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World of Outlaws World Finals Recap
The 2014 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series season went out with a bang on the final night of the Bad Boy Buggies World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte as the series saw a first-time winner in victory lane, crowned a new champion and said goodbye to a legend.
In front of a sold out crowd, Brian Brown out-battled the Outlaws and held off challenges from Daryn Pittman and Stevie Smith to score his first ever series win. It was a long time coming for the Grain Valley, Mo.-native.
"I'll tell you what, to win your first one, there's nothing better than winning in front of 30,000 of your friends, is there?" Brown said in victory lane. "These guys, I think, take these Outlaw wins for granted. We've tried a lot and we've run up a lot of second place finishes. I thought there, I maybe gave that one away. I don't really know what I did wrong but Daryn got going there and we buckled back down. I said, 'you know what? I'm going to give it all I've got here.' I'm going to put it in the fence or maybe try to win this."
In addition to taking home his ever Outlaws win, Brown became the 24th different and seventh first-time winner of the season.
While Schatz had the championship locked up at Port Royal Speedway two weeks ago, his charge back into Saturday night's feature further cemented how his team was able to be so dominant all season.
After rising as high as fifth, Schatz fell back to 25th after his spin and subsequent caution. In the succeeding laps he picked up position after position, moving back into the top-five by lap 21. After mixing it up on the restart with three to go, Schatz moved into fourth and stayed there.
"When you drive for one of the best car owners in the sport and the best guys in the pit area, you never give up on them," Schatz said at the end of the night. "I had no choice. It's not in the cards to quit. We weren't happy having to go to the back but it is what we were dealt and I made the best of it."
After a disappointing end to 2013, Schatz was a man on a mission in 2014, determined not to let the mistakes of the previous year derail another shot at the title. He ultimately compiled 26 wins, the most of any single season in his career, 63 top-fives, 80 top-tens and eight quick time awards.
At the end of Saturday night, Schatz was finally able to hoist the 2014 championship trophy above his head and salute his whole STP / Armor All team.
"Hats off to the whole STP team. They put us in this position where we came here and we didn't have to race for the win to win the championship but that doesn't change how we race and tonight proves it. It was a great year winning wise but when you sit there and look at the stats of this car, it wasn't in the work area but twice all year and it was last night and tonight, that's just tremendous. It's what these STP guys do. They're just phenomenal at their jobs - they don't let anything undone."
The night also marked the end of an era for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series as 20-time champion and 577-time winner Steve Kinser concluded his Salute to the King Tour and his tenure as a full-time touring driver with the series.
After pacing the four-wide salute before the start of the feature, Kinser took the checkered flag in 23rd.
Kinser's Tony Stewart Racing teammate Schatz summed it up after being crowned champion.
"Tonight's a sad night to have the last, final night of Steve Kinser full-time," Schatz said. "It's been an honor and a privilege to be able to watch him, as a child racing and then grow up and race next to him - be his teammate, have arguments with him, have a few drinks with him and enjoy it… Just an honor to be a part of it. It's going to be different when we get to the next race in a couple of months and he's not there."
World of Outlaws Late Model Series
Jimmy Owens found himself in a familiar location Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The winningest driver in Bad Boy Buggies World of Outlaws World Finals history stood on the Victory Lane stage at Charlotte yet again after winning a wild World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main at the 4/10-mile oval.
Owens, 42, of Newport, Tenn., came out on top of a tight back-and-forth battle with Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., midway through Saturday's 50-lap race to earn $12,050 for his record sixth World Finals victory. Owens' 10th-career WoO LMS triumph came in front of a sellout crowd as the national tour concluded its season at Charlotte's prestigious three-day event.
"It's awesome to come here and get this win," said Owens, who claimed his third WoO LMS victory of the season. "This is a really big race for us because there's always a big crowd and there's always stiff competition here. These are the best drivers in the country and to beat them never gets old."
Owens' victory gave Club 29 Race Cars a sweep of the weekend's two WoO LMS A-Mains at Charlotte. Friday's race was claimed by Club 29 founder and house car driver Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who wrapped up his third WoO LMS championship with his record 17th series victory of the season.
Lanigan, who finished fifth in Saturday's A-Main, was also on the Victory Lane stage Saturday night celebrating his season title and the $100,000 champion's paycheck.
"It's been just a unbelievable year on the series," said Lanigan, who launched Club 29 Race Cars this season with veteran setup guru Ronny Stuckey. "The cars were phenomenal this weekend with a win and a top five and Jimmy winning the other one. It's just unbelievable."
Owens crossed the finish line 1.193 seconds ahead in his Reece Monument-sponsored Club 29 Race Car while McCreadie drove his Sweeteners Plus Rocket Chassis around Bloomquist late in the race to finish second. Bloomquist was third in his self-designed Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car with Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., fourth in his Moyer Extreme by Longhorn Chassis just ahead of Lanigan.
Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., finished 23rd in Saturday's A-Main, but he had plenty of reason to celebrate after wrapping up the $10,000 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year Award. Heckenast, along with Lanigan and the rest of the WoO LMS regulars, will be honored during the tour's annual Night of Champions banquet on Sunday night at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord.
Super DIRTcar Modified Series
There were two very happy drivers at the end of Saturday night's 40-lap Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series feature at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. One being Danny Johnson who claimed his fifth series win of the season, his first ever at Charlotte, as well as an $8,000 check. The other was Billy Decker, took home his third career series championship on the back of a fourth-place run in the Bad Boy Buggies World Finals finale for the Modifieds.
"It's awesome to be here," said a very happy Johnson after his 77 th career series triumph. "To finally get here in Victory Lane at Charlotte, I'm just excited for my team. This is a great accomplishment."
Decker was equally as excited after the main-event as he picked up his first series title since the 2008 season and his third overall. His first championship came back in 1998. Decker came into the night trailing Matt Sheppard by 20 points but he did just enough while Sheppard mustered a 10th-place effort after starting 19th.
"This is really sweet," said Decker, of Unadilla, N.Y. "This Gypsum Wholesalers team has worked really hard all year. I can't thank John Wight and LJL Racing enough. These Kevlar Engines run great all year. We just had a solid program this year; one conducive to putting us in this position. It is special. Unfortunately we've never been good point racers for a series. We've won a lot of races and just didn't win the points. To put together a season like we did speaks volumes to how hard these guys work. Scott (Jeffries) puts a lot of his heart and soul into this program. John Wight gives us great equipment. We should be here."
Posted by on 10th November, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks
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