Keeping Pace

Excitement Building for the Inaugural Ironman 55

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

History will be made this weekend as the World of Outlaws head to the track located just outside of St. Louis for the inaugural Ironman 55 on Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8, with $20,000 awaiting the winner of the 55 lap finale.

Courtesy: World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Media Relations

Pevely, MO—August 6, 2009—It’s hard to get World of Outlaws drivers to agree on much, but one thing they do agree on is that I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri is one of the most racy and exciting tracks on the circuit that provides some of the closest side-by-side action all season on the high-banked 1/3-mile bullring.

History will be made this weekend as the World of Outlaws head to the track located just outside of St. Louis for the inaugural Ironman 55 on Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8, with $20,000 awaiting the winner of the 55 lap finale as the “Month of Money” rolls on for the World of Outlaws.

Jason Meyers is the defending race winner at I-55 Raceway, edging Craig Dollansky last season by just 0.156 seconds which equated to just a couple of feet on the track. Dollansky led early in the race, with Meyers taking the top spot on the 32nd circuit and holding off a furious last lap charge by Dollansky on the high side of the track as the pair charged off turn four down the front straightaway. For Meyers it was his first career win at I-55 Raceway

“I think it’s the shape of the race track and it has a great shape,” stated Meyers when asked what makes I-55 such a racy track. “You can get on top or around the middle or even around the bottom, depending on the preparation of the track. It’s always very exciting there and things happen quick. You get to lapped traffic so quickly that even if a guy gets out to a big lead early, it’s hard to maintain that. It’s always great racing there and we are looking forward to it. 55 laps will certainly be a survival of the fittest and you’re definitely going to have to be ready for that.”

Danny Lasoski, who hails from the state of Missouri, has always enjoyed competing at I-55 Raceway, where he has three career wins including one with the World of Outlaws. The 2001 series champion made his debut at the bullring in his home state in 1987 and picked up his first victory there the following season.

“The place is wide and Ray Marler usually has it where there is a top and a bottom and that puts on an exciting show,” shared Lasoski. “The bottom line is every time you go there it’s an exciting race and good for the fans and good for the competitors.”

Craig Dollansky won at I-55 Raceway for the first time in 2003 and has four runner-up finishes as well at the track, including last season when he led the first 31 laps of the 40-lap contest. He has eight career Top-Five finishes at the high-banked 1/3-mile and looks to continue a recent hot streak this weekend in the inaugural Ironman 55 after winning his first race of the 2009 season on July 26.

“It’s definitely an action packed race track,” noted Dollansky. “I think a lot of that has to do with the size of it and the banking. When they have time to prepare that track the way they want, it’s one of the best shows a fan can come and watch. I’ve always enjoyed going there and we’re definitely excited to back this time.”

Donny Schatz picked up his first win at I-55 Raceway in 2006 and has finished eighth or better in eight consecutive races at the track with five of those being Top-Fives. He has won 11 times this season including most recently on a high-banked bullring at K-C Raceway in Ohio to score the 99th A-Feature win of his World of Outlaws career. He will seek to become just the fifth driver in World of Outlaws history to cross the century mark in wins during the Ironman 55 weekend.

“The high banking provide for great racing,” explained the three-time and defending series champion when talking about I-55 Raceway. “It’s usually an out of control racing situation there. You have to drive like a nut sometimes and other times you have to keep your car underneath you. You have a lot of different winners there because it’s hard to be consistent there. The conditions always change and it’s always a challenge there.”

There will be plenty of variables in the Ironman 55 as it will be the longest A-Feature event in the modern era for the World of Outlaws, with 55 green flag laps awaiting the competitors. A stout field is expected, with the All Star Circuit of Champions on hand in addition to three-time World of Outlaws champion Sammy Swindell, California native Tim Kaeding, I-55 Raceway track record holder Stevie Smith who will make his first start at the high-banked bullring since 2002, along with Hall of Famer Fred Rahmer from Pennsylvania and many more. All of this has Jason Meyers chomping the bit to take the track as he looks to repeat at I-55 Raceway and also looks to claim his first career win during the “Month of Money.”

“It may be fuel, it may be tires, it may be lapped traffic, I don’t know,” noted Meyers when asked what the biggest challenge of the event will be. “It’s a lot of laps around that place. Traffic is a big deal there and depending on long we go green that could get real exciting. The challenge is just beating the competition. There are a lot of great cars out here on the tour and it’s going to be a tough race. I don’t think they could have picked a better name for it.”

Craig Dollansky, who annually promotes a World of Outlaws event along with his wife Julie at Clay County Fair Speedway in Iowa, is not only looking forward to the Ironman 55 from a drivers standpoint, but from a fans perspective with the action the spectators will see at I-55 Raceway this weekend culminating with the 55-lap finale with $20,000 awaiting the winner.

“It will be a great experience, especially for the race fans,” said Dollansky. “That’s a lot of laps, the most we have ever run. It’s going to be a good show.”

Both nights of the inaugural Ironman 55 will be broadcast via streaming audio and video on the For more information and to order visit

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Keeping Pace

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





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