World of Outlaws Wrap-up: Night One of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH
Winning Crew: Donny Schatz picked up his third win in the first four nights of the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH on Friday night in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series season opener.
While he receives most of the accolades for the win, he was quick to point out all of the hard work that his crew, led by crew chief Ricky Warner along with Shane Bowers and Keith Turney put in during the off-season in preparation for a run at his fourth consecutive title this season.
“My guys are the reason this car is rotating the way it is,” said Schatz. “They have done their homework and are definitely on top of their game. That’s the difference. These guys weren’t sitting around all winter. I have one guy who just had a baby a couple of weeks ago (Shane Bowers) and he is here with us. It’s the dedication they put in that has this thing running the way it is right now.”
A helping hand: Jason Sides, who finished a very strong second on Friday night, after leading the first 11 laps of the race, had an extra set of helping hands in the pit area, with veteran driver Terry Gray helping turn the wrenches. The last time that Gray chipped in on Sides’ crew, the 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, finished fourth at 34 Raceway in Iowa last season. Sides has finished sixth or better in seven of his last eight starts in a sprint car dating back to last season, as well as a stint in Australia during the off-season.
“My guys did a great job tonight. Doug and Terry were helping me tonight,” said Sides. “To have the confidence of the older guys helping out is great. To be able to race guys like Donny (Schatz) and Greg Hodnett and not have to worry about any mishaps on the car helps a bunch. We have some good luck and some good runs this year and hopefully we can keep it going the rest of the year.”
Clean and green: The entire 30 laps on Friday night went from green to checker without a single caution, putting the leaders in lapped traffic for a majority of the race. Kraig Kinser used that to his advantage as he ran in the lead pack the entire night coming home in the fourth spot to wrap up a very strong night for the Tony Stewart Racing team.
“When you have all of these great race car drivers together, it’s no surprise,” said Kinser. “We definitely can go nonstop with this much talent on the track and they have good control of their cars. That’s what we had tonight, with great drivers and it went flag to flag.”
A classic battle: As has been the case countless times over the last 31 years, Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell were battling on the track on Friday night in the World of Outlaws season opener. Kinser, who wound up sixth, chased Swindell for the last five or so laps in search of the fifth spot, which Swindell ended up with. Kinser began the night by turning the fourth quickest lap in time trials to earn two bonus points in the championship standings and by virtue of that is currently tied with Swindell for fifth in points along with Cody Darrah.
Up next: The second of three nights of racing for the World of Outlaws during the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park on Saturday night. The winner will again receive $10,000 on Saturday night.
Catch all the action: Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH Racepasses are now available for purchase by visiting http://www.DIRTVision.com. For just $29.99 subscribers can watch live video action of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, World of Outlaws Late Model Series, Advance Auto Part Super DIRTcar Series, UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, and the All Star Circuit of Champions all from Volusia Speedway Park in Florida. To sign up simply log in and click on subscription and click on Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH Racepass. Don’t miss 12 nights of excitement.