Fast Talkers: Drivers Open Up About Thunderbowl Raceway

The ‘challenging’ track has the attention of the World of Outlaws competitors

TULARE, Calif.  – As the World of Outlaws West Coast swing nears its midpoint, the dozen full-time competitors are faced with a stiff challenge this weekend at Thunderbowl Raceway.

The high-banked, one-third mile dirt oval presents a unique test and the strong contingent of Californians are more than capable of claiming the top prize on Friday and Saturday.

Here are some quotes from most of the full-time drivers on the World of Outlaws circuit:

Cody Darrah (Red Lion, Penn.) – “Kasey Kahne Racing has a pretty high average there. We’ve got a lot of notes. With Joey Saldana as a teammate it’ll be pretty exciting to go there. My track record at Tulare isn’t that great, but we’re looking to turn that around.”

Chad Kemenah (Findlay, Ohio) – “Tulare has been kind of a challenge for me. Hopefully we can go back and get a little more competitive, and maybe get out of there with a good finish.”

Kraig Kinser (Bloomington, Ind.) – “I’ve ran there quite a bit. I’ve had good races there and bad races there. It’s a fast, tight-turn track. It gets pretty racy there.”

Steve Kinser (Bloomington, Ind.) – “It is one of those tracks where it’s sort of hard to be consistent. You just got to take what you can get there and hope everything comes out good.”

Kerry Madsen (St. Marys, New South Wales, Australia) – “Tulare is somewhere I always look forward to going to. I’ve always ran well there, always been quick. I haven’t won yet, but I always feel confident there.”

Jason Meyers (Clovis, Calif.) – “Tulare has always been home for me and, more importantly, one of my favorite race tracks to race at in the entire country. It’s an awesome facility run by great people. You can run right on the fence a lot of times. It’s just fun, exciting racing.”

Bill Rose (Plainfield, Ind.) – “It’s fast. We get real close together. There’s a lot of crashes it seems there. But if you can get your car going good, it’s definitely one of the raciest places in California.”

Joey Saldana (Brownsburg, Ind.) – “It’s been one of the best race tracks we’ve had in California. I really enjoy racing there and it’s a great facility. We’ve had some pretty good success there, so hopefully we can continue that next week.”

Donny Schatz (Minot, N.D.) – “It’s a very unique place. We always have a good time when we go there, see a lot of great people. It’s a fairgrounds setting, a really good atmosphere. I’ve had a fair bit of success there so anytime you have that you look forward to going to those places.”

Sammy Swindell (Germantown, Tenn.) – “It seems like it’s always different from one end to the other. (Turns) one and two is usually the heavier end or the rougher end, where (turns) three and four seem to be where it’s smooth or slick. It’s a tough place because it kind of has long straights for the way the turns are so tight. It’s a big challenge, but I’ve always run well there and I’ve always liked the ones that are more difficult.”

Lucas Wolfe (Mechanicsburg, Penn.) – “It’s pretty tight and still pretty fast. They sometimes get a little hole going into turn one, which makes it pretty exciting. For the most part the races by the time you get to the feature are awfully good and it’s a lot of fun there, so I’m looking forward to going there as always.”

Saldana Celebrates in Perris

Saldana Celebrates in Perris

He picks up first win of season at NAPA Know How SoCal Showdown

PERRIS, Calif. — March 10, 2012 — After celebrating with his hands in the air as he propped himself on the back of his sprint car, Joey Saldana pulled off his helmet to reveal messy hair, a dirty face and a look of exhaustion.

“I think I’m more mentally worn out,” he said with a smile. “Physically I feel great.”

Saldana led all 30 laps by riding the cushion around the top of Perris Auto Speedway to claim the NAPA Know How SoCal Showdown, which was the first World of Outlaws race at the fast half-mile oval since 2007.

“You don’t get these opportunities very often and getting your first one out of the way early in the season is a big asset to the whole season,” said Saldana, who became the fifth different winner in five World of Outlaws main events this season.

“I think the key to victory was the dash. Getting around Jason (Meyers) and getting clean air made a huge difference. And just making sure I chose the right spot on those restarts.”

Meyers, who started on the pole of the six-lap dash, chose the bottom on a double-file restart midway through the race that determined the first five rows of the feature lineup. Saldana took advantage on the restart and zipped by Meyers on the top as the duo exited turn two. Saldana picked up the win and the pole position for the main event.

“Unfortunately I gave it away in the dash tonight,” said Meyers, the two-time defending World of Outlaws champion. “I gave it away on a restart and gave Joey the lead, which gave him the pole for the start of the feature. I just made a mistake tonight. I chose the wrong line on the restart and gave Joey the opportunity to get past me.”

Saldana then set a blistering pace during the feature. He was only slowed four times for a caution and chose the outside lane on every double-file restart. Despite being side-by-side with Saldana on each restart, Meyers had his best opportunity on lap 21 when the leaders entered lapped traffic.

Saldana had a couple-second lead quickly erased as he was slowed while trying to lap Austen Wheatley. Meyers closed to the back of Saldana before the final caution of the race for a collision between Jonathan Allard and Bobby McMahan in turn two on lap 23.

Saldana cruised from that restart to record his first victory of the season and his 79th career World of Outlaws main event win.

Meyers held off Steve Kinser for the runner-up position.

“We just had to start back too far,” Kinser said. “We were just as fast as anybody out there, maybe even a little quicker at times. I almost could catch them down on the bottom. There just wasn’t enough to get off the corner down there.

“Starting back there in the fourth row with the cars that were up front, we just couldn’t do it unless we would have stayed in that lapped traffic.”

Kraig Kinser finished fourth and Kerry Madsen was fifth. Tim Kaeding placed sixth, Lucas Wolfe seventh and Sammy Swindell, who picked up the KSE Hard Charger Award after starting 19th, was eighth. Chad Kemenah ended ninth and Sam Hafertepe Jr. drove from 18th to 10th.

Meyers, Brian Brown and Kaeding each won a heat race, and McMahan claimed the Last Chance Showdown.

Swindell – the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all five races this season – is leading the points as the World of Outlaws head to Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., for a doubleheader next Friday and Saturday.

Ready for the Western Swing…

I hope everyone is ready for the most exciting racing ever to hit the dirt. March 8th at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas kicks off the Western Swing. We are pumped.  Today was a bone crushing day at Shelby/Goodyear Racing. Our first shipment of 200 left rears and 500 right rears came in today. You might say it’s only 700 tires but they are the biggest, floppiest, hard to  stack, non-rolling tires in the catalog.

First we unload the floppy, hard to stack….. tires.

Unloading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second we un-fold and mark sizes on the tires.

Un-fold and marking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third we re-fold and palletize the tires.

Re-fold and palletize

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth we stage the tires to load the truck.

Staging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are no complaints here. We do all of this for this…

Schatz Wins Afternoon Shootout

Schatz Victorious Under Sunny Skies at Volusia Speedway Park

Four-time champ leads all 20 laps of UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit feature

BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Feb. 19, 2012 — After a week of frustration, Donny Schatz finally caught a break.

The four-time World of Outlaws champion capitalized en route to winning Friday’s rain-delayed event, which began early Sunday afternoon at Volusia Speedway Park. Windy conditions and sunny skies presented unique challenges to teams more accustomed to racing under the lights.

Schatz struggled during the first two nights of the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment as the veteran failed to advance to the feature both nights. That all changed on Sunday when he won a heat race, the dash and main event.

Schatz’s first break came in qualifying when he timed in 16th quickest. It provided him the final position in the invert for the heat races, which placed him on the pole of the fourth-and-final heat. Schatz led all eight laps to advance to the dash, where he caught another break.

“They drew the right number, but we had to have a good car, too,” Schatz said.

The random draw was an eight to invert the top eight for the dash. It put Schatz on the pole and he led all six laps on the tricky track to claim the dash victory. That gave Schatz the pole position for the feature, which was trimmed to 20 laps.

“The conditions were about as bad as you could get with the wind, sun and heat,” he said. “You just have to be smart. Sometimes you have to go slow to go fast.”

Sammy Swindell challenged Schatz for the lead on the start and closed to his rear bumper in lapped traffic on lap 16. However, Schatz never bobbled and maneuvered through traffic perfectly to regain a several car length advantage. Because of track conditions, the restarts were single file and a caution with two laps remaining provided Swindell with one last chance at Schatz.

“You never really know how hard to run,” Swindell said after finishing second. “It was hard for anybody to pass. You had to make a big mistake for somebody to pass you.”

Several cars sustained tire issues in the closing laps, including fourth-running Jason Meyers with two laps to go.

“We just started getting cords,” said Jason Sides, who finished third. “I’d say we maybe had another two or three laps.”

Joey Saldana finished fourth and Craig Dollansky, who started 15th, was fifth. Fred Rahmer, Brad Sweet, 21st-starting Kraig Kinser, Sam Hafertepe Jr. and 18th-starting Dale Blaney rounded out the top 10, respectively. Kinser earned the Hard Charger Award.

Meyers was the fast qualifier with a top lap of 14.634 and Kerry Madsen, Cap Henry, Saldana and Schatz claimed victories in the heat races. Jac Haudenschild won the Last Chance Showdown.

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