By Tony Veneziano
Pevely, MO-August 4, 2010- Prior to heading to I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri on Friday, August 6 and Saturday, August 7 for the Second Annual Ironman 55, each of the 14 drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws, shared their thoughts on I-55 Raceway along with the grueling 55-lap event which is the longest of the season. Craig Dollansky was victorious in the opener of the Ironman 55 last season battling Donny Schatz just past the halfway point of that race to take the top spot. In the finale, it was Dollansky and Joey Saldana mixing it up, with the latter taking the lead on the 19th circuit and going on to pace the remainder of the 55 laps to score the win. A hefty $20,000 payday will again await the winner of the Ironman 55 this season.
Craig Dollansky, Driver of the No. 7 Big Game Treestands Maxim:
“Pevely is a great race track and produces some of the best racing that we have all season. There is a lot of passing back and forth there. It’s always been a place I have enjoyed going to. We came up one spot short in the Ironman 55 last year, so we’ll go in there and see if we can get one spot better. You just have to be ready. You’re team has to be ready and you have to be ready. It’s a long race and you just have to be prepared all the way through.”
Ben Gregg, Driver of the No. 2B Kronik Energy Maxim:
“That was my first time there in the spring and that is probably one of my favorite tracks of the ones we’ve been to so far. We had a pretty good run over there. I’m really looking forward to getting back there. I would hope that being in shape would help and we’ll definitely need all the help we can get there. I’m not too concerned about it. We try to stay up on our fitness and hopefully that pays off. We probably will notice the extra laps there at that time of the year, but normally we are good start to finish.”
Sam Hafertepe Jr., Driver of the No. 15H G.H. Plumbing Maxim:
“It can be a very fun place to race and they get the track pretty good over there. We like to dice it up and at that place they get a top and a bottom and it seems to be a pretty fun place to race at. You’re going to have to conserve tires and keep your tires under you for 55 laps and that’s going to be a hard thing to do. That’s probably the hardest thing to do, keeping your tires under you, but if you can do that, you should be right there at the finish. All of these races that we race, we always feel like we can go a little longer. Conditioning wise, I think we are conditioned pretty well and I think the longer races like that play into our favor.”
Chad Kemenah: Driver of the No. 63 Golden Flavor Sesame Sticks Maxim:
“Pevely is one of my favorite race tracks and I always look forward to going back there. Winning my first Outlaws race there probably has something to do with it being one of my favorites tracks, but it’s just a really neat race track from the first time I saw it. It’s kind of like a min-Eldora. I don’t know if you really have to do anything different. You have to get yourself in a good position in the first half to be able to finish the second half and not get tore up.”
Kraig Kinser, Driver of the No. 11K Quaker State Maxim:
“When I first started racing, we ran a lot of longer races. I love long races and am looking forward to 55 laps at Pevely. Some nights when we get done, I feel like I still want to be going and other nights you feel like that thing didn’t end quick enough. Hopefully everything is going well when we get to Pevely and I really enjoy running there. I got to run there quick a bit when I was younger and it’s a tough track. Hopefully you have everything working right. It’s a long race and you have to do what you need to do to make your tires last.”
Steve Kinser, Driver of the No. 11 Bass Pro Shops Maxim:
“I really enjoy going there. We have lost a lot of half-mile tracks and you hate to lose those, but we have a lot of short tracks that we run on and it’s a nice little race track.. That’s a short track, so you have to watch and make sure the track holds up for 55 laps. It is what it is, and it’s the same for everybody.”
Danny Lasoski, Driver of the No. 6 Casey’s General Store JEI:
“That 55 laps is pretty unique and separates the men from the boys. A guy can sit up in the seat for 55 laps. You really don’t have to do anything different. The main thing is to make sure you drink enough water, because you are going to sure sweat it out. Back in the day, a lot of people don’t know, I traveled all around the country with Ray Marlar and Ken Schrader and they are really good family and friends. There is nothing like going to that facility. Rayburn (Marlar) loves his sprint car racing and it’s near and dear to him and he always makes sure we have a great facility to race at.”
