“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.
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.”
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.