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Jason Meyers, Rick Eckert and Matt Sheppard Crowned Champions In Front of Sellout Crowd at the Fifth Annual World of Outlaws World Finals
Jason Meyers, Rick Eckert and Matt Sheppard were crowned champions in front of a sellout crowd Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, concluding the fifth annual Lowes Foods World of Outlaws World Finals presented by Tom’s Snacks, Coca-Cola and Nature’s Own. Donny Schatz, Jimmy Owens and Tim McCreadie were the evening’s A-Feature winners.
More than 14,000 fans filled the grandstands for the final night of the biggest event of the year at the lightning-fast, four-tenths-mile clay oval. Fans from 47 states and four foreign countries were in attendance to witness dirt racing's three premier divisions, the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds, end their seasons and crown their respective champions.
Schatz, of Fargo, N.D., drove around a strong-running Kerry Madsen with 8 laps to go to capture his second win of the weekend at The Dirt Track in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. It was an all-Madsen front row to start the race as Kerry and his brother Ian led the field to the green.
Kerry took the lead and Ian held on to second place until lap 12, when Schatz moved into second after starting fifth. Madsen led until lap 21, when the first caution flew for Jessica Zemken, who was stopped on the backstretch. The restart enabled Schatz to pull alongside and take the lead.
“I'm not known for smiling, but I'll smile like hell tonight,” said Schatz. “After a year we feel like we've had we wanted to win a championship, but Jason did a good job. It feels damn good.”
Schatz pulled away from the field, while Steve Kinser passed Madsen for second on lap 24. Kinser was closing when the caution flag flew again with one lap to go, for Ian Madsen stopped on the frontstretch. This created the opportunity for a green-white-checkered finish. When the checkered flag finally dropped, it was Schatz with the win, Kinser second, Craig Dollansky with third, Cody Darrah fourth, with Greg Hodnett rounding out the top five.
Jason Meyers had secured the championship before the race began, but Kinser and Schatz were involved in a battle for second. Schatz took the spot.
“Last year we were here and I couldn’t wait for the weekend to be over,” said Meyers. “I didn’t really get to enjoy it. I just wanted to hurry up and finish it and now we’re here this weekend with the championship locked up for the second year in a row and getting to enjoy it.
The eight-lap sprint car heat races were won by Ian Madsen; Craig Dollansky; Chad Kemenah; Cody Darrah and Danny Holtgraver.
Shane Stewart emerged victorious in the C-Feature. Ed Lynch Jr. led the field to the checkered flag in the B-Feature, while Ian Madsen claimed the win in the Sprint Car Dash to earn the pole position in Saturday’s A-Feature.
Eckert, of York, Penn., won his first World of Outlaws Late Model championship in one of the closest battles in dirt racing history against Josh Richards.
Going into the evening, Eckert held just a two point lead over Richards. The two engaged in a fierce battle in the middle of the field throughout the 50-lap feature. Richards and Eckert swapped positions multiple times and each were able to make it out with minimal damage after a large wreck occurred in front of the two on Lap 37.
On the restart Richards pulled away, putting three cars between them. It looked as though the Shinnston, W. Va., native would get his third consecutive championship, but a flat tire on the thirty-eighth lap blew Richards’ title hopes.
“We fought our car. We weren't very good all weekend and I've gotta thank Chris Madden,” said Eckert. “He came up there and said 'this is what I did to my car and it felt better,' so it was definitely better than what I had. This place was packed. That was great.”
At the front of the field, Owens took the lead away from pole sitter Jonathan Davenport on Lap 9 as Scott Bloomquist followed behind to take second away. Bloomquist and Owens traded the lead on lap 13, but Owens was able to get back by, leading the remainder of the race and claiming the win.
“My hat’s off to the crew for just putting us in some of the best equipment we could have,” said Owens. “It was phenomenal. To win it once is pretty cool, to win it twice was great, and to win it three times is just awesome.”
Bloomquist finished in second as Jonathan Davenport, Steve Shaver and Dennis Erb Jr. followed behind to complete the top five.
