With temperatures as cold as they were here last week, Volusia Speedway Park 38th annual Alltel Nationals kicked off with the O'Reilly All-Stars and the World of Outlaws.
Action began last Tuesday with the All-Stars, where is was Donny Schatz putting on a clinic coming from 24th to win the feature event. Schatz took the lead late in the event from Stevie Smith, who finished second over Sammy Swindell, Danny Lasoski and Joey Saldana. Other locals were Cody Darrah in seventh, Lance Dewease ninth, Greg Hodnett 15th, Fred Rahmer 19th, Mark Smith 21st and Doug Esh 23rd.
Schatz came back to win the second night of action leading all 25 laps from the pole spot, taking the win over Saldana, Daryn Jason Sides, Daryn Pittman and Steve Kinser. Stevie Smith was sixth, Chad Layton eighth, Pat Cannon 23rd and Hodnett 24th. No other local driver qualified.
Stevie Smith turned in a great run for his first win with the Zemco sprinter, taking the win Thursday night over Craig Dollansky, Saldana, Jason Meyers and Steve Kinser. Hodnett was seventh, Darrah 8th, Lucas Wolfe 17th, Mark Smith 19th and Mike Erdley 24th.
The World of Outlaws kicked off its season on Friday night, where it was defending and three-time champion Schatz scoring the win over Sides, Hodnett, Kraig Kinser and Swindell. Other locals were Darrah in 7th, Stevie Smith 15th, Layton 18th and Mark Smith 20th.
Saturday night Joey Saldana used a final lap pass on Sides for the exciting win in the WoO event, with Sides, Jac Haudenschild, Hodnett and Stevie Smith the top five. Layton was 12th, Mark Smith 18th, Erdley 23rd and Darrah 25th after leading the first 17 laps of the event.
In Sunday night's finale, Schatz made it four wins in six starts as he led all 30 laps of the WoO finale, a VSP winning over Stevie Smith, Chad Kemenah, Daryn Pittman and Steve Kinser. Rahmer fell to 13th after starting on the pole, with Cody Darrah 15th, Hodnett 18th, Dewease 19th, Layton 21st and Mark Smith 22nd.
Don't forget the Race A Rama car show coming up February 18 through the 20th at the Valley Mall in Hagerstown. Call the speedway for more information.
And it's just a little over a week away, but if Mother Nature holds, Hagerstown Speedway will be kicking off the 2009 racing season on February 21 with Late Models and 410 Sprints. Raindate is Sunday February 22.
That will be a wrap for this week and as always, e-mail reaches me at Bvores@aol.com.