By Tony Veneziano
Pevely, MO-April 15, 2010- With the schedule beginning to pick up, one of the most exciting tracks on the World of Outlaws circuit will host the series for the first of two visits this season, as the best sprint car drivers in the world roll into the always exciting I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri on Saturday, April 17 for a full night of racing.
Joey Saldana and Craig Dollansky split wins at the high-banked 1/3-mile bullring last season during the inaugural Ironman 55 weekend, after the spring race at the track was rained out. For each of them, it was their second career wins with the World of Outlaws at I-55 Raceway.
Jason Meyers, the current World of Outlaws point leader, was victorious for the first time in his career at I-55 in 2008, in a thrilling battle with Dollansky. Meyers heads into this weekend having won each of the last two World of Outlaws events and leads the series with four victorious so far in 2010 and is the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in each and every race this season.
Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, leads all drivers at I-55 with four wins in World of Outlaws action. His most recent win at the high-banked track came in 2003. He is currently second in points, with a win earlier this season, along with nine Top-10 finishes in 10 races. Kinser’s teammate at Tony Stewart Racing, Donny Schatz was victorious at I-55 Raceway in 2006.
Jac Haudenschild has won three times over the years with the World of Outlaws at Pevely. The Hall of Famer is closing in on his first win of the 2010 campaign and always runs strong on the high-banked bullring.
Other current drivers following the World of Outlaws full-time that have won at I-55 Raceway include: 2001 series titlist Danny Lasoski, who won at the track in his home state in 2004, along with Chad Kemenah, who scored his first series win at the track in 2005 and third generation driver Kraig Kinser who also won in 2005.
· The event this weekend will be the only tune-up for the Second Annual Ironman 55 on August 6-7 at I-55 Raceway.
· Joey Saldana looks for his second consecutive win at I-55 as he was the victor in the inaugural Ironman 55 last season at the track.
· Jason Meyers, the current series point leader, enters the weekend with two consecutive victories. He won at I-55 Raceway in 2008.
· Steve Kinser is the winningest driver in World of Outlaws action at I-55 Raceway with four wins and is looking for his first at the track since 2003.
· All three drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws in 2010, who have won series championships, have won with there series at I-55 Raceway, Steve Kinser, Donny Schatz and Danny Lasoski.
· Craig Dollansky, who won earlier this season, has won twice in his career at I-55 Raceway with the World of Outlaws, including in the opener of the Ironman 55 weekend last season
· Chad Kemenah scored his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win at I-55 in 2005, becoming the second driver to accomplish that feat, as Randy Hannagan also did it in 2001.
· Kraig Kinser won at I-55 in 2005. He picked up a season-best third-place finish last weekend in Oklahoma
· Ben Gregg, one of the contenders for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award will make his first start at I-55 Raceway.
“Pevely is a high-banked track and a pretty racy race track. The banking always makes for good racing and we just enjoy going there. It’s usually pretty tacky and good racing there. Usually in the spring, the track is a little tackier and not quite as slick. It can get a little choppy, but it seems like every time we go there its good racing and I would imagine it will be the same this time.”
“I had a great time at the Ironman last year. We’ll go back with some track time there and hopefully we can improve on last year’s results. I’m really looking forward to going back there and hopefully we can get rolling at the main part of the season.”
“It’s been a fantastic start to the season. My crew worked so hard over the winter and that is paying off now. We worked really hard to have a lot of options this year and to be able to adapt to the changes in the tires and things like that. So far it’s really out really well and the competition has been very good this year.”
By the numbers- I-55 Raceway
0.33- Miles around I-55 Raceway
1- Driver competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that hails from the state of Missouri- Danny Lasoski
2- Drivers competing for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season
3- Wins for Jac Haudenschild in his career with the World of Outlaws at I-55; Drivers that led laps in feature racing competition last season at the track
4- Total races for the World of Outlaws in the state of Missouri this season
6- Drivers that have won A-Feature events in 2010
7- Drivers that have been fastest in time trials this season
8- Drivers that have won a dash to earn a pole position so far in 2010
9- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that have won at I-55 Raceway
10- Top-10 finishes for Jason Meyers this season to lead all drivers
10.189- Track record established by Stevie Smith in time trials in 2002
11- Drivers that have led laps in feature events in 2010
18- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws
19- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws at I-55 Raceway dating back to 1987
20- Laps led by Craig Dollansky last season to win the opener of the Ironman 55
24- Points separating current point leader Jason Meyers and 20-time series champion Steve Kinser
31- A-Feature events the World of Outlaws have contested at I-55 Raceway dating back to 1987
37- Laps led by Joey Saldana win the finale of the Ironman 55 weekend last year at the track
42- Drivers that competed in the opener of the Ironman 55 weekend in 2009
71- Laps led by Joey Saldana this season to lead all drivers
85- Points that currently separate the Top-Five in the World of Outlaws standings
168- Miles from Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky where the World of Outlaws compete on Friday, April 16 to I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri
1987 – Year the World of Outlaws first competed at I-55 Raceway
10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Saturday, April 17
51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Saturday, April 17
On Saturday, April 17 at I-55 Raceway, reserved tickets will be $32 with general admission tickets $30, while children ages 12-under will be admitted free of charge in the general admission section. For ticket information call the track at 636-479-3219 or visit http://www.i55raceway.com.
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.