Race Weekend Central

Keepin’ it Short – Racing is picking up steam

As the calendar turns to March, the weather begins to warm up and the number of tracks hosting events continues to go up. National touring series are hitting their strides and local tracks are shaking off the rust of a cold winter. The World of Outlaws is accompanying the NASCAR weekend in Las Vegas at the Dirt Track while the annual Rattler is taking place at South Alabama Speedway.

The World of Outlaws ran their first of two nights of racing at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Wednesday night and Joey Saldana not only scored the victory but notched a couple of firsts in his already storied winged sprint car career. The Kasey Kahne racing driver scored his first win of his career at Las Vegas. It is also the first win for his new sponsor Red Bull and his new crew chief Kale Kahne. Saldana started the race next to his teammate, Cody Darrah, on row two but both made a strong start and were running first and second after the first lap. By the end of the second lap Saldana was out front and never looked back.

Jason Meyers and Donny Schatz waged a furious battle for second place with both of them taking shots at Saldana but he rebuffed every one of them. In the end, Meyers was able to best Schatz at the finish for second. Both of the drivers were ahead of Darrah who came home fourth with Craig Dollansky rounding out the top 5. NASCAR star Tony Stewart drove a third car for his racing team but was knocked out of the competition early when he tangled with his own driver, Steve Kinser, on lap four.

For points leader Kinser it wasn’t the end of his problems for the night because he was caught up in a major pileup on a late race restart that caused quite a bit of damage to the front of his car. His team worked feverishly to get him back out and, thanks to another wreck on the next restart, his crew did get him back on track to complete the race. Schatz was the fastest qualifier for the night. Paul McMahan, Meyers and Kinser were heat winners while Terry McCarl won the Dash and Jac Haudenschild was the victor of the B-Main.

As we featured in this column last year at this time, the annual Rattler is going to take place at South Alabama Speedway this weekend. The Rattler is the second race in the Champion Racing Association Southern Six Pack tour for the season. The first event was Speedfest at Lanier National Speedway which was won by Chase Elliott, who swept the weekend at Lanier. CRA has never sanctioned the Rattler before, but the sanctioning body has been involved with the event for the last three years.

For those who are not in Las Vegas for the NASCAR weekend or in Alabama for the Rattler, there are several other racing events scheduled across the country this weekend.

Thu : Mar 3 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway – The Dirt Track ; Las Vegas : NV – WoO Sprint Cars
Fri : Mar 4 – Junction Motor Speedway ; McCool Junction : NE – USMTS Modifieds
Fri : Mar 4 – Clarksville Speedway ; Clarksville : TN – MARS DIRTcar Series
Fri : Mar 4 – Golden Triangle Raceway Park ; Beaumont : TX – ASCS / Gulf South Region
Sat : Mar 5 – Firebird Int Raceway ; Chandler : AZ – National Auto Sport Association
Sat : Mar 5 – Oglethorpe Speedway Park ; Savannah : GA – AHRMA Dirt Track Series
Sat : Mar 5 – Junction Motor Speedway ; McCool Junction : NE – USMTS Modifieds
Sat : Mar 5 – Clarksville Speedway ; Clarksville : TN – MARS DIRTcar Series
Sat : Mar 5 – Battleground Speedway ; Houston : TX – ASCS / Gulf South Region
Sat : Mar 5 – Texas Motor Speedway (dirt) ; Fort Worth : TX – SUPR Late Models
Sun : Mar 6 – South Alabama Speedway ; Opp : AL – CRA Super Series
Sun : Mar 6 – Firebird Int Raceway ; Chandler : AZ – National Auto Sport Association
Mon : Mar 7 – Volusia Speedway Park ; Barberville : FL – AHRMA Dirt Track Series

The weather may be questionable at some of these venues this weekend but they’ll do their best to get the racing in for the fans. Supporting your local race track will go a long way towards making racing better across America.

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