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Keeping Pace

Wed., March 10, 2010, 6:18 a.m.

Previewing the Opener of the Texas Two-Step Weekend at Lone Star Speedway

World of Outlaws logo
World of Outlaws logo

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series moves from California to Texas for two races this weekend. Steve Kinser, Jason Meyers and Joey Saldana have been the hot shoes of late.

Courtesy: WoO Sprint Car Media Relations

Kilgore, TX-March 9, 2010-After two very successful events last year, Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore, Texas welcomes the World of Outlaws again in 2010 as the best sprint car drivers in the world will converge on the half-mile on Friday, March 12 for a full night of racing with $10,000 awaiting the winner in the opener of the Second Annual Texas Two-Step Weekend.

Joey Saldana, who was victorious in both races at Lone Star Speedway last season, heads to the half-mile with plenty of momentum this week, having won the finale at Thunderbowl Raceway in California last weekend as well as taking over the lead in the World of Outlaws standings as he chases his first championship.

In five events this season, four different drivers have picked up wins, and each is among the Top-Four in the point standings. Jason Meyers, who finished fourth in both races at Lone Star Speedway last season, is the only driver that has multiple wins 2010. Steve Kinser, the 20-time series champion and Donny Schatz, the four-time and defending series titlist, also have picked up victories this year.

Last season marked the World of Outlaws return to Lone Star Speedway for the first time since 2004 and the first time since the Hafertepe family took over the facility and put in countless hours making it one of the nicest tracks on the tour. The World of Outlaws debuted at Lone Star Speedway in 1984 with three-time series champion Sammy Swindell winning. He was victorious in each of the first five events for the series at the track, before Steve Kinser broke that streak and won two in a row.

The Buzz-

  • Joey Saldana, who claimed his first win of 2010 and took over the World of Outlaws point lead in the process, looks to make it three in a row at Lone Star Speedway after victories in both events at the track last season.

  • Sam Hafertepe Jr. looks for his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win at his home track after finishing second last season.

  • Brian Ellenberger will return to action after sitting out the finale at Thunderbowl Raceway after a very hard crash in the opener last weekend that left him very sore and with a couple of injuries.

  • Jason Sides, who has made more starts at Lone Star Speedway than any other driver competing full-time with the World of Outlaws this year, looks to improve upon very strong fifth and sixth-place runs last season at the track.

  • Following a strong two nights at Thunderbowl Raceway, Fred Rahmer will race again with the World of Outlaws this weekend beginning at Lone Star Speedway, where he competed for the first time last season.

  • Lance Dewease looks to make the trip down from Pennsylvania to compete in Texas this weekend. He has competed once in the state with that coming back in 1996 and will be making his debut at Lone Star Speedway.

  • Daryn Pittman will also be at Lone Star Speedway with his Central Pennsylvania based Keen Motorsports team.

  • A strong contingent from Knoxville Raceway plan on making the tow south to Lone Star Speedway including defending track champion and 1986 World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, Johnny Herrera, former Knoxville titlist Brian Brown, Lynton Jeffery and Bronson Maeschen.

  • Tony Bruce Jr. will make his first World of Outlaws start of the season this weekend at Lone Star Speedway, where he competed in both events with the series last year.

Over the years

World of Outlaws A-Feature winner at Lone Star Speedway include:

2009- Joey Saldana on April 10, Joey Saldana on October 24

2004- Steve Kinser on March 12

2003- Steve Kinser on October 24

1986 - Sammy Swindell on March 14, Sammy Swindell on June 14

1984 - Sammy Swindell on May 5 (completed earlier event), Sammy Swindell on May 5, Sammy Swindell on June 19

One year ago

In the World of Outlaws return to Lone Star Speedway for the first time since 2004, Donny Schatz began the night by setting fast time, with Steve Kinser, Jason Meyers and Joey Saldana taking heat race wins. The dash went to Jac Haudenschild. Joey Saldana lined up second in the main event and shot to the lead and would pace the field for all 30 laps to become the only driver other than Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell to win at the track with the series. Donny Schatz finished second with Steve Kinser third, Jason Meyers fourth and Danny Lasoski fifth.

The World of Outlaws returned to the half-mile in October for the inaugural WoO Fest with Schatz again turning the fastest lap in time trials. Steve Kinser, Jason Meyers and Brad Sweet were victorious in the heat races, while it was Joey Saldana taking the dash to earn the pole for the A-Feature. He again led all 30 laps to pick up the win over Sam Hafertepe Jr., Steve Kinser, Jason Meyers and Jason Sides.

Sound Bites

Sam Hafertepe Jr.

"We've tried to make a few changes to the facility and try to make it better each time everyone comes back. The track surface itself is about the same. We're really looking forward to it."

Joey Saldana

"I enjoy Kilgore and Houston. They are both tracks I look forward to racing. I think that's a big part of racing these cars and racing the people we are. You have to have a mental aspect to want to go out and win. I think as long as I'm positive and knowing going in that these are tracks that I like to race at hopefully we can continue to succeed. Last year we had three awesome nights down there and hopefully we can again this year."

Steve Kinser

"It's important to be anywhere. Some of the races have slowed in the Texas/Oklahoma area and that used to be a hot bed for a number of years. I don't know why it has, but it has. It will be nice to down there to Kilgore and Houston. Kilgore is a fine facility and I have always enjoyed running there and back on down to Houston as well."

By the numbers- World of Outlaws at Lone Star Speedway

0.5- Miles around Lone Star Speedway

1- Track record that has been establish so far in 2010 in time trials

2- Wins for Steve Kinser at the track in his career

3- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws at the half-mile; Events on half-miles this season

4- Drivers that have won A-Feature events this season; Drivers that have finished in the Top-10 in all five races in 2010

5- Races contested by the World of Outlaws through March 6

6- Drivers that have led laps in feature racing competition this season

7- Points that currently separate Joey Saldana and Jason Meyers in the World of Outlaws standings

9- A-Feature events contested by the World of Outlaws at Lone Star Speedway dating back to 1984

13.05- Track record at Lone Star Speedway established by Danny Lasoski in 2002

14- Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws this season that raced at Lone Star Speedway last year

18- Drivers competing full-time with the series in 2010

46- Laps led by Donny Schatz in A-Feature events this season to lead all drivers

60- Laps led by Joey Saldana en route to winning twice at the track last season

1631- Miles from Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California where the World of Outlaws competed on March 5-6 to Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore, Texas

1984- Year the World of Outlaws first raced at Lone Star Speedway

10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, March 12

30,000-Dollars earned by Jason Meyers so far in 2010 to lead all drivers

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Keeping Pace

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