World of Outlaws sets 2018 date at Lake Ozark Speedway
By Tony Veneziano, SLS Promotions, LLC (Eldon, MO) -- The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will return to Lake Ozark Speedway in Missouri in 2018 on Friday, May 4, which marks the first time since 2007 that the series has visited the track. The event will be the third time overall that the Outlaws will compete at Lake Ozark Speedway.
The 2018 season will mark the second year that Tim Trimble has been the owner of Lake Ozark Speedway, which is a one-third-mile, located in Eldon, Mo. The track ran 360-winged sprint cars this past season and will be transitioning to a RaceSaver rules package for 2018.
“I remember the previous two World of Outlaws events here and the ‘Lake area’ really supported them,” said Trimble. “The folks in Central Missouri are really looking forward to the World of Outlaws coming back. The sprint car races we have on a weekly basis have a lot of side-by-side racing and the track really lends itself to good racing. We had a good first year owning the track and are really looking forward to everything 2018 has in store.”
A total of four drivers, who competed full-time with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series this past season, raced in that event in 2007 at Lake Ozark Speedway. Daryn Pittman, the 2013 series champion was fifth, while now nine-time series titlist Donny Schatz ran sixth. Jason Sides and Jac Haudenschild also competed in that event.
Jason Johnson, who now calls Rocky Mount, Mo., home, which is about 10 miles from Lake Ozark Speedway, is a past winner at the third-mile in 360-sprint car competition. He won at the track for the first time in 2008 and visited victory lane again at Lake Ozark Speedway in 2009. Johnson, the 2016 Knoxville Nationals winner, also raced a 410-sprint car at Lake Ozark Speedway with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions in 2004.
“The track is in a fantastic location and produces a lot of good racing,” said Johnson. “We actually moved to the ‘Lake area, because it’s a beautiful place to visit and a beautiful place to live and there is the race track. I think it’s comparable to Willamette Speedway in Oregon. It’s a reddish clay and is known for producing two significant grooves, one on the bottom and definitely a cushion on the top. It makes for a lot of fun racing.”
Craig Dollansky won the most recent World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series event at Lake Ozark Speedway in 2007 over Tim Shaffer and Joey Saldana. Shaffer, who won a pair of World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series events this past season, was victorious in the inaugural Outlaws race at Lake Ozark Speedway in 2005.
The 2017 campaign was another historic one for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series as 20 drivers picked up wins. Leading the way was Schatz, who scored his ninth series championship and became the first driver in series history to win 20 or more A-Feature events in five consecutive seasons. David Gravel had a career-year, earning 18 A-Feature wins, which was second only to Schatz. Gravel finished third in points for the second consecutive year.
Brad Sweet was nearly as consistent as Schatz, picking up 72 top-10 finishes just two less than the champion, with 56 of those being top-fives. Sweet visited victory lane five times in 2017 en route to finishing a career-best second in points. Pittman ended up fourth in the standings, while picking up three wins, with Shane Stewart, who reached victory lane eight times, rounding out the top-five in points.
Johnson, who won four races finished sixth in points, followed by Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner Sheldon Haudenschild in seventh. Kraig Kinser, who had a win, was eighth in points, with Logan Schuchart who earned a career-high four victories ninth in the standings and rookie Brent Marks rounded out the top-10.
Information on tickets for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series return to Lake Ozark Speedway in Missouri on Friday, May 4 will be available soon at http://www.www.slspromotions.com.
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Submitted By: Kirk Elliott