While the rest of the Nation is celebrating Independence Day, Jason Meyers and his Elite Racing team were attempting to declare their independence from the winless streak they have been faced with. During the Duel in Dodge City, Meyers came very close to achieving this goal, but came a few spots from it. With two pole positions and two podium finishes at Dodge City Raceway Park the 2010 Champion closed within 11 points of the points lead.
Friday: Getting close
On the first night of racing action in Dodge City, Meyers timed in 8th during qualifying. He then went on to place second in his heat to secure a starting spot in the dash. Meyers went out and won the dash and as a result secured the pole position.
Starting on the pole beside Sammy Swindell, Meyers used the bottom line to take the lead on the backstretch and led the first lap. Swindell was all over the 2010 Champion in the early laps of the feature using the cushion to propel himself. Meyers held on, but Swindell was switching lines trying to find the fastest way around the track. Swindell first tried to get under Meyers, but the Champion closed the door.
On Lap 5, Swindell tried again. With a slide job the veteran was able to take the lead away from Meyers. With the top-3 breaking away from the pack, the Californian now had Jason Sides to contend with. Meyers kept his #14 GLR Investments KPC on the bottom and was able to gain on the #1 car.
At the half-way point of the 30-lap contest, Meyers had closed within a second of the leader while in traffic. Craig Dollansky joined the fray on Lap 20 and attempted to get on the outside of Meyers, but was denied. Three laps later the first caution flag of the night flew.
On the restart, there were just 7 laps to go and three cars contending for the victory. Meyers restarted on the bottom, but Dollansky was able to make the top work for his car and made the pass on the Californian. With 3 laps to go the final caution flag waved.
Restarting on the bottom, the 2010 Champion defended his 3rd place running spot in his #14 DDNi KPC. In the final laps, Dollansky was able to get past Swindell to take the victory. Meyers held on to his 3rd place running spot to score his 13th top-5 finish of the season.
“We were really good tonight,” explained Meyers. “I just was not as good as Sammy was. I am not going to complain about this finish, but I am extremely disappointed. I am not sure what happened, but we missed it just a little bit for the feature. We put on a harder tire and it did not react how we wanted it to. Maybe that was the difference. My guys are working so hard each and every day. I feel bad because we were so close to breaking our winless streak tonight. I know everyone home listening was hoping it would come tonight. We will come back tomorrow night. We ran really well tonight, so we will take what we learned and apply it tomorrow.”
Saturday: A closer call
The second night of racing at Dodge City Raceway Park started a lot like the previous evening. Meyers qualified one spot better in 7th. He then went on to finish second in his heat to transfer into the dash and then went on to win it. With the pole position the second night in a row, Meyers was poised to end his winless streak.
On the start of the second 30-Lap feature of the weekend, Meyers claimed the top spot on the bottom to lead lap 1. It did not take long, before Meyers started working traffic. The first pause in racing action came on Lap 6.
On the restart, Meyers chose the inside line. Meyers and second place running Jason Sides broke away from the pack by a ½ a straight-a-way. The two quickly encountered lapped traffic. As they did, Sides was able to close on Meyers. On Lap 13, is when traffic affected the duo. The 2010 Champion got held up by a lapped car and that is what allowed Sides to take the lead. Meyers kept pursing the 7s in his #14 Allstar Performance KPC, but Sammy Swindell was also closing in.
On Lap 21, the second yellow flag of the race came out setting up a 9 lap dash for the victory. Restarting on the outside, Meyers quickly switched back to the low line to defend his position from Swindell. In traffic, Meyers was able to close on the 7s of Sides. With the white flag waving, the Champion had tracked down Sides, but one lap was not enough to allow him to make his move. Sides took the victory with Meyers finishing 2nd. The Californian scored his 14th top-5 finish of the season and also closed within 11 points of the points lead with his finish. Meyers also leads the series in Top-10 finishes with 22 this season.
“The track was a little difficult tonight,” Meyers stated. “It was hard to get a hold of. Track position was very important. My guys have been working their tails off and it is nights like tonight that make me feel bad that I was not able to get them in victory lane. Tonight Jason (Sides) was good, but if I had not made that mistake, he would have not gotten by me. I feel terrible because I feel like I gave away our first win of the season tonight. It is going to be a long drive home, but this is all part of it. I have great guys who are behind me each and every day. I know they will work just as hard this week and that is what makes us the team that we are. DDNi, MediaTile, GLR Investments, and everyone who is behind us is at home listening. My wife, Robyn and kids are coming out next week and everyone keeps telling me that when they get out here is when we will win that race. They are coming out on Thursday, so hopefully we will get it done next weekend. “
Next weekend the Elite Racing team will be traveling to the Badger State to duel at two different tracks. On Friday night July 8, Meyers will be contending for the victory at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wisconsin. At the Northern Wisconsin track, Meyers has finished second 4 times in the last 5 years. In 9 starts, Meyers has an average finish of 5th at Cedar Lake. Then on Saturday July 9, the team will be traveling south to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. At Beaver Dame Raceway, Meyers has 10 starts which includes 7 top-10 finishes. The Champion has two 2nd place finishes at the track, but like Cedar Lake he has not won there. With an average finish of 7th in Beaver Dam, this weekend could be the one that breaks the streak.