Jason Meyers had been asked countless times over the last three weeks where he needed to finish and what he needed to do to wrap up the World of Outlaws title. He had a simple answer for that. Win. The native of Clovis, California did exactly that on Saturday, sweeping both ends of the Lowes Food World of Outlaws World Finals Presented By Bimbo Bakeries and Tom's Snacks at The Dirt Track at Charlotte before a standing room only sellout crowd with all the action live on SPEED.
Meyers put his name in the records books as the first driver ever from the state of California to win a World of Outlaws title and became just the eighth driver in the storied 30-plus year history of the series to be crowned champion. He had previously finished second in the series standings three times in his career, including in each of the last two years to Donny Schatz.
"It's unbelievable," shared Meyers. "Being the first from California and just the eighth ever is incredible. To be able to put your name on that list, that's why you do this. You work at it every day, because that's what you strive to achieve. I'm looking forward to coming back and defending it next year. We have a great team here."
Meyers drove a specially painted All Star Performance KPC for both of the rounds of the World Finals, and wound up leading a total of 33 of the 40 laps of feature racing competition on Saturday. Inclement weather on Friday led to the doubleheader on Saturday afternoon and evening, with the cars first taking to the track in the morning for heat races.
"Words can't describe how excited we are," said Meyers. "We have been working at this for a long, long time. To come out here both of them is unbelievable. Everyone on this team works hard every day, no matter what. It's just really incredible and I couldn't be happier for everyone on this team and every single person involved."
Meyers lined up second in the opener and chased Sam Hafertepe Jr. in the early going. Hafertepe encountered traffic on the fifth lap and just two circuits later Meyers closed in. He used the low side of turns three and four to take the lead on the eighth lap. Hafertepe battled back and spun in turn two while running second on the next lap as he tried to retake the lead, bring out the first caution of the race.
On the ensuing double file restart, Meyers chose the high line and jumped out to a quick lead over Joey Saldana. The final stoppage of the 25-lapper came on the 11th circuit for a four-car incident that brought out the red flag. Meyers again chose the high side on the restart and was in traffic just five laps later. Meyers would pull away from Saldana at the end to score his third win in the World Finals which leads all drivers.
"We wanted to get this thing sealed up so we could enjoy this evening and we got rained yesterday and then delayed today and it felt like we were never going to end this thing," said Meyers with a smile. "We had a good race car and a car that was capable of going out and winning."
In the nightcap, Meyers again started on the outside of the front row. Daryn Pittman jumped out to the early lead from the pole and began to pull away before hitting traffic on the fifth lap. The only caution of the race came on the sixth circuit, with Pittman choosing the low line for the double file restart. The lead pair was in traffic on the 11th lap, with Meyers again going low in turns three and four to take the top spot. He would quickly pull away and led the final 15 laps on his way to his career-best 11th A-Feature win of the season.
"I was a little loose at the start," said Meyers of the nightcap. "I pulled the wing back on that caution and the car really came to me. I had an opportunity in traffic and had a great race car to take advantage of that."
Pittman led 10 laps on his way to the runner-up performance, which marked his best World of Outlaws finish of the season. He finished third in the opener and raced his way into the dash in both events on Saturday as well.
"All in all it was a really good weekend for us," shared Pittman after the nightcap. "I've got no complaints. It's a little more frustrating when you are that close to winning and let it slip away. We have nothing to be disappointed with. The team worked hard and did a great job. We just got beat and that's how it goes sometimes"
Sammy Swindell finished third in the season finale aboard the Big Game Treestands Maxim, with Jason Sides fourth in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim. Lance Dewease came home fifth in the Advanced Development Services J&J.
Danny Lasoski came all the way from the 19th starting spot to finish sixth in the Casey's General Stores JEI to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award. Donny Schatz was seventh in the Armor/STP J&J, with Paul McMahan eighth aboard the Great Clips Maxim. Joey Saldana was ninth in the Budweiser Maxim, with Sam Hafertepe Jr. rounding out the Top-10 in the Lone Star Speedway Maxim.
Saldana ended up second in the Budweiser Maxim in the opener to help secure the second spot in the owner standings for his Kasey Kahne Racing Team. Saldana and Pittman battled for the second position in the opener and the second generation driver was able to gain some ground Meyers in traffic around the 18th lap.
