Tuesday, June 24, 2008

There Here... The WoO invades River Cities Speedway

For a second year in a row the World of Outlaw Sprint cars invade River Cities Speedway. Last season the WoO show was nothing short of fantastic and drew an estimated 7,000 spectators, I have been told the Grand Forks show outdrew the Satruday night WoO race in Fargo, ND at Red River Valley Speedway. Look for local favorites Mark Dobmeier, Lou Kennedy and Wade Nygaard to also give the travelers a run for their money.

Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: River Cities Speedway

Ever since the 2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule was announced most of the drivers had Friday, June 27 circled on their calendars. That’s because the series will make their second consecutive visit to the blazing fast, high-banked, River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The track is one of just three tracks on the schedule where the drivers flirt with sub-10-second laps. The race will serve as the opener of the 2008 Gerdau Ameristeel Northern Tour, which will encompass four tracks in the state of North Dakota beginning this weekend and wrapping up in August.

Donny Schatz, the two-time defending Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws champion who hails from North Dakota, has one career win at River Cities Speedway, with that coming in 1995. He finished third in the World of Outlaws debut at the track last season. He currently leads the series with seven A-Feature wins, including in the series most recent event at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas. Schatz leads the championship standings by 55 markers over Jason Meyers, and is the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in all 22 events this season.

Jason Meyers has three career Top-10 finishes at River Cities Speedway, including a runner-up performance in 2000 in a World of Outlaws Gumout Series event at the track. The native of Clovis, California leads the series with 18 Top-Five finishes in 2008, as he continues to chase his first World of Outlaws title. He has won five A-Feature wins this season.

Craig Dollansky is a former winner at River Cities Speedway, taking the checkered flag in 2000 holding off Meyers in that World of Outlaws Gumout Series event. In three starts at the high-banked three-tenths mile, he has three finishes of eighth or better. The Minnesota native has four A-Feature wins this season, to go along with 21 Top-10 finishes in 22 starts. He is currently third in the championship point standings.

Joey Saldana turned in an impressive performance in his debut at River Cities Speedway last season. Having never seen the track until the afternoon of the race, he proceeded to set fast time in time trials, win a heat race, win the Crane Cams Dash and then win the A-Feature, leading all 40 laps. The second generation driver recently won his first event of the season at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas. He is fourth in points on the strength of 19 Top-10 finishes.

Jac Haudenschild won in his debut at River Cities Speedway in 1999, holding off fellow World of Outlaws driver Craig Dollansky for the triumph in weekly competition. In four career starts at the three-tenths mile track, he has four finishes of seventh or better, with three of those being in the Top-Three. He made a late charge on Saldana last season to make a bid for the win, coming up just inches short at the line in a photo finish that had the capacity crowd on their feet.
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