World of Outlaws drivers honored at banquet
2010 season celebrated with largest point fund in short track racing
The ultra competitive 2010 season came to a close for the World of Outlaws on Sunday night with the series annual Awards Banquet at The Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, North Carolina, with the largest point fund in short track racing handed out, as well over a half-a-million dollars in cash and prizes was awarded to the 15 drivers that followed the series full-time.
Jason Meyers and the Elite Racing team received $150,000 for their first championship after claiming 12 wins on the season including both ends of the World Finals on Saturday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Meyers became just the eighth driver in the 30-plus year history of the series and the first driver ever from the state of California to earn the title. He received the World of Outlaws Champion Ring on Sunday night in addition to the nearly 50 pounds custom made bronze champion’s trophy. Meyers also received 10 barrels methanol from VP Race Fuels for winning the title.
“It finally set in today, and this is incredible,” said Meyers. “We talked about family a lot with this team and we certainly have a great one. There has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears that have gone into building this team to help it get to where it is today. There are three guys that go up and down the road every day, but there are countless people behind the scenes making this happen. Thank you to each and every one of you and every person that is in this room here tonight and makes it possible for us to do what do love to do.”
Johnny Gibson, “The Voice of the Outlaws,” emceed the banquet, which featured a number of special presentations. Each of the 15 drivers that competed full-time with the World of Outlaws spoke on stage after receiving their trophy and check. The evening began with Tim Christman, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series Director, offering the invocation followed by dinner.
Tom Deery, the President of the World Racing Group welcomed everyone to the Awards Banquet and offered his thoughts on the thrilling season and outstanding point race that captivated fans for most of the season. Deery thanked the World of Outlaws road crew for all of their hard work in addition to all the drivers, owners, crew members, sponsors and families in attendance for their dedication to the sport.
“You all are a lucky bunch,” said Deery. “You get to do what you love. Sure it has its moments of heartbreak and disappointment, but if you are keeping score, the accomplishments, the good stories, the fellowship, the friendships tip the scales. People envy what everyone in this room does. You are the top of dirt track racing. What is most important is that we get to do, what we enjoy and what we love. You are the best. You are the elite. You are the World of Outlaws. Tonight we are celebrating those who excelled and that is everyone in this room. Thank you all for what you do.”
Ben Gregg, who took to the road for the first time in his career full-time with the World of Outlaws, received the 2010 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award to add his name to an illustrious list of past recipients of the award.
“We had a lot of fun this year and learned quite a bit,” said Gregg. “It’s a great honor to receive this award. Thanks to everyone out here, especially Jason Meyers and his team who helped us out a lot. We look forward to coming back next year.”
The 2010 Crew Chief of the Year Award went to Scott Gerkin, who turns the wrenches for 20-time series champion Steve Kinser. Gerkin helped guide Kinser to nine wins on the season en route to a third-place finish in points. The award was presented by World of Outlaws Series Director Carlton Reimers.
“All of the guys that work on these cars deserve this,” said Gerkin. “Most people don’t realize how much work goes into this thing. I love this sport and wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
Donny Schatz earned $5,000 for claiming the overall title in the inaugural LaCrosse Boots Extreme Tough Challenge, which pit the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series against the World of Outlaws Late Model Series in eight events. Schatz earned the most points in those eight races to score the top prize in addition to a pair of LaCrosse boots for each of his team members. Jason Meyers received $4,000 for finishing second in the Extreme Tough Challenge, while Joey Saldana came home fourth to pocket $2,000.
The 2010 World of Outlaws Promoter of the Year Award went to Ray Marlar fom I-55 Raceway in Missouri. Marlar hosted the Ironman 55 for the second consecutive year, with the finale coming down to a last lap thriller that saw Jason Meyers edge Lucas Wolfe at the line. The award was presented by Brian Carter, the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the World Racing Group.
“I don’t know what to say, I think I need my partner (Kenny Schrader) right now, he is in the other room (at the Late Model Series banquet),” said Marlar with a smile. “I want to thank everybody for this award. Thanks to the World Racing Group, all the drivers and fans. I most definitely have to thank Kenny. I always wanted to promote races and he made that possible. I hope I get to do this a few more years.”
The 2010 Ted Johnson Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sprint Car Racing was awarded to Hall of Famer Karl Kinser, the winningest car owner and crew chief in World of Outlaws history. Kinser was not able to attend, but will be given the award at Bloomington Speedway in Indiana in 2011 when the World of Outlaws return to the ¼-mile bullring.
The Outlaw Award honored Bill and Lynda Pembleton, for their dedication to the series over the last five seasons. Bill is the Head Scorer for the World of Outlaws, while Lynda works Registration. The couple is scaling back in 2011 and will begin the season with the series before retiring.
STP had a drawing for $1,000 in cash among the drivers that won a World of Outlaws race in 2010 and Donny Schatz was the recipient of that. They also gave away $1,000 in a drawing for drivers that did not win this season and that cash award went to Kraig Kinser.
The Engine Builder of the Year went to Speedway Engines, with Willie Kahne, Joey Saldana’s crew chief accepting the award. Maxim won the Chassis Builder of the Year, with Scott Gerkin, Steve Kinser’s crew chief accepting the award. Joey Saldana received the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award for earning the most Hard Charger Awards during the season, seven.
Jakes Carts had a drawing for a custom golf cart, with all 15 World of Outlaws drivers names put into a hat. Skyler Sides, Jason Sides daughter drew the winning ticket, which just happened to be her dad, who will take the brand new golf cart back to Bartlett, Tennessee with him.
The North American 410-Sprint Car Poll handed out some honors from the 2009 season, including the Team of the Year, which went to Kasey Kahne Racing, the Driver of the Year, which was awarded to Joey Saldana, Manufacturer of the Year J&J Chassis and the Media Member of the Year to Tony Veneziano. Bob Baker, the Executive Director of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame presented the awards.
The 2011 World of Outlaws season kicks off in just 92 days at Volusia Speedway Park with the 40th Annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, February 11-13.
2010 World of Outlaws Point Fund Awards
- Jason Meyers $150,000
- Donny Schatz $75,000
- Steve Kinser $55,000
- Joey Saldana $50,000
- Jason Sides $45,000
- Paul McMahan $41,000
- Craig Dollansky $37,500
- Lucas Wolfe $34,000
- Danny Lasoski $32,000
- Kraig Kinser $30,000
- Sam Hafertepe Jr. $20,000
- Jac Haudenschild $15,000
- Chad Kemenah $13,500
- Ben Gregg $12,500
- Toni Lutar $11,500
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Chizmark & Larson Insurance, Goodyear Tires (Official Tire), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, KSE Race Products, Penske Shocks, R2C Performance, Racing Electronics, S&S Volvo; Engine Builder’s Challenge participants Don Ott Racing Engines, Kistler Engines, Shaver Specialties and Speedway Engines; and Chassis Builder’s Challenge participants J&J Auto Racing, Maxim Racing and XXX Race Company.