Schatz And Wolfe Lead The Way

Donny Schatz and Lucas Wolfe made history on Thursday night, leading the way in time trials on the opening night of the inaugural Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Schatz paced the 48 cars that took to the track in the first of two qualifying sessions with a lap of 12.416 seconds around the state-of-the-art 0.4-mile track. Lucas Wolfe was second in the first session, with Jason Meyers third, Daryn Pittman fourth and Fred Rahmer fifth. The first qualifying session set the heat race line-ups for Friday night’s racing program.

The rest of the Top-10 in time trials in the first session were: Paul McMahan in sixth, Joey Borich in seventh, Joey Saldana in eighth, Shane Stewart in ninth and Greg Hodnett in 10th.

For Schatz it was the seventh time this season that he has been fastest in time trials. While he received the accolades for turning the fast lap, he was quick to credit the hard work of his crew over the course of the season and the importance of a total team effort.

“These guys are really working their tails off, even though it’s the end of the season,” said Schatz, driver of the ParkerStore J&J. “We just want to win a couple of races. We’re trying some different things right now. I am so excited for the guys on this team. They are on top of their games. It’s a lot of fun getting in that car especially in qualifying tonight.”

In the second qualifying session Schatz was second, as again 48 cars took the green flag. While he would have liked to have set fast time in both sessions, the native of Fargo North Dakota who just needs to start the A-Feature each of the next two nights to clinch his second consecutive World of Outlaws title, is in a good position to contend for his second win of the season at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

“Our car is pretty bad to the bone right now,” smiled the reigning World of Outlaws champion. “This thing is awesome right now. I think we can make it a little better maybe a tenth (of a second) better if the race track will let us. We look to get ourselves in a good position to win these last two races.”

Wolfe set fast time for the second time this season with the World of Outlaws with his lap of 12.447 seconds in the second qualifying session with Schatz just behind him. Greg Hodnett was third, Jason Sides fourth and Kraig Kinser fifth.

The rest of the Top-10 in the second qualifying session included: Jason Meyers in sixth, Steve Kinser in seventh, Shane Stewart in eighth, Joey Saldana in ninth and Paul McMahan in 10th.

“You can’t ask for much better than that,” said Wolfe, driver of the Rick’s Auto Body Maxim. “That’s a good head start for the weekend. They did a great job with the race track. We don’t get to race at facilities like this very often and the track was nice as well. If they can keep it this nice the rest of the weekend there will be some really good racing. It’s always nice to come to a place that puts a lot of effort into the race, just like you do with the car.”

After the first round of time trials for the World of Outlaws, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series hits the track with the sprint cars anxiously awaiting their second round of time trials which set the field for Saturday night’s event.

Wolfe was a very interested observer when the 80-plus late models in attendance took to the track for their qualifying runs. Not sure what the track was going to do, many drivers took different approaches in how to set their machines up for the second qualifying session.

“We changed the car just a little bit,” shared Wolfe a native of Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania. “We made a minor change and I think it helped us. I got to watch a couple of guys go out and that helped out some. I could put the car anywhere I wanted. Anytime you are in a league with Donny Schatz that’s pretty good, and hopefully we can keep it up the whole weekend.”

Jason Meyers was third quick in the first session as he sets his sights on his fifth A-Feature win of the season on Friday night. The native of Clovis California followed that up with a sixth-place effort in the second qualifying session.

“We’ll take third,” said Meyers, driver of the Primerica Financial Maxim. “We are happy with that. It’s a good run for us and will put us in a good starting position for tomorrow night’s race.”

Greg Hodnett, the 1993 World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner, was third fastest in the second session. The native of Thomasville, Pennsylvania was 10th in the first session earning him solid starting positions in the heat races on Friday and Saturday night.

“I’ve been pretty good when we come here,” said Hodnett, driver of the Macri Concrete J&J. “We went out early in the second group and I think that helped out quite a bit. The guys did a good job and that put us in the Top-Three. The car is running good now we just have to race good.”

With the track crew at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway putting in countless hours over the course of the last two weeks to make sure the track was ready for both the sprint cars and the late models, drivers were very pleased with the surface and how it responded to having 130 cars turn laps on it during the hot laps and twin qualifying sessions that took place on Thursday night.

“It changed a little bit,” noted Hodnett of the track conditions between the two time trial sessions. “Off of the third and fourth turns it was pretty used up. That’s why it was better to go out early for us. Other than that it held up very well. I was a little surprised. All the guys on the track crew did a great job. I think that everybody is pleased with how it turned out.”

