Sharon race report 2005-06-03
Meyers Masters Mileage For World of Outlaws Sprint Series Victory at Sharon Speedway Hartford, OH -- June 3, 2005 -- In one of the most bizarre nights of racing the World of Outlaws Sprint Series has encountered this season, Jason Meyers outlasted ...
Meyers Masters Mileage For World of Outlaws Sprint Series Victory at Sharon Speedway
Hartford, OH -- June 3, 2005 -- In one of the most bizarre nights of racing the World of Outlaws Sprint Series has encountered this season, Jason Meyers outlasted a field that started with 47 cars Friday night at Sharon Speedway to claim his second victory of the season.
By the time Meyers captured his second checkered flag of the season, five cars in the main event either leading or challenging for the lead had mechanical trouble or ran out of fuel. And a sixth was dropped to the rear of the finishing order after failing to meet the minimum weight requirement of 1,375 pounds.
Starting fifth, Meyers left little doubt he would be in contention throughout the 40-lap feature. He picked up two spots in the first seven laps around the racy 3/8-mile oval and 10 laps in made a run at second-place Danny Lasoski when Lasoski's motor appeared to let go.
Meyers then took aim at Jason Sides, who won the Stacker 2® Dash and started on the pole for the first time this season. Sides led the first 17 laps and deftly held off Meyers as the action heated up behind him. Drivers raced two- and three-wide all over the track, with Paul McMahan, who started 12th, and Daryn Pittman, who started 24th, slicing through the field toward the front.
On the restart after a caution on Lap 17, Sides maintained his advantage by riding the cushion in Turns 1 and 2 as Meyers dove to the bottom. Then all of a sudden Meyers shot to the lead when it seemed as if the motor in Sides' machine went sour.
Once in front, Meyers tried to push the pace, but Joey Saldana, Kraig Kinser and Donny Schatz wouldn't disappear, with Kinser and Schatz racing side-by-side all around the track in a fight for third. Then suddenly Schatz went down with a mechanical problem and Shane Stewart slipped into the top four.
On the restart, Saldana powered past Meyers and into the lead off of Turn 4. He started to stretch his advantage to nearly 2 seconds over Meyers, Kinser and the two-car, side-by-side duel of McMahan and Stewart. But with only four laps to go, disaster once again struck the leader as Saldana ran out of fuel.
Meyers reclaimed the top spot after the caution flew for Saldana. With Meyers out front and trying to hold off Kinser, who is one position behind Meyers in the series standings, the green flag waved with three laps to go. Then unbelievably, Kinser's car slowed as it seemed like he was out of fuel, too, leaving Meyers ahead of Stewart, McMahan, Brooke Tatnell and Pittman.
Meyers controlled the final restart. He shot to the lead while McMahan tried to fend off Stewart. Then McMahan felt he was out of fuel as Stewart raced around him to claim second -- for the moment. By the time the cars rolled off the scale, Stewart's car had been disqualified and McMahan, Tatnell, Pittman and Dale Blaney rounded out the top-five.
Other drivers who made huge gains in the feature included Steve Kinser, who on his 51st birthday raced from 21st to sixth; Tim Shaffer, who improved from 20th on the grid to finish seventh; Craig Dollansky, who used a provisional to start 25th raced to eighth; and Tim Kaeding, who also used a provisional and started 27th but worked his way to an 11th-place finish.
"We came out and had a real good racecar and kind of got going towards the front at the beginning," said Meyers, a Mean 15 racer from Clovis, Calif., who now has eight top-fives and 20 top-10s in A-features this season. "I got ready to make a run on Lasoski and he blows a motor. I got ready to make a move on Sides and I'm assuming he blew a motor, too. We had a real good car that kept us up front. Joey got up in front of me there and I thought I was going to have to settle for second but then he had problems. Tonight's one of those nights when you don't wish anything bad on anyone else, but it sure shows a good crew and a good team when your stuff stays together.
"I think we're getting it together. We were consistently running in the top 10 now we're trying to be consistently in the top five. Nobody can be arrogant and say I'm going to go out and win the next five because there's a lot of great competition out here, but I think we've got a good team right now and we're running up front."
With Stewart light at the scales, McMahan wound up with the second-place finish he was closing on had he not run low on fuel.
"The air is bad so it takes more fuel to make the motors run," said McMahan, a Mean 15 racer from Nashville who finished in the top-five for the fifth time this season and the third time in the past week. "It might even be a full moon tonight, I don't know. It was just one of those nights. Forty laps on a racetrack and we had a few cautions there and you got to pour fuel in these motors to make them run.
"We were good. We had to change motors after the heat race and we just put in another Charlie Garrett powerplant and the thing ran as good as the rest of them. Right before the main event Dale Blaney came over and said this race will be won through the middle so I just put that in the back of my mind and ran 40 laps right on the bottom and went from 12th. I should have run second but I ran out of fuel and got passed by Shane and then he was too light at the scales which brought me back up to second so it's a good night for the Selma Shell team."
Tatnell was another driver who worked his way through traffic to wind up with a top-three finish, marking his fourth consecutive top-10 run.
