The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series will be experiencing a shift in drivers following the series as 2014 rolls around that could result in the highest following the series has seen in years.
The first of many changes the series could see is the absence of Craig Dollansky on the circuit. Dollansky and the Tod Quiring/Big Game Treestands #7 team have split following the World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track. Together they recorded 6 wins and 19 top 5’s this past season en route to a 5th place finish in the series points. It is unclear of either party’s plans for 2014. It can be assumed that Dollansky will have some sort of operation together, but the extent of that is unknown at this time. The same can also be said of the #7 machine. Who, if anybody, will be piloting the car come next season?
Multiple-time ASCoC champion Chad Kemenah may also be absent from the pits in World of Outlaw events next season. Kemenah has been following the World of Outlaws for some time now, albeit without the same success that he experienced while running with the All Stars. Kemenah overcame an early season injury this year while running on the west coast to pilot his #63 machine to 13 top 5’s and 2 fast time awards. Speculation has risen about Kemenah’s future plans with the World of Outlaws, and certainly without a big name sponsor on the side of his car it will be tough to follow the tour. Although he has run the last few years without a notable sponsor on the #63 sprinter, there is no question that Chadis near the top of the list of drivers deserving a sponsor.
A question mark can be placed beside the name of Bill Rose, although it would not be a surprise to many if he followed the World of Outlaws for yet another year. Rose, who is well-known for his success in non-wing action, has struggled mightily when putting a wing on the car, though not because of a lack of effort.
Good news has come from the state of California as Tim Kaeding and Dennis Roth have announced that they will be running the full tour with the World of Outlaws in 2014! Kaeding was a force anytime he sat behind the wheel of the #83 Roth Motorsports entry in 2013. While running on a limited schedule with the Outlaws, Kaeding racked up an impressive 9 wins and 26 top 5’s. Add to that a number of huge regional wins on the west coast and you have what many would call a successful season. Look for this duo to be a contender next season anytime the car rolls out of the hauler.
Team Shark, composed of Logan Schuchart and Jacob Allen, have also made plans to follow the World of Outlaws in 2014. Loganhas made major strides in the past season, most notably topping the qualifying charts at The Dirt Track at Charlotte’s summer WoO event. Jacob Allen has also greatly improved and the results haven proven just that. Allen had some very strong finishes in the latter part of the season and with the guidance of his grandfather Bobby Allen, he will only continue to grow as a driver. This young duo, hailing from Posse Land, should provide a lot of excitement on the track as they pursue their 2014 goals.
Watertown, Connecticut’s David Gravel recently signed on as driver of the Tom and Sherry Leidig owned Pheonix Motorsports #59 and together they have hopes of running nightly with the World of Outlaws in the coming campaign. Gravel, the 2013 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year recipient, is replacing the well respected Jac Haudenschild as the wheelman of the no. 59. If the team can secure a major sponsor during the offseason, don’t be surprised to see them on the road full time with the Outlaws while collecting a handful of wins.
It is highly likely that we will again see the familiar names of KKR teammates Daryn Pittman and Cody Darrah, TSR drivers Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser, as well as Joey Saldana, Kraig Kinser, Paul McMahan, Sammy Swindell, Jason Sides, and Kerry Madsen running the full schedule with the World of Outlaws. The series will frequently see the likes of Shane Stewart, Brent Marks, and Jim Perricone in competition throughout 2014 as well. Each has announced that they will be running large portions of the World of Outlaws schedule, adding to the strong field of cars that will be seen at high profile events.
Just as the 2013 season has wrapped up, we are only a couple of months away from the kickoff of the 2014 campaign at Florida Speedweeks. So fight through these cold winter months and the methanol will fill the air again before we know it!