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Keeping Pace

World of Outlaws Preview: 34 Raceway

Brian Ellenberger, who is contending for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, will make his first trip to 34 Raceway this week. The native of Butler, Pennsylvania has made a number of starts in the state of Iowa in his career, with the majority of those coming at the famed Knoxville Raceway


Burlington, IA—July 6, 2009—For the second consecutive season the World of Outlaws will make a stop at 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa with this year’s event taking place on Wednesday, July 8 at the high-banked 3/8-mile. The largest crowd in the history of the track was on hand last season for the series debut.

Tony Bruce Jr. made history scoring the first World of Outlaws win at 34 Raceway and also the first A-Feature win of his young career with the series. He battled 20-time series champion Steve Kinser, who has been racing for longer than he has been alive for the majority of the race, holding off the Hall of Famer for the win. Kinser began the night by setting a new track record in time trials.

Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, will make his first start with the series at the track this week, but has five career starts at the bullring, winning three of those and finishing second in the other two.

A couple of other drivers that are competing full-time with the series this have season made multiple starts at the track and one of those is Craig Dollansky who has a couple of Top-Five finishes at 34 Raceway earlier in his career. Sam Hafertepe Jr. also has made a couple of starts at the track.


Slidejobs- 34 Raceway:

A podium finish every time: Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, has competed five times in his career at 34 Raceway and has finished on the podium each and every time, with three of those being wins. He won in his debut at the track in 1992 and also was victorious twice in 1996. He finished second last season at the track with the IRA (Interstate Racing Association) and will make his World of Outlaws debut at the high-banked bullring this week.


Putting on a show:
Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, started fourth last season at 34 Raceway in the main event and quickly moved up to second and worked on leader Tony Bruce Jr. for just about every circuit of the 35-lap contest, nearly taking the lead a couple of times in traffic and on restarts. He wound up settling for second on a very fast track that had received a couple of inches of rain the night before the race. Kinser began the night by setting a new track record in qualifying.


A strong showing: Jason Meyers finished fifth last season in his first visit to 34 Raceway after lining up ninth for the A-Feature. The California native has won four times this season and is currently third in points as he chases his first World of Outlaws title. He won his first ever World of Outlaws race in the state of Iowa back in 2001 at the famed Knoxville Raceway and remains the only driver in series history to accomplish this feat.


A solid debut:
Jason Sides finished fourth last season at 34 Raceway in his first trip to the track. He lined up sixth that night after racing his way into the Crane Cams Dash and had veteran sprint car driver Terry Gray helping him turn the wrenches for that race. The 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year is currently fifth in points and has 24 Top-10 finishes on the season.


Looking for a few more spots:
Donny Schatz, the three-time and defending World of Outlaws champion, finished seventh last season at 34 Raceway in his debut at the track after lining up 11th. The North Dakota native has won eight times this year and leads the series in Top-Five finishes as he chases his fourth consecutive series title. He has 13 career wins in the state of Iowa, with most of those coming at Knoxville and a couple at Clay County Fairy Speedway in Spencer.


Looking to change his luck:
Joey Saldana started fifth at 34 Raceway last season and was battling Steve Kinser for a number of laps for the runner-up spot before a mechanical problem ended his night. He looks to rebound at the high-banked bullring this season and heads there leading the series in A-Feature wins and is second in points just 44 markers out of the lead.


Three strong ones:
Craig Dollansky has made three starts in his career at 34 Raceway and has finished in the Top-10 in all of them, including two Top-Fives back in 1995 when he made his debut at the track. He finished 10th last season with the World of Outlaws at the high-banked bullring. He is currently just outside of the Top-Five in points as he closes in on his first win since joining the Kasey Kahne Racing team.


Hard charger:
Jac Haudenschild came from the 15th starting spot to finish eighth at 34 Raceway last season in his first visit to the track. The recent inductee into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame has 15 Top-10 finishes this season as he closes in on his first win of the year. He is in his second season driving for the Carnahan Motorsports team based out of Minnesota.


Faster and faster:
Kraig Kinser has finished in the Top-Four in three of the last four World of Outlaws races and looks to carry this momentum to 34 Raceway, where he finished just outside of the Top-10 last season. The third generation driver is currently ninth in points as he continues his second season driving for Tony Stewart Racing.


A return visit:
Lucas Wolfe will make his second career start at 34 Raceway this week. The reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year finished fifth last spring at the track with a very strong field in attendance for an IRA race and missed the World of Outlaws event while recovering from an injury he suffered earlier in the season. The Pennsylvania native is currently 10th in points and has six Top-10 finishes with four of those being Top-Fives as he continues his sophomore season with the series.

Learning the track: Sam Hafertepe Jr. made two starts at 34 Raceway last season including with the World of Outlaws, just finishing outside of the Top-10 in that race. He made his debut at the track earlier in the 2008 season finishing a very solid fourth in an IRA race with a number of fellow World of Outlaws competitors in attendance. The third-year driver from Sunnyvale, Texas is just outside of the Top-10 in the series standings entering action this week.


Adding another new track to the list:
Brian Ellenberger, who is contending for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, will make his first trip to 34 Raceway this week. The native of Butler, Pennsylvania has made a number of starts in the state of Iowa in his career, with the majority of those coming at the famed Knoxville Raceway.

By the Numbers: 34 Raceway:
0.375- Miles around 34 Raceway
1-Driver competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that will be making their debut at 34 Raceway- Brian Ellenberger
2- Consecutive years the World of Outlaws have competed at 34 Raceway
4- Events in the state of Iowa this season for the World of Outlaws
5- Career starts for Danny Lasoski at 34 Raceway, the most of any drivers competing full-time with the series
9- Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws this season that raced at 34 Raceway with the series last season
11- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the series this season
12- Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws this season
12.250- Track record established in time trials by Steve Kinser last season
14- Drivers that have been quickest in time trials with the World of Outlaws this season
16-Drivers that have won a Crane Cams Dash this season to earn a pole position
20- Top-Five finishes for Donny Schatz to lead the series
21- Drivers that have led laps in A-Feature events this season
24- Championships accounted for by Steve Kinser, Donny Schatz and Danny Lasoski
27- Top-10 finishes for Steve Kinser to lead the series
33- World of Outlaws A-Feature events contested through July 4
35- Laps led by Tony Bruce Jr. en route to winning at 34 Raceway last year
44-Points that separate Donny Schatz and Joey Saldana atop the World of Outlaws standings
110.204- Track record in miles per hour set last season
248- Laps led by Joey Saldana this season to lead the series
344- Miles from Eagle Raceway in Nebraska where the World of Outlaws competed on Saturday, July 4 to 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa
2008-Year the World of Outlaws first competed at 34 Raceway
10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Wednesday, July 8
51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Wednesday, July 8
158,825- Dollars earned by Joey Saldana to lead the series


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

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