"We started 14th and we had a strong car and kept working our way through," Tatnell said. "I wasn't taking any unnecessary chances, but I drove the wheels off it. I mean we've got no tires left. We went a little softer than a few of the guys, but I drove the car hard to get it to where it is."
Tatnell was aware other drivers were having troubles, but without knowing what their problems were, he tried to remain focused on running the feature on his terms.
"You don't know why they're dropping out," said Tatnell, of San Souci, New South Wales, Australia. "It could be motors, it could be anything so I don't really get too concerned about it. The biggest thing is that a couple dropped out in front of us, but we were right there the whole time. I guess the one guy I feel bad for is Shane Stewart. He made it, but didn't make weight."
Pittman continued to have a strong East Coast trip by posting yet another top-10. He's finished outside the top-10 only three times since the series invade Lernerville Speedway on May 20.
"Honestly, I think the past two weeks we've had one of the best racecars on the race track, we just have got the worst qualifying car on the racetrack," said Pittman, a native of Owasso, Okla. "We've done it night after night after night. We started in the back both nights at Williams Grove and got top 10s and at Hagerstown we were going to do the same thing when we got the flat tire. I'm happy that we're only complaining about two laps of our whole night rather than being good on two laps and terrible the rest. We just have to work on our qualifying effort."
Despite the engine, fuel and mechanical woes of several teams, Sharon Speedway was prepared for an exciting race. From hot laps to the main event, there was side-by-side racing at some point for nearly every position.
"It was very racy, and after watching the Dashes I didn't think it was going to be," Meyers said. "It stayed real racy. It's kind of nice to get to tracks like this. You've got a lot of money invested here and you've got a people with a lot of talent and it's fun to come to a place where you can showcase that rather than run around and follow each other.
"That's what sprint car racing is all about. You can do that at Knoxville, you can do it at Eldora, you can do it here at Sharon. That's a racetrack. When you can run in and put a slide job on a guy and he can turn back and go underneath you, that's racing. That's what people paid to see. That's when someone goes home at the end of the night as a fan and says that was a great race."
After two false starts in the Stacker 2® Dash, Joey Saldana and Jason Sides were bumped up to the front row, with Sides taking advantage by leading flag-to-flag to earn his first feature pole of the season. Finishing behind Sides were Saldana, Jason Meyers, Donny Schatz, Bob Felmlee and Jarrod Larson.
"This might help us out and get us back going in the right direction," said Sides, who added crew chief duties to his car after the series raced last week at Hagerstown. "This place is usually racy, and tonight it's really good. There's a top and a bottom and it's really, really wide. The Blaneys have done a really good job here."
In the second Dash, Danny Lasoski got the jump off the start and drove to the checkered flag in front of Dale Blaney, Kenny Jacobs, Shane Stewart, Jason Solwold and Paul McMahan.
In the B-main, Brooke Tatnell and Brian Paulus raced side-by-side for the first two laps before Tatnell edged to the front, giving Kraig Kinser an opening to slide into second. With Tatnell, Kinser and Paulus running away in the top three positions, Ed Lynch Jr., of Apollo, Pa., made a late surge on the cushion to race his way past Randy Hannagan and into the A-main. Craig Dollansky and Cody Geldart raced their way into the B-main by finishing first and second in the C-main.
After racing side-by-side in the first heat, Steve Kinser pulled in front of Donny Schatz and drove off to victory as Kenny Jacobs raced his way into second. Schatz wound up third, Joey Saldana was fourth and fast qualifier Bob Felmlee raced his was into the final transfer spot.
In the second heat, Paul McMahan grabbed the lead on the first lap off of Turn 2 and held off Tim Shaffer and Danny Lasoski. The race for the final transfer spot turned hot as Kraig Kinser and Shane Stewart exchanged positions three times on the fifth lap before the two got together at the flagstand, with Kinser spinning to the infield. Stewart wound up fourth with Sammy Swindell picking up the final transfer position.
In the third heat, Chad Kemenah started on the pole and ran away with a win as Jarrod Larson held off Daryn Pittman with Jason Meyers finishing fourth and Dale Blaney earning the final transfer spot.
In the fourth heat, Ryan Coniam raced past Travis Rilat off of Turn 4 on the fourth lap and held on to win ahead of Rilat. After racing side-by-side for the entire heat, Jason Solwold nipped Jason Sides at the finish for third and fourth with Rob Chaney sliding into the final transfer position.
Bob Felmlee, of Franklin, Pa., paced the 46-car field in time trials with a lap around the 3/8-mile oval in 13.146 seconds at 102.693 mph. Danny Lasoski established the single-lap record of 12.844 seconds on July 30, 2003.
"It's unbelievable," said Felmlee, who won last week at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pa. "It was just awesome in qualifying and it was good last week for us. I hope we continue."
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series heads Saturday to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, before racing June 9 at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich., and June 11 at Sheboygan County Fair Park in Plymouth, Wis.
At 8 p.m. ET on June 8, The Outdoor Channel will broadcast all the action from last Thursday and Friday's race at Williams Grove. The race Wednesday from Rolling Wheels Raceway Park will air on The Outdoor Channel at 8 p.m. on June 15.