|Photo Credit: Shawn Miller, World of Outlaws|
The second night of the DIRTcar Nationals was a chiller. It was cold enough that even the mighty wings of the Outlaws required heat holding blankets for the engines. But it would take a lot more than cold to stop the 900 horsepower engines and the "Greatest Show on Dirt" - a lot more. In fact it didn’t slow them down one bit. The fans came in droves to the sold out event and endured the cold to the very end. Near freezing in temperatures in Florida may be an oddity but the Outlaws have seen it before and tonight was no different, they heated up the night with racing that was so hot it could have set the night on fire.
The weather created a cold and greasy track that would become an issue in hot laps and require the first two sets to go around twice to get a feel for the track. By the time the third set went out the track, it was warming up and the speeds were starting to climb. Hot Laps would be won by last night's winner Daryn Pittman, with a strong show from current series champion Donny Schatz.
Qualifying would be a fast-paced adventure that would see Craig “The Crowd Pleaser” Dollansky come in as Quick Time with a lap of 13.142 seconds or 136.965 mph. Paul McMahan, last night's Quick Time holder, came in second followed by Danny Holtgraver, Sammy Swindell and Daryn Pittman. The Tony Stewart Racing teammates of Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser both made the heat race inversion of 16 with a much stronger showing than opening night.
The first heat race was a fast-paced event that ended up being a duel between Terry McCarl and Craig Dollansky. The two battled for the top spot all the way to the checkered flag with Terry McCarl taking the win. Dollansky, Daryn Pittman, Greg Wilson and David Gravel would round out the transfer field. Chad Kemenah would hand grenade an engine and Bill Rose would shred a tire then get struck by a piece of the tire inside the cock pit of the car. Rose would be transported to the hospital for evaluation and news would come later in the evening that he had broken his arm and would be undergoing surgery in the morning. There is no estimate for his return to The World of Outlaws circuit.
The second heat race saw more bad luck for former Outlaws champion Dave Blaney as he blew another engine making it two within two nights. His brother Dale would make hard contact, have a hard roll over crash while running second and end his evening as well. The race would be a challenge between Kraig Kinser and Paul McMahan. McMahan would come home on top with the younger Kinser, Justin Henderson, Jason Leffler and Danny Lasoski rounding out the top 5 to transfer.
The third heat race was a battle of wills and skill between Donny Schatz and Tim “The Steel City Outlaw” Shafer. Schatz would start on the pole and jump to the lead with Shafer hot on his heels. Schatz could pull away but he couldn’t get away. He held off Shafer to take the win in a closely contested battle. Brad Sweet, Danny Holtgraver and Cody Darrah rounded out the top 5 and the transfers to the A Main.
The final heat race was the best race of the night. In a heavily stacked heat with some of the greatest sprint car drivers that have ever graced the track, the fourth heat could well have been an A Main feature. The battles between Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell and Jac Haudenschild throughout the years are legendary and this one was no different. With slide jobs, rubbing wheels and moving up and down the track the three masters put on a show that was both thrilling and enlightening. This is what the series made its name and reputation on. In the end, Jason Sides would take the checkers ahead of three of the greatest drivers to ever race winged sprints - Steve Kinser, Jac Haudenschild and Sammy Swindell. Rounding out the top 5 to transfer was Brian Paulus.
The Dash inversion was an 8 tonight meaning that the top 8 were inverted putting the fastest car into the eighth starting spot. Starting on the outside front row was Steve "The King of the Outlaws" Kinser on the pole and Terry McCarl. McCarl had shown strength all night. But this time he was up against the best in the business, the 20-time series champion. When the green flag dropped Kinser rocketed into the lead and never looked back. The real race was for fourth and fifth between Kraig Kinser and Craig Dollansky. The younger Kinser would hold of Dollansky for the position by a front wheel. The victory in the dash put Steve Kinser on the pole of the A Main.
The last chance show down was a race of attrition and scratches. Four cars that were scratched before staging were Dale Blaney, Danny Dietrich, Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Danny Smith. Smith would climb aboard the Bill Rose No. 6 machine and finish out the evening. In the process of the race, Fred Rahmer, who again filled in for Tony Stewart, blew an engine while leading. Chad Kemenah blew an engine while running second and Dave Blaney would blow a third engine making his way through the field. The race would come down to two champions from down under, Kerry Madsen and Brooke Tatnell. Madsen would hold off Tatnell for the win while Joey Saldana and Logan Schuchart would transfer as the final cars for the A Main.
The A Main was eventful and filled with strong hard racing. The 24 car field was extended to 26 with two provisional starters Chad Kemenah and Bill Rose’s car driven by Danny Smith. Steve Kinser would lead at the green and lose the spot early to Terry McCarl. Teammate Donny Schatz would make his way quickly to the front and was racing Kinser hard when Kinser got over the cushion and lost the handle on the car. Schatz, with nowhere to go, would clip the Bad Boy Buggies car and break a front axle taking both of the Tony Stewart Racing cars out of the race. Terry McCarl would hold off a strong charging Daryn Pittman who cut his lead from two seconds to on McCarl's bumper in three laps but could never get track position to make a move around him. Kraig Kinser would come home third, Tim Shafer fourth and Brad Sweet fifth.
