Quick Hits: World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Salina Highbanks Speedway
SALINA, OKLA. — April 25, 2016 — The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series returns to Salina Highbanks Speedway on Friday, April 29, which marks the fourth straight year and fifth time overall that the series has raced at the ultra-fast three-eighths-mile, dating back to 2011. A trio of drivers have won with the series at the track, including Oklahoma native Shane Stewart last year, in a race that feature three different drivers leading laps. Joey Saldana is also a past winner at Salina Highbanks Speedway. This edition of Quick Hits sets the stage for the World of Outlaws event at Salina Highbanks Speedway on Friday, April 29.
An Emotional Win
In front of numerous family members and friends, Shane Stewart won for the first time at Salina Highbanks Speedway last year. The native of nearby Bixby, Oklahoma started third and took the lead from Brad Sweet on the 11th lap of the 25-lap race. For Stewart, at the time, it was his third win of the season, as he and his Larson Marks Racing team would go on to win nine A-Feature events and 10 races overall during the course of the 2015 campaign. Stewart recently picked up his second win of 2016 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Texas.
Consistency is Key
Daryn Pittman has a great track record with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series in the previous four races at Salina Highbanks Speedway. While the native of Owasso, Okla., has not won at the track, he has finished seventh or better in all four races, with three of those being top-five finishes. Pittman is the only driver to have finished in the top-10 in all four World of Outlaws races at Salina, as well as the only driver to have three top-five showings. The 2013 series champion has three wins thus far in 2016.
At Home on the Highbanks
Joey Saldana has traditionally run well on high-speed, high-banked tracks, as evidenced by his solid track record at the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio. The veteran driver parlayed that experience and driving style into several strong runs at Salina Highbanks Speedway, including a win in 2014. Saldana was sixth in the series first visit to the track in 2011 and bettered that by a position in 2013, when he ran fifth. The veteran driver has a pair of wins this season.
Chasing that First Win
Salina Highbanks Speedway is one of the few tracks on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series schedule that seven-time and reigning series champion Donny Schatz has not won at. The North Dakota native finished second in the series debut at the three-eighths-mile in 2011. Schatz was ninth in 2014 and 10th last year. Schatz, who crossed the 200-win plateau in 2015, is third on the series all-time win list. He is tied for the series lead with five win this season.
It’s often said you have to finish second before winning. Well, if that’s the case, then Brad Sweet is primed for a win at Salina Highbanks Speedway this year. The Kasey Kahne Racing driver led laps at the track last year en route to finishing second. Sweet, who was one of the strongest drivers down the stretch last year, has opened this season with five wins, which has him tied with Schatz in that department. Sweet is also the current series point leader as he chases his first World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series title.
Steady and Solid
Paul McMahan has quietly put together one of the best resumes in the first four World of Outlaws races at Salina Highbanks Speedway. The veteran driver finished second in 2013, was fourth in 2014 and ran seventh last year. That works out to an average finish of 4.3 in the last three races at Salina. McMahan recently put together a four-race top-10 streak and is among the top-10 in the series standings.
Three for Three
When it comes to top-10 finishes at Salina Highbanks Speedway, David Gravel is a perfect three for three. He finished ninth in 2013 and has been eighth each of the last two years. Making the feat even more impressive is the fact that he has driven for a different team in each of his three previous trips to Salina. The Connecticut native will be in his fourth different ride at the track this year as he pilots the No. 5 for the CJB Motorsports team.
Almost Perfect Attendance
Jason Johnson, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner, has raced in three of the four World of Outlaws events at Salina Highbanks Speedway. The only one he has missed was last year, when he was out due to injury. In his absence, Australian Jamie Veal filled in, charging from 20th to 12th in the main event. Johnson, a five-time ASCS (American Sprint Car Series) champion, is a past winner with that series at Salina Highbanks Speedway.
Near the front
Kerry Madsen has made three starts with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Salina Highbanks Speedway and has finished in the top-10 in all three races, with a pair of those being top-five performances. The native of St. Marys, New South Wales, Australia, who now calls Knoxville, Iowa home, finished second at Salina in 2014. Madsen ran fifth last year at the high-banked oval and was 10th in his debut at the track in 2013.
Terry McCarl was victorious at Salina Highbanks Speedway in 2001 with the NCRA during a “Speedweek” event at the high-banked oval. He returned the next year and ran second, again with the NCRA. McCarl, who made his debut at the track in 2000 in an NCRA event, is tentatively scheduled to make his first World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car series start at Salina.
Coming on Strong
Logan Schuchart had a very strong sophomore season with the World of Outlaws in 2015, picking up a career-best 30 top-10 finishes on his way to a 10th-place finish in points. One of those top-10 efforts was a ninth-place showing at Salina Highbanks Speedway. Schuchart, who has made a pair of starts with the World of Outlaws at Salina, is currently 10th in points and has five top-10 finishes, including a runner-up finish during the recent West Coast Swing.
On the Road Again
Jacob Allen, the son of Hall of Famer Bobby Allen, is back on the road with the World of Outlaws for his third season in 2016. He is teammates at Shark Racing with Logan Schuchart, who is Bobby Allen’s grandson. The 21-year-old qualified for the main event at Salina Highbanks Speedway in his first trip to the track in 2014 and just missed making the feature last year. Allen earned a career-best third-place finish a few weeks ago in California.
Greg Wilson, who is contending for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award in 2016, will be making his first start at Salina Highbanks Speedway. The Ohio native is no stranger to high-banked tracks, as he has raced at Eldora Speedway for over 20 years. Wilson earned his first-career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series win last season at the famed half-mile in his home state.
Tickets for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series event at Salina Highbanks Speedway in Salina, Okla., on Friday, April 29 can be purchased online at slspromotions.ticketforce.com.
Discount General Admission tickets can also be purchased at participating O’Reilly Auto Parts stores. Each General Admission ticket purchased at an O’Reilly Auto Parts location will feature a special $5 discount. Tickets buyers will exchange their O’Reilly receipt for tickets at the Main Grandstand ticket booth on race day.
For more information on tickets, visit slspromotions.ticketforce.com.
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