Keeping Pace

World of Outlaws Preview: Missouri High-Banked Nationals at U.S. 36 Raceway

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

Entering this weekend's events, Donny Schatz holds a 59-point advantage over Joey Saldana in the series championship standings after 30 A-Feature events. Schatz has won eight times, while Saldana leads the series with 10 triumphs. Jason Meyers is third in points and has four victories, and 20-time series champion Steve Kinser is fourth and has won once so far this season.

Courtesy: World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Media Relations

Concord, NC--June 24, 2009—After two thrilling races at U.S. 36 Raceway in Missouri in the World of Outlaws first two visits to the high-banked, ultra fast bullring in 2006 and 2007, Mother Nature was victorious last season. With sunny skies and warm temperatures expected this week, the World of Outlaws are set to return to U.S. 36 Raceway for the Missouri High-Banked Nationals on Friday, June 26.

Jason Meyers won the event in 2007, leading all 40 laps in a dominating performance to win over Tim Kaeding and Jac Haudenschild, who was victorious in the World of Outlaws debut at the track in 2006.

U.S. 36 Raceway is one of just three tracks on the World of Outlaws schedule with a single digit track record. Paul McMahan set the mark of 9.846 seconds in 2006.

Entering the event, Donny Schatz holds a 59-point advantage over Joey Saldana in the series championship standings after 30 A-Feature events. Schatz has won eight times, while Saldana leads the series with 10 triumphs. Jason Meyers is third in points and has four victories, and 20-time series champion Steve Kinser is fourth and has won once so far this season.

In what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive seasons in World of Outlaws history, 10 drivers have won A-Feature events this season while 21 different drivers have led laps in A-Feature racing competition.

Slidejobs- U.S. 36 Raceway:

Undefeated: Jason Meyers is one for one in his career at U.S. 36 Raceway, winning at the track in his debut there in 2007. He was fifth quick in time trials that night, finishing second in a heat race to earn a spot in the Crane Cams Dash which he won to start on the pole for the main event. He led all 40 laps to pick up the victory. He is currently third in points, 39 markers behind Joey Saldana who is second. He won his fourth race of the season last weekend at Red River Valley Speedway in North Dakota.


Podium presence: Jac Haudenschild won in his debut at U.S. 36 Raceway in 2006 and followed that up with a third-place performance in 2007. The native of Wooster, Ohio is coming off a season-best third-place finish last Saturday night at Red River Valley Speedway in North Dakota. He is currently eighth in points on the strength of 13 Top-10 finishes as he closes in on his first win of the 2009 campaign.

“The car feels pretty good right now,” said Haudenschild. “Leonard Lee and the crew is working hard and doing a good job.”


Could this be the time: Donny Schatz has yet to win at U.S. 36 Raceway in his career, though he has only raced at the high-banked track twice. He finished fifth in the World of Outlaws last visit to the track in 2007 and was fastest in time trials in that event. He is the current series point leader and has won eight times this season as he chases his fourth consecutive title.

“It’s a fast little place,” noted Schatz. “The second night we raced there, we were the fastest qualifier and just had a tough time moving forward in the feature. The track’s degree of banking kind of plays havoc on you when you are going through the middle of the corners. There’s almost a blind spot, so you have to make your moves whenever you can to get to the front. Trouble is just the next corner away. Every lap counts there and it’s pretty demanding on the drivers.”


Continuing to gain:
Joey Saldana finished 11th in his debut at U.S. 36 Raceway in 2006 and was eighth the following year. He leads the World of Outlaws with 10 A-Feature wins this season and is currently second in points as he chases his first series title. He has 21 Top-10 finishes and is 59 points behind Donny Schatz.


Plugging away:
Steve Kinser picked up three more Top-10 finishes last weekend in North Dakota and leads the series with 25 this season as he chases his record 21st title. He is currently fourth in points, just 11 markers out of third. He has one career start at U.S. 36 Raceway with that coming in 2007, finishing just outside of the Top-10. He has one win this season on a bullring at Tri-State Speedway in his home state of Indiana.


Almost there:
Craig Dollansky continues to close in on his first win since joining the Kasey Kahne Racing team. He led a number of laps last Saturday night at Red River Valley Speedway in North Dakota en route to a season-best runner-up finish. He finished second at U.S. 36 Raceway in his debut at the track in 2006 and was 10th the following year. The native of Elk River, Minnesota is currently fifth in points on the strength of 22 Top-10 finishes.


A contender each and every night:
Jason Sides continued his strong 2009 season last weekend, scoring three more Top-10 finishes. He now has 20 on the season and is sixth in points, just 22 markers behind Craig Dollansky who is fifth. Sides has made one career start at U.S. 36 Raceway with that coming in 2007.


Home state start:
Danny Lasoski will make three starts with the World of Outlaws in his home state of Missouri this season with the first of those coming this Friday at U.S. 36 Raceway, where he has only raced once in his career. The 2001 World of Outlaws champion won his second race of the 2009 season on Sunday night at Nodak Speedway in North Dakota. He is currently seventh in points, less than 30 markers out of the fifth spot.


Experience counts: Sam Hafertepe Jr. has raced three times at U.S. 36 Raceway in his career, which is the most of any driver competing full-time with the World of Outlaws this season. He was victorious at the track in 2007 in an unsanctioned event. The native of Sunnyvale, Texas picked up his fifth Top-10 finish of the season in North Dakota last weekend as he continues his third full season on the road with the World of Outlaws.


First timers: Three drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws this season will make their debut at U.S. 36 Raceway this week. Kraig Kinser, Lucas Wolfe and Brian Ellenberger will also take to the high banks for the first time.

“When you go to a new place, the learning curve is pretty quick,” shared Kinser. “We’ll watch how the other guys are getting around. Again, it goes back to what we have to do every night – make a good lap in qualifying and work our way into the Dash. We race at a lot of places around the country, and I’m sure we’ll stay on top of what the track is doing. I’m looking forward to it.”

By the Numbers: U.S. 36 Raceway:
0.375- Miles around U.S. 36 Raceway
2-Races the World of Outlaws have contested at U.S. 36 Raceway
3- Events for the World of Outlaws in the state of Missouri this season
4- Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that have competed in both events for the series at U.S. 36 Raceway
8- Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that competed at U.S. 36 Raceway in the series last visit to the track in 2007
9.846-Track record set by Paul McMahan in 2006
10- Drivers that have won A-Feature events through June 21
12- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws
21- Drivers that have led laps with the series this season
25-Top-10 finishes for Steve Kinser this season to lead the series
30- A-Feature events contested by the World of Outlaws through June 21
33- Drivers that competed with the World of Outlaws at the track in 2007
59- Points that separate Donny Schatz and Joey Saldana atop the World of Outlaws standings
135.36- Track record in miles per hour set in 2006
245- Laps led by Joey Saldana to lead the series this season
836- Miles from Nodak Speedway in Minot, North Dakota to U.S. 36 Raceway in Osborn, Missouri
2006-Year the World of Outlaws first competed at U.S. 36 Raceway
2007-Year the World of Outlaws last competed at U.S. 36 Raceway
4179- Points earned by Donny Schatz in the first 30 races of the season to lead the series
10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, June 26
51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Friday, June 26




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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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