From Tony Veneziano
Franklin, PA – The anticipation has been building since before Christmas when it was announced that the World of Outlaws would make their debut at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pennsylvania. The time has just about come as the best sprint car drivers in the world will invade the half-mile on Sunday, May 30 as part of the Memorial Day Weekend.
A number of drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws this season have raced at Tri-City Speedway over the years, with two of the drivers battling at the top of the standings each having won at the track in the past.
Joey Saldana, the current series point leader, was victorious at the half-mile in 1998. He has three career starts at the track and has finished in the Top-10 all three times. The second generation driver has won four times this year and leads the series in Top-Five finishes. He’ll be making his first start at Tri-City Speedway since 1999.
Steve Kinser, the 20-time series champion, won at Tri-City Speedway in 2006 to add another facility to the amazing list of tracks he has won at during his illustrious career. He is currently third in points as he chases his record 21st title. Kinser is in his first season driving for Tony Stewart Racing. He leads the series with 18 Top-10 finishes in the first 19 races of the year.
Brian Ellenberger, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner, who hails from Butler, Pennsylvania which is about an hour south of Tri-City Speedway, has competed quite a few times over the years at the half-mile. He has one victory at the track along with nearly 50 Top-10 finishes. He last raced at the facility in 2007.
Jason Meyers, who leads the series in wins with six this season finished third at Tri-City Speedway in 2006. The California native is currently just 14 points behind Saldana in the series standings as he chases his first World of Outlaws title. Meyers carries a two-race win streak into this weekend’s pair of events.
Danny Lasoski finished in the Top-Five at Tri-City Speedway in 2006 as did Paul McMahan, while Jason Sides finished sixth. Lucas Wolfe also has competed at the track in his career.
The race at Tri-City Speedway on May 30 will serve as one of three inaugural events for the World of Outlaws in 2010.
* Brian Ellenberger, who hails from nearby Butler, Pennsylvania has one career win at Tri-City Speedway to go along with nearly 50 Top-10 finishes at the track. He last raced at the half-mile in 2007.
* Joey Saldana won in 1998 with the All Star Circuit of Champions at Tri-City Speedway. In three career starts at the half-mile he has a win, a fifth and a 10th-place finish.
* Steve Kinser was victorious at Tri-City Speedway in 2006 with the National Sprint Tour in his debut at the track. He leads the World of Outlaws with 18 Top-10 finishes this season.
* Danny Lasoski finished second in his debut at Tri-City Speedway in 2006. The 2001 World of Outlaws champion is looking for his first win of the season.
* Jason Meyers, who leads the World of Outlaws in wins this season with six, finished on the podium in his debut at Tri-City Speedway in 2006. He is currently second in points on the strength of 16 Top-10 finishes.
* Paul McMahan finished fourth at Tri-City Speedway in 2006. The veteran is currently sixth in points and won earlier this season at Eldora Speedway as he continues to fill in for the injured Cody Darrah at Kasey Kahne Racing.
* Jason Sides finished sixth at Tri-City Speedway in 2006. The veteran won earlier this season at Houston Raceway Park in Texas and is currently fifth in points.
* Lucas Wolfe, who is currently 10th in the World of Outlaws standings, has one career start at Tri-City Speedway with that coming in 2006. The 2008 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner has had a very consistent start to the 2010 campaign and is currently ninth in points.
* Donny Schatz, the four-time and defending series champion, will be making his debut at Tri-City Speedway, as will Hall of Famer Jac Haudenschild, veteran Craig Dollansky, third generation driver Kraig Kinser, 24-year old Sam Hafertepe Jr., 2006 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Chad Kemenah, and current rookie contender Ben Gregg and Toni Lutar.
“I’m excited to race there. It’s nice because it’s close to home and my family and friends will be able to get up there and enjoy the race with us. It’s a track I know and have raced at quite a few times. I haven’t been over there for two or three years, but I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to Tri-City.”
“We’ve had some success there with the All Stars (Circuit of Champions), but I have never been there with this type of quality of cars as tough as these guys are. It’s going to be pretty cool racing there. I know it’s been a while, but I do remember it was a pretty racy place. Hopefully we can get a good run and keep the No. 9 up front.”
“We were really good when we were up there. It was very slick, but it was a great race track. We had two grooves. We’re looking forward to getting back up there. One of the things I really remember is that the stands were packed so we are looking forward to getting back up there and racing in front of the fans in that area of the country.”
“It’s nice to get into some of these race tracks that we have never been to before. It sounds like it’s a pretty nice race track up there and we are looking forward to going up there.”
“It was a really nice facility and some good people that ran it. We put on a good show and I am just really excited to be going up there with the World of Outlaws.”
By the numbers-Tri-City Speedway
0.5- Miles around Tri-City Speedway in Pennsylvania
2- Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that hail from Pennsylvania- Brian Ellenberger & Lucas Wolfe
3- Wins for Jason Meyers on half-miles this season to lead the series
5- Track record established in time trials at World of Outlaws races this season
6- Wins for Jason Meyers this season to lead the series
8 -Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that have raced at Tri-City Speedway; Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that will be racing at Tri-City Speedway for the first time; Drivers that have won on half-mile tracks this season
9- Events scheduled for the World of Outlaws in the state of Pennsylvania this season
10- Drivers that have won main events through May 22
11- Races on half-miles this season for the World of Outlaws through May 22
14- Points that separate Joey Saldana and Jason Meyers atop the World of Outlaws standings entering this weekend
14.615 – Track record at Tri-City Speedway established last year by Ed Lynch Jr.
16- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws
19- Drivers that have led laps in A-Feature events this season
107- Laps led by Joey Saldana in feature events this season to lead the series
123.161 – Track record in miles per hour established by Ed Lynch Jr. in 2009
528 – Miles from The Dirt Track at Charlotte where the World of Outlaws competed on May 28 to Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pennsylvania
10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Sunday, May 30
51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Sunday, May 30
90,300- Dollars earned by Jason Meyers entering this weekend to lead the series
On Sunday, May 30 at Tri-City Speedway, adult general admission tickets will be $35, with children 10-under admitted free of charge. For tickets call the track at 814-676-3000.