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Keeping Pace

World of Outlaws Preview: Eldora Speedway

This weekend’s event, which helps kick off the annual Team Chevy Four Crown Nationals on Friday, September 25, will serve as the World of Outlaws final stop of the season at the half-mile owned by Tony Stewart and the series final race in the Midwest.


Courtesy: WoO Sprint Car Series Media Relations

Rossburg, OH—September 22, 2009—Each and every time that the World of Outlaws visit the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio, they continue to add to the rich history of the legendary track where the series has been competing ever since their inaugural 1978 season. Another chapter will be added to that history this weekend as the series returns to the blazing fast half-mile.

The event this weekend, which helps kick off the annual Team Chevy Four Crown Nationals on Friday, September 25, will serve as the World of Outlaws final stop of the season at the half-mile owned by Tony Stewart and the series final race in the Midwest. Donny Schatz has won two of the three events for the series at Eldora this season, with Terry McCarl also picking up a win at the track.

Entering the event this Friday, Schatz holds a slim 18-point advantage over Jason Meyers in the series championship standings with nine events remaining on the 2009 calendar. Meyers has won twice in his career at Eldora. Joey Saldana, who has won at Eldora 17 times over the years, is currently third in points, 48 markers out of the top spot and 30 behind Meyers as he too chases his first series title.

Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, is the winningest driver at Eldora Speedway with the series, having taken the checkered flag 34 times. He has won in 20 different seasons with the World of Outlaws at the track and has nearly 60 total wins at the track over the last 31 years.

Jac Haudenschild, the lone Ohioan competing full-time with the World of Outlaws this season, has won at Eldora five times with the series over 20 overall times in his legendary career.

Other currently World of Outlaws drivers that have won at Eldora Speedway include: Craig Dollansky, the current track record holder, who has six wins at the half-mile, 2001 series champion Danny Lasoski, who has two victories, Jason Sides, who won the 2004 Kings Royal, and reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Lucas Wolfe who was victorious in an event at the track in 2007.

The World of Outlaws have competed 127 total times at Eldora since 1978 including preliminary features, with 31 different drivers picking up A-Feature wins over that span.


Slidejobs- Eldora Speedway:

Two for three at the bosses track: Donny Schatz has won two of the three World of Outlaws events at Eldora Speedway including most recently in the $50,000 to-win Kings Royal, which he won for the second time in his career. The three-time and defending champion finished second in the Knight Before the Kings Royal and has finished fourth of better in nine of his last 10 starts at the track owned by his car owner Tony Stewart. In his career at Eldora, Schatz has six wins and over 40 Top-10 finishes. The North Dakota native has won 12 times this season and currently has an 18-point lead in the series championship standings over Jason Meyers as he chases his fourth consecutive title and leads the series with 36 Top-Five finishes.


What a record: Steve Kinser has won nearly 60 times in his career at Eldora Speedway including 34 times in World of Outlaws A-Feature events. Among his win at the track are six Kings Royal triumph and two victories in the Historic Big One, in addition to winning Eldora Nationals and also in two different divisions in the Four Crown Nationals. He has nearly 150 career Top-10 finishes at the track. The 20-time series champion has won twice this season with the World of Outlaws and his currently fourth in points.


Plenty of success:
Jac Haudenschild competed at Eldora Speedway for the first time in 1978 with the World of Outlaws during their inaugural season. Over the years, he has won five times with the series at the track in his home and has 23 total wins at the half-mile in both winged and non-winged sprint cars. His most recent win at the track came in 2006. He is currently ninth in the World of Outlaws standings on the strength of 28 Top-10 finishes as he closes in on his first win of the season.


Building an impressive record of his own:
Joey Saldana has racked up 17 wins and 50 Top-10 finishes at Eldora Speedway since making his debut at the track in 1989. He scored his first victory at the half-mile in 1993 and most recently was victorious last season in the fall race. He has won six times in World of Outlaws competition at the track. The second generation driver leads the World of Outlaws with 18 A-Feature wins this season and is currently third in points as he chases his first series title.


The record still stands:
Craig Dollansky set the track record at Eldora Speedway in 2002 in time trials, powering his way around the high-banked half-mile in 12.707 seconds, a mark which still stands today. In his career at Eldora, the native of Elk River, Minnesota has six career wins and over 40 Top-10 finishes. He has won three times this season in his first year with Kasey Kahne Racing and is currently battling Danny Lasoski for the sixth spot in the World of Outlaws championship standings.


