World of Outlaws Sprint Cars Return to New York State on May 21
By: Weedsports Speedway PR
The cars and stars of the Craftsman World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series are eager to make their first trip of the season to New York State on Sunday, May 21 as they take on Weedsport Speedway in the Empire State Challenge.
With the Outlaws only making one trip a year to Weedsport, the drivers say the speedway’s unique layout, family friendly atmosphere, and major event feel makes it a prime stop for the tour.
“The track has a very unique shape,” said defending race winner and eight-time World of Outlaws champion, Donny Schatz. “You carry all of that speed into turn one, then it opens up into that sweeping back stretch. It’s a unique place for sure. You have to be aggressive but be able to be patient also.”
While Tony Stewart Racing driver Schatz leads the current World of Outlaws standings, David Gravel has been on a hot streak as of late, winning five main events. Gravel finished third at Weedsport a year ago and says he enjoys the challenge at The Port.
“There is a big inside wall there,” said Gravel, who wheels the CJB Motorsports No. 5. “A lot of times the fastest way around is on the bottom. So you need to get as low as you can without hitting that wall. It’s a unique place that throws challenges at people, and I am always up for challenges.”
Current Weedsport Speedway track record holder Joey Saldana, who circled The Port in 12.274 seconds last May, echoes Schatz and Gravel’s feelings on the track’s unique, yet fun layout.
“It’s very unique and has a different shape. You definitely have to have a different idea in your head about how to get around there,” said Saldana, the driver of the Stenhouse/Wood racing No. 17. “The back straight away makes the whole track so unique that if you can’t get through there, you can’t get around the whole place.”
Shane Stewart, driver of the Larson/Marks No. 2, finished fourth at Weedsport last season and says the corner layout is what separates the track from the rest.
“The corners are just so different from each other,” said Stewart. “Turns one and two are really sharp and three and four are kind of a more sweeping corner, the place is shaped like a D. We do not race in New York as much as we used to, so it is always really good to get back up in that part of the country. This part of the swing is tough with all of the local competition in Pennsylvania and the northeast.”
While the race track provides unique challenges to the drivers and unique viewing opportunities for the fans, the drivers are not lost on all that Weedsport Speedway track owner Al Heinke and his team have done to advance the overall experience for spectators and teams alike.
“It’s great to see all that has been done at Weedsport in recent years,” said Schatz. “The place is so clean and fan friendly and those LED lights are just awesome.”
Saldana was quick to mention how impressed he was at the level of investment Weedsport is making to heighten the fan experience.
“They are spending money on the fans,” said Saldana. “They put so much back into the fans. From getting food to watching the race on the big TV, they are spending money so the fan enjoys it. They realize it can’t be just a dirt race; it’s like going to a concert. They’ve just done a good job at promoting it and making it something that a fan would want to go to as a family.”
Tickets for the return of the Craftsman World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series to Weedsport Speedway are available online at www.weedsportspeedway.com through the ShowClix application on the right hand side of the homepage.
Reserved seating is on sale for $35 with general admission seating available for $30. Student tickets aged 11-17 are $15 with kids 10 and under free.
Grandstand gates will open at 4 p.m. on May 21 with opening ceremonies at 7 p.m.
The following evening the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds will take on Weedsport for Big Block Monday presented by Big Dog Country 103.5 FM on May 22, with opening ceremonies also taking place at 7 p.m.. Tickets are also available for that event at www.weedsportspeedway.com.