Quick Hits: O’Reilly Auto Parts Rumble on the River at Lakeside Speedway

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October 17, 2016  |  by Tony Veneziano

Shane Stewart (2) races David Grave (5) in World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series action. (Dave Olson Photo)
Shane Stewart (2) races David Grave (5) in World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series action. (Dave Olson Photo)

Only four races remain for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series this season, with one of those being the O’Reilly Auto Parts Rumble on the River at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas on October 21. Donny Schatz, who is on the verge of claiming his eighth series title, won at Lakeside Speedway last year. Daryn Pittman, the 2013 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion, is also a past winner at the half-mile. In the last five races for the Outlaws at Lakeside, five different drivers have visited victory lane. This edition of Quick Hits sets the stage for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Rumble on the River at Lakeside Speedway on Friday, October 21.

Elusive first win
It took Donny Schatz until his ninth-career start at Lakeside Speedway to win at the track last year. Prior to that race, the seven-time and defending series champion, had just one top-five finish at the venue. Schatz came all the way from the 10th starting spot to win the 30-lap event, last season, which ended up going 31 laps due to a green-white-checker finish. The North Dakota native has seven top-10 finishes in ninth starts at Lakeside in his career. Schatz leads the series this season with 24 wins and also is on top of the leaderboard in top-five and top-10 finishes.

Solid track record
Daryn Pittman won at Lakeside Speedway in 2003. At the time, it was his seventh-career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series A-Feature triumph. Pittman has since won 57 more races and is among the top-10 on the series all-time win list with 64 A-Feature victories. The veteran driver has finished among the top-10 in all five of his Outlaws starts at Lakeside, with three of those being top-five performances. Pittman is currently locked in a great battle for the second spot in points with his teammate Brad Sweet and David Gravel. Pittman has racked up 26 straight top-10 finishes, dating back to a win at the famed Williams Grove Speedway on July 22.

One more spot
Joey Saldana finished second to Schatz last year at Lakeside Speedway. That finished marked the best of his career at the track for the veteran driver. Saldana has five top-10 finishes in nine starts at the half-mile. Lakeside Speedway, with its rich history, is a venue that Saldana’s father, Joe, also raced at during his open wheel career. The younger Saldana has five wins this season as he closes in on 100 career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. He needs only one more victory to become just the sixth driver in his series history to cross the century mark.

Always up front
Paul McMahan has made four starts at Lakeside Speedway with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and has finished seventh or better in all of those races. He finished a career-best second in 2014 and was fifth last year. McMahan, who is in his first season driving the No. 7 for the Destiny Motorsports team, is seeking his first win of the season.

Trio of top-10s
Brad Sweet has three top-10 finishes with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Lakeside Speedway in the same number of starts. He finished a career-best sixth in 2014 and was eighth last year. Sweet, who drives the No. 49 for Kasey Kahne Racing, led the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series standings for the first four-plus months of the season. He is currently part of a tight battle for the second spot, with his teammate Daryn Pittman and David Gravel. Sweet has a career-best seven wins this season.

Two for two
Shane Stewart has raced twice with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Lakeside Speedway and has finished among the top-10 in both events. He finished sixth last year, which marked his best showing ta the half-mile with the series. Stewart also made a pair of starts with the former Gumout Series at Lakeside, finishing fifth in 2000 and second in 2001. Stewart, who drives for the Larson Marks Racing team, which is co-owned by NASCAR driver Kyle Larson, has eight A-Feature wins and nine overall victories this season, which has him sixth in points.

Veteran presence
Jason Sides has made a half-dozen starts with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Lakeside Speedway in his career. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee, who has been competing with the Outlaws for the better part of the last decade, finished second at Lakeside in 2013. Sides has one win thus far in 2016, with that coming at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Arkansas back in April.

Moving on up
David Gravel, who is having the best season of his career with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, has made three starts at Lakeside Speedway and has improved his finish from the previous time each of his last two starts. Gravel ran ninth last year, which was his first top-10 finish at the historic track. The Connecticut native has nine wins this season and is locked in a tight battle for the second spot in points with Daryn Pittman and Brad Sweet.

Back in action
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series event at Lakeside Speedway last year, marked Jason Johnson’s return to racing, after missing nearly four months of action, due a broken back. Earlier this season, the native of Eunice, Louisiana, scored the biggest win of his career, taking the $150,000 Knoxville Nationals at the famed Knoxville Raceway in Iowa. Johnson, who has three wins this season and is seventh in points, has made three Outlaws starts at Lakeside in his career.

Shark attack
The Shark Racing team, owned by Hall of Famer Bobby Allen, with drivers Jacob Allen and Logan Schuchart, will be making their third trip to Lakeside Speedway. Schuchart, who scored his first-career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series win earlier this season at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin, picked up a top-10 last year for the team at Lakeside. Both drivers have qualified for the main event in each of their previous two visits to the half-mile.

Non-wing experience
Clyde Knipp, who is in the midst of his rookie season with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, raced at Lakeside Speedway last season in a non-wing sprint car event, with USAC and the WAR Series. Knipp, who just graduated from high school back in May, hails from California, Missouri, making Lakeside one of the closest races to home all season for the 18-year-old.

First timer
Greg Wilson, the leading contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season, will be making his first start at Lakeside Speedway. The Ohio native, who is a two-time champion with the Arctic Cat Star Circuit of Champions, has raced in the state of Kansas in the past with that series. Wilson has one win this season, with that coming on Memorial Day weekend at the Dirt Track at Charlotte.

Tickets for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Rumble on the River for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas on Friday, October 21 can be purchased online at https://slspromotions.ticketforce.com or by calling SLS Promotions at 815-344-2023 and at the track on race day.

Discount General Admission tickets can also be purchased at participating O’Reilly Auto Parts stores. Each General Admission ticket purchased at an O’Reilly Auto Parts location will feature a special $5 discount. Tickets buyers will exchange their O’Reilly receipt for tickets at the Main Grandstand ticket booth on race day.

For more information on tickets, visit http://slspromotions.ticketforce.com.