Keeping Pace

World of Outlaws Preview: River Cities Speedway

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

Donny Schatz heads into Friday night's event having won the last two World of Outlaws events at the high-banked bullring.

Courtesy: World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Media Relations

Grand Forks, ND—After another exciting event during the Duel in the Dakotas back in June at River Cities Speedway, the World of Outlaws will make a second appearance at the high-banked bullring on Friday, August 21. This will mark the first time ever that the series has competed twice in the same season at River Cities Speedway.

Donny Schatz heads into the event having won the last two World of Outlaws events at the high-banked bullring. He took the lead from 20-time series champion Steve Kinser on the second lap of the event back in June and held off a charge from Joey Saldana down the stretch to earn his third career victory at River Cities Speedway.

Joey Saldana who leads the World of Outlaws with 13 A-Feature wins this season was victorious at River Cities Speedway in the series debut at the track in 2007. He followed that up with a third-place performance last season and a runner-up finish earlier this year.

Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, is a former winner at River Cities Speedway, as is Jac Haudenschild, who was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame this year.

The race at River Cities Speedway will be the penultimate race for the series in the state of North Dakota, as they continue a stretch of 18 consecutive races on tracks under a half-mile in length and continue to Gold Rush Tour that will see the series compete 12 times in a 25-day period.


Slidejobs- River Cities Speedway:

Native son: Donny Schatz, who hails from North Dakota, has won three times in his career at River Cities Speedway, including each of the last two World of Outlaws events at the high-banked bullring. He is the current series point leader as he chases his fourth consecutive title and has won 11 times as he closes in on his 100th career A-Feature win with the series. He has 15 career wins in his home state entering this weekend’s pair of races.


Always on the podium: Joey Saldana has finished on the podium in all three of his career starts at River Cities Speedway, winning the inaugural World of Outlaws event at the track in 2007. He was the runner-up earlier this season and was third last season. The second generation driver leads the World of Outlaws with 13 A-Feature wins this season and is third in points as he chases his first career title.


Winning on the bullrings: Steve Kinser has won twice this season on high-banked bullrings, with those triumphs coming at Tri-State Speedway in his home state of Indiana, along with Limaland Motorsports Park in Ohio in the Brad Doty Classic. He started on the pole at River Cities back in June and led the opening lap before finishing third. The 20-time series champion is currently fourth in the series championship standings.


Gearing up for the stretch run:
Jason Meyers opens the Gold Rush Tour second in the World of Outlaws championship standings for the second consecutive season as he chases his first title. He has four career Top-10 finishes at River Cities Speedway including a runner-up performance in his debut at the high-banked bullring in 2000. He has won five times this season and leads the series in Top-10 finishes as he looks to become the first driver from California to win a World of Outlaws title.


Oh so close: Jason Sides has come close to winning a couple of times at River Cities Speedway in his career. He ran third in his debut at the track in 1999 and was fourth earlier this season. He picked up his first win of 2009 at Ohsweken Speedway in Canada a couple of weeks ago and is currently fifth in points as he continues the best season of his World of Outlaws career. He has seven career Top-10 finishes at River Cities Speedway in nine starts.


A great track record: Danny Lasoski won in his debut at River Cities Speedway in 1996 and finished fourth or better in each of his first six starts at the bullring. He has finished seventh or better in all seven of his starts at the track including in each of his last two starts with the World of Outlaws at the track. The 2001 series champion has won five times this season including in North Dakota at Nodak Speedway in June. He is currently sixth in points, less than 20 markers behind Jason Sides as the pair battles for the fifth spot.


Running up front: Craig Dollansky won at River Cities Speedway for the first time in 2000. In three starts with the World of Outlaws at the track, he has finished second, fifth and eighth. He was second earlier this season. He recently won his second race of the season and is closing in on the Top-Five in the series standings as he continues his first season driving for Kasey Kahne Racing.


Home on the high banks: Jac Haudenschild won in his debut at River Cities Speedway in 1999 and has finished in the Top-10 in all six of his career starts at the track. He has finished second, sixth and 10th in his three starts with the World of Outlaws at the track. The native of Wooster, Ohio is currently eighth in the World of Outlaws championship standings as he closes in on his first win of the 2009 campaign.


Up to speed: Kraig Kinser finished fifth in his debut at River Cities Speedway in 2000 and was fourth the following season. He followed that up with a runner-up finish that same season and another podium in 2002. The third generation driver is in his second season driving for Tony Stewart Racing and is currently ninth in points.


A solid debut: Lucas Wolfe made his debut at River Cities Speedway earlier this season after missing last year’s event as he recovered from an injury, finishing just outside of the Top-10. The reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year is currently 10th in points and has picked up 10 Top-10 finishes.


Second time around: Brian Ellenberger also made his debut at River Cities Speedway in June. The leading contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award continues to gain priceless experience in his first full year on the road with the World of Outlaws. He has three Top-10 finishes this season including a career-best third-place performance at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas in June.



By the Numbers: River Cities Speedway:
0.3-Miles around River Cities Speedway
1- Driver competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that hails from North Dakota, Donny Schatz
2- Visits to River Cities Speedway for the World of Outlaws this season
3- Events contested by the World of Outlaws at River Cities Speedway dating back to 2007
5- Drivers that have led laps in A-Feature events with the series over the past three seasons; Events this season for the World of Outlaws in the state of North Dakota
9.66- Track record at River Cities Speedway set in 2007
11- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws
14- Drivers that have won A-Feature events this season
17- Drivers that have been quickest in time trials this season
18- Drivers that have won a Crane Cams Dash this season to earn a pole position in 2009
22- Drivers that have led laps in A-Feature events this season
30- Drivers that competed with the World of Outlaws at River Cities Speedway earlier this season
39- Laps led by Donny Schatz en route to winning earlier this season
48- A-Feature events contested by the World of Outlaws this season
55- Points that separate Donny Schatz and Jason Meyers atop the series championship standings beginning a trio of races this week
310- Laps led by Donny Schatz this season to lead the series
431- Miles from Deer Creek Speedway in Minnesota where the World of Outlaws competed on August 19 to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota
2007- Year the World of Outlaws first competed at River Cities Speedway
10,000-Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, August 21
51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Friday, August 21




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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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