Quick Hits: World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Royal Purple Raceway
BAYTOWN, Texas — February 24, 2016 — The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series completes a Texas “Two-Step” this weekend as O’Reilly Auto Parts presents the World of Outlaws hosted by Kasey Kahne on Saturday, February 27 at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas. The event will mark the series return to the quarter-mile bullring for the first time since 2011. The 2016 season kicked off recently in Florida, with Brad Sweet and Donny Schatz picking up wins. Sweet, who won twice, is the current series point leader, after the first three race of the 90-plus race campaign. This edition of Quick Hits sets the stage for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series return to Royal Purple Raceway.
More Laps than Anyone
Jason Johnson has turned more laps at Royal Purple Raceway than any other World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series driver. The majority of those laps have come in 360-sprint car competition with the American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) and ASCS regional tours. In total, Johnson has made 20 starts at Royal Purple Raceway, dating back to 2000. He has five wins at the track in ASCS action, including sweeping a trio of ASCS regional races in 2010. Johnson’s best finishes with the Outlaws at the track were an eighth-place showing in a preliminary feature in 2003 and another eighth in 2003.
16 and Counting
Joey Saldana is the only active full-time World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series driver that has competed in all 16 feature events (including preliminary features) for the series at Royal Purple Raceway. He has one win, along with six top-five finishes. Saldana has made one start at the track in the No. 83 Roth Motorsports machine, the car he is back in this season, finishing third in October of 2003. Saldana is the current track record holder at Royal Purple Raceway, a mark he set in time trials in 2007.
Of note, Donny Schatz has started 15 of the 16 main events at the track, missing one in 2003, while running a USAC Silver Crown Series event at Phoenix International Raceway. Also, Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion, has raced in all 16 previous events at Royal Purple Raceway, but is no longer a full-time competitor with the series.
Donny Schatz has finished on the podium in six of his last seven starts at Royal Purple Raceway, dating back to 2002. The seven-time series champion ran 14th in 2011 at the track, which snapped a six straight-race top-three finish streak. Prior to that hot streak, Schatz’s previous best finish at Royal Purple Raceway had been 11th. The seven-time and defending series champion has one win thus far in 2016 with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.
Familiar Faces in New Places
A trio of drivers that competed full-time with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series in 2015 have new rides this season. The aforementioned Saldana, who led the series in Fast Time awards and finished fifth in points last year for the Motter Motorsports team, pilots the No. 83 for Roth Motorsports this season. Paul McMahan, who drove for the CJB Motorsports team last year is behind the wheel of the No. 7 for Destiny Motorsports in 2016. David Gravel traded seats with McMahan, and drives for CJB this year, with the car re-branded as the No. 5.
At the Start
Daryn Pittman, the 2013 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion, who drives for Kasey Kahne Racing, was at the first two World of Outlaws at Royal Purple Raceway (then Houston Raceway Park) in April of 2000, qualifying for the main event on both nights. Pittman earned a runner-up finish at Royal Purple Raceway in 2007, which to date is his best finish at the quarter-mile. He has four top-10 finishes spread over nine starts.
It’s Been a While
Shane Stewart, who finished second in points with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series last year, made his most recent start with the series at Royal Purple Raceway in 2005, finishing fourth for Rudeen Racing. The Oklahoma native, who now calls the Indianapolis area home, also finished fourth with the Outlaws at Royal Purple Raceway in 2003. Stewart has made a total of five starts with the series at the quarter-mile, dating back to the fall of 2000, which were the third and fourth races ever-contested by the series at the track.
Jason Sides, who won the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series event at Royal Purple Raceway in 2010, has finished among the top-10 in four straight races at the track, including finishing among top-two in each of his last two starts at the track. He followed up his win with a runner-up finish in 2011. Sides was ninth in his previous two appearances at the track in 2007 and 2009. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee made his Royal Purple Raceway debut in 2000, with the ASCS (American Sprint Car Series), finishing second and fifth.
Greg Wilson from Benton Ridge, Ohio, who is a contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, will be visiting numerous tracks for the first time. Royal Purple Raceway will not be one, though, as he raced with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at the track in 2011. Wilson finished 17th in his debut at the state-of-the-art quarter-mile.
First Time Visitors
A total of four drivers competing with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series in 2016 will be making their first-career starts at Royal Purple Raceway. Brad Sweet, who won five times last year and already has a pair of victories for Kasey Kahne Racing this year, will be making his first trip to Royal Purple Raceway. The Shark Racing duo of Logan Schuchart and Jacob Allen, who are each in their third full seasons on the road with the series, will be making their first visit to Royal Purple Raceway. Also, rookie contender Clyde Knipp from Missouri will be seeing the quarter-mile for the first time.
Looking to Repeat
Sammy Swindell won the last World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series race at Royal Purple Raceway in 2011. The three-time series champion and Hall of Famer started fourth and took the lead from Chad Kemenah on the ninth lap of the 40-lap race. Swindell won a preliminary feature with the Outlaws at Royal Purple Raceway in 2000. The Tennessee native, who drives for CJB Motorsports as a teammate to David Gravel, will race approximately 60 times this year across a variety of series.
Circular Insanity Tour Hits Royal Purple Raceway
Bryan Clauson, whose 2016 season has been dubbed “Circular Insanity” as he strives to make 200 total starts this year, will be competing at Royal Purple Raceway with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. Among the races on his schedule, include the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, a race he has qualified for twice in his career. The multi-time USAC champion has already made 20 starts this season, spread across winged sprint cars, non-wing sprint cars and midgets. Clauson, who will be making his first visit to Royal Purple Raceway, has five wins thus far.
Brent Marks will make the 1,400-mile-plus tow to Royal Purple Raceway from his Myerstown, Pennsylvania home to kick-off his 2016 season with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. Marks, who will be making his first trip to Texas, won three races last year, including sweeping the Tuscarora 50 weekend at the famed Port Royal Speedway in Port Royal in his home state of Pennsylvania. Marks made a total of 18 starts with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series in 2015, picking up four top-10 finishes, including a season-best fifth-place finish at Port Royal in October.
Get Your Tickets Now
Three ways are available to fans to purchase tickets. First, participating local O’Reilly Auto Parts locations are offering a special $5 discount on tickets. Tickets can also be purchased from Royal Purple Raceway by calling 281-383-7223 or online at www.royalpurpleraceway.com. Finally, tickets can be purchased online at http://slspromotions.ticketforce.com.
For more information as O’Reilly Auto Parts Presents the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series Hosted by Kasey Kahne, visit www.slspromotions.com.
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