Barberville, Fla — On the first day of the 2006 season at the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH, Chad Kemenah delivered a message that he would be a World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series contender. In 18 days at Volusia Speedway Park, Kemenah aims to redeliver that championship belief.
Kemenah, a native of Findlay, Ohio, and a four-time champion with the All Stars Circuit of Champions, had always wanted to run full-time with the World of Outlaws. The opportunity presented itself in 2006. On night one ¬— Feb. 9, 2006 — he rolled to victory on the opening night of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by University of Northwestern Ohio. His dominating performance would eventually propel him to win the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award