Chasing a title:
Jason Meyers heads to Eldora Speedway just 18 markers behind Donny Schatz as he chases his first World of Outlaws title. The California native has won twice at Eldora Speedway in career, with the most recent of those coming in 2007. He finished third in the Knight Before the Kings Royal this season and has 21 career Top-10 finishes at the track. Meyers has won eight A-Feature events this season and nine times overall and leads the series with 48 Top-10 finishes.


Looking for another win:
Danny Lasoski has won twice in his career at Eldora Speedway, with those triumphs coming in 1994 and 2004. He finished third in his first start this season at the half-mile and was seventh most recently in the Kings Royal. He has won five times in 2009 which is his first year driving for the Parsons Motorsports team owned by longtime car owner Lonnie Parsons of Iowa. The native of Dover, Missouri is currently sixth in points on the strength of 38 Top-10 finishes with 21 of those being Top-Fives.


One to remember:
Jason Sides scored his first career World of Outlaws win at Eldora Speedway in 2004 during the Kings Royal, putting himself in an elite company of driver’s that have won the crown jewel event. Sides won earlier this season at Ohsweken Speedway in Canada and is currently fifth in points on the strength of 43 Top-10 finishes with 22 of those being Top-Five performances. He is tied for the series lead with 10 fast times honors this season in qualifying as he continues the best season of his World of Outlaws career.


A second home track:
Kraig Kinser began attending races at Eldora Speedway since the time he was just a boy, watching his father Steve race. The third generation driver made his first start at the legendary track in 2001 and has competed over 30 times at the track in his young career. He is in the midst of his second season driving for track owner Tony Stewart and finished ninth in his most recent start at the track during the Kings Royal and ran fifth last season in the fall race. The Indiana native who now calls the Charlotte area home is currently eighth in points on the strength of 28 Top-10 finishes.


More and more laps:
Lucas Wolfe continues to learn the nuances of racing at Eldora Speedway, where he won for the first time back in 2007 in a local race. The reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year picked up a couple of Top-10 finishes at the track last season and has three in his career. The second generation driver is currently 10th in the World of Outlaws championship standings on the strength of 15 Top-10 finishes as he chases his first win with the series.


A track he knows: Brian Ellenberger, the leading contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, has made a number of starts at Eldora over the years. He has three Top-10 finishes at the track with the All Star Circuit of Champions, including a third-place performance in 2000. The native of Butler, Pennsylvania continues his first full season on the road with the World of Outlaws this season and has picked up four Top-10 finishes including a career-best third with the series at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas back in June.



By the Numbers: Eldora Speedway:
0.5- Miles around Eldora Speedway
1- Driver competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that hails from the state of Ohio, Jac Haudenschild
4- Events for the World of Outlaws at Eldora Speedway this season
5- Drivers that have led laps in A-Feature events at Eldora Speedway this season with the World of Outlaws; Wins for Donny Schatz on half-mile tracks this season to lead the series
6- Races for the World of Outlaws in the state of Ohio in 2009
8- Drivers that have won on half-mile tracks this season with the World of Outlaws
9- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that have won at Eldora
10- Times that Donny Schatz and Jason Sides have been fastest in time trials this year to lead the series
11- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws
12.707- Track record set by Craig Dollansky in 2002
14- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws this season
17- Events on half-mile tracks this season for the World of Outlaws
18- Points that separate Donny Schatz and Jason Meyers in the series championship standings; A-Feature wins for Joey Saldana this season to lead the series
19- Drivers that have been quickest in time trials this season
20- Drivers that have won the Crane Cams Dash this season to earn pole positions in feature events
23- Drivers that have led laps in feature racing competition in 2009
58- A-Feature events contested by the World of Outlaws through September 19
127- Feature events for the World of Outlaws at Eldora Speedway dating back to 1978
432- Laps led by Joey Saldana this season to lead the series
634- Miles from Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minnesota where the World of Outlaws competed on September 19 to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio
1978- Year the World of Outlaws first competed at Eldora Speedway
1981- Year the Four Crown Nationals were first held at Eldora Speedway
10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, September 25
51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Friday, September 25
329,335- Dollars earned by Joey Saldana through September 19 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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