Joey Saldana made history as he was the victor in the inaugural Ironman 55 to score his second career win with the World of Outlaws at I-55 Raceway. He took the lead from his teammate Craig Dollansky on the 19th lap and would go on to hold off several charges from him down the stretch to pick up the $20,000 win. Saldana proved to be an Ironman as he drove the second half of the race with a hole in his right rear tire.
This is a very important race, said Saldana after taking the checkered flag. Thanks to everyone for going through all of the hard work to make this event possible and for the track preparation. Thats what made it a great race both nights, is that they took the time to rework the track. Thanks to the fans that stuck with us and made it happen.
Fans from 21 states and three countries purchased advance tickets for the inaugural Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway, with fans from a number of additional states in attendance when the final tally was done. Fans from Washington to New York, California to North Carolina and North Dakota to Louisiana were on hand for the inaugural event. Also represented was Australia and Canada among the throng of fans that were present for the historic event, with a standing room only crowd on hand for the finale.
The inaugural Ironman 55 which was co-sanctioned by the All Star Circuit of Champions had a stout field of cars in attendance from coast-to-coast. Of the drivers present, 27 World of Outlaws championships were accounted for, six All Star Circuit of Champions titles, one Midwest All Star championship, three Midwest Sprint Car Series (Non-wing) championships, 13 Williams Grove Speedway track championships, 11 Lincoln Speedway track championships, eight Knoxville Raceway track championships, five Port Royal Speedway track championships, five Susquehanna Speedway track championships, three Selinsgrove Speedway track championships, and one Lernerville Speedway track championship among others. Also in action were eight former Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winners with the World of Outlaws.
Danny Lasoski, who hails from Dover, Missouri, put on quite a show in the finale of the Ironman 55 coming all the way from the 16th starting spot to finish third. Being from the Show-me State, he was proud to be a part of the newest event of the famed Month of Money and had high praises for all of those involved that put in countless hours to make the event the success that it was.
Thanks to Ray (Marler) and his crew for working this track and making it like it was, said Lasoski Kenny Schrader is a racer and Ray Marler is a racer. I used to work for him before I started racing. To have this race here at what is the best track in Missouri is a pleasure, especially being from Missouri.
Five of the original Outlaws from the inaugural 1978 World of Outlaws season were on-hand for the inaugural Ironman 55. Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell and Danny Smith all competed, with Rick Ferkel there as a car owner for Brandon Wimmer, while Shane Carson helped with numerous tasks to help the event roll off without a hitch and even climbed behind the wheel of the pace car to pace the field both nights.
Its pretty neat to be part of this race, said Danny Smith during driver introductions for the finale. For us guys that race full-time we need more high paying special events like this. Im glad to be here.
Craig Dollansky, who annually promoters a World of Outlaws event along with his wife Julie at Clay County Fair Speedway in Iowa, thanked the fans after both nights of racing as he was part of two thrilling races. On Friday night he was in the middle of a three-car battle with Jason Sides and Donny Schatz with the trio going three wide as they took the white flag. The veteran driver won that event and finished second to his teammate Joey Saldana in the finale of the Ironman 55.
I think it was a good race for the fans both nights, said Dollansky. I appreciate your patience with these guys reworking the race track. I know they put a lot of time and effort into it.
Dean Brandt, originally from Minot, North Dakota, was responsible for naming the Ironman 55, which was determined by an online contest held by the World of Outlaws. He sent in an early entry for the contest and it continued to hold throughout the contest with hundreds of entries pouring in from coast to coast as well as Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Brandt waved the green flag during the famed Four-Wide Salute to the Fans parade lap and also rode on Work N Woody, the Official Push Truck and Safety Vehicle of the World of Outlaws.
That was the perfect name for the race, said driver Jason Meyers, a former winner at I-55 Raceway. Im looking forward to coming back next year and hopefully we can win it.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Crane Cams (Official Valvetrain), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Fusion Energy Boost (Official Energy Boost), Quaker State (Official Motor Oil), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors, Jakes Custom Golf Carts, KSE Race Products, Penske Shocks, Racing Electronics, S&S Volvo; Engine Builder's Challenge participants Don Ott Racing Engines, Kistler Engines, Shaver Specialties and Speedway Engines; and Chassis Builders Challenge participants J&J Auto Racing, Maxim Racing and XXX Race Company.