Thursday, November 15, 2007

LUCAS WOLFE TURNS OUTLAW


Thursday, November 15, 2007

BY JERRY REIGLE of The Patriot-News


Lucas Wolfe is handing in his Pennsylvania Posse membership card for one with the World of Outlaws.


Wolfe, 21, said Wednesday his plans for next season will include a full tour with the professional sprint car series.


"There is a lot of truth that you can stay in this area and make a career driving sprint cars," the Mechanicsburg driver said. "This opportunity came up to travel with the World of Outlaws, and I don't know if I'll get another opportunity like it again."
Thus, Wolfe is hitting the road.


Car owners Jim and Laura Allebach will field the car and Wolfe's father, Randy, a former driver and multiple track champion, is the crew chief. The key to the decision was the addition of Rick Kaylor and Jesse and Lorraine Keen.

Kaylor and the Keens joined the team as major suppliers of transportation, engines, frames and marketing support.


"We pretty much got everyone together, and we talked about things," Wolfe said. "Once the year ended, everyone involved decided they wanted to do this."
The World of Outlaws season starts in early February at Volusia Speedway Park near Daytona Beach, Fla. The series is scheduled to visit Williams Grove Speedway in May, with return visits in July and September.


Traveling and racing professionally are nothing new for Wolfe. He attended more than 100 races this year, although 90 percent of those were at midstate tracks.


Wolfe won 10 features this year, including several high-dollar shows, the Kasey Kahne Foundation 360 Sprint Car race at Williams Grove and the Old Spice Summer Sizzler at Eldora Speedway. He became the youngest driver to win the Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speed Week title when he clinched it in early July at Selinsgrove Speedway. He was 20 at the time.
"This will put us on a different stage for other people to take notice," Wolfe said. "It is a top-level deal, and it is good for the experience and notoriety."


In 2006, Wolfe drove on the National Sprint Tour for three months. The series, which was designed to compete with the World of Outlaws, folded after the 2006 campaign.
The Outlaws have the biggest names in sprint car racing. Steve Kinser returned last season, as did Danny Lasoski and a few others to join series regulars like Donny Schatz, Craig Dollansky and Joey Saldana.


Several NASCAR drivers, including Kahne and Tony Stewart, field World of Outlaws cars. Stewart owns cars that will be driven by Schatz and Kraig Kinser. Kahne owns one piloted by Joey Saldana and is expected to add a second car for the 2009 season.


The Allebach family has supported Wolfe since he moved into the 600 cc micro sprint class in 2001. Wolfe won 90 quarter midget races in eight years prior to racing micro sprints. He won 14 micro sprint races and made the move to sprint cars in 2003.
He's won 17 races since and has become a local favorite.


Jesse Keen and his brother, Bill, owned a sprint car that Randy Wolfe drove from 1982 through 1988.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Danny Smith to Compete Full-Time with World of Outlaws in 2008


Concord, NC—November 4, 2007--By: Tony Veneziano, World of Outlaws PR Director
Danny Smith announced during a gathering on Saturday at the National Speed Sport News offices in Concord, North Carolina, that he will compete full-time with the World of Outlaws in 2008. It will mark the first time in over 20 years that he will contest the entire World of Outlaws schedule.


Smith, one of the original "Outlaws" finished eighth in points in the series inaugural season of 1978. He won his first A-Feature event with the World of Outlaws in 1980. One of the biggest wins of his career was the 1985 Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California. He has eight career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws.
Smith will drive for Jeff Schrader from Beaver, Ohio, with Cale Powers turning the wrenches. The team will utilize Maxim race cars.


"I'm pretty excited for it," said Smith. "It's been a number of years since we have done the full tour. I have been on the road my entire life, so that is nothing new. I'm looking forward to running the full Outlaws schedule."


Smith began racing in 1974 at the age of 16 in Central Indiana. He was the co-winner of the famed Little 500 at Anderson Speedway in Indiana in 1978. In 1980, he drove the famed Kenny Rogers Gambler car with the World of Outlaws, finishing eighth in points. In his career, he has finished in the Top-10 in World of Outlaws championship standings six times, with a career-best finish of sixth in 1981.


Smith will visit a number of tracks next season that he has not competed at for many years, in addition to many of the tracks in the Midwest where he cut his teeth racing.
"There is really no home track advantage anymore," he noted. "Guys have been racing all across the country for so many years and can adapt to the track. Some of the tracks when we get there that I haven't been to for a while, I will probably remember where the restrooms and concession stands are, but that's about it. There are probably four, five or six tracks that I have not been to, and I look forward to going to those as well."


For Schrader, this will be his first foray into ownership of a winged 410-sprint car. The team will also have longtime racer and West Virginia native K.C. Spurlock helping out, by providing the truck and trailer for the team to use.


"I'm excited," said Schrader. "It took me 51 years to get this dream to come true and now it has. That is what we are going to call it, 'The Dream Tour.' Danny said that it has always been his dream to get back in with the Outlaws as well. We will have a dream come true in 2008."
Smith was one of the first American-born drivers to compete in Australia during the off-season, and is a six-time winner of the Warnabool Classic, one of the most prestigious races in Australia. He has a loyal legion of fans "Down Under" and also from coast-to-coast in the United States.
"I am one of the original Outlaws, so with it being their 30th anniversary that will be pretty cool," he noted. "We have some special paints schemes for the Knoxville Nationals and it will bring back some good memories. It should be a good fun year."


In his career, Smith has over 300 feature wins in winged and non-winged sprint cars. He was the 1976 track champion at Champaign Speedway in Illinois and the 1977 track champion at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Indiana. He was the 2003 Great Lakes Outlaw Sprint Series (GLOSS) champion. He has won races with numerous sanctioning bodies across the country, including: the NCRA (National Championship Racing Association, IRA (Interstate Racing Association), and USAC (the United States Automobile Club).


Schrader, who grew up in the Midwest always was a fan of Smith, and saw him compete on numerous tracks, but never met him until this year at sprint car racing's biggest event, the Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa.
"He is an awesome driver," said Schrader. "I remember watching him clear back when he was in the Kenny Rogers Gambler car. Danny has always impressed me. I had never known him personally until a friend of mine introduced us and we just kind of clicked at Knoxville. He is a good person to be with, and he has a lot of experience and that helps a lot as well."
This past season, Smith won the owner's title with the All Star Circuit of Champions while finishing second in points. He finished in the Top-Five in points with the All Stars in each of the past four seasons, including three runner-up finishes over that course of time.


"This year was a really good year," said the veteran driver. "We got my personal life on track and everything ironed out. We were focused on what we were doing and won a couple of All Star (Circuit of Champions) races and 10 open competition shows. It was a good year to get things going and that is some good momentum heading into the season with the Outlaws and you need that racing with them."


With the level of competition at an all-time high with the World of Outlaws in 2007, Smith expects it to be just as tough next season. He looks to take it one race at a time and use his experience at a number of tracks that the World of Outlaws visit to establish a good foundation for the 2008 season, which currently has 92 events on the schedule.


"The goal never changes, no matter what series you are in, and that is to win every night," Smith said. "You can't win them all, and that is pretty obvious. We want to have a good consistent season and if we are not up there winning races, we want to be in the Top-Five and Top-10. We hope to get up there in the points as far as we can and put on a good show."


The 2008 World of Outlaws season opens with the 37th Annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park from February 8-10.

R19 Announces Changes for 2008


Although most of the key ingredients will remain in place, two significant changes are on the horizon for the R19's 2008 assault on the World of Outlaw's campaign. The team has announced the appointment of veteran Jac Haudenschild as their new driver, efective immediately following the conclusion of this weekend's season-ending action at Charlotte. In addition, the car will now be known as the Owens Corning City Wide Insulation R19. Owens Corning, a leading innovator in fiberglass insulation technology and a Fortune 500 company for 50 plus years, has pledged considerable financial support and their role as our primary sponsor will be a welcome and essential addition to the team's commitment to excellence. The iconic Owens Corning Pink Panther trademark and familiar flames with black and orange color scheme will remain essentially the same, as will the utilization of Maxim chassis and Cappetta power. Leonard Lee will remain in his role as crew chief and reports that the R19 will begin the '08 season with ten new cars and six motors. Marie Lapointe, who wears so many hats it would be impossible to assign her a title, will also continue as the team's multi-tasking unsung hero.


Speaking on behalf of the team, Lee had this to say about their new driver: "It is a real privilege to have the opportunity to work with one of my all-time heroes in the sprint car industry. Jac comes to race every night and I consider him to be one of the premiere racers of the modern era." Haudenschild has over 350 sprint car wins in a career that dates back to 1974. Included among the many highlights of his sterling 34 years in the business are his $100,000 payday at the first ever Historical Big One at Eldora in 1993 and the distinction of having pocketed the largest paycheck in sprint car history when he banked $200,000 at the Mopar Million in '03. Jac and his wife Patty have three children, Justin, Raquel and Sheldon and continue to reside in Wooster, Ohio. When asked about these changes for next year, Jac replied "I am thrilled at the thought of driving for the Owens Corning team and am looking forward to an exciting year".
Lon Carnahan has also announced that Justin Henderson will be the driver behind the wheel of the IDI , BG Automotive, City Wide R19 for the "Outlaws Downunder" event scheduled for January 17-19 of 2008. As you may well know Justin Henderson is no stranger to the Owens Corning R19. Justin did a great job driving for Carnahan Motorsports for 2 years in the Mid-West before launching his own World of Outlaws career. "Knowing that Jac would be unable to attend the event due to scheduling with his son Sheldon's racing, it was an easy choice for me to go with Justin. I wanted the driver for this event to be from South Dakota as he has always been one of the favorites of our Sioux Falls City Wide Insulation location" says Lon Carnahan owner of the R19 machine.


This might also be a good time to clear up a mystery that seems to follow us wherever we go. People often ask, "What is the significance of the car number R19?" In the world of insulation, "R" stands for resistance. The number next to the letter, in this case "19," represents the degree of resistance to heat and moisture. Fittingly, R19 would imply a high degree of resistance and thus, a product of high quality excellence.


A special thanks goes out to Jason Solwold for the wonderful job he has done for the past 4 seasons. Everyone at Carnahan Motorsports wishes him the best of luck in the future.
As always, we'll see you at the races.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

PRE-SEASON RACE APPAREL SALE!


CONTACT DJ JOHNSON AT DJ@classicimp.com

MERCER RELEASES DETAILS ON “CHILLER THRILLER”



MERCER RELEASES DETAILS ON “CHILLER THRILLER” 2008 SEASON OPENER; MARCH 29 RACE TO INCLUDE STEEL-BLOCK LATE MODELS FOR $2,000, OPEN STOCKS FOR $1,000 PLUS MINI STOCKS
By Mike Leone

November 3, 2007 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mercer, PA…Following the inaugural “Crashing Through The Snow” on January 5, Mercer Raceway Park will officially open the 57th anniversary season on Saturday, March 29 with the running of the “Chiller Thriller”. The event will have a new twist and change of line-up as the Steel-Block Late Models will highlight the show and will be joined by the Stock Cars and Mini Stocks. A fourth division may be added. The rain date will be the following Saturday, April 5. If the event is completed, April 5 will be the first regular show.
“Due to the change in this event we wanted to get the info out early to the public,” explained owner Vicki Emig. “Many drivers don’t get their cars ready until later on, but with this early announcement and the substantial payoffs for this event we feel this will give drivers the incentive to get ready for March 29.”
Though the “Steel-Blocks” will be the division name, the event will encompass all non-super/open Late Model divisions throughout the region and more importantly will be a great test for the new FASTRAK Late Models, which will appear weekly at Mercer in 2008. The 30-lap feature will pay $2,000 to-win. A complete payoff will be released in the future.
“These Late Models are really catching on at tracks all across the region,” stated Emig. “The competitiveness and quantity of cars has been impressive especially this past season at places like Challenger and Central PA. With falling car counts at our Super Late Model events over the past few seasons, we felt the need to change the format of this event. It’s going to give our FASTRAK racers a chance to test before their season starts officially and the opportunity to compete for a large purse right off the bat.”
Though the Stock Car division will not be on the weekly card at Mercer in 2008, they will again be participating in the “Chiller Thriller” using the open competition “Little Guy Nationals” rules. The 25-lap feature will pay $1,000 to-win. A complete payoff will be released in the future.
“The Little Guy Nationals is one of our favorite events that the Stock Car guys always support and appreciate,” explained Emig. “We decided to bump up this show from $500 to-win to $1,000 to-win giving guys incentive to travel in when there are no other races going on throughout the region. We hate the fact that we had to drop the Stocks from our weekly card, but this is one way to give regional racers the opportunity and incentive to come and race with us.”
The ever-growing Mini Stock division will be the third division part of the season opening “Chiller Thriller”. Their 15-lap feature will pay $150 to-win. Started with just one car on opening night in 2007, the Mini Stocks ended the season strong with 27 cars participating in the final event and more than 40 cars throughout the season.
“We’re thrilled with the growth of the Mini Stocks,” stated Emig. “They are an affordable, fun class that continues to draw interest taking racing back to its earlier roots. With their great support last season, we decided to add them to this show and give them a good paying event to start the season.”
A fourth division is under consideration, specifically the E-Mod class. The E-Mods have been part of past “Chiller Thrillers”. The proposed 20-lap feature would pay $500 to-win if there is enough interest to get a full field of cars. Mercer Raceway Park is asking for input from E-Mod racers if they want to compete in this event to contact our office either via phone at 724-9649-9300 or e-mail us at webmaster@mercerracewaypark.com.
Mercer Raceway Park held its first auto race on July 26, 1951 and is located minutes from both Interstate 79 and 80 just off Route 19 on Fairground Road in Mercer, Pa. Dirt track racing and quality family entertainment are presented weekly late March through September. The office in New Bedford, Pa. is open year-round Monday through Friday late mornings and after 1:30 p.m. For more information call the office at 724-964-9300 or the track on race day at 724-662-1310. Check out our website at www.mercerracewaypark.com for the latest.