SALINA, OK – The Twister Showdown hits the track this weekend on Saturday, October 21 at Salina Highbanks Speedway as the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series visit the track for the fifth consecutive year and sixth time overall. In the last four races for the series at the blazing fast track, four different drivers have visited victory lane, including Oklahoma natives each of the last two years. When the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series rolls into Salina Highbanks Speedway, just five main events will remain on the season. This edition of The Breakdown sets the stage for the 2017 edition of the Twister Showdown, which is the only race of the season for the Outlaws in the state of Oklahoma.
Salina Highbanks Speedway is a high-banked, three-eighths-mile. The track record of 11.177- seconds was established by Joey Saldana on April 26, 2013.
Daryn Pittman scored his first win at Salina Highbanks Speedway last year. The 2013 series champion, who hails from nearby Owasso, Okla., won a thriller over David Gravel, in a race that featured a green-white-check, two-lap dash to the finish, following a late caution flag. Pittman’s win marked the second straight year that a driver, who was born and raised in Oklahoma was victorious. Pittman is the only driver that has finished in the top-10 in each of the five World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series races at the track.
Shane Stewart picked up his first victory at Salina in 2015, making him the first Oklahoma native to win with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at the track. The veteran driver finished fifth last year in the Twister Showdown.
Joey Saldana was victorious at Salina in 2013 and also set a new track record in time trials, which still stands today. Craig Dollansky won each of the first two Outlaws races at Salina in 2011 and 2013.
A total of 16 teams are following the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series tour in 2017. Leading the way is eight-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz. Brad Sweet is currently second in points, followed by David Gravel, Daryn Pittman and Shane Stewart. Jason Johnson currently rides sixth in the standings, followed by rookie driver Sheldon Haudenschild, Kraig Kinser, Logan Schuchart and Jason Sides. Also on the road this season is defending rookie of the year Greg Wilson, Jacob Allen, Jac Haudenschild in the Stenhouse Jr. Wood Racing No. 17, second-year driver Clyde Knipp, rookie contender Brent Marks and Parker Price-Miller, who took over the Destiny Motorsports ride last month.
Donny Schatz, the eight-time and defending series champion, has never won at Salina Highbanks Speedway. The track is one of just a handful on the circuit that he has not been victorious at. Schatz does have a runner-up finish at the track as one of his four top-10 finishes. Brad Sweet has three top-10 finishes in four starts at Salina, including a runner-up performance in 2015.
Jason Johnson has a pair of top-10 runs with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Salina Highbanks Speedway. Jason Sides has taken part in four of the previous five Outlaws races at Salina, picking up one top-10 finish along the way.
The next generation
David Gravel, Logan Schuchart and Jacob Allen are three of the younger drivers competing full-time with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. Gravel contended with Daryn Pittman for the win last season, taking the lead in turns one and two on a green-white-checker restart, before Pittman powered back around him in turns three and four. Gravel has four top-10 finishes at Salina in the same number of starts. Schuchart has one top-10 finish at Salina, while his Shark Racing teammate Allen is looking for his first.
Greg Wilson and Clyde Knipp each made their first appearance at Salina Highbanks Speedway last season. Wilson, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner, finished 11th. Knipp, who joined the Outlaws in May of 2016 after graduation high school, is visiting many of the tracks on the tour for the second time in his young career.
Brent Marks and Sheldon Haudenschild are both contending for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. The pair will each be racing at Salina Highbanks Speedway for the first time. Haudenschild is currently seventh in points, while Marks is just outside of the top-10. Parker Price-Miller will also be seeing Salina Highbanks Speedway for the first time, after taking over driving duties of the No. 4 Destiny Motorsports machine last month.
A strong contingent of “invaders” will take on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Salina Highbanks Speedway, including Oklahoma native Brady Bacon. The two-time USAC National Sprint Car Series champion, finished sixth at Salina last year. The Madsen brothers, Kerry and Ian will also be in action. K. Madsen has four wins with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series this season, while I. Madsen has one win. Brian Brown and R.J. Johnson are also expected as is Ryan Bickett from South Dakota.
Tickets for the Twister Showdown, featuring the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series at Salina Highbanks Speedway on Saturday, October 21 can be purchased online at slspromotions.ticketforce.com or by phone at 815-344-2023 and at the track on race day.
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