By Tony Veneziano
Concord, NC-May 25, 2010- The World of Outlaws take center start at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Friday, May 28 for The Circle K Nos Energy Outlaw Showdown which will air LIVE on SPEED beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern with Bobby Gerould and Brad Doty on the call with Shane Andrews and Steve Post reporting from the pits.
Joey Saldana won the event last season and also was victorious in the season finale at Charlotte during the World Finals to cap his 20 A-Feature win campaign. The second generation driver is one of just two drivers that has competed in all 23 events the series has contested at Charlotte dating back to 2000 along with Donny Schatz.
Jason Meyers, who is currently second in points only 14 markers out of the lead, won the opener of the World Finals last year to score his second career win at the track. In his career at Charlotte, the California native has 11 Top-10 finishes including eight consecutive. He heads to the Queen City riding his third two-race win streak of the season.
Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, has won twice at Charlotte in his career and has 21 Top-10 finishes in his 22 starts at the track, with 15 of those being Top-Five performances. He is currently third in points just 24 markers out of the lead and has been victorious twice this season and leads the series with 18 Top-10 finishes.
Donny Schatz, the four-time and defending series champion, has three career wins at Charlotte. He has finished in the Top-10 in 19 of his 23 starts at the track. He has finished eighth or better in 11 straight starts at the four-tenths-mile.
The World of Outlaws raced at The Dirt Track at Charlotte for the first time in 2000 with Mark Kinser winning the first two A-Feature events. He extended his win streak to three the next season before Steve Kinser won his first race at the track that fall. A total of 11 drivers have won A-Feature events with the series at the track.
The Circle K Nos Energy Outlaw Showdown will be the World of Outlaws only tune-up of the year at The Dirt Track at Charlotte for the season ending World Finals.
* The Circle K Nos Energy Outlaw Showdown will be a super-sized live broadcast on SPEED with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern. This will mark the third consecutive year the event has been aired live.
* Joey Saldana has won two of the last three events for the World of Outlaws at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. He enters the event this week as the current series point leader and has won four times this season.
* Jason Meyers leads the series with six wins this season as he chases his first series title. He was victorious at Charlotte for the second time in his career last year in the opener of the World Finals.
* Steve Kinser has an amazing record at Charlotte, scoring 21 Top-10 finishes in 22 starts, with two wins and 15 Top-Five finishes. He has an average finish of 4.5 at the track. The Circle K Nos Energy Outlaw Showdown will be his first at Charlotte driving for Tony Stewart Racing.
* Donny Schatz has won twice at Charlotte in his career and has 15 Top-Five finishes at the track. He has an average finish of 6.7, which is second only to his teammate Steve Kinser.
* Jason Sides has been very consistent at Charlotte over the last couple of years finishing sixth or better in three of his last four starts at the track. He finished a career best second last spring at the track.
* Paul McMahan, filling in for the injured Cody Darrah at Kasey Kahne Racing will make his first start at The Dirt Track at Charlotte since 2008. He is currently sixth in points and has one win on the year.
* Ben Gregg, one of the contenders for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award competed in the World Finals last season at Charlotte.
* Toni Lutar, one of the contenders for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award will make his first start at Charlotte this week.
“It’s a great venue to race at. It’s great that the Outlaws can have a race that coincides with the (NASCAR) Cup race. It seems to help our crowds and get people interested in what we are doing in dirt track racing. It’s definitely huge for our team because our shop is in Mooresville which is 30 or 40 minutes away. Sponsorship-wise the people that don’t normally get to see us race our sprint cars will definitely be there, because they’ll be there to watch Kasey (Kahne). It’s definitely good for our sponsors and the people that make this thing happen.”
“It’s an important race for all of us. There are a lot of eyes in the pit area and an important place to try and run well. It takes a lot of horsepower there and it’s a tricky place to get the car to roll around. We’ve had a good car there the last couple of years and have learned the race track pretty well. We’re kind of coming into our own over there.”
