Grove and get a victory, it's unbelievable. It's one of the toughest of the places in the country to figure out the race track. The locals are damn tough. To go there for the National Open, being a three-time winner is great, and there is one guy that has won it four times, and he is not going to be there obviously. We just have to go there and try to win... There's really no pressure after the first time you win something. The first one was tough and they have come a little easier since then. I hope we are in a good position and can go in there. We're thinking about the 50-grand, not the name of the National Open, because we have been pretty lucky to win them a couple of times."
Troy Renfro, crew chief of the No. 8 Race Outfitters/Castrol/Steel Dreams Machine
"I'm real confident with Jeff (Shepard). Jeff and I grew up together in somewhat the same area. My pick was either him or Todd Shaffer to fill in for us, and that was Brooke's pick also. I'm real confident to have Jeff in the car. I know he will do a good job, and he'll give 100 percent."
*Note: Jeff Shepard will fill-in for Brooke Tatnell at the National Open at Williams Grove Speedway, while Tatnell is back in his native Australia with his father George, who is battling cancer.