From Tony Veneziano
Mechanicsburg, PA-September 29, 2010 -Plenty of history has been made over the years during the National Open at the famed Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania and yet another chapter will be added to the annals this weekend as the closest four-way battle for the championship in World of Outlaws history shifts to the unique half-mile with $50,000 on the line to the winner of the 40-lap finale on Saturday night.
The National Open kicks off on Friday, October 1 with a full night of racing and wraps up with the $50,000 to win finale on Saturday, October 2, with both events being complete shows with full points being awarded. The cameras from SPEED will be on hand to capture all of the action of the finale for future broadcast.
Jason Meyers currently leads the World of Outlaws championship standings by 50 markers over 20-time series champion Steve Kinser, with Joey Saldana third, 85 points back and four-time and defending series titlist Donny Schatz fourth, 89 markers out of the lead. Meyers finished third in the opener of the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove in July as he continues to chase his first career win at the track.
Schatz and Kinser have each won the National Open four times, with Schatz’s most recent win in the famed classic coming in 2007, while Kinser won it most recently in 2003. The pair of teammates at Tony Stewart Racing are the only two drivers in the history of the event to have won it four times. Kinser leads all drivers with 37 wins in World of Outlaws events at Williams Grove, while Schatz has picked up 15 victories at the half-mile.
Joey Saldana, who is third in points and missed last Saturday night’s race at Lernerville Speedway due to injury, is expected to return to action at Williams Grove. He finished second in the World of Outlaws first visit of the year to the half-mile and also has a fourth and seventh-place showing this season at the track. The second generation driver has one career win at Williams Grove.
Greg Hodnett is the defending National Open winner and has already won against the World of Outlaws at Williams Grove Speedway this season in the finale of the Summer Nationals in July to extend the Pennsylvania Posse win streak to eight over the World of Outlaws, the longest such streak in the history of the rivalry.
The first race sanctioned by the World of Outlaws at Williams Grove Speedway was during the s inaugural 1978 season and the series has been competing at the half-mile each and every year since, with the National Open being part of the schedule since 1989.
* The World of Outlaws look to snap the Pennsylvania Posse’s eight-race win streak at Williams Grove Speedway. Donny Schatz’s win in finale of the Summer Nationals in 2008 was the last victory by a series driver at the famed half-mile.
* Jason Meyers is chasing his first win at Williams Grove and finished third in the opener of the Summer Nationals back in July.
* Steve Kinser has finished in the Top-10 in three of the four races this season at Williams Grove, including a masterful charge from 25th to fifth back in the spring. He has won the National Open four times in his career.
* Joey Saldana has finished seventh or better in three of the four World of Outlaws events at Williams Grove Speedway this season. He is expected to return after missing the race at Lernerville due to an injury.
* Donny Schatz finished second in the opener of the Summer Nationals and has a couple of Top-10 finishes this season at Williams Grove as he looks to return to the winner’s circle at the track for the first time since 2008
* Paul McMahan led a number of laps in the finale of the Summer Nationals before finishing second. He was fourth in the opener of that two-day event.
* Lucas Wolfe finished fourth in the first race of the season for the World of Outlaws at his home track of Williams Grove Speedway, as he continues to chase his first series win. He
was victorious earlier this season in a week show at the half-mile.
* Sam Hafertepe Jr. finished a career-best second at Williams Grove back in May after leading a number of laps in the main event and was also in the Top-10 in the finale of the Summer Nationals as he continues to run strong at the legendary half-mile.
By the Numbers: The Morgan Hughes National Open
0.5- Miles around Williams Grove Speedway
1- Driver from the state of Pennsylvania competing full-time with the World of Outlaws in 2010- Lucas Wolfe
4- Wins in the National Open for Donny Schatz & Steve Kinser; Drivers that have won with the World of Outlaws at Williams Grove Speedway this season
6- Races for the World of Outlaws at Williams Grove Speedway this season
8- Consecutive races won by members of the Pennsylvania Posse over World of Outlaws drivers at Williams Grove Speedway
9- Drivers that have led laps in feature events with the series at Williams Grove this season
10- Total races for the World of Outlaws in Pennsylvania this season
13- Drivers that have won on half-mile tracks this season with the World of Outlaws
15- Career wins for Donny Schatz at Williams Grove Speedway
16.140 -Track record set by Brian Paulus in time trials in 2002
18- Drivers that have been quickest in time trials this season
19- Drivers that have won a dash this season to earn a pole position in a feature event
22- Races so far this season on half-mile tracks for the World of Outlaws
24- Starting spot Fred Rahmer came from to win at Williams Grove Speedway on May 14 with the World of Outlaws
25- Laps in the feature event of the opener of the National Open on Friday, October 1
33- Different years in which the World of Outlaws have sanctioned a race at Williams Grove
37- Top-Five finishes for Steve Kinser this season to lead the series
38- Total career wins for Steve Kinser at Williams Grove Speedway
40- Laps in the feature event of the finale of the National Open on Saturday, October 2
47- Times the National Open has been held dating back to 1963
50- Points that separate leader Jason Meyers and Steve Kinser in the series standings
54- Top-10 finishes for Steve Kinser this season to lead the series
63- A-Feature events contested by the World of Outlaws through September 25
212- Miles from Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, PA where the World of Outlaws competed on September 25 to Williams Grove Speedway
368- Laps led by Joey Saldana this season in feature events to lead the series
1939- Year that racing began at Williams Grove Speedway
1963- Year the National Open was first held
1967- Year that weekly sprint car racing began at Williams Grove Speedway
1978- Year the World of Outlaws first sanctioned a race at Williams Grove Speedway
8,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, October 1
50,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Saturday, October 2
Tickets: On Friday, October 1 at Williams Grove Speedway, adult general admission tickets will be $28 with general admission tickets for those ages 13-20 $15 and children ages 12-under free of charge. For tickets call the track at 717-679-5000.
On Saturday, October 2 at Williams Grove Speedway, adult general admission tickets will be $35 with general admission tickets for those ages 13-20 $18 and children ages 12-under admitted free of charge. For tickets call the track at 717-679-5000.