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Speedway to open 40th season with World of Outlaws

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The #3 car of World of Outlaws rookie Brent Robinson of Smithfield, Virginia.

World of Outlaws rookie
returning to speedway oval

A weekend of racing on home turf has never looked so appealing to Brent Robinson of Smithfield, a former racer at Virginia Motor Speedway at Jamaica.

After absorbing some hard knocks during his first six races this season as a World of Outlaws (WoO) Late Model Series Rookie of the Year contender, the 21-year-old welcomes the tour’s doubleheader in his backyard on April 17 at Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway and April 18 at Virginia Motor Speedway.

“These two shows are going to be real big for us,” said Robinson. “We’ve been traveling all over the country and every track we’ve run at I’ve seen for the first time, so I’m excited to finally get a chance to race close to home at two tracks I know.”

One of seven drivers signed up to chase the 2009 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year Award (the honor is determined using the drivers’ 30 best finishes), Robinson currently ranks fourth in the rookie battle and 15th in the tour’s overall points standings. He’s entered all six of the national tour’s events this season, but has qualified for only one A-Main, finishing 22nd on March 13 at Deep South Speedway in Loxley, Ala.

Hitting the road extensively for the first time in his five-year dirt Late Model career has been quite a learning experience for Robinson. As if competing against the country’s biggest dirt Late Model stars at unknown racetracks in Florida, Alabama, Texas and Illinois hasn’t been difficult enough, he’s also had to fight through some horrendous racing luck and balance his responsibilities as a student at Old Dominion University.

When an establishment turns 40 years old, there’s only one way to throw a birthday party, and that’s with all the bells and whistles!

Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway (VMS) at Jamaica in Middlesex County will swing open the gates for the 40th season Saturday, April 18, and will do so with the most ambitious opening in the track’s history.

The stars of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series are headed to the speedway for a 50-lap no-holds-barred brawl that is sure to be one for the ages. The $10,000-to-win “Rappahannock Tractor Rumble on the River 5” presented by Dixie Chopper will feature many of the nation’s top Super Late Model drivers competing for the top prize.

“The World of Outlaws always puts on a tremendous show; this year will be no different as we celebrate the track’s 40th anniversary and 10th season under the direction of Bill Sawyer,” said track general manager Clarke Sawyer.

“Last year’s event was one of the speedway’s best events ever,” continued Sawyer. “The action, the power and three and four-wide racing kept the fans on their feet and to top it all off a regional driver pulled off the upset and took home the huge check. We can’t wait to see the nation’s top drivers back in what is a must see event.”

Heading the entry list of drivers expected to compete is 2008 champion Darrell Lanigan, 2007 winner Shannon Babb, 2007 champion Steve Francis, 2006 winner Rick Eckert, 2005 winner Clint Smith, Shane Clanton, Chub Frank, current point leader Josh Richards, 2007 Rookie of the Year Tim Fuller, 2008 Rookie of the Year Vic Coffey and a huge crop of rookie candidates that includes Virginian and VMS graduate Brent Robinson, Jordan Bland, Russ King and 13-year old Tyler Reddick, just to name a few.

Some of the top national and regional racers with the VMS event on their schedules are defending race winner Jeremy Miller, four-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Champion Earl Pearson Jr., defending and three-time MACS Champion Jason Covert, Jimmy Owens, Doug Horton and a host of others.

Spectator gates for this Saturday, April 18, will open at 4 p.m. There will be a BB&T “Meet and Greet” with the Outlaws drivers from 5 to 6 p.m. On-track activities will begin at 6:30 p.m. with hot laps.

 Divisions scheduled to race include World of Outlaws Late Models (50 laps); Truckin Thunder Sportsman (25 laps) and the Budweiser Modifieds (25 laps). Sportsman and Modified divisions will run hot lap time trials and features only. World of Outlaws Late Models will run hot laps, time trials, heats, B mains and features.

For ticket information, visit http://www.vamotorspeedway.com or call 758-1VMS.

Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway is a ½-mile dirt oval track on Route 17, eight miles north of Saluda.

posted 04.15.2009

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