The Breakdown: World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Missouri State Fair Speedway
by Tony Venziano
SEDALIA, MO — April 26, 2017 — The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series hits the track at Missouri State Fair Speedway in Sedalia on Friday, May 5 for the Sedalia Show-Me State Showdown. It has been five years since the series last took to the historic half-mile, with three-time series champion Sammy Swindell picking up the victory in that event. A very strong group of full-time drivers will lead the series back to Sedalia as the 40th season for the Outlaws continues. Donny Schatz, Paul McMahan and Jason Sides are all previous winners at Sedalia with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. This edition of The Breakdown sets the stage for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series visit to Missouri State Fair Speedway.
Missouri State Fair Speedway is a semi-banked half-mile. The track record of 15.676-seconds was established by Craig Dollansky on March 23, 2001. The track was built 1901, the same year the fairgrounds were constructed, and began as a one-mile horse racing track. Many legends of racing have competed at the track over the years.
Dating back to the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series inaugural event at Missouri State Fair Speedway in 1978, a total of 13 drivers have visited the winner’s circle at the historic track. Steve Kinser, the 20-time series champion, won at Sedalia five times in his legendary career. Former series champions Sammy Swindell and Danny Lasoski each have three wins at the track, while Mark Kinser had a pair of wins at the track.
Donny Schatz, the eight-time and defending series champion is the winningest active full-time series driver at the track with two triumphs. Jason Sides has two wins at Sedalia, one of those with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and the other with the National Sprint Tour (NST) in 2006. Paul McMahan has one win at the Missouri State Fair Speedway with the Outlaws.
Jason Johnson and Shane Stewart are past winners at Missouri State Fair Speedway in 360-sprint car competition with the American Sprint Car Series (ASCS).
One to remember
For McMahan, his win at Sedalia in 2001 was the first of his career with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. The veteran driver has since won 25 more races with the series, which places him 17th on the series all-time win list. McMahan’s wins have come at 20 different tracks in 16 states and one Canadian province.
A total of 16 drivers are following the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series full-time in 2017. Leading the way is Schatz, who has six wins. David Gravel is currently second in points, with four wins, followed by Brad Sweet and Jason Johnson, who each have a pair of victories. Daryn Pittman is currently fifth in points, followed by Stewart, Sheldon Haudenschild, Logan Schuchart, McMahan and Saldana. Sides is just outside of the top-10 in points, followed by Brent Marks, Kraig Kinser, Greg Wilson, Jacob Allen and Clyde Knipp.
Plenty of starts
Pittman and Saldana have each made quite a few starts at Sedalia in their respective careers. Pittman, the 2013 series champion, has eight top-10 finishes at the track, dating back to 1999. Saldana has made a dozen starts and has 11 top-10 showings. He finished a career-best second at the half-mile in 2012, as he chases his first win at Sedalia. Kraig Kinser has made 11 starts at Missouri State Fair Speedway with the Outlaws, picking up five top-10 finishes.
Sweet and Gravel have each raced once at Missouri State Fair Speedway in their careers. Both made their debut at the half-mile in the most recent Outlaws race at the track in 2012. Gravel earned a top-10 finish, while Sweet had trouble and finished 25th.
Haudenschild, Schuchart, Marks, Wilson and Allen and will all be making their first starts at Missouri State Fair Speedway. Schuchart and Allen are in their fourth full season on the road with the Outlaws, while Wilson is in his second. Haudenschild and Marks are battling for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season.
For Clyde Knipp, who hails from nearby California, Missouri, the event at Missouri State Fair Speedway will be a home race. The teenager is in his first full season competing with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, joining the tour, after graduating from high school last May. The Sedalia Show-Me State Showdown will mark his first start at the historic half-mile.
One of the “invaders” expected take on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Missouri State Fair Speedway is Brian Brown, who has won a number of 360-sprint car races at the track in his career. The native Grain Valley, Missouri, who won with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series in Arizona earlier this season, finished third in the most recent Outlaws race at Sedalia in 2012. Also expected is reigning USAC National Sprint Car Series champion Brady Bacon and Knoxville Raceway regular RJ Johnson among others.
Tickets for the Sedalia Show-Me State Showdown, featuring the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and the Midwest Mod-Lites Racing Series at Missouri State Fair Speedway in Sedalia on Friday, May 5, can be purchased online or by calling SLS Promotions at 815-344-2023 and at the track on race day.