Keeping Pace

World of Outlaws Preview: Lawrenceburg Speedway

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

Lucas Wolfe, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year and third-year driver Sam Hafertepe Jr., will both make their debut at Lawrenceburg Speedway this weekend. Wolfe is currently 10th in the series standings and has three Top-Five finishes this season, with all three of those being fifth-place runs.

Courtesy: World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Media Relations

Lawrenceburg, IN—June 3, 2009—While the World of Outlaws have competed at Lawrenceburg Speedway six times over the years, this weekend’s visit to the track will seem like a first time visit for most of the drivers competing with the series, as it will their first time at the facility since the track was reconfigured from a tight ¼-mile to a bigger 3/8-mile, along with other vast renovations to the entire grounds of the track. The two-night event on Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6 will pay $10,000 to win each night and be two complete nights of racing.

The World of Outlaws visited Lawrenceburg Speedway for the first time in 1979 with 20-time series champion and Indiana native Steve Kinser picking up the win in that event. The series returned two years later with three-time series titlist Sammy Swindell picking up the victory.

After a 20-plus year absence, the series then returned to Lawrenceburg Speedway in 2003, with Paul McMahan picking up a win. Danny Smith, one of the original Outlaws won in 2004. Kraig Kinser was victorious at the track in his home state in 2005. Jac Haudenschild won a thriller over Joey Saldana and Craig Dollansky in 2006, the last time the series visited the track.

Of the 12 drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws this season, rookie contender Brian Ellenberger is the only one who has competed at Lawrenceburg since the reconfiguration. Steve Kinser has three career wins on the former ¼-mile to lead all drivers, while Jac Haudenschild and Kraig Kinser each have two victories, while Danny Lasoski has one.



Slidejobs- Lawrenceburg Speedway:

Batting .500: Steve Kinser has three career wins in six starts at Lawrenceburg Speedway. He was victorious in the World of Outlaws debut at the track in 1979 and won in each of this first three starts there. He most recently competed at the track in 2005. The 20-time series champion is currently second in points on the strength of a series leading 20 Top-10 finishes with 13 of those being Top-Fives.


Close a couple of times:
Donny Schatz finished fourth in his most recent start at Lawrenceburg Speedway in 2006. He was third in his debut at the track in 2004. The three-time and defending series champion has never won in the state of Indiana during his career with the World of Outlaws. He has won six times this season and is the current series point leader by 14 markers over Steve Kinser. After getting tangled up with a lapped car while leading last Friday night, Schatz salvaged an eighth-place run the following night after a spin while running third. He looks to put that behind him this weekend.

“The good news is that we’ll come back at it this week with a new opportunity to start a new streak of success,” he said. “Last year in June, we really turned the corner and hopefully we can do that again this year.”


One more spot:
Joey Saldana led most of the race in 2006 when the World of Outlaws last visited Lawrenceburg Speedway. He has 11 career Top-Five finishes at the track in his home state as he looks to visit the winner’s circle there for the first time. He leads the series with seven A-Feature wins this season and is currently third in points, just 29 markers out of the lead. The second generation driver competed at Lawrenceburg Speedway for the first time back in 1989 and finished fourth in that race.


Better and better: Jason Meyers finished fifth in his debut at Lawrenceburg Speedway in 2004 and was third the following year. He recently picked up his third win of the 2009 season and is the only driver that has won a 3/8-mile track this season with that coming at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky last month.


Getting closer each race: Craig Dollansky finished a career-best third at Lawrenceburg Speedway in 2006 and led three laps late in the race. He is currently fifth in points on the strength of 15 Top-10 finishes as he looks for his first win since joining Kasey Kahne Racing prior to the season.


A trio of starts: Jason Sides has made three career starts at Lawrenceburg Speedway, with all of those coming between 2003 and 2005. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee is currently sixth in points on the strength of 14 Top-10 finishes. He was running in the Top-10 last Saturday night in Michigan when he had some trouble that led to his machine catching fire. He looks to rebound from that this weekend as he continues to chase his first win of the season.


