Mooresville-Based Kasey Kahne Racing Hopes for Home-Field Advantage in the May 25 Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte
Mooresville, N.C. has long been known as Race City USA for NASCAR race teams and suppliers, but when it comes to World of Outlaws Sprint Car teams, most are based in Indiana. One team, however, is based in the heart of NASCAR country, just miles down the road from The Dirt Track at Charlotte, which will host the Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown on May 25.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star and former USAC Midget champion, Kasey Kahne, formed Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR) in 2005 and four years later opened a 26,000-square-foot sprint car shop. Located only a few miles off of exit 36 on Interstate 77 in Mooresville, KKR is home to some of the best and brightest minds sprint car racing has to offer. Twice a year, when the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series makes a return to the lightning-fast, four-tenths-mile clay oval, it’s a home game for KKR.
The team currently fields full-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series teams for drivers Joey Saldana and Cody Darrah, as well as a third part-time team for Brad Sweet. There’s also a car for Kahne to drive when his schedule permits.
“I guess you could say it’s a family-like atmosphere at KKR,” said Justin Adams, KKR’s general manager and Darrah’s crew chief. “We just kind of started as a little sprint car team and we’ve built it into two Outlaw teams that travel all the time and another Outlaw team that travels part time. There have been bumps along the road and there have been very big highs and very big lows.”
While the positives of the team’s location outweigh the negatives, there have been some challenges associated with not being in the same location as many sprint car racing teams.
“The negative to being located in North Carolina is that it’s not really centrally located for sprint car racing, so we end up having to do a lot of driving,” said Adams. “But, the positive side to that is working with Kasey Kahne; he takes really good care of us. We’re able to have an extra guy around that can help us drive the trucks and things like that. Overall, it’s really positive working down here.”
With a solid foundation built by their owner, KKR teams continue to be contenders each and every night they compete on the World of Outlaws circuit. In 2011 alone, KKR won 10 World of Outlaws features.
KKR has seen success at their home track in Charlotte in the past. In 2009, Saldana won the Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown as well as the World of Outlaws World Finals night two feature on his way to 20 feature victories and a third place points finish. Darrah, in just his second full season with KKR, has two career victories with a best Dirt Track at Charlotte finish of fourth place in the second night of the 2011 World of Outlaws World Finals.
KKR continues to become one of the top teams in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and will set its sights on Victory Lane at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Reserved seats to the Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown are just $25 for adults and $10 for children 13 and under. For just $15, fans 14 and older can upgrade their ticket to include a pit pass. Spectator gates open at 4 p.m.
An autograph session with the drivers of the World of Outlaws including KKR’s Cody Darrah and Joey Saldana will take place from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. on the main concourse. The first 1,000 fans to present a NOS Energy Drink from Circle K at the gate for the autograph party will receive a free limited-edition commemorative poster. Opening ceremonies begin at 7 p.m.
For more information or to purchase 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.