Concord, NC — No sweat: Donny Schatz had a huge lead on Paul McMahan in the Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville on Saturday night when the final caution of the night flew with eight laps remaining, though that didn’t seem to faze the four-time and defending series champion. On the ensuing double file restart Schatz charged to the lead after choosing the low line for the restart and was able to pull away again at the end of the race to score his fifth win of the season and the fourth of his career at Lernerville, where he has 14 consecutive Top-10 finishes dating back to 2004.
“There’s not much you can do about it, that’s part of it,” noted Schatz of the late race caution. “You don’t cringe, because there are more times than not where you get in a situation where you are not in the lead and want a caution. It was an awesome car we had tonight. Everything was good from beginning to end and that’s what we’ve been working on. The tires have been good for us all year, we’ve just changed so much with our motors and cars that we got ourselves out of the loop and I think we are finally coming back in the right direction.”
A dream season: Tim Shaffer, who has won 20 races this season including with the World of Outlaws at I-55 Raceway in the opener of the Ironman 55 back in August, finished third in the Commonwealth Clash, charging from the 11th starting spot, a day after coming home fifth at Eldora with the series. After having driveline trouble in the first heat race at Lernerville, Shaffer won The Last Chance Showdown to earn a spot in the main event. A strong restart on the 28th lap saw the native of nearby Aliquippa, Pennsylvania go from sixth to third, the same spot he would end up finishing in.
“A little bit of everything,” shared Shaffer when asked of what has led to his great season. “We have great car owners in Aaron Call and Janet Holbrook. Brian Kemenah (Crew chief) does a great job, and as does the entire crew. They are blue collar people that all come together and work great together. Our communication is awesome and I think that’s why we have had the success we’ve had.”
Continuing his strong season: Paul McMahan had a very strong weekend finishing on the podium at both Eldora and Lernerville. He finished third at Eldora and led the first 10 laps at Lernerville before finishing second to Donny Schatz. McMahan, who is filling in this season for the injured Cody Darrah in the No. 91 machine for Kasey Kahne Racing, is currently sixth in points and has racked up 45 Top-10 finishes with 28 of those being Top-Five performances. He won earlier this season at Eldora to score his eighth career World of Outlaws A-Feature win. The veteran is tied for the series lead with 10 fast time honors this season in qualifying and is near the top of the leader board with seven wins in the dash to earn pole positions in main events.
“I have to thank Kasey (Kahne) and Justin Adams and the entire crew,” said McMahan on Friday night at Eldora. “They’ve given me a great opportunity and I wish this season wouldn’t end. Hopefully we can pick up a couple of wins before the season is over.”
Hard charger: Jac Haudenschild came from the 19th starting spot to finish eighth at Lernerville to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award. The native of Wooster, Ohio has garnered that honor four times in 2010. In the four races in which he been the Hard Charger, Haudenschild has passed a total of 51 cars.
Filling in: Brad Sweet filled in for the injured Joey Saldana in the No. 9 machine at Lernerville Speedway finishing seventh, to help the team remain second in the battle for the 2010 World of Outlaws Owner’s Championship, just 24 markers behind the Elite Racing Team of Jason Meyers. Sweet began the night with a win in the fourth heat race to earn a spot in the dash. He lined up ninth in the main event and worked his way to fifth before a late race caution led to a double file restart which shuffled him back a bit. Sweet has 12 Top-10 finishes in a limited number of starts with the World of Outlaws this season and is 20th in points.
Always solid at Lernerville: Dale Blaney finished fourth in the Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville to make up for some bad luck he had during the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup back in July when he was running in the Top-Three and ran out of fuel after leading the majority of the first Twin 30. The veteran, who opened the night by turning the third-fast lap in time trials, has nine career wins at the high-banked four-tenths-mile.
Fan favorite: Jac Haudenschild scored a very popular win at Eldora Speedway last Friday night in the opener of the Four Crown Nationals Weekend. The crowd erupted when Haudenschild took the lead from Sammy Swindell on the 23rd lap and were all on their feet when the native of Wooster, Ohio climbed from his car in Victory Lane. Haudenschild has won nine times with the World of Outlaws at Eldora over the years and has over 20 career victories at the famed half-mile along with nearly 120 career Top-10 finishes and over 80 total Top-Fives. The Hall of Famer made his debut at Eldora in 1978 in a World of Outlaws event, finishing fourth. Haudenschild win last Friday night was his first at the track since 2006 and his first with the World of Outlaws at the half-mile since 2005.
“I’ve always enjoyed racing at Eldora,” said Haudenschild. “The fans are really good here and the racing is always good. It’s great to get another win. The R19 car has been fast this year and things are going good.”
Hard Luck Award: Mike Larson from Chizmark & Larson Insurance was in attendance at Eldora Speedway last Friday night and presented the Chizmark & Larson Hard Luck Award to Bill Rose, who had trouble on the first lap of the 30-lapper and wound up 23rd on the night. Larson, who also spoke at the Driver’s Meeting, presented Rose with the $100 cash award after the main event.
Another fast time honor: Joey Saldana was quickest in time trials at Eldora Speedway last Friday night. The second generation driver has been fastest in qualifying six times this season which is second only to his teammate Paul McMahan and series point leader Jason Meyers. Of four title contenders, he has earned the second most qualifying bonus points, which are awarded to the Top-Five in time trials each night.
Adding one more to the list: Tim Shaffer was quickest in time trials for the first time this season with the World of Outlaws at Lernerville on Saturday night. The veteran became the 18th different driver to stops the clocks first in 2010. In just a limited number of starts this season with the World of Outlaws, he has 10 Top-10 finishes, with four of those being Top-Fives along with a win.
Up next: The National Open at the famed Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania on Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2 with $50,000 awaiting the winner on Saturday night.
Photo galleries: The Media Gallery section of www.worldofOutlaws.com continues to be updated after each event. Visit https://www.worldofoutlaws.com/sprint/MediaGallery.aspx to see Photo Galleries from all 2010 World of Outlaws events. Photo Galleries from the events at Eldora Speedway and Lernerville Speedway will be posted soon.
Keep up with all the action: The number of “Followers” keeping up with the World of Outlaws via Twitter online and through text messages on cell phones continues to grow and recently surpassed the 5,200 “Follower” mark. Updates are provided throughout race nights beginning with hot laps and continuing all the way through the final checkered flag of the night. To sign-up visit: http://twitter.com/worldofoutlaws and receive live race updates, anywhere, anytime.
On sale now: Tickets for a number of premier World of Outlaws events are currently on-sale, including the event at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in New York on October 9 and the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, November 4-6. For tickets visit www.WorldofOutlaws.com/tickets. Three-day tickets for the World Finals are available for just $69 through September 30 and include a FREE fan pit pass. Call 1-800-455-3267 for tickets.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Chizmark & Larson Insurance, Goodyear Tires (Official Tire), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, KSE Race Products, Penske Shocks, R2C Performance, Racing Electronics, S&S Volvo; Engine Builder’s Challenge participants Don Ott Racing Engines, Kistler Engines, Shaver Specialties and Speedway Engines; and Chassis Builder’s Challenge participants J&J Auto Racing, Maxim Racing and XXX Race Company.