Keeping Pace

World of Outlaws Preview: Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

Last season Jason Meyers and Craig Dollansky waged a thrilling battle at I-55 with Meyers coming out on top, while Dollansky staged a last lap charge off the fourth turn to come up just a few inches short of picking up the win.

Courtesy: World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Media Relations

Pevely, MO—August 5, 2009—I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri always makes for some of the most exciting and closest racing of the season on the World of Outlaws circuit and the high-banked 1/3-mile bullring will help make history this weekend as the facility plays host to the inaugural Ironman 55 with $20,000 awaiting the winner of the finale on Saturday, August 8. The event kicks off on Friday, August 7 with a full night of racing.

Last season Jason Meyers and Craig Dollansky waged a thrilling battle at I-55 with Meyers coming out on top, while Dollansky staged a last lap charge off the fourth turn to come up just a few inches short of picking up the win. In each of the last 14 events for the World of Outlaws at I-55 Raceway there has been a different winner.

Joey Saldana was victorious at the track in 2007, with three-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz picking up a win the year before. Kraig Kinser won at the track in 2005, while 2001 World of Outlaws champion and Missouri native Danny Lasoski was victorious at the high-banked bullring in 2004, the same year that Craig Dollansky won at the track.

Steve Kinser and Jac Haudenschild have each won three A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws at I-55 Raceway to lead all active drivers.

Each night of the Ironman 55 will consist of time trials, heat races, a Crane Cams Dash and Last Chance Showdown to set the 24-car starting grid each night on the high banks. The finale on Saturday night will be 55 laps of green flag racing, making it the longest A-Feature event in the modern era of the World of Outlaws.

Slide jobs: Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway:

Always near the front: Steve Kinser has five total wins in his career at I-55 Raceway to go along with 25 Top-10 finishes. He was victorious for the first time at the track in 1987, the first year the World of Outlaws competed at the high-banked bullring and has three A-Feature triumphs with the series at the track along with a couple of wins in preliminary features. His most recent win at the track came in 2003. The 20-time series champion has won twice this season on bullrings and is currently fourth in the series championship standings, just two markers behind Joey Saldana.


In contention:
Jac Haudenschild has won three times at I-55 Raceway over the years and has finished in the Top-10 22 times. He scored his first win at the track in 1999 and followed that up win another victory in 2000 and also claimed the top spot in 2002. He ran fifth at the track last season and has racked up 22 Top-10 finishes this season as he closes in on his first win of the year. He ran in the Top-Five on both nights at Ohsweken Speedway in Canada last week and is solidly in the eighth position in the series championship standings.


Plenty of laps: Donny Schatz, the three-time and defending World of Outlaws champion, made his debut at I-55 Raceway in 1997 and has competed at the track 22 times over the last 12 years. He scored his first win at the high-banked 1/3-mile in 2006. He has finished eighth or better in each of his last eight starts at the track, with five of those being Top-Five performances. He won for the 11th time in 2009 last Saturday night at K-C Raceway in Ohio and currently has a 50-point lead in the championship standings over Jason Meyers as he chases his fourth consecutive title. He enters the Ironman 55 weekend with 99 career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws and looks to become just the fifth driver in the 31-year history of the series to cross the century mark.


Looking to repeat: Jason Meyers picked up his first career win at I-55 Raceway last season, in a thrilling battle with Craig Dollansky. The native of Clovis, California has won five times this season and is currently second in points as he chases his first career World of Outlaws title. He leads the series with 37 Top-10 finishes. He is one of just three drivers that has led more than 200 laps of feature racing competition this season.


A track he knows: Craig Dollansky won for the first time in his career at I-55 in 2004. He led most of the race there last season before finishing second to earn the eighth Top-Five finish of his career at the bullring. The native of Elk River, Minnesota recently picked up his first win of the season and first since joining Kasey Kahne Racing, as he was victorious at Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York on July 26. He has finished seventh or better in four consecutive races with three of those being podium finishes and he is currently seventh in points.


Experience counts: Joey Saldana raced at I-55 Raceway for the first time in 1996 and has gotten faster each time he has visited the high-banked track since then. He won for the first time at the track in 2007 and finished third last season. He has finished on the podium in three of his last four starts at the track. He leads the World of Outlaws with 12 A-Feature wins this season and is currently third in points.


A weekend in his home state: Danny Lasoski, who hails from Dover, Missouri, will get to race in his home state for the second time this season when the World of Outlaws invade I-55 Raceway this weekend. The 2001 series champion has three career wins at the track with the first of those coming back in 1988. He also scored a win at the high-banked 1/3-mile in 2000 and was victorious for the first time with the World of Outlaws at the track in 2004. He has won five times this season and is currently fifth in points as he continues his first season driving for the Parsons Motorsports team.


Looking to stay up front: Jason Sides picked up his first win of the 2009 season last week at Ohsweken Speedway in Canada. The 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year is just five points out of the fifth spot in the standings on the strength of 31 Top-10 finishes with 14 of those being Top-Five performances. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee has a couple of Top-10 finishes in his career at I-55


Chasing that elusive first win of the year: Kraig Kinser is closing in on his first win of the season as he continues his second season driving for Tony Stewart Racing. The third generation driver is currently ninth in points on the strength of 22 Top-10 finishes with nine of those being Top-Fives. He won at I-55 Raceway back in 2005.


A second visit: Lucas Wolfe made his debut at I-55 Raceway last spring during his rookie season with the World of Outlaws. The Ironman 55 this weekend will mark the second start at the high-banked track for the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year. The native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania has 10 Top-10 finishes this season with five of those being Top-Fives and is currently 10th in the series standings.


Ready to race at I-55: Brian Ellenberger, the leading contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, will make his debut at I-55 Raceway this weekend. The native of Butler, Pennsylvania has attempted to race at the track a couple of times in his career and those events have been rained out each time, including earlier this season with the World of Outlaws. Ellenberger has three Top-10 finishes entering this weekend with one of those being a career-best third-place performance at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas in June.



By the Numbers: Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway
0.333-Miles around I-55 Raceway
1-Driver competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that will making their debut at I-55 this weekend, rookie contender Brian Ellenberger
2- Drivers that led laps in the A-Feature event at I-55 Raceway last season
9- Laps led by Jason Meyers en route to winning at I-55 last season
10-Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that raced at I-55 last season with the series
10.189- Track record set by Stevie Smith in 2002
12-A-Feature wins for Joey Saldana this season to lead the series
14- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws through August 1
16- Drivers that have been fastest in time trials this season with the World of Outlaws
17- Drivers that have won the Crane Cams Dash this season to earn pole positions in A-Feature events
19- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws at I-55 Raceway dating back to 1987; Degrees of banking in the turns at I-55
27- World of Outlaws championships accounted for by drivers entered in the event
28- Top-Five finishes for Donny Schatz through August 1 to lead the series
31- Laps led by Craig Dollansky at the track last season en route to finishing second
37- Top-10 finishes for Jason Meyers through August 1 to lead the series
50- Points that separate Donny Schatz and Jason Meyers atop the World of Outlaws standings
55- Laps in the A-Feature of the finale of the Ironman55 on Saturday, August 8
300- Laps led by Donny Schatz this season to lead the series through August 1
486- Miles from K-C Raceway in Alma, Ohio where the World of Outlaws competed on August 1 to I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri
1987- Year the World of Outlaws first competed at I-55 Raceway
8,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, August 7
20,000-Dollars the winner will receive on Saturday, August 8
246,050- Dollars won by Donny Schatz this season to lead the series




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Keeping Pace

Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.




Close

Sections


Profile

Close

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801