In victory lane, Terry McCarl said, “We only have one engine but it really runs. Daryn is my best friend and he is a rocket ship in that 9 car. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Pittman who opened his season last night with a win said, “I’m just so happy we have such a great team and a great car. We’ll come back tomorrow and try to get another win.”
Third place Kraig Kinser commented on the slick greasy track. “Coming off the berm up there you were just slipping and sliding you just couldn’t get a run at them. But we will take third and try again tomorrow night.”
The cold weather was brutal for Florida. Somehow it just seems unnatural to see your breath in the "Sunshine State." However, the warmth of family and friends and competitive spirit warmed the heart and the souls of everyone in attendance.
There was a strong sense of concern because one of our own was down. For how long, we don’t know. Bill Rose will undergo surgery in the morning to repair a broken arm suffered in the first heat race of the night.
There was a strong sense of joy. Coming back from an injury, Terry McCarl won his first Outlaws race against the odds. With only one engine in the stable, he took on the best of the best and proved that he too belongs among the greatest sprint car drivers in the world.
There was an incredible sense of anticipation of what tomorrow night would bring with the final race of the DIRTcar nationals for the World of Outlaws.
Even the cold can’t dampen some things and the “Greatest Show on Dirt” is one of those events.
Qualifying Results: 1) Craig Dollansky 13.142 2) Paul McMahan 3) Danny Holtgraver 4) Sammy Swindell 5) Daryn Pittman 6) Dale Blaney 7) Brad Sweet 8) 8) Brian Paulus 9) Greg Wilson 10) Kraig Kinser 11) Tim Shaffer 12) Steve Kinser 13) Terry McCarl 14) Jason Leffler 15) Donny Schatz 16) Jason Sides 17) Chad Kemenah 18) Justin Henderson 19) Cody Darrah 20) Jac Haudenschild 21) Bill rose 22) Dave Blaney 23) Fred Rahmer 24) Brooke Tatnell 25) Glenn Styres 26) Danny Lasoski 27) Steve Buckwalters 28) Kerry Madsen 29) David Gravel 30) Cap Henry 31) Lance Dewease 32) Danny Smith 33) Danny Dietrick 34) Mark Coldren 35) Trey Gustin 36) Logan Schuchart 37) Joey Saldana 38) Jayme Barnes 39) Sam Hafertepe Jr. No Time.
Heat Race 1 Results: 1) Terry McCarl 2) Craig Dollansky 3) Daryn Pittman 4) Greg Wilson 5) David Gravel 6) Joey Saldana 7) Glenn Styres 8)8) Bill Rose 9) Chad Kemenah
Heat Race 2 Results: 1) Paul McMahan 2) Kraig Kinser 3) Justin Henderson 4) Jason Leffler 5) Danny Lasoski 6) Cap Henry 7) Mark Colderon 8) 8) Dale Blaney 9) Jayme Barnes 10) Dave Blaney
Heat Race 3 Results: 1) Donny Schatz 2) Tim Shafer 3) Brad Sweet 4) Danny Holtgraver 5) Cody Darrah 6) Fred Rahmer 7) Steve Buckwalter 8)8) Lance Dewease 9) Trey Gustin 10) Sam Hafertepe Jr. (DNS)
Heat Race 4 Results: 1) Jason Sides 2) Steve Kinser 3) Jac Haudenschild 4) Sammy Swindell 5) Brian Paulus 6) Kerry Madsen 7) Brooke Tatnell 8)8) Logan Schuchart 9) Danny Smith.
Dash Results: 1) Steve Kinser 2) Terry McCarl 3) Tim Shafer 4) Kraig Kinser 5) Craig Dollansky 6) Sammy Swindell 7) Jason Sides 8) Donny Schatz 9) Paul McMahan 10) Danny Holtgraver
LCS Results: 1) Kerry Madsen 2) Brooke Tatnell 3) Joey Saldana 4) Logan Schuchart 5) Lance Dewease 6) Glenn Styres 7) Steve Buckwalter 8) Trey Gustin 9) Cap Henry 10) Mark Coldren 11) Bill Rose (Danny Smith) 12) Fred Rahmer 13) Chad Kemenah 14) Dave Blaney 15) Jayme Barnes 16) Dale Blaney (DNS) 17) Danny Dietrich (DNS) 18) Sam Hafertepe Jr. (DNS) 19) Danny Smith (DNS)
A Main Results: 1) Terry McCarl 2) Daryn Pittman 3) Kraig Kinser 4) Tim Shafer 5) Brad Sweet 6) Jason Sides 7) Craig Dollansky 8) David Gravel (KSE HARD CHARGER) 9) Brian Paulus 10) Jac Haudenschild 11) Paul McMahan 12) Sammy Swindell 13) Kerry Madsen 14) Brooke Tatnell 15) Joey Saldana 16) Justin Henderson 17) Greg Wilson 18) Cody Darrah 19) Jason Leffler 20) Chad Kemenah 21) Steve Kinser 22) Donny Schatz 23) Danny Holtgraver 24) Logan Schuchart 25) Danny Lasoski 26) Bill Rose (Danny Smith).