Ready and raring to go: Danny Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, was victorious in the famed Hoosier Fall Classic at Lawrenceburg in his debut at the track in 1994. He has four career Top-10 finishes in a limited number of starts on the former ¼-mile. He finished fourth last Saturday night to pick up his 10th Top-Five finish of the season and is just two points out of the sixth spot in the series standings entering this weekend’s pair of events.


Looking to repeat: Jac Haudenschild was victorious in the World of Outlaws most recent visit to Lawrenceburg Speedway in 2006. He led just three laps, but they were the final three as he went on to pick up his second career victory at the track. He also won in his debut at the then 1/4-mile in 1979. The recent inductee into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame has eight Top-10 finishes this season and is currently eighth in points.


Always a threat: Kraig Kinser has had a lot of success in his career at Lawrenceburg Speedway. He won the Hoosier Fall Classic in 2007 as he transitioned back into racing sprint cars full-time. He won with the World of Outlaws at the track in 2005 and has finished first or second in each of his last three starts at the track in his home state of Indiana. He made his debut at the track in 2002, finishing second and fourth in a pair of events. He is coming off a strong third-place finish last Saturday night in Michigan and has 10 Top-10 finishes on the season.

“Lawrenceburg has been pretty good, now that I think about it,” noted Kinser. “Maybe it’s because I’m an Indiana kid getting to race close to home. That’s kind of how all of us around here get started. You race the short tracks like Bloomington, Haubstadt, Kokomo and so many others. It’s where we learned to race. Winning the Outlaws race there back in 2005 was pretty awesome. There’s not much better than winning close to home against the best competition. That really gave me a lot of confidence and, the next week, we won the Knoxville Nationals”.


First timers: Lucas Wolfe, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year and third-year driver Sam Hafertepe Jr., will both make their debut at Lawrenceburg Speedway this weekend. Wolfe is currently 10th in the series standings and has three Top-Five finishes this season, with all three of those being fifth-place runs. Hafertepe is just outside of the Top-10 and has picked up Top-10 finishes in three of the last four World of Outlaws events.


A couple of visits: Brian Ellenberger, who is a contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, has competed a couple of times at Lawrenceburg Speedway the last two seasons. The native of Butler, Pennsylvania recently picked up his best career finish with the World of Outlaws coming home 10th at I-96 Speedway in Michigan.



By the Numbers: Lawrenceburg Speedway:
0.25- Miles around the old Lawrenceburg Speedway
0.375- Miles around the reconfigured Lawrenceburg Speedway
1- Event contested thus far in 2009 on a 3/8-mile track
3- Laps led by Jac Haudenschild to win at the track in 2006; Drivers that led laps in the A-Feature event that year; Track records that have been established in time trials in 2009
4- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that raced in the series last visit to the track in 2006
6- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws at Lawrenceburg Speedway in the same number of events
10- Drivers that have won A-Feature events this season with the World of Outlaws
11- Drivers that have been quickest in time trials this season
11.628- Track record at Lawrenceburg Speedway established in 2008
14- Points that separate Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser in the World of Outlaws standings
16- Drivers that have won the Crane Cams Dash to earn pole positions in A-Feature events
21- Drivers that have led laps in A-Feature events this season
34- Laps led by Joey Saldana en route to a second-place finish at the track in 2006
36- Drivers that competed with the World of Outlaws at the track in 2006
153- Laps led by Joey Saldana this season to lead the series
330- Miles from I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan where the World of Outlaws raced on May 30 to Lawrenceburg Speedway
1979- Year the World of Outlaws first competed at Lawrenceburg Speedway
2006-Year the World of Outlaws last competed at Lawrenceburg Speedway
10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, June 5; Dollars the winner will receive on Saturday, June 6
89,050- Dollars in the total purse on Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6
100,375- Dollars earned by Joey Saldana this season to lead the series




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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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