SALINA, OK – The Twister Showdown for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series is this weekend on Saturday, May 5 at Salina Highbanks Speedway. After being contested in the fall the last two years, the event has returned to a spring slot on the schedule. The Twister Showdown will mark the only race of the season for the series in Oklahoma. In each of the last five races for the Outlaws at Salina, a different driver has visited victory lane. Thus far in 2018, six drivers have been victorious with the series. This edition of Up to Speed sets the stage for the Twister Showdown at Salina Highbanks Speedway.
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.
Kerry Madsen won a thrilling race last year at the blazing fast three-eighths-mile over Donny Schatz and Brad Sweet. After starting on the pole, Sweet led the first 22 laps, before Madsen got by him. Down the stretch, the lead trio were nearly three-wide on a couple of occasions as they jockeyed for position.
A pair of drivers, who were born and raised in Oklahoma, won at Salina in 2015 and 2016. 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.
Daryn Pittman scored his first win at Salina Highbanks Speedway in 2016. The 2013 series champion, who grew up in 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.
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.
Six for six
Daryn Pittman is the only driver who has finished in the top-10 in all previous six World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series events at Salina. He has four top-five finishes, including his win two years ago. Last year, Pittman ran 10th, which marked his worst finish with the Outlaws at Salina. The veteran driver recently picked up three wins in a four-race span in three different states.
Oh so close
Salina Highbanks Speedway is one of the few tracks on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series schedule where nine-time series champion Donny Schatz has never won at. The North Dakota native has a pair of runner-up finishes, including last year, among his five top-10 finishes in six starts at the track.
Brad Sweet has finished on the podium twice at Salina Highbanks Speedway. The driver of the No. 49 for Kasey Kahne Racing has four top-10 finishes in five starts at the track. Sweet led the first 22 laps of the main event last year en route to a third-place finish.
Looking for redemption
Last year, David Gravel was battling for the lead on the opening lap of the main event when contact led to him getting upside down, which caused too much damage to continue. The Connecticut native has been very consistent in his career at Salina Highbanks Speedway. He has four top-10 showings in five starts, including a runner-up finish in 2016, which saw him nearly steal the win from Daryn Pittman on a green-white-check finish.
Logan Schuchart, Sheldon Haudenschild, Brent Marks, Jacob Allen and Clyde Knipp are among the next generation of drivers on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series circuit. Schuchart, Haudenschild and Marks all finished in the top-10 last year at Salina.
A handful of starts
Kraig Kinser, Jason Sides, Jason Johnson and Ian Madsen have all made a few starts at Salina. Johnson, who has three top-10 runs at the track, has finished in the top-five in each of the last two years at Salina. Madsen has a pair of top-10 showings, including a fourth in 2016, while Sides and Kinser each have one top-10 at the track.
Greg Wilson will be making his third appearance at Salina Highbanks Speedway. The 2016 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner finished just outside of the top-10 each of the last two years.
Dane Lorenc, who is in the midst of his rookie season with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, will be seeing Salina Highbanks Speedway for the first time. The New York native will visit numerous tracks for the first time in his career this season.
Defending race-winner, Kerry Madsen will be in attendance at Salina Highbanks Speedway, looking to make it back-to-back wins at the blazing fast track. Madsen has three top-10 finishes this season in just a handful of starts with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.
Tickets for the Twister Showdown, featuring the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series at Salina Highbanks Speedway on Saturday, May 5 can be purchased online at slspromotions.ticketforce.com or by phone at 815-344-2023 and at the track on race day.