Toni Lutar, Driver of the No. 4X Northwest Used Auto Parts KPC:
“That should be a fun race. We’ll run 55 laps in the heat, so I should lose a few pounds there. I think it’s all about tire choice and making sure you have tires left. You’ll have to run a pretty hard tire. I have never run 55 laps, other than on asphalt. It should be good, as long as the track is prepared well, it should be a nice race. It’s kind of like a min-Eldora and a fun place to go to.”
Paul McMahan, Driver of the No. 91 Great Clips Maxim:
“I love Pevely and am really looking forward to the Ironman 55 this year. This will be my first time being part of that and I’m really looking forward to some of these new events at that the World of Outlaws have. I’m really looking forward to just getting racing and trying to get some more wins. The main thing is to make sure you stay hydrated. Pevely is always very hot in the summer months. You just have to stay as cooled down as you can and get as much rest the night before that one as you can to make 55 laps. We try to stay in as good of shape as we can, but 55 laps around Pevely can be tough.”
Jason Meyers, Driver of the No. 14 GLR Investments KPC
“It quite an event and was really something like year. We had a shot at winning it last year and chose the wrong tire, so hopefully we learned something there. It should be another exciting event like it was last year. It’s hard to say if you can be patient or not, it depends on the tires. With 55 laps, you’re probably not going to have much tire left at the end. Before you probably would try to save yourself and be good at the end. You’re probably going to have to try and get to the front early and then try to maintain.”
Joey Saldana, Driver of the No. 9 Budweiser Maxim:
“That’s a cool race and it’s a long one. People watch stock car races or Indy car races and they go 200 or 300 or 400 laps and they hear us say we’re going 55 laps and that’s a long and in a sprint car that is a long way and it takes a lot out of you. I just hope physically I am in good enough to shape to run the 55th lap as strong as the first lap. I think that’s what it will take to win it, to run the whole race as hard as you can. It’s a fun track and I love racing there. The last 10 or 15 laps of that Ironman is pretty tough on your physically. The cars gets so hot and it’s usually hot and humid down there that time of the year. The way Ray Marlar is, he’s going to give you a good track and you’re going to have to race. He’s going to make you earn it and that’s what makes it a cool race and why the fans support it.”
Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 Armor All/STP J&J:
“It’s a fun race and pretty unique. What happens at the beginning of that can be something that is not even close to being what happens at the end. Last year it was hotter than heck and I thought we had a chance to win that thing and faded at the end. It’s a fun event and I’m glad to be part of it. The car that won it was up there banging the wall the whole race. On that red (flag), we were coming and the other guys got a chance to change some things on the red and that helped them win the race. I feel like we have always been a little bit better toward the end of the race and other guys get the chance to adjust on their car and get better when you have a red and you hate to see that. It is what it is and you deal with it.”
Jason Sides, Driver of the No. 7S Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim:
“Places like that are always fun to race at. They have a top and a bottom and that’s one of those places where you get to run a lot of laps, so that makes for an exciting night. There’s not a whole lot different, other than tires and fuel that you need for a longer race. We’re looking forward to it and hopefully will have a couple of strong runs.”
Lucas Wolfe, Driver of the No. 5W Allebach Racing Maxim:
“It was a lot of fun last year. I think that was one of the better races and events of the year and I am really looking forward to it this year. It’s not that much of a different, as we usually run 40 laps there, so it is 15 laps longer. It’s not like 50 laps at Knoxville or anything. You try to save your stuff and the track obviously will go away toward the end, so if you can get rolling good later in the race you should be in good shape.”
On Friday, August 6 at I-55 Raceway, general admission tickets will be $30, with reserved tickets $32. A two-day ticket package is available for advance purchase for $55 by visiting www.worldofoutlaws.com/tickets or by calling the track at (636) 479-3219.
On Saturday, August 7 at I-55 Raceway, general admission tickets will be $30, with reserved tickets $32. A two-day ticket package is available for advance purchase for $55 by visiting www.worldofoutlaws.com/tickets or by calling the track at (636) 479-3219.
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 , R2C Performance, 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.