HARTFORD, Mich. — July 25, 2016 —The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series makes their final visit of the season to the state of Michigan this week on Friday, July 29 at Hartford Speedway. The series return to the high-banked, high-speed, half-mile for the first time since 2011. Joey Saldana, who won that race, is the only driver competing full-time with the series this year that has been victorious at Hartford Speedway. He has won with three different series at the track during his career. This edition of Quick Hits sets the stage for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series return to Hartford Speedway on Friday, July 29.
An Emotional Win
Joey Saldana won the last World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series event at Hartford Speedway in 2011. For the native of Brownsburg, Indiana, the win was even more meaningful because it was his first race back after suffering injuries earlier that season at the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Ohio. After missing over two months of action, he dominated the race at Hartford, leading all 25 laps. Saldana is the only active full-time World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series driver that has competed in all seven previous races for the series at the half-mile, dating back to 1996. He has finished in the top-10 in each and every one of those races, with three top-five finishes as well. Saldana also has won at Hartford Speedway with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions in 1995 and the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series in 1998.
Five for Six
Paul McMahan has competed in six of the previous seven World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series races at Hartford Speedway, and has five top-10 finishes. He finished a career-best fourth in his debut at the track in 1996 and was eighth the next night. In 2003, McMahan finished sixth at the half-mile and was seventh in 2007. In his most recent start at Hartford Speedway with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, McMahan finished eighth in 2011. McMahan is in the midst of his first season driving the No. 7 machine for Destiny Motorsports.
One More Spot
Hartford Speedway is one of the few tracks on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series schedule that seven-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz has not won at. The North Dakota native finished second in each of his first two starts at Hartford in 2003 and 2004. In his most recent start at Hartford Speedway, Schatz finished fifth in 2011, rebounding from not qualifying for the feature event at the track in 2005. Schatz is the current series point leader and has picked up 15 wins thus far in 2016.
Plenty of Laps
Greg Wilson may be a rookie on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series tour, but he has turned a number of laps at Hartford Speedway over the years. The Ohio native finished second in his most recent start at the half-mile in 2009 with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions, which was his third career top-five finish at the track in six starts. Wilson made his Hartford Speedway debut in 1995 with the Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt, finishing third in that event. He also earned a top-five with the All Stars at Hartford in 2004.
A Veteran Presence
Jason Sides, who has been competing with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series for well over the last decade, has made four starts in his career at Hartford Speedway. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee has finished among the top-15 in all four of his appearances at the half-mile. Sides picked up the best Hartford Speedway finish in 2004, finishing 11th. The fan favorite has one win this season, with that coming at I-30 Speedway in Arkansas in April.
Sooners Turned Hoosiers
Daryn Pittman and Shane Stewart were each born and raised in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, and both now call the Indianapolis area home. The two veteran drivers have made limited starts at Hartford Speedway in their respective careers. Pittman finished fifth in his debut at the track in 2003 and was sixth in 2004. The Kasey Kahne Racing driver last raced at Hartford Speedway in 2005. Stewart, who drives for Larson Marks Racing, which is co-owned by NASCAR driver Kyle Larson, has raced twice at Hartford Speedway in his career, with the most recent of those coming in the 2011 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series event at the track.
A Solid Debut
David Gravel finished sixth with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Hartford Speedway in 2011, which was his debut at the half-mile. At the time, Gravel was driving his family-owned No. 89G. He was fifth-fastest in time trials and finished fifth in a heat race. Gravel lined up 11th in the 25-lap main event and worked his way up six spot to earn a top-10 finish. The Connecticut native is in his first season driving the No. 5 for the CJB Motorsports team and has five wins and is currently second in points.
Track Record Holder
Jason Johnson, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, holds the track record at Hartford Speedway. He established the mark of 15.739-seconds at 128.775 mph in 2001. Johnson will be making his first World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series start at the half-mile.
A total of four drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series this season will be making their first visit to Hartford Speedway. Brad Sweet, who drives for Kasey Kahne Racing, won in the state of Michigan last year at I-96 Speedway. Logan Schuchart and Jacob Allen are teammates for Shark Racing, owned by Hall of Famer Bobby Allen, one of the original Outlaws. Schuchart scored his first-career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series win earlier this season in Wisconsin. Clyde Knipp, from Missouri, who is contending for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this year, has one-career start in Michigan, with that coming last month at I-96 Speedway.
Tickets for the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series return to Hartford Speedway in Hartford, Michigan on Friday, July 29 and can be purchased online at https://slspromotions.ticketforce.com or by calling SLS Promotions at 815-344-2023.
Discount General Admission tickets are available for purchase at participating O’Reilly Auto Parts stores. Each General Admission ticket purchased at an O’Reilly Auto Parts location will feature a special $5 discount. Tickets buyers will exchange their O’Reilly receipt for tickets at the Main Grandstand ticket booth on race day.
For more information on tickets, visit https://slspromotions.ticketforce.com.
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