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Inside Line Promotions - GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (March 11, 2019) - Sammy Swindell is 63-years-old and while many people his age are either retired or closing in on retirement from the workforce, the wily veteran is still showing up to race tracks across the country.
Swindell kicks off his winged sprint car season this Friday and Saturday at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas, during the 46th annual ASCS Spring Nationals with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour. His goal is simple: to win, which would extend his winning streak to 49 consecutive years.
"Trying to stay in pretty good shape and the experience that I have definitely helps out," he said. "Each year we try to come out with a few little tweaks or some new things or whatever we can that we think of over the winter. You can't wait to get out there and see if everything worked out the way you planned."
Swindell has been strong at Devil's Bowl Speedway, where he's won in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. He has captured a trio of ASCS National Tour wins at the half-mile oval, including two in 1995 and most recently in 2010. Swindell has also earned a dozen World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series triumphs at Devil's Bowl Speedway.
"It's one of those tracks that's been pretty consistent for the most part," he said. "The way they prepare it's usually the same so you kind of know what to expect. The weather can change it some, but that's something you have to learn to deal with.
"We've run good whether we've started up front or come out of a B Main. Sometimes the race makes a difference where you start as to where you can finish, but we've had some top threes and top fives starting in the back of the A Main. I just don't want to have to work that hard. You hope you can be in the right place and everything goes your way and you can start at the front."
Swindell, who will be driving for A.G. Rains, powered from 14th to a sixth-place outing during this event last year and the duo scored a runner-up result at Devil's Bowl Speedway in the Speedweek show last year.
UP NEXT -
Friday and Saturday at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas, for the 46 th annual ASCS Spring Nationals with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour
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SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT - Simpson Race Products
Simpson Race Products is an American motor sports parts business that supplies gloves, helmets, harness systems, driver's suits, head restraints, shoes and more ranging from racers at local tracks to international teams. For more information, visit http://www.SimpsonRaceProducts.com .
"Simpson Race Products has been with me since 1974," Swindell said. "They've been keeping me safe for more than 40 years."
Swindell would also like to thank John Christner Trucking, High Performance Lubricants, Whitacre Glass, FK Rod Ends, Premier Truck Group, CP Pistons, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Sweet Manufacturing, Schoenfeld Headers, W&B Service Company, Superior Trailer Sales, South Bay Partners and Inside Line Promotions for their continued support.
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Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.
To meet the media relations needs of your program by joining Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or Shawn@InsideLinePromotions.com . For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.InsideLinePromotions.com.
CONCORD, N.C. – Kasey Kahne’s race days have always been a bit noisy. Dozens of crews scurrying around a nearly two-ton Stock Car for days, wrenching and tuning. Hundreds of fans walking through the garage area, determined to get a picture or autograph. Media and cameras at every turn, questioning every detail of the weekend.
Now, that noise has been turned down, but just a bit.
In the pit area of a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car event, like the ones this Friday at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif., or Saturday at The Stockton (Calif.) Dirt Track, Kahne is surrounded by only a couple of crew members, who tweak on his 1,400 lb. Sprint Car. A few dozen fans meandering up and down the pits — some looking for a quick picture or a handshake. And a handful of media members, the majority just looking to take pictures.
Turning the volume down was not entirely voluntary. It was forced upon him by a health issue that caused him to put an early end to his NASCAR career.
While he was not medically cleared to race again in NASCAR, he’s found a new challenge focusing on racing Sprint Cars – a division he’s loved since a kid.
“It’s like the first thing I really got into at a young age,” Kahne says kneeling next his to orange #9 Sprint Car. “Because I got into it at a young age, and liked it so much, whether I was watching or racing myself, I’ve been hooked.”
Kahne began racing Sprint Cars as a teenager in his home state of Washington. He eventually moved into the USAC ranks, winning a championship in 2000. Then a couple of years later made his move to NASCAR.
A few years into his NASCAR career Kahne formed his own World of Outlaws Sprint Car team, Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR), which helped keep him in touch with the Series — along with running a few races himself.
“I’ve had a blast with all that over the years, whether I was at a NASCAR race watching the DIRTVision part of it or actually traveling and watching the races with the guys,” Kahne says. “I’ve always stayed really close to it and enjoyed it.”
Since its inception in 2005, KKR has amassed one World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series championship — in 2013 with Daryn Pittman — and more than 170 Series wins among several drivers, including last year’s Knoxville Nationals championship with Brad Sweet.
Of the drivers that have won a Series race for the team, Kahne is not one of them. He would like to be.
“When I knew I was done with the NASCAR deal, I thought I would give it a shot (driving Sprint Cars) for a little while, you know, and kind of see how it goes and see if I can’t figure it out and get competitive driving these cars,” Kahne says.
NASCAR was his job. Sprint Cars… well, Kahne says he doesn’t really know what it is right now.
“I hope that I actually feel like it’s a bit of a job,” Kahne says, following up with a joke that racing is never really a job.
But he wants to work at it.
“I want to feel like I’m working at it to make it work and do the things I want and then when we do have success it’ll feel that much better,” Kahne says. “I want to put the time in. I want to put the effort in. No matter what it is, to try and have that success. Doing that is definitely a little bit of work.”
He knows he has a bit of homework to do, too.
Kahne didn’t qualifying for the season opening race at Volusia Speedway Park and has cracked the top-15 twice so far this season.
“I didn’t feel that my performance was good at all (at Volusia),” Kahne says. “I thought the track was really tough… It was slick and it was greasy all in the same corner. Around the whole track just about. It was tough to learn and figure out.”
None of it had to do with his health, and he doesn’t expect it to ever be an issue with Sprint Car racing. Kahne says his issue is driving a car for an hour or two hours straight in humid weather. He would sweat a lot, get dehydrated and cramp up.
