“Make your life a mission—not an intermission.” This weekend the 2010 World of Outlaws Champion was a man on a mission. After years of stress and trying, Jason Meyers can finally check two of his biggest goals off his check list. The first item is a win at the famed Williams Grove Speedway and the second is winning a race during the “Month of Money.” Not only was he able to accomplish two of those goals, but at the halfway point of 2011, the Elite Racing team found themselves in the point lead. As a result the team took home $10,000 thanks to the Goodyear Midseason Award. Add the $20,000 from winning the Summer Nationals finale, and it was no doubt a profitable weekend for the whole Elite Racing team.
“It’s really neat to have a company like Goodyear step up and support our series like they have,” said Meyers, who has had to work hard to reach the top of the standings after a slow start. “We ran second in this (Midseason) deal last year so it’s nice to come back and win it. It’s pretty exciting with the start of the season that we had to be in this position. I’ve never led the points midway through the season. I think we were about 100 points back last year and won the title.”
Lessons Learned at Lernerville
The Don Martin Classic at Lernerville Speedway means one thing – two features. The night began with Meyers qualifying 10th in his GLR Investments KPC, before winning his heat race and finishing third in the dash. For the first feature, Meyers started 3rd and had to go to work instantly as Donny Schatz was all over his bumper when the green flag flew.
Schatz was able to get under Meyers, but the fight was not over as the two continued to exchange slide jobs in almost every corner. Eventually Schatz was able to get the edge and Meyers began defending first running position from Tim Shaffer. The Pennsylvania native was able to get by and when the first yellow banner flew, Meyers was in 6th.
On the restart, the California champion moved back into the top-5, but then two laps later there was another pause in the racing action. When racing action resumed, Meyers lost a position to Danny Lasoski. With 3 laps to go, Meyers caught back up with Schatz. This time the 2010 Champion was able to steal the position back from him. At the end of the first Feature, Meyers finished 5th and Dale Blaney went on to Victory Lane.
Sprinting for the Silver Cup
The second feature at Lernervillle Speedway was a special event, so there were no points awarded. The cars finishing on the lead lap were inverted. As a result, Meyers started the second feature in the 14th position.
The second 30-lap feature saw both the red and yellow flag flown several times. Throughout all the disruptions in racing action, Meyers steadily moved up through the field in his #14 DDNi KPC. By the time the 5th one flew on Lap 12, Meyers was in the 8th position. On the ensuing restart, the champion pounced and moved into the top-5.
With laps winding down Meyers kept climbing to the front getting past both Schatz and Paul McMahan. With two laps to go, Meyers was in the 3rd position and was tracking down Steve Kinser to try to take second. The 2010 Champion would run out of laps, and both the victory and the Silver Cup went to Tim Shaffer.
With record breaking temperatures, there were some real “hot laps” run at Williams Grove this weekend. On night one, the 2010 Champion timed in 7th and transferred into the feature by finishing 3rd in his heat race. For the feature he was lined up in 12th when the green flag flew.
On the start, Meyers quickly began to pick up positions in his #14 MediaTile KPC. By the time the first caution flag of the race came out on Lap 3, he was in 9th and was charging to the front. On the restart, Meyers moved up to the 8th position. Meyers battled for position with PA Posse drivers like Fred Rahmer and Brian Montieth. In a night that was plagued with yellow and red flags, Meyers found himself caught up in one.
On Lap 16, on a restart Meyers was involved in a multi-car pile-up. The #14 DDNi KPC had minimal damage and after a quick trip to the work area and a few repairs by the Elite Racing crew, Meyers was back on track. Meyers restarted 21st and was able to move up to 19th before the checkered flag flew.
The Morgan Cup Goes to the Outlaws
After the Friday night feature at Williams Grove, Meyers had a second race to run and it was for the Morgan Cup. The Morgan Cup is a grudge match between the World of Outlaws and PA Posse. The top-5 Outlaw and PA Posse drivers in last fall’s National Open were challenged to a 12 lap shoot out to finally see which group of drivers is the best at Williams Grove Speedway.
The 2010 Champion started 2nd in the event as a result of his 3rd place finish in the National Open. Meyers spent most of the race trading the 2nd and 3rd position with Posse driver Stevie Smith. The two exchanged several slide jobs, before Smith slammed the door. At the end of the special event, Meyers finished 3rd, but the bragging rights went to the Outlaws as Jason Sides won the trophy.
A Win for Charlie
Every time the Elite Racing team goes to Williams Grove the goal is to get a win for renowned engine builder Charlie Garrett. Up until Saturday night, Meyers was on a short list of drivers who had not been able to win with Charlie’s horsepower, but that all changed.
The night began with Meyers turning in the 10th quick lap in qualifying, then going on to win both his heat and the dash. The stars seemed to be aligning for a magical victory. On the drop of the green flag, Meyers jetted out into the lead, but did not get too far before the first caution came out on Lap 2.
On the restart, the Champion chose the inside line and continued where he left off. Behind him Stevie Smith and Schatz were battling for second. Meyers continued to build his lead until he started encountering traffic on Lap 10. While maneuvering lapped cars, Smith was able to close on Meyers. By Lap 15, the two were running nose-to-tail with Meyers favoring the bottom and Smith up top.
The final yellow flag of the night came out with 5 laps to go in the 30-lap contest. On the final start, Meyers chose the inside line again and drove out to a 1.149 second lead before the Checkered Flag flew. As a result not only did Meyers win his first race at the Grove, he accomplished one of the biggest goals he had set for this season.
“We have been trying to get this win for a long time,” Jason Meyers said with a huge smile in Victory Lane. “I have one of the best guys in the business here with me, Charlie Garrett. He is not only our Engine Builder, but is a vital part of this team. We call him coach, because he helps us when we are down and he keeps digging for us. He builds an incredible motor. We won a championship last year because we never fell out of a race. He and Scott (Hoofnagle) are in the shop every week making the best engines out there. To Chris Luck and our sponsors MediaTile, DDNi, Allstar Performance, GLR Investments, Elite Landscaping, Guy and Karlei (Stockbridge) at home, this is awesome. My wife Robyn came down and wished me good luck today and it finaly worked. This team here-Brian Bloomfield, Shane Bowers, and Sam Mathews, they are incredible. They stood behind me after last night when I was upset. We came back and turned it around today. Everyone who is behind us, thank you for supporting us. I have always wanted to win one here and to win this one on this hot night in front of this huge crowd with Charlie here, I could not ask for anything better.”
“My car was good on the bottom all night long,” Meyers explained. “It is just a long way around the top here. I learned that here last year when I gave The Open away to Sammy (Swindell). You live and learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them. This is awesome. We race at Williams Grove more than any other track and it is because of all you fans who come out and support us. It keeps bringing us back and there is always good prize money. It is just awesome to come out and race against the competition here. Even with it being this hot, the stands are packed showing why this is the hardest sprint car racing in America.”
“The first time I came here was 1975,” explained team co-owner Chris Luck. “We are also involved with Stevie Smith so to have both our guys to run first and second is big. I cannot tell you how much this means to our team. This is a great race track and a big win for us. I am just so proud of our whole team: Brian Bloomfield, Sam Mathews, Shane Bowers who is from here and of course Jason Meyers.”
New York State of Mind
After a long drive to the Empire State, Jason Meyers and his Elite Racing team were on the fast track after their win the night before. Next up was Lebanon Valley Speedway and the 2010 Champion quickly got up to speed and recorded a lap of 16.558 which was quick time for the night. In his heat race, Meyers finished 2nd and transferred to the dash. In the dash the Champion placed 6th and set the stage for the feature.
On the initial drop of the green flag, Meyers got a jump in his #14 Allstar Performance KPC and rocketed up to 4th. He quickly got past Steve Kinser to take the 3rd position. Then Meyers had one car in his sights, the #7 of Craig Dollansky. As the duo entered traffic, Meyers closed and came close to making the pass, but could not get the job done.
The Californian inherited the 2nd position when the leader, Kerry Madsen jumped the cushion on Lap 17, which brought out the first caution flag of the night. On the following restart is when all the controversy happened. On the start coming out of Turn 2, Meyers took the lead from Dollansky. With the leaders going past the finish line twice, the red flag came out. The only problem was the whole field had not gone by once, so the call was made to have a single file restart when racing resumed.
On the single file restart, Meyers got to Dollansky’s inside, but could not make the pass on a very narrow track. Dollansky went on to record the victory while Meyers took home his 20th top-5 finish of the season. Going into the Canadian races, Meyers will hold an 18 point lead over Donny Schatz.
“In my book tonight we won,” stated Meyers. “The officials made a questionable call there. A few weeks ago the same thing happened and they let the lap stand. But we cannot control the calls that they make. It is unfortunate because my guys worked really hard. All my sponsors that stand behind us were let down, because I feel like I had the car that should have won the race. Congratulations to Craig (Dollansky). He did nothing wrong in this, but the officials should be more consistent in their calls. We had a great crowd here tonight, so thank you for coming out to support us.”
Soon the Elite Racing team will be crossing the border to the Great White North for three races in Canada. Up first will be Ohsweken Speedway on Wednesday July 27 where Meyers recorded a victory in 2009 and has three top-5 finishes in 5 visits. Then next up on Friday July 29 will be the team’s first visit to Brockville-Ontario Speedway. Then on Saturday July 30, the 2010 Champions will be making their second trip to Autodrome Drummond in Quebec. In their first start at the track the team finished 4th. All races this week can be listened to on www.dirtvision.com as the “Month of Money” continues to roar on.
Also, do not forget to watch the King’s Royal which will be televised on Saturday July 30, 2011 at 1:00pm on SPEED Channel.