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Keeping Pace

World Finals Continues to Get Bigger & Bigger

Three-time and defending series title winner Donny Schatz is locked in the closest point race in the 30-plus year history of the series, leading Jason Meyers by just 19 markers and Joey Saldana by 46 points, with two rounds of qualifying and two A-Feature events remaining on the docket.


Courtesy: WoO Sprint Car Series Media Relations

Concord, NC— November 5, 2009—The World Finals for the World of Outlaws at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway continues to get bigger and bigger each year and is quickly becoming one of the “Must See” events of the season in just its third year of existence. The three-day season ending event beginning tonight with two rounds of time trials and continuing Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7 with heat races, the Crane Cams Dash, consolation races and A-Feature each night, will determine the 2009 World of Outlaws champion, as three-time and defending series title winner Donny Schatz is locked in the closest point race in the 30-plus year history of the series, leading Jason Meyers by just 19 markers and Joey Saldana by 46 points, with two rounds of qualifying and two A-Feature events remaining on the docket. The finale of the World Finals will air live on SPEED on Saturday night beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern.

In addition to the great title battle between Schatz, Meyers and Saldana, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series which shares top billing at the World Finals, has an even tighter points race with just four markers separating leader Steve Francis and Josh Richards. On the sprint car side, if Schatz was to win the title, he would become only the second driver in World of Outlaws history to win at least four titles, joining 20-time series champion Steve Kinser. A fourth-consecutive title would also put Schatz in the record books as the only driver other than Kinser to win four consecutive.

Schatz has three career wins at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway including in the finale of last year’s World Finals. The North Dakota native has 17 career Top-10 finishes in 21 starts at the four-tenths mile.

“It’s an awesome event,” shared Schatz when asked about the World Finals. “We were all pretty skeptical at first, but it has brought in a lot of people from across the country. It’s pretty cool to see that many people want to watch the World Finals, especially at an awesome facility like Charlotte. It’s definitely a double banger. These shows could run independently to be honest. I think they could run World Finals for each series. To have them both together is pretty neat. I think the fans are probably a little different. Late model fans are specific to late models and so are sprint car fans, they are specific to sprint cars. It’s the only time of the year we get to run with them, so it’s fun for us to get to watch them and definitely a bonus for the fans.”

Meyers would make history if he was to win the World of Outlaws title, as he would become the first driver from the state of California to accomplish that feat. He won the first ever feature during the inaugural World Finals in 2007 and has finished eighth or better in all four A-Feature events during the first two editions of the World Finals, with three of those being Top-Five runs. He heads into the event this season with nine overall wins and leads the series with 53 Top-10 finishes.

“They’ve done a great job with that event,” stated Meyers. “With the format and also that time of the year there is not a lot of racing going on and it has become quite an intriguing event with a packed house every time we have been down there. It’s certainly become one of our bigger events, especially for the fans.”

For Joey Saldana’s Kasey Kahne Racing team, the World Finals are a home race, as their brand new shop is located right down the road in Mooresville, North Carolina. Saldana, who is a native of Brownsburg, Indiana, won for the first time in his career at the track earlier this season during the Outlaws Showdown back in May. Along with Donny Schatz, he is the only driver competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that has participated in all 21 of the series previous races at the track.

“It’s a great facility and a great standalone event,” Saldana said. “I think it showed them last year that dirt track racing is pretty popular with late models and sprint cars. Having the crowd they had was huge and it showed they don’t need the stock cars racing across the street to get a big crowd. It’s neat to know that dirt track racing can bring that many people there. Hopefully it’s the same turnout again and great racing like last year.”

Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, has participated in countless big events over the years and is looking forward to the World Finals again this season. In his career at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the native of Bloomington, Indiana has 20 Top-10 finishes in 20 starts, including a win in the finale of the inaugural 2007 World Finals.

“It’s a good show and it is a big event,” said Kinser. “They do a good job with it, and you can go down there and watch a couple of different classes of race cars with the sprint cars and late models. It’s a great show to go to and if we can catch good weather that weekend, even if it’s a little cool out, it’s still a great show. I’ve been really impressed in the two years that I have been down there and watched the show and been able to participate in it.”

Danny Lasoski, who claimed the 2001 World of Outlaws title in what was the closest title battle in series history, until this year, is geared up for the World Finals as he wraps up a very consistent first season driving for the Parsons Motorsports team. The native of Dover, Missouri has one win at 11 career Top-10 finishes at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

”We’re really looking forward to that event,” Lasoski said. “It’s the last race of the year so we have to showcase ourselves and go out on a good note. The fans get to see the “Best of the Best” whether it’s in the stock cars or the sprint cars. I understand in 2010 the Big Block Modifieds will be there as well, so it’s definitely a place people want to take their vacation to, to see all of this racing.”


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

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