The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series will return to Lakeside Speedway on Wednesday night, right in the middle of the series’ nine-month season.
Wednesday’s race, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., provides for an opportunity for drivers to pick up points on leader Donny Schatz, the six-time series champion who has a sizeable lead in points on the rest of the field. Schatz has never won at Lakeside.
Kerry Madsen, currently third in the standings, won last year’s race at Lakeside. He said will look to feed off the energy the crowd provides once again.
“We really had a big crowd get to that race,” Madsen said. “It’s sort of in the heartland, and it’s great to reach our supporters in that area, and it’s one of our favorite races of the year.”
Brad Sweet sits in fourth place anda won last week in Michigan, providing a boost in confidence.
“(My) confidence is up, but then the other night (Sunday in Wisconsin) we blew a tire,” Sweet said. “You’re only as good as your last race. We’ve been in the top five for the most part, and as long as we stay in the top five, I like where we’re at.”
And as the season progresses, Sweet, who has three wins this season, said his goal is to ultimately leap into second or third in points.
His teammate on Kasey Kahne Racing, Daryn Pittman, also has three wins this season.
It’s been 12 years since Pittman last won at Lakeside, but the 2013 series champion and 2014 series runner-up said he still enjoys the track and the atmosphere.
“We definitely have not been running as well as we normally do,” Pittman said. “Any win right now would be good.”
Pittman broke his collarbone after a crash in April in California but was back in the car only nine days later. Still, the two races he missed during that time contributed his drop to seventh place in the standings.
“We’re just worried about winning and racing and getting back on track,” Pittman said. “The points will take care of itself.
“If we get on a roll we can finish the year strong and finish second or third.”
The Lakeside race was originally scheduled for June 6, but severe rain and flooding postponed the date to Wednesday night. For tickets, go to www.SLSPromotions.com or order them by phone at 815-344-2023.