Jason Meyers has been hard at work climbing his way through the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series standings. After some aggressive driving he has managed to cut Donny Schatz‘s lead to 115 markers. Meyers currently leads the series with 34 Top-Five finishes – the last fifteen of which have been consecutive. If he continues at his current pace, Meyers’ chances of winning his first series title will be very good.
However Meyers is up against some tough competition. Two-time defending series champion Schatz is not about to give up without a fight. Schatz is the only driver who has managed to finish in the top-10 in every single event that has taken place this season. With 12 A-Feature wins under his belt, he is looking to get his third consecutive title. He has 33 Top-Five finishes and so is hot on the tail of Meyers. The two are hotly pursued by Craig Dollansky who finished in second place in the race held at Dacotah Speedway on Saturday night, as well as on Sunday night. He continues to stay in third place in the standings and currently has 37 Top-Ten finishes so far this season as well as seven A-Feature wins.
Though they may not be much of a challenge to the top two contenders at this point, Joey Saldana and Steve Kinser are also working hard to make sure that they stay in the top five on the standings. Joey Saldana has 32 Top-Ten finishes so far this season and remains fourth in the point standings, while Steve Kinser is closing in on him with 30 Top-Ten finishes. The point gap between Kinser and Saldana closed a little after the races on Saturday, where Kinser managed to take a win, and on Sunday when he had another Top-Ten finish. The top five are tailed by Jac Haudenschild who is sixth in points with 14 Top-Five finishes and Kerry Madsen and Chad Kemenah who are tied for seventh. There are still a few more Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series races left before the end of the season so fans will be kept on the edge of their seats as they await the final outcome of the series.
Donny Schatz has been racing since he was only a kid. His dream of becoming an auto racing champion started when he was just fifteen years old and he has never looked back. During the past ten years of his life he has been racing almost 100 nights a year on two different continents – a clear indication of just how dedicated he is.
So it comes as little surprise then that Donny Schatz was chosen to receive the prestigious Dakota Award for 2008. The award, which is handed out by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, gives due recognition to any person from North Dakota who is excelling in other states. Schatz has long been proving himself in the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Series and it seems he is driven to succeed. Schatz remarked that receiving the award was a “great honor” and said he was happy that he could represent his home state on a national level. He added: “Like a lot of things that happened as a result of our efforts last year, this award is truly a family awardâ€¦We worked together as a family to build a race team that could compete with the best in the world and ultimately came away with consecutive World of Outlaws championships.”
The last time that Schatz received the Dakota Award was in 1998. He was chosen for the honor after a successful WoO Sprint Series Rookie of the Year campaign. It’s been ten challenging years since then and a lot has changed. He is certainly no longer a rookie and these days he’s winning back-to-back championships. Just last year he made history when he became the first driver to win the Knoxville Nationals, Williams Grove National Open, Kings Royal, Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup and the Williams Grove Summer Nationals all in the same year. That was the second time in a row that he took the checkered flag at the Outlaw championship, the Knoxville Nationals and the Silver Cup. Schatz was invited to drive for Tony Stewart in the WoO Sprint Series this year and he has been hard at work wracking up points in his new car already, with 10 victories in place after driving 27 races so far this year. Clearly this 30-year-old still has a long and successful driving career ahead of him and we may yet see another Dakota Award go to Donny Schatz in the future.
Ontario is about to get it’s first taste of the awesome World of Outlaws Late Model Series. The move comes after a brilliant inaugural Canadian event that was held in Quebec last year. This year the chosen province is Ontario and the “Six Nation’s 50” will be making its way to Ohsweken Speedway on June 19 later this week. The race will be presented by Arrow Express.
Fans are no doubt delighted that the $10 000-to-win event has made its way to Ontario. The Outlaws Series is the biggest dirt Late Model race to have ever come to Ontario and makes the perfect addition to Ohsweken Speedway’s schedule. This track is fast emerging as one of the premier tracks in the country and it currently headlines 360 Sprint Cars every week. Created in 1996, the three-eighths-mile oval has always hosted several dirt Late Model shows but nothing has quite measured up to the level of talent that will be arriving with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series. Track manager Ken Pelkie has admitted that organizers are “entering into uncharted territory” and they have “never attempted a dirt Late Model race of this magnitude.” However, he also said that they were “excited about the possibilities” and noted that people in the area were already fans of the World of Outlaws Sprints so he felt confident that it wouldn’t take much for locals to show their enthusiasm for the World of Outlaws Late Models too.
Though you would never think it to see it, the track was literally built in the backyard of owner Glenn Styres over a number of years. Styre’s home can be found just off the second turn of the oval and he continues to upgrade it with each passing year. His ultimate goal is to make Ohsweken Speedway one of the best tracks in both the U.S. and Canada. He has just recently installed Musco lighting to that end and is currently adding more bleachers to increase the track’s seating capacity to approximately 8 000. Hot laps are scheduled to start at 17:30 and racing will commence at 19:45. General admission will cost $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 years old and under. So make sure that you get in on the action at this year’s Canadian leg of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series. It is bound to be a memorable one!
Sprint Car racing traces its auto racing history back to the impromptu races that were held on tiny unpaved tracks at early 20th century county fairs, horseracing ovals and traveling shows. Time was, sprint car racing was seen as a ticket to the Indianapolis 500 if a driver was good enough to win on a consistent basis. While that isn’t the case anymore, it’s good to know that some things haven’t changed much and Sprint Car racing is a fine example of that.
Fans accustomed to the polished, professional look of modern Formula One and Indy cars may get a shock when they first set eyes on a sprint car. They appear to be little more than four-wheeled cages with barely enough room inside for the driver and the engine. Stick a wing that resembles 2 or 3 front doors cobbled together on top, and you’ve got yourself a sprint car. Now imagine a fleet of these buzzing cages roaring around a dirt track at speeds 100 miles per hour or more… are you smiling yet?
There is not one overriding authority that sanctions sprint car racing and sets down the rules of the sport, but the World of Outlaws is at this time the most well known of several competing organizations. World of Outlaws sprint car racing is for winged cars but there are other series that feature non-winged cars. Sprint car racing hasn’t succeeded in dislodging stock car racing from the hearts of loyal southerners, but it has made itself very popular in the northeast, Midwest, and in California. The advent of televised race coverage in the 1980s has proved to be a huge boost for the sport and has also provided a lucrative source of advertising dollars. Those big wings not only look like billboards, they’re used that way!