By Tony Veneziano
Cottage Grove, OR-August 31, 2010- Everything happens fast at the high-banked ¼-mile at Cottage Grove Speedway, which is one of just two tracks on the World of Outlaws circuit that boasts a single-digit track record. The Oregon facility awaits the best sprint car drivers in the world this week on Wednesday, September 1 as the 2010 Gold Rush Tour continues, with another of the best point races in series history shaping up, as just 38 markers separate leader Joey Saldana, Steve Kinser and Jason Meyers with 17 races remaining on the season. Every position will be hotly contested at the always thrilling high-banked bullring with a very strong contingent of drives expected.
Jason Meyers, who is currently third in points, just 38 markers out of the lead was victorious at Cottage Grove Speedway last season after nearly winning a couple of times prior at the track. He has six Top-10 finishes with the series at the track in eight starts, with four of those being Top-Five performances. The California native won last weekend in Edmonton to score his ninth A-Feature triumph of 2010 as he chases his first series title.
Joey Saldana won at Cottage Grove Speedway in 2007, the same year he set the new track record of 9.991 seconds in qualifying. He has seven career Top-10 finishes in nine starts at the ¼-mile bullring. The second generation driver leads the World of Outlaws in wins this season with 12, including last weekend in Canada and is currently on top of the standings as he too chases his first title.
Steve Kinser, who is just 26 points out of the lead in the series standings, has won three times at Cottage Grove Speedway in his career, with the most recent coming in 2003. The 20-time series champion has 12 career Top-10 finishes in 14 starts with nine Top-Five finishes at the ¼-mile bullring. He leads the series with 47 Top-10 finishes this season along with 32 Top-Fives.
Donny Schatz, the four-time and defending World of Outlaws champion, was victorious at Cottage Grove Speedway in 2008 and has two career victories at the track. He has finished on the podium in three straight starts at the track, including coming all the way from the 20th starting spot last season to finish. The North Dakota native has eight career Top-10 finishes at the ¼-mile in 11 starts.
Danny Lasoski has won three times at Cottage Grove Speedway with the World of Outlaws with the most recent coming in 2005. The 2001 series champion has finished in the Top-10 in all but one of his career starts at the track.
Kraig Kinser scored his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win at Cottage Grove Speedway in 2004, battling his father Steve for the victory, with the pair coming home one/two.
The World of Outlaws competed for the first time at Cottage Grove Speedway in 1994 and have contested 14 A-Feature events at the track over that span, with nine different drivers picking up win. There has been a different winner in each of the series last six races at the track.
* Jason Meyers looks to make it two wins in a row at Cottage Grove Speedway and also looks to gain even more ground in the World of Outlaws standings as he did last year during the Gold Rush Tour.
* Steve Kinser is tied for the lead with three wins at Cottage Grove Speedway and is the only driver that has competed in all 14 races the series had held at the track.
* Danny Lasoski is tied with Steve Kinser for the series lead with three wins at Cottage Grove and has finished in the Top-10 in 10 of his 11 career World of Outlaws starts at the track.
* Joey Saldana won at Cottage Grove in 2007 and has seven career Top-10 finishes in nine starts. He is the current track record holder, setting that mark in 2007, an event in which he swept the evening, setting fast time, winning a heat, winning the dash and winning the main event.
* Donny Schatz, who has two wins at Cottage Grove Speedway, came all the way from the 20th starting spot last season to finish third in the 40-lapper to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award.
* Jason Sides finished fifth last season at the track to earn his best career finish at Cottage Grove Speedway. He has three Top-10 finishes at the track in a handful of starts.
* Paul McMahan will be making his first World of Outlaws start at Cottage Grove Speedway since 2008 this week.
* Craig Dollansky has five Top-10 finishes including a runner-up performance in 2008 at Cottage Grove Speedway as he looks for his first win at the ¼-mile bullring.
* Kraig Kinser, who scored his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win at Cottage Grove Speedway in 2004, has an average finish of 9.5 at the track in four starts.
* Jac Haudenschild has six career Top-10 finishes at the ¼-mile bullring, with a couple of those being Top-Five performances. The Hall of Famer who recently returned from an injury has won twice this season and has four straight Top-10 finishes since climbing back aboard the No.R19.
* Lucas Wolfe, who led early in the race at Cottage Grove in his debut at the track in 2008, has finished fifth and sixth in his two career starts at the high-banked bullring.
* Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Chad Kemenah will both be making their first trip to Cottage Grove Speedway since 2008 this coming week.
* Ben Gregg, the leading contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award, will be making his debut at Cottage Grove Speedway, while fellow rookie contender Toni Lutar will be racing at the track for the second straight year.
One year ago:
Jason Meyers scored his first World of Outlaws win at Cottage Grove Speedway, making up for a couple of near wins in years prior. The 40-lap contest began with Tim Kaeding, who started on the outside of the front row, using a strong run on the high side of the track in turns one and two to take the early lead.
On a second lap restart, Kaeding again shot out to a comfortable lead as Jason Sides moved into third and set his sights on Meyers. Just before Kaeding was about to get in lapped traffic on the fifth lap the caution flew. Kaeding would continue to lead as Sides was all over Meyers battling for the second spot in lapped traffic. Following a caution on the 16th lap, Meyers used a strong restart and looked low in turns one and two for the lead nearly taking it and again diving under Kaeding in turns three and four. On the 17th lap he made the pass stick going into turn three and would pace the field for the remainder of the 40-laps, to win over Kaeding, Schatz, Tyler Walker and Jason Sides.
Sides opened the night by setting fast time, with heat races going to Roger Crockett, Jonathan Allard and Tim Kaeding, with Meyers taking the dash.
By the Numbers: Cottage Grove Speedway
0.25- Miles around Cottage Grove Speedway
1- Race in the state of Oregon this season for the World of Outlaws; Driver that has competed in all 14 events for the series at Cottage Grove Speedway- Steve Kinser
6- Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that have won at Cottage Grove Speedway
9- Drivers that have won A-Feature events at Cottage Grove Speedway with the World of Outlaws
9.991- Track record at Cottage Grove Speedway established by Joey Saldana in 2007
11- Drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws that raced at Cottage Grove Speedway last year
12- Wins for Joey Saldana through August 28 to lead the series
14- A-Feature events contested by the World of Outlaws at the track dating back to 1994
15- Drivers currently competing full-time with the World of Outlaws
17- Drivers that have won A-Feature events with the series through August 28
24- Laps led by Jason Meyers en route to winning at the ¼-mile bullring last season
25- Drivers that have led laps in feature events this season with the World of Outlaws
26- Points that currently separate Joey Saldana and Steve Kinser at the top of the World of Outlaws standings
32- Top-Five finishes for Joey Saldana and Steve Kinser to lead the series through August 28
47- Top-10 finishes for Steve Kinser to lead the series through August 28
90.081- Track record in miles per hour set by Joey Saldana in time trials in 2007
310- Laps led by Joey Saldana in feature events this season to lead the series
1111- Miles from Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada , where the World of Outlaws competed on August 27-28 to Cottage Grove Speedway
1994- Year the World of Outlaws first competed at Cottage Grove Speedway
10,000- Dollars to win the A-Feature on Wednesday, September 1
51,690- Dollars in the total purse on Wednesday, September 1
Tickets: On Wednesday, September 1 at Cottage Grove Speedway, tickets in the grandstand will be $40, with tickets for kids ages 3-12 $20. For more information on tickets visit http://www.cottagegrovespeedway.com or call the track at 541-942-7561.
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.