Quick Hits: World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at I-30 Speedway
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – April 20, 2016 – For the first time in over 20 years, the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will be in action at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Arkansas on Tuesday, April 26. A number of drivers competing full-time with the series have raced at the track in the past in the Short Track Nationals and four have won that famed event. A few drivers will be making their inaugural visit to the quarter-mile as well. This edition of Quick Hits sets the stage for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series return to I-30 Speedway.
Plenty of Laps
Jason Johnson has probably turned more laps at I-30 Speedway than any of the other current full-time World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series driver. The native of Eunice, Louisiana, who won the 2006 Short Track Nationals, has raced at the quarter-mile in 13 different seasons, amassing around 30 main event starts, including preliminary features. Johnson has a total of five wins in his career at I-30 Speedway, a track where he raced for the first time in 1998.
Paul McMahan, who is a two-time winner of the Short Track Nationals, made his first trip to I-30 Speedway in 2002 for the marquee event. He won a preliminary night feature that year to lock himself into the main event, which he also won. McMahan nearly repeated his sweep in 2012, though he finished second on a preliminary night en route to winning the Short Track Nationals that year. The Californian, who now calls the Nashville area home, has competed at I-30 Speedway in five different seasons over the course of his career.
Brad Sweet added his name to the exclusive list of Short Track Nationals winners in 2010. In just his second appearance at I-30 Speedway, the native of Grass Valley, Calif., was victorious on a preliminary night and followed that up with a win in the finale. Sweet, who has qualified for the main event of the Short Track Nationals in all three of his attempts, finished ninth in his most recent visit to I-30 Speedway in 2011.
Jason Sides won the Short Track Nationals at I-30 Speedway in 2001. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee has raced at the quarter-mile quite a bit during his career, especially in his early years. The veteran driver made his I-30 Speedway debut in 1995 and won his first race at the track the following year. Sides last raced at I-30 Speedway during the 2013 Short Track Nationals.
Oh So Close
Shane Stewart has been very close to winning the Short Track Nationals at I-30 Speedway a trio of times during his career. He finished second in 2002 and 2007, after winning a preliminary feature, and was third in 2011. The driver of the Larson Marks No. 2 has made around 25 starts in his career at the track, finishing among the top-10 in 20 of those races. He has a total of three wins at I-30 Speedway in his career, with two coming in Short Track Nationals preliminary nights and the third in a full point-paying ASCS (American Sprint Car Series) race.
Solid and Steady
Daryn Pittman has raced sparingly at I-30 Speedway over the years, but has always been very consistent when he takes to the quarter-mile. He has finished on the podium in three of his last four starts at the track, including a preliminary feature win in the 2005 Short Track Nationals and a runner-up finish in the finale of the 2002 event. Pittman has six top-10 finishes in 10 starts at I-30 Speedway in his career.
Greg Wilson, who is a contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, has made six trips to I-30 Speedway in his career to compete in the Short Track Nationals. He finished a career-best third in the finale of the event in 2010, after also running third on a preliminary night that year. Wilson has qualified for the main event in four of his six trips to Little Rock and has a pair of top-10 finishes in those events. In preliminary features at the Short Track Nationals, the native of Benton Ridge has four top-10 finishes.
Joey Saldana returns to I-30 Speedway for the first time since competing in the 2011 Short Track Nationals. In that event, the veteran driver finished 13th on a preliminary night and was 17th in the finale. Saldana, who hails from Brownsburg, Indiana, cut his teeth racing on bullrings, similar to I-30 Speedway in his home state.
Add a Track to the List
Donny Schatz, the seven-time and defending World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion has been to countless tracks during his storied career. One track he has never raced at, though, is I-30 Speedway. Schatz does have two wins in the state of Arkansas in his career, with those coming at Batesville Speedway and Riverside International Speedway.
Logan Schuchart and Jacob Allen will both be seeing I-30 Speedway for the first time as well. While the pair of young drivers will be making their debut at the track, their team owner, Hall of Famer Bobby Allen, who is Jacob’s father and Logan’s grandfather, has raced at I-30 Speedway with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and was victorious in the series second-ever race at the track in 1980.
A Trip South
Terry McCarl made his first start at I-30 Speedway during the 2013 Short Track Nationals. He finished eighth in the 40-lap finale, which was the best showing of the three “rookie” drivers who made the field that year. On the first preliminary night of that event, McCarl won a heat race and finished second in a qualifier to lock himself into the feature, where he started third. In the finale of that event, the veteran driver raced his way through a B-main into the A-Feature, where he came from 13th to finish eighth.
A Foundation to Build On
David Gravel has competed in the Short Track Nationals at I-30 Speedway twice in his young career. The Connecticut native made his debut at the track in 2010, racing his way into the main event on the final night. Gravel returned to I-30 Speedway in 2013, earning a sixth-place finish on a preliminary night and ending up 13th in the finale, with a stout 80-plus car field in attendance.
A handful of “invaders” are tentatively scheduled to take on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at I-30 Speedway. First and foremost, is three-time series champion and three-time Short Track Nationals winner Sammy Swindell. The Hall of Famer won for the first time at I-30 Speedway back in 1975 and has won three times with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at the track.
Bryan Clauson, who is in the midst of attempting to run 200 total races this season, will be in attendance as well. He has won 10 races already this season in a variety of open-wheel machines. Other invaders include Brad Bacon, from Oklahoma, who is the 2014 USAC National Sprint Car Series champion and Dusty Zomer, the 2015 sprint car champion at Badlands Motor Speedway in his home state of South Dakota.
Tickets for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series return to I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Arkansas on Tuesday, April 26 and can be purchased online at slspromotions.ticketforce.com or by calling SLS Promotions at 815-344-2023.
Discount General Admission tickets can also be purchased at participating O’Reilly Auto Parts stores. Each 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.
The rain date for the event, if needed, is Wednesday, April 27.
For more information on tickets, visit slspromotions.ticketforce.com.
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