The inaugural Outlaws World Finals continue on Friday November 2 with heats races, a dash and main events for the World of Outlaws and the World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

The finale of the event is set to be broadcast LIVE on SPEED on Saturday, November 3 from 8-11 p.m. (ET).

First Time Trial Session (Determined Heat Race Line-Ups for Friday Night)

1) 15-Donny Schatz 12.416
2) 5W-Lucas Wolfe 12.505
3) 14-Jason Meyers 12.544
4) 21-Daryn Pittman 12.635
5) 51-Fred Rahmer 12.639
6) 20-Paul McMahan 12.642
7) 7B-Joey Borich 12.648
8) 9-Joey Saldana 12.650
9) 5-Shane Stewart 12.661
10) 22X-Greg Hodnett 12.662
11) 11-Steve Kinser 12.673
12) 11H-Kerry Madsen 12.675
13) 11K-Kraig Kinser 12.683
14) 6-Tim Shaffer 12.707
15) 7S-Jason Sides 12.712
16) 19-Stevie Smith 12.724
17) 24-Terry McCarl 12.749
18) D1- Justin Henderson 12.771
19) 2B-Dale Blaney 12.782
20) 83-Danny Lasoski 12.782
21) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 12.784
22) 7-Craig Dollansky 12.800
23) 25-Chad Layton 12.802
24) 5C-Chad Hillier 12.803
25) 30C-Lance Dewease 12.809
26) 7K-Dean Jacobs 12.819
27) W20-Greg Wilson 12.821;
28) 1Z-Jessica Zemken 12.834
29) 10C-Jeremy Campbell 12.836
30) 3* Kaley Gharst 12.838
31) 7M-Mark Smith 12.851
32) 18T-Tony Bruce Jr. 12.854
33) 4-Danny Smith 12.862
34) 8K-Chad Kemenah 12.882
35) 12-Lynton Jeffrey 12.899
36) 30-Doug Esh 12.908
37) 20E-Brian Ellenberger 12.909
38) R19-Jason Solwold 12.912
39) 1-Randy Hannagan 13.002
40) 22-Brandon Martin 13.046
41) 20S-Mike Kuemper 13.107
42) 35-Jac Haudenschild 13.143
43) 14AJ-Wayne Johnson 13.150
44) 11T-Tyler Thompson 13.153
45) 11S-Brian Smith 13.316
46) 18-Brian Carlson 13.347
47) 11i-Geoff Dodge 13.454
48) 21B-Brandon McLain 14.405

Second Time Trial Session: (Determined Heat Race Line-Ups for Saturday Night)

1) 5W-Lucas Wolfe 12.447
2) 15-Donny Schatz 12.463
3) 22X-Greg Hodnett 12.632
4) 7S- Jason Sides 12.697
5) 11K-Kraig Kinser 12.701
6) 14-Jason Meyers 12.714
7) 11-Steve Kinser 12.727
8) 5-Shane Stewart 12.728
9) 9-Joey Saldana 12.738
10) 20-Paul McMahan 12.74
11) 2B-Dale Blaney 12.773
12) D1-Justin Hendrickson 12.778
13) 25-Lance Dewease 12.781
14) 7K-Dean Jacobs 12.782
15) 21-Daryn Pittman 12.800
16) 83-Danny Lasoski 12.829
17) 24-Terry McCarl 12.874
18) 6-Tim Shaffer 12.885
19) 5C-Chad Hillier 12.897
20) 3*-Kaley Gharst 12.925
21) R19-Jason Solwold 12.931
22) 11H-Kerry Madsen 12.935
23) 7-Craig Dollansky 12.936
24) 7M-Mark Smith 12.949
25) 19-Stevie Smith 12.967
26) 1Z-Jessica Zemken 12.972
27) W20-Greg Wilson 12.997
28) 25-Chad Layton 12.997
29) 51-Fred Rahmer 13.011
30) 14AJ-Wayne Johnson 13.023
31) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 13.027
32) 30-Doug Esh 13.037
33) 10C-Jeremy Campbell 13.039
34) 1X-Randy Hannagan 13.043
35) 20E-Brian Ellenberger 13.052
36) 9B-Joey Borich 13.092
37) 11i-Geoff Dodge 13.140
38) 35-Jac Haudenschild 13.176
39) 20S-Mike Kuemper 13.183
40) 4-Danny Smith 13.191
41) 18-Brian Carlson 13.244
42) 22-Brandon Martin 13.246
43) 8K-Chad Kemenah 13.275
44) 12-Lynton Jeffrey 13.345
45) 11T-Tyler Thompson 13.355
46) 18T-Tony Bruce Jr. 13.388
47) 11S-Brian Smith 13.426
48) 22B-Brandon McLain 14.470

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