"It was a pretty good run," said Saldana of his runner-up finish in the opener. "I really wanted to end the year with a win, but we'll keep working hard in getting ready for next season and hopefully come back strong. I always enjoy racing here at Charlotte and are usually pretty good here."
Pittman was third in the firsts 25-lapper on Saturday, with Schatz fourth and Tim Shaffer fifth in the Kistler Engines J&J. Paul McMahan was sixth with Steve Kinser seventh in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim. Lucas Wolfe was eighth in the Allebach Racing Maxim, with Jason Sides ninth. Kraig Kinser rounded out the Top-10 in the opener aboard the Quaker State Maxim.
The World of Outlaws wrap up the 2010 season on Sunday with the 'Night of Champions' at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, North Carolina on Sunday, November 7.
WORLD FINALS NIGHT #2 & NIGHT #3 NOTES
•FAST QUALIFIER: Craig Dollansky paced the 56 cars that took time in the first time trial session which was held on Thursday, November 4 with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked four-tenths-mile oval at 12.538 seconds at 114.581 mph. For his qualifying effort Dollansky earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Tim Shaffer (4), Ed Lynch Jr. (3), Daryn Pittman (2) and Steve Kinser (1).
•FAST QUALIFIER: Donny Schatz paced the 56 cars that took time in the second time trial session with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked four-tenths-mile oval at 12.699 seconds. For his qualifying effort Schatz earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Tim Shaffer (4), Steve Kinser (3), Jason Sides (2) and Jason Meyers (1).
•THE DIRT TRACK AT CHARLOTTE QUALIFYING WINNERS Race #1: Paul McMahan, Joey Saldana, Lance Dewease and Sam Hafertepe Jr. won heat races. Sam Hafertepe Jr. won the Dash. Dale Blaney won the Last Chance Showdown. Brian Montieth won the C-Main.
•THE DIRT TRACK AT CHARLOTTE QUALIFYING WINNERS Race #2: Daryn Pittman, Sammy Swindell, Cole Duncan and Lance Dewease won heat races. Daryn Pittman won the Dash. Tim Shaffer won the Last Chance Showdown. Fred Rahmer won the C-Main.
• FEATURE WINNERS: There were 69 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, I-55 Raceway, Eldora Speedway-twice, Dodge City Raceway Park, River Cities Speedway, LaSalle Speedway, Beaver Dam Raceway, Lernerville Speedway, Nodak Speedway, Castrol Raceway and Deer Creek Speedway), Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, Tri-State (Okla.) Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway, I-96 Speedway, North Central Speedway, I-55 Raceway, Castrol Raceway, Silver Dollar Speedway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte-twice), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park, Jackson Speedway, River Cities Speedway, Lakeside Speedway, Eldora Speedway, Autodrome Drummond, Fulton Speedway, Skagit Speedway and Rolling Wheels Raceway Park), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway, Knoxville Raceway, Skagit Speedway, Clay County Fair Speedway and Eldora Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park, The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Ohsweken Speedway, Silver Dollar Speedway and Lernerville Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway, Cedar Lake Speedway, Nodak Speedway and Tri-State Speedway), Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park, Tri-City Speedway, Missouri State Fair Speedway and Ohsweken Speedway), Sammy Swindell (Dodge City Raceway, Huset's Speedway, Silver Dollar Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway), Lance Dewease (Lernerville Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway), Greg Hodnett (Williams Grove Speedway-twice), Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway and Junction Motor Speedway), Dale Blaney (Limaland Motorsports Park), Doug Esh (Lebanon Valley Speedway), Danny Lasoski (Cottage Grove Speedway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway) and Tim Shaffer (I-55 Raceway).
• FOUR-TENTHS-MILE-WINNERS: The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway is a high-banked four-tenths-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced seven times this season on a track that size. The winners included: Jason Meyers (Volunteer Speedway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte-twice), Joey Saldana (Volunteer Speedway and Lernerville Speedway), Donny Schatz (The Dirt Track at Charlotte and Lernerville Speedway) and Lance Dewease (Lernerville Speedway).