WoO Notes: This & That From Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — The inaugural World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series race at Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway was sold out for months before Wednesday’s event, but fans purchasing general admission tickets were in line long before the gates opened at 3 p.m.
And more fans signed up for a limited number of VIP tickets that included food, beverage and an autograph session that included Steve Kinser and Brian Brown.
Despite the fact many of the regular WoO competitors were not thrilled with racing at Jacksonville on a Wednesday night, the fans were enthusiastic and grateful for the first appearance of the series at the tiny quarter-mile dirt track, which regularly hosts events for the MOWA sprint cars and POWRi midgets.
• Rico Abreu, who won his first World of Outlaws race earlier this year, was in the pits and lending a helping hand to his Keith Kunz Motorsports midget teammate, Christopher Bell, who ended the night with his first WoO victory.
• Joey Saldana came to Jacksonville tied for the point lead with Paul McMahan, but flipped his No. 71m during hot laps and went to a backup car.
• Hall of Fame sprint car driver Rick Ferkel is spinning the wrenches on Wayne Johnson’s No. 77x.
• Don’t be surprised if seven-time USAC champion Bryan Clauson, who drives for Tony Stewart Racing in non-winged sprint car competition, ends up in the second TSR sprint car next season, replacing Steve Kinser.
Clauson is gaining experience in winged sprint cars this year, racing the No. 82 Blazin Racing sprint car in a limited schedule this year.
•World of Outlaws officials parked former POWRi Midget Series champion Brad Loyet after Loyet was involved in a heat-race crash with teenager Paul Nienhiser. With the cars disabled in turn three, Loyet physically confronted Nienhiser.
• Steve Kinser did a slow roll over in his heat race with the car landing on all four wheels. He was pushed off and resumed the race at the back of the field. He then charged through the field to grab the fourth and final transfer spot for the feature.
• Because of the narrowness of the quarter-mile track, single-file restarts were the order of the night instead of the usual double-file format.
• Veteran sprint car driver Terry Gray was walking the pits at Jacksonville.
• The modified race was a thriller with three wide racing throughout. Jeff Leka took the victory, while NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Justin Allgaier finished third after taking the white flag fifth and winning a three-wide drag race to the checkered flag.
• From Jacksonville, WoO teams headed north for races Friday night at Wilmot (Wis.) Speedway and Saturday at Indiana’s Tri-State Speedway.