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In the Groove, Issue #001 -- Will the NST return in 2007?
January 02, 2007
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World of Outlaws preliminary 2007 Schedule

The World of Outlaws preliminary 2007 schedule has been released. Beginning on February 9 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida, the series concludes on November 3 at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Click here to view the 2007 World of Outlaws preliminary schedule

Will the NST return in 2007?

There has been a lot of speculation regarding the future of the National Sprint Tour (NST) circulating Sprint Car circles recently. Now more than ever it appears the series won't be returning in 2007. With no TV deal or major sponsor and the loss of Steve Kinser, Tim Kaeding, Danny Lasoski and Paul McMahan to the World of Outlaws, the NST will struggle to compete for with other Sprint Car series. At the time of writing there has been no schedule for 2007 released and the NST website appears to have been shutdown.

Johnson captures WSS Speedweek

America's Jason Johnson won his first World Series Sprintcars Speedweek crown on January 1 at Premier Speedway, Warrnambool. Speedweek, a gruelling 5 nights of racing from December 26 to January 1, is a mini-series within Australia's World Series Sprintcars (WSS). In what was a close battle, Johnson held off Max Dumesny to win the series by only 10 points. For his efforts Johnson was awarded a brand new Proton Jumbuck GLi.

A large contingent of Americans joined Johnson to contest Speedweek including Paul McMahan, Dean Jacobs, Brock Mayes and Shane Stewart.

Dumesny currently leads the overall WSS championship by 20 points from Johnson, and with only 3 rounds to go, it looks like it'll be a great fight to the finish.

More information on World Series Sprintcars is available here

Rush Racing shuts shop

Rush Racing's team owners Tim Hanson & Bob Campbell announced recently that due to business commitments the team would no longer be competing. Finishing fifth in this year's World of Outlaws points, the team has achieved some great results in its two years of competition. Headed by driver Brooke Tatnell, Rush Racing won 5 WoO feature races in 2006 and finished in the top 10 on 40 occasions. The decision leaves Tatnell without a drive for the 2007 WoO championship, but word is we could see him in the Volcano Joe's car, raced previously by Joey Saldana.

New Hoosier racing tire announced

Hoosier announced a new national sprint car right rear tire during the recent Performance Racing Industry trade show. The new 105/18-15 tire will feature a stiffer construction and be available in three compounds (SC12, SC15, and SC25). Using the same tread design and tire dimensions as the open competition right rear, the tire has been designed to create more opportunities for passing and side-by-side racing action. Hoosier have stated the new tire will see the price reduced by around $25 per tire. Available throughout North America by Spring 2007, the tire was recently announced as the control tire for the 2007 World of Outlaws Championship.

Want to learn more about Sprint Car tires?
Check out the Sprint Car Tires page on www.world-sprintcar-guide.com

North American Sprint Car Poll

Donny Schatz has been named the North American 410-Sprint Car Poll Driver of the Year. Presented by the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Foundation and voted on by a panel of speedway identities, the award caps off a sensational year for Schatz, who took out the World of Outlaws Championship as well as the Knoxville Nationals.

Other award winners were:

Driver of the year
Donny Schatz (410), Jason Johnson (360), Jon Stanbrough (Non-Wing)

Team of the Year
Danny and Diane Schatz (410), Alan and Lanny Row #41 (360), Brad and Steve Fox (Non-Wing)

Rookie of the Year
Neil Shepherd (410), Steve Poirier (360), Hunter Schuerenberg (Non-Wing)

Manufacturer of the year
Brian and Jeannie Butler (410 & 360), Bob Westphal & Dan Gentrup (360), Joe Devin (Non-Wing)

Media Member of the year
Jerry Reigle (410), Doug Auld (360), Pat Sullivan (Non-Wing)

Promoter of the year
Scott Boyd, Larry Hillerud & Steve Sinclair(410), Emmett Hahn (360), Jim Naylor (Non-Wing)

Wild Card Award
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (360 & 410), Daron Clayton (Non-Wing)

The late Fred Brownfield, founder of both the Northern Sprint Tour and the National Sprint Tour, was posthumously named the recipient of the “Outstanding Contribution to the Sport” award.

Kasey Kahne Racing announced as Mopar factory team

Mopar has announce that Kasey Kahne Racing has been selected as the brand’s factory race team in the USAC National Midget and Sprint Series, as well as the World of Outlaws Sprint Series, for the 2007 racing season. Kasey Kahne Racing will field two USAC National Midget Car Series teams, two USAC National Sprint Car Series teams, and a World of Outlaws Sprint Series team for the upcoming racing season.

The team’s driver lineup for the 2007 racing season will include Kevin Swindell and Brady Bacon in the USAC National Midget and Sprint Car Series. Joey Saldana will return to the World of Outlaws Sprint Series for the team.

Tony Stewart Racing to partner with Chevrolet

Chevrolet has announced that it will power and sponsor Tony Stewart Racing's entries in the United States Auto Club (USAC) and the World of Outlaws Sprint Series for three years beginning in 2007.

Levi Jones will drive for the team in the USAC National Midget and Sprint car divisions alongside teammate Tracy Hines, who will also compete in both divisions. Jones will pilot the No. 20 entry and Hines will drive the No. 21 machine. The two drivers will also compete in USAC Silver Crown events whenever the series races on dirt. Paul McMahan returns for a second season behind the wheel of the No. 20 Winged Sprint car, as Tony Stewart Racing rejoins the World of Outlaws full-time after spending the 2006 season competing with the National Sprint Tour and part-time with the World of Outlaws.

Tony Stewart Racing was previously supported by Mopar.

Farr and Saldana take home $20,000

Australia's Robbie Farr and the USA's Joey Saldana recently took home $20,000 each after winning two of New Zealand's biggest Sprint Car races.

Farr won the Powerbuilt International Classic at Powerbuilt Speedway in Christchurch on December 16. Farr topped the classy field which included America's Craig Dollansky and Ricky Logan, Australia's Trevor Green and New Zealand's own Allan Wakeling and Kerry Jones. Driving Steve Duff's J&J, Farr led home Wakeling in second place and Jones in third.

The previous week Joey Saldana took the cash at the International Sprint Car Classic at Western Springs Speedway. The event was originally scheduled for Saturday night, however heavy rain and unfavorable track conditions forced its postponement until Sunday. In a clean sweep for American drivers, Ricky Logan was second and Craig Dollansky third. Saldana did not compete at the Powerbuilt International Classic as he was forced to return to America due to other commitments.

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