Champions of Character: Elite Racing Captures Back-to-Back World of Outlaws titles
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Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. A victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character” (T. Alan Armstrong). A season that encompasses ten months of racing action can be very grueling. Jason Meyers and his Elite Racing team may have not been a favorite to take back-to-back titles after the first five months of racing action, but they used that time to grow stronger. Then in July, the hours of work the team had put in became apparent. During those final five months is when the victories came and the true character of the team showed. Through togetherness and hard work, this weekend Meyers became just the fourth driver in World of Outlaws history to win back-to-back titles.  

 

RESULTS
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QUALIFIED 4
HEAT 2
DASH 4
START MAIN 4
FINISH MAIN 3
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World Finals Night – 1

 

After qualifying on Thursday, Meyers and his Elite Racing crew were ready to take on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Looking to break the three-way tie for having the most wins this season, the 2011 Champion began the feature in the fourth position. When the green flag was unfurled, Meyers quickly made his move in the #14 GLR Investments KPC sliding under Craig Dollansky on Lap 1 using the top line.

 

The first caution flag flew just as the first lap was scored. On the restart, the newly crowned champion fell back one position before the second disruption in racing action on Lap 5. On the ensuing restart, Meyers made himself at home in the top line. Sammy Swindell slid under Meyers using the bottom line.

 

With 10 laps in, Meyers was running in the fifth position and was tracking down Dollansky again. The two waged quite a battle with both of them getting around Greg Hodnett during their drive for position. Another disruption in racing action happened on Lap 17.  

 

On the restart, Meyers felt some heat from Sam Hafertepe Jr. as Meyers stuck to the bottom of the track and Hafertepe the top. Their battle would be disrupted with just two laps to go, setting up a green-white-checkered finish. Meyers took advantage of the restart, powering around Dollanksy to finish in the 3rd position.  

 

“The outside was the place to be,” explained Meyers. “Craig and I had a great battle going and kept swapping the spot back and forth for awhile. We did really well here last year when we won both races but something felt like it was missing tonight. I searched around to find a spot that would help me pick up some time and I did for awhile. Eventually Donny found it as well and was awesome around it so there wasn’t much we could do. We did our best to put the GLR Investments, DDNi, MediaTile, Allstar Performance, KPC in a good position, but came up a little short.”

RESULTS
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QUALIFIED 1
HEAT 3
DASH 6
START MAIN 6
FINISH MAIN 8
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World Finals Night – 2

 

The night before, Meyers had established that he would lead the series in 2011 in speed. After capturing his 12th quick time of the season, Meyers was ready for the final night of racing. After the dash, Meyers was lined up 6th at the start of the feature event. At the drop of the green flag, Meyers was up to the 4th position by the time he exited Turn 2. At that point, Donny Schatz was on the tail of the #14 DDNi KPC. The two battled, exchanging lines for several laps until Schatz got the upper hand on Lap 8.

 

Then Meyers had another customer that wanted his position in the form of Dollansky. The two fought for several laps before Dollansky edged ahead, but then a few laps later he jumped the cushion and the Californian retook the position. Then Cody Darrah closed and began working on Meyers. Just before the first yellow flag flew on Lap 21, Meyers stepped back to 6th.

On the restart, the battle began again as Meyers tried to get under Darrah. As the two battled, Ian Madsen and Greg Hodnett closed on Meyers. The three would drag race three-wide down the back stretch for the 6th position. Meyers slowed to avoid contact and ended up dropping back to the 8th position.

 

The final yellow flag flew when Ian Madsen slowed on track. The 2011 Champion restarted 7th, but during the green-white-checkered finish Sammy Swindell snuck around Meyers. As a result, the Californian finished 8th while Donny Schatz went on to sweep the racing weekend.           

 

A Night of Champions

 

With the 2011 World of Outlaws racing season in the history books, there was only one thing left to do – Celebrate. The evening kicked off with the 4 Wide Weekly Driver of the Year Award which was awarded to the top performing driver in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car and Late Model Series. Meyers was revealed as the winner. While on stage, Bob Baker from the Sprint Car Hall of Fame joined Meyers and awarded the two-time champion with his 2010 410 Driver of the Year Award.

 

After dinner, the awards kept on coming. First up was Chassis Builder of 2011 which went to Steve Kent who produces the 2011 Champion’s award winning KPC Chassis.  

 

“Steve Kent is truly a great individual, family man, and one heck of a chassis builder,” Meyers stated. “He is wonderful to work with, so on his behalf I accept this award.”

 

The two-time champion stuck around the stage as he was also awarded the VP Fuel Award, which will keep the #14 Media Tile KPC running in 2012. Next up was the Crew Chief of the year award which went to Elite Racing’s Brian Bloomfield who took the reins early in the 2011 season.

 

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“First I would like to thank my incredible wife Lindsay for putting up with me being gone all the time,” the 2011 Crew Chief of the Year stated. “Jason (Meyers), Chris (Luck), and Guy (Stockbridge), thank you for this opportunity. Shane (Bowers) and Sam (Mathews) I would not be up here without your hard work and dedication. Thank you.”

 

Then there was only one award left – The 2011 World of Outlaws Champion’s Award, which not only comes with a trophy and a ring but also earned the team $150,000 in prize money.   

 

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“I toiled a lot tonight with my words, because I did not want it to be just another speech,” explained the 2011 Champion as he took the podium. “First congratulations to Brian Bloomfield. By far you are one of the most incredible people I have had an honor of working with and I do not mean just as a crew chief. We talk about this when you are out here working and you are in a position where you have to give others orders. You usually do not want to become too close to them, but we truly have an organization that has become family and friends. It is an honor to work with all of the guys – Shane (Bowers), Sam (Mathews), Rene North, Scott Hoofnagle, Charlie Garrett, who is not here but those 12 quick times are because of his horsepower, and Kelly Brown.”

 

“My mom is here tonight and she did not get to be here last year. I thank you for all the sacrifices you made over the years to put us where we are today. Everyone on this team would not have a chance to do this if it was not for your sacrifices. Guy, (Stockbridge) thank you again for taking a chance on me. Chris (Luck) you have meant so much to this team and have been a great partner, a great guy to work with, and a mentor to all of us. You have worked hard to give us the tools we need. You are not just a partner or a car owner, but a friend to us all. You help make this a great family team. This team has a great family atmosphere and it is not because we win races. It is about the people who are in your life and who you surround yourself with. We truly have a great group of people.”

 

“For me I would like to honor some unsung heroes of our team,” stated team co-owner Chris Luck. “The true heroes of our team are Robyn Meyers, Lindsay Bloomfield, Stacy Bowers, Jerry and Lois Perry, Cara Mathews, Kelly Brown, and Rene North, the guy that co-founded one of our software companies. He was once a Formula 1 guy, but now is Chief Operating Officer of Elite Racing and everyone knows that takes priority over everything there. Guy and Karlei Stockbridge we would not be here today if you had not founded the team. Jason tonight everyone has talked about you — How great of a qualifier you are, consistent finisher, and this and that. But you are a great leader, a great partner and a smart guy. You have helped to assemble this great group of people.”