He knows the temperature during mid-summer World of Outlaws races can get humid, but he is only in the car for 30 to 40 minutes. He says he felt fine after racing in Florida and expects to the rest of this season.
His issue is seat time.
When he first started in NASCAR, Kahne regularly made time to race Sprint Cars, but over time put more focus on his Cup Series car. Leaving less time for Sprint Cars.
“I feel like now is by far the most difficult time I’ve had learning Sprint Cars,” Kahne says. “I’ve been so focused on the other style and it’s so much different than this (Sprint Car racing). The feel side of it I’m lacking a little bit and have to do a better job with my feet and my hands in different situations. And I think that’s all just laps. Once I figure that out, I’ll feel a lot more comfortable night in and night out.”
His teammate, and last year’s runner-up in Series points, Brad Sweet understands Kahne’s struggles well, having raced in NASCAR for three seasons then transitioning to the World of Outlaws full-time.
“It’s relearning a lot of things and retraining himself,” Sweet says. “It’s just a completely different discipline.”
Sweet is happy to see his car owner racing with the Series though, citing Kahne’s deep passion for the sport and love for driving the cars.
Kahne has scheduled more than 50 Sprint Car races – 44 of which, so far, are World of Outlaws races – for himself this year, but says he could easily add more, bringing his schedule to about 70 races. Kahne says he chose that schedule to ease into Sprint Car racing this year, giving himself time to formulate what he wants to do in 2020.
There’s not one race he’s looking forward to more than the other. He’s eager for them all. When the Texas races rained out in late February, Kahne says he was ready to race in the rain.
“I don’t like racing in the rain, mud, and all that, but I was like let’s do it, I’ll race,” Kahne says, grinning ear to ear.
In the quiet pit area, kneeling next to his car with a couple of crew guys leisurely working around it, Kahne says he knows the new atmosphere and traveling schedule will be a big adjustment.
“It’s a different type of pressure,” Kahne says. “There’s so many differences to it. I’m not doing normal things each week I would normally be doing the last 15, 17 years. Everything is different week to week, day to day for what it’s been in the past.”
While 50 races are close to half of the World of Outlaws schedule, it’s about a quarter longer than NASCAR’s. There are weekday races, and doubleheader weekend races – sometimes at two different tracks, and sometimes in two different states.
Instead of large team debriefs, it’s now just he and a few crew guys. Instead of hundreds of fans, a handful walk by on a race night, some just looking for a quick picture or handshake. And the media mostly is photographers looking for a picture.
“So, it’s a much different day to day than what I’ve done for a long time,” Kahne says. “I think as we go, I’ll get more and more use to this and just really, really enjoy it.”
To see Kahne take on the Outlaws this weekend (or any of the events on his schedule below), go to WorldofOutlaws.com/tix, or call 844-DIRT-TIX to reserve your seat.
Kasey Kahne’s Remaining World of Outlaws schedule:
Carney Set for Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour Title Chase – Begins with this Weekend’s Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals!
Lonnie Wheatley, EL PASO, Texas (March 11, 2019) – It’s something that the El Paso, TX, hotshoe has been gearing up for over the past several years.
Now is the time, as John Carney II is set to tackle the entire Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour in 2019 in pursuit of the $50,000 championship aboard the Sander Construction/South Plains Auto Transport/Mesilla Valley Transportation No. J2 Sprint Car.
“I’m really excited about running the whole thing for the first time,” Carney commented. “It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now. We’ve been building toward this for a while now and everything has come together really well over the winter.”
It all gets started on a high-speed clay oval that Carney has found to be very much to his liking with this weekend’s 46th Annual Spring Nationals at the storied Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX, on Friday and Saturday.
It’s the site where Carney captured the first of his three Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour triumphs at the 2016 edition of the Winter Nationals. Carney backed it up atop the fast, half-mile clay oval with a preliminary win the following year before settling for runner-up honors in the 2017 finale of the Winter Nationals.
“Devil’s Bowl has been good for us,” Carney says. “In fact, it seems like we’ve locked in most of the times that we have been there in the last several years.”
Carney’s Devil’s Bowl prowess is evident with a dozen finishes among the top six in just 18 starts atop the high-banked oval over the past five seasons.
The schedule that awaits beyond this weekend on the ASCS National trail includes approximately 45 nights of action at 27 different tracks throughout a dozen tracks ranging from Pennsylvania to Washington state.
“Aside from the tracks in the northwest, I’ve been to most of the tracks at some point,” Carney points out. “We usually go pretty well on tracks that we haven’t seen, so I’m pretty confident that we won’t have any hangups on any of the new tracks that we go to.”
In addition to Carney’s three ASCS National Tour triumphs, he has added more than a dozen Regional wins as well as countless 305-ci triumphs in recent years to ready himself for his first tour of duty with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour.
Carney rounded up a handful of wins last year including an ASCS Southwest Regional triumph while also finishing seventh in ASCS Speedweek points and then capturing runner-up honors in Oregon’s “Speedweek Northwest” points.
Now, he goes after the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour crown.
“I’m pumped, we’re ready to get things going on the right foot this weekend,” Carney sums up.
John Carney Racing is made possible by the support of invaluable partners including Danny Sander Construction, South Plains Auto Transport, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Jackson Compaction, Vado Speedway Park, CSR Garage, Momentum Racing Suspensions, Performance Plus, Performance Motor Coach, Raider Graphix, MSD Ignition, Joe Hunt Magnetos and Bell Helmets.
Next Up: Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour at the 46th Annual Devil’s Bowl Speedway Spring Nationals in Mesquite, TX, on Friday and Saturday.
Keep Track: Keep track of John Carney II’s on-track action including schedule and results on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JohnCarneyRacing/.