“It’s always good to get back to Charlotte. They have been doing a great job with that race track and there have been some good races there. It’s great exposure for the series and our teams with the race on television. Fans that don’t normally get to see our racing, it gives them an opportunity to see it and that is pretty cool.”
“We’re really excited to head to Charlotte. They have an amazing facility and the races there lately have been great. Hopefully we can put our car in Victory Lane. We come to win, wherever we are racing at.”
One year ago
Joey Saldana won the spring race at Charlotte getting around Donny Schatz in lapped traffic on the 20th lap to score his first career win at the track with all the action airing live on SPEED. Saldana lined up second and battled Jason Sides early before setting his sights on Schatz in the late going. Sides wound up second, with Schatz third, Daryn Pittman fourth and Steve Kinser fifth. For Saldana it was his sixth win of the season as he would eventually go on to win 20 A-Feature events and 21 times overall. Pittman began the night by setting fast time in qualifying. Sides, Schatz and Kinser claimed heat races wins, while it was Schatz winning the dash to earn the pole for the 30-lap main event.
By the number- The Circle K Nos Energy Outlaw Showdown
0.278- Margin of victory last spring for Joey Saldana over Jason Sides at The Dirt Track at Charlotte
0.4- Miles around The Dirt Track at Charlotte
2- Drivers that won A-Feature events at Charlotte in 2009; Drivers that have competed in every World of Outlaws event at Charlotte- Joey Saldana & Donny Schatz
3- Main events scheduled for the World of Outlaws at The Dirt Track at Charlotte this season
4- Drivers that led laps in feature events with the World of Outlaws at the track last year
4.5- Average finish for Steve Kinser at Charlotte to lead all drivers
5- Track records that have been established in time trials at World of Outlaws events in 2010
6- Wins for Jason Meyers this season to lead the series
8- Different seasons in which the World of Outlaws have competed at The Dirt Track at Charlotte
10- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the series this season
11- Laps led by Joey Saldana last season to win The Circle K Nos Energy Outlaw Showdown; Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the series at Charlotte
11.880 – Track record established by Jeff Shepard in 2001 in time trials
14- Points that currently separate leader Joey Saldana and Jason Meyers in the series standings; Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws this season that raced at Charlotte last year
15- Top-Five finishes for Steve Kinser & Donny Schatz at Charlotte to lead all drivers
16- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws
19- Drivers that have led laps in main events this season
21- Top-10 finishes at Charlotte for Steve Kinser to lead all drivers
23- Total races contested by the World of Outlaws at Charlotte dating back to 2000
27- Total laps led by Joey Saldana en route to winning twice at Charlotte last year
107- Laps led by Joey Saldana this season to lead all drivers
748- Miles from I-96 Speedway in Michigan where the World of Outlaws competed on May 22 to The Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, North Carolina
2000- Year the World of Outlaws first competed at The Dirt Track at Charlotte
12,000- Dollars the winner will earn on Friday, May 28
90,300- Dollars earned by Jason Meyers through May 22 to lead the series
On Friday, May 28 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, the pit gates will open at 1 p.m. Eastern, with the grandstand gates opening at 4:30 p.m. Eastern and hot laps are set for 6:15 p.m. Eastern with time trials to follow. Racing is set for 7:25 p.m. Eastern. A special one-hour autograph party under the Grandstand featuring all World of Outlaws competitors will kick-off the event at 4:30 p.m. Eastern. The first 1,000 fans to present a NOS Energy Drink from Circle K at the gate for the autograph party will receive a free limited-edition commemorative poster.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Chizmark & Larson Insurance , Goodyear Tires (Official Tire), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, KSE Race Products, Penske Shocks, Racing Electronics, S&S Volvo; Engine Builder’s Challenge participants Don Ott Racing Engines, Kistler Engines, Shaver Specialties and Speedway Engines; and Chassis Builder’s Challenge participants J&J Auto Racing, Maxim Racing and XXX Race Company.