Davenport, Bloomquist, Steve Shaver, Will Vaught, John Blankenship and Owens won the 10-lap heat races for the late models, while Dale McDowell, Vic Coffey and Eckert topped the 12-lap late model B-Features.
Sheppard won his second consecutive championship in the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series. Entering the night with a 10-point lead over Billy Decker, Sheppard was able finish second in the 40-lap A-Feature to secure the title. The Waterloo, N.Y., native ended the season with four wins.
“It just went our way this weekend,” said Sheppard. “It was so close this year between the two of us. We were definitely happy to come out on top.”
Sheppard and Decker shared the front row at the start of the race, but it was Decker who was able to take the early lead. Decker would stay out front until Sheppard made a pass to the inside coming out of Turn 4, taking the top spot on Lap 11.
The battle for the top spot allowed McCreadie to close in as he moved past Decker to take the second position. He quickly made it to the rear of Sheppard’s modified and the two battled side-by-side, swapping the lead until McCreadie made the race-winning pass on the backstretch on lap 38.
“These guys are as good as it gets,” said McCreadie. “These guys beat me up for the six or seven years I ran in modifieds. That's why I ran good because of how hard these guys are to race with. You don't know how cool it is to race in front of a huge crowd like this.”
McCreadie’s victory was his second of the weekend as he was also Friday night’s A-Feature winner. Sheppard settled for second as Decker, Jimmy Phelps and Tim Fuller rounded out the top five.
Sheppard, McCreadie, Jimmy Phelps and Billy Decker were the evening’s eight-lap heat race winners.
The Lowes Foods World of Outlaws World Finals concludes the 2011 season at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. To purchase 2012 tickets, call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or go online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
Connect with The Dirt Track at Charlotte and stay up to speed on all the action at the clay oval on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheDirtTrackatCharlotte and by following on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thedirttrack.
World of Outlaws Sprint Cars
Heat Race 1 (8 laps): 1. Ian Madsen; 2. Donny Schatz; 3. Jason Meyers; 4. Brooke Tatnell; 5. Greg Hodnett; 6. Brad Sweet; 7. Justin Barger; 8. Justin Henderson; 9. Adam Wilt; 10. Pete Miller; 11. Daryn Pittman.
Heat Race 2 (8 laps): 1. Craig Dollansky; 2. Lucas Wolfe; 3. Tim Shaffer; 4. Fred Rahmer; 5. Shane Stewart; 6. Joey Saldana; 7. Wayne Johnson; 8. Sammy Swindell; 9. Jamie Collard; 10. Jessica Anderson; 11. Brad Wickam.
Heat Race 3 (8 laps): 1. Chad Kemenah; 2. Steve Kinser; 3. Jac Haudenschild; 4. Danny Lasoski; 5. Jason Sides; 6. Ed Lynch Jr.; 7. Brian Brown; 8. Bryan Sebbetto; 9. Lynton Jeffrey; 10. Bob Howard; 11. Ryan Myers.
Heat Race 4 (8 laps): 1. Cody Darrah; 2. Kraig Kinser; 3. Sam Hafertepe Jr.; 4. Dale Blaney; 5. Danny Smith; 6. Terry McCarl; 7. Chris Bell; 8. Caleb Helms; 9. Danny Mumaw; 10. Brian Elleberger; 11. Rick Fraley.
Heat Race 5 (8 laps): 1.Danny Holtgraver; 2. Kerry Madsen; 3. Paul McMahan; 4. Jessica Zemken; 5. David Gravel; 6. Cap Henry; 7. Sheldon Haudenschild; 8. Jimmy Stinson; 9. Davey Franek
D-Feature (8 laps): 1. Brian Brown; 2. Jessica Anderson; 3. Bob Howard; 4. Danny Mumaw; 5. Adam Wilt; 6. Rick Fraley; 7. Brad Wickam; 8. Chris Shirek.
Dash (6 Laps): 1. Ian Madsen; 2. Kerry Madsen; 3. Paul McMahan; 4. Steve Kinser; 5. Donny Schatz; 6. Jason Meyers; 7. Kraig Kinser; 8. Craig Dollansky; 9. Chad Kemenah; 10. Cody Darrah; 11. Lucas Wolfe; 12. Danny Holtgraver.
C-Feature (10 Laps): 1. Shane Stewart; 2. Jimmy Stinson; 3. Lynton Jeffrey; 4. Davey Franek; 5. Chris Bell; 6. Justin Barger; 7. Pete Miller; 8. Jamie Collard; 9. Jessica Anderson; 10. Terry McCarl; 11. Brian Brown.
DNF: Ryan Myers, Justin Henderson, Sheldon Haudenschild.
B-Feature (12 Laps): 1. Ed Lynch Jr.; 2. Greg Hodnett; 3. Daryn Pittman; 4. Sammy Swindell; 5. Joey Saldana; 6. Danny Smith; 7. Brad Sweet; 8. Brian Ellenberger; 9. David Gravel; 10. Jason Sides; 11. Wayne Johnson; 12. Shane Stewart; 13. Bryan Sebbetto; 14. Jimmy Stinson; 15. Caleb Helms; 16. Cap Henry.
A-Feature (31 Laps): 1. Donny Schatz; 2. Steve Kinser; 3. Craig Dollansky; 4. Cody Darrah; 5. Greg Hodnett; 6. Sammy Swindell; 7. Kerry Madsen; 8. Jason Meyers; 9. Kraig Kinser; 10. Chad Kemenah; 11. Paul McMahan; 12. Dale Blaney; 13. Sam Hafertepe Jr.; 14. Jac Haudenschild; 15. Lucas Wolfe; 16. Ed Lynch Jr.; 17. Brooke Tatnell; 18. Daryn Pittman; 19. Fred Rahmer; 20. Danny Holtgraver; 21. Ian Madsen; 22. Joey Saldana; 23. Jessica Zemken; 24. Tim Shaffer; 25. Danny Lasoski.
World of Outlaws Late Models
Heat Race 1 (10 laps): 1. Jonathan Davenport; 2. Eddie Carrier Jr.; 3. Chub Frank; 4. Dale McDowell; 5. Chris Brown; 6. Gregg Satterlee; 7. John Lobb; 8. Dan Stone; 9. Ron Davies; 10. Mike Gault; 11. Don Gordon.
Heat Race 2 (10 laps): 1. Scott Bloomquist; 2. Dennis Erb Jr.; 3. Tyler Reddick; 4. Jared Landers; 5. Darrell Lanigan; 6. Mike Marlar; 7. Brandon Sheppard; 8. Pat Doar; 9. Jason Feger; 10. Denny Fenton; 11. Jim O’Hara.
Heat Race 3 (10 laps): 1. Steve Shaver; 2. Shane Clanton; 3. Earl Pearson Jr.; 4. Rick Eckert; 5. Jeremy Miller; 6. Chris Ferguson; 7. Matt Westfall; 8. Tim Allen; 9. Luke Roffers; 10. Chuck Harper.
Did Not Start: Brian Hubbard.
Heat Race 4 (10 laps): 1. Will Vaught; 2. Dennis Franklin; 3. Morgan Bagley; 4. Vic Hill; 5. Russ King; 6. Kenny Moreland; 7. Dane Burns; 8. Dale Planck; 9. Donald Bradsher; 10. Tim Dohm; 11. Tim McCreadie.
Heat Race 5 (10 laps): 1. John Blankenship; 2. Steve Francis; 3. Josh Richards; 4. Chris Madden; 5. Austin Hubbard; 6. Jeff Smith; 7. Dan Schlieper; 8. Doug Drown; 9. Chad Hollenbeck; 10. Jill George.
Did Not Start: Brent Dixon.
Heat Race 6 (10 laps): 1. Jimmy Owens; 2. Clint Smith; 3. Tim Fuller; 4. Vic Coffey; 5. Jared Hawkins; 6. Johnny Pursley; 7. Jay Sessoms; 8. John Henderson; 9. Thomas Baker; 10. Brian Ledbetter.
Did Not Start: Eric Jacobsen.
B-Feature #1 (12 Laps): 1. Dale McDowell; 2. Darrell Lanigan; 3. Jason Feger; 4. Chris Brown; 5. Gregg Satterlee; 6. John Lobb; 7. Jared Landers; 8. Dan Stone; 9. Pat Doar; 10. Ron Davies; 11. Brandon Sheppard; 12. Mike Gault; 13. Denny Fenton; 14. Jim O'Hara; 15. Don Gordon; 16. Mike Marlar.
B-Feature #2 (12 Laps): 1. Rick Eckert; 2. Jeremy Miller; 3. Chris Ferguson; 4. Vic Hill; 5. Russ King; 6. Tim Allen; 7. Kenny Moreland; 8. Chuck Harper; 9. Matt Westfall; 10. Dale Planck; 11. Tim McCreadie; 12. Dane Burns; 13. Tim Dohm; DNS: Luke Roffers, Donald Bradsher, Brian Hubbard
B-Feature #3 (12 Laps): 1. Vic Coffey; 2. Chris Madden; 3. Austin Hubbard; 4. Jared Hawkins; 5. Dan Schlieper; 6. Doug Drown; 7. Jeff Smith; 8. John Henderson; 9. Jay Sessoms; 10. Chad Hollenbeck; 11. Jonny Pursley; 12. Brian Ledbetter; 13. Jill George.
Did Not Start: Thomas Baker, Brent Dixon, Eric Jacobsen.
A-Feature (50 Laps): 1. Jimmy Owens; 2. Scott Bloomquist; 3. Jonathan Davenport; 4. Steve Shaver; 5. Dennis Erb Jr.; 6. John Blankenship; 7. Chub Frank; 8. Darrell Lanigan; 9. Earl Pearson Jr.; 10. Eddie Carrier Jr.; 11. Will Vaught; 12. Rick Eckert; 13. Tyler Reddick; 14. Dennis Franklin; 15. Dale McDowell; 16. Vic Coffey; 17. Austin Hubbard; 18. Josh Richards; 19. Chris Madden; 20. Tim Fuller; 21. Morgan Bagley; 22. Shane Clanton; 23. Clint Smith; 24. Tim McCreadie; 25. Steve Francis; 26. Pat Doar; 27. Jeremy Miller; 28. Ron Davies.
Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds
Heat Race 1 (8 laps): 1. Matt Sheppard; 2. Pete Britten; 3. Danny Johnson; 4. Billy Pauch; 5. Rob Bellinger; 6. Tim Kerr.
Heat Race 2 (8 laps): 1. Tim McCreadie; 2. Justin Haers; 3. Rick Laubach; 4. Billy Dunn; 5. Kenny Tremont Jr.; 6. Matt DeLorenzo.
Heat Race 3 (8 laps): 1. Jimmy Phelps; 2. Tim Fuller; 3. Jimmy Horton; 4. Gary Tomkins; 5. Rich Scagliotta; 6. Carey Terrance; 7. Tim Currier; 8. Rex King Jr.
Heat Race 4 (8 laps): 1. Billy Decker; 2. Brett Hearn; 3. Jerry Higbie; 4. Larry Wight; 5. Tom Sears Jr.; 6. Dave Rauscher; 7. Randy Chrysler.
A-Feature (40 Laps): 1. Tim McCreadie; 2. Matt Sheppard; 3. Billy Decker; 4. Jimmy Phelps; 5. Tim Fuller; 6. Justin Haers; 7. Brett Hearn; 8. Pete Britten; 9. Gary Tomkins; 10. Larry Wight; 11. Danny Johnson; 12. Jimmy Horton; 13. Carey Terrance; 14. Kenny Tremont Jr.; 15. Billy Dunn; 16. Jerry Higbie; 17. Rick Laubach; 18. Tom Sears Jr.; 19. Billy Pauch; 20. Randy Chrysler; 21. Rob Bellinger; 22. Rich Scagliotta; 23. Tim Kerr; 24. Matt DeLorenzo; 25. Dave Rauscher; 26. Tim Currier; 27. Rex King Jr.; 28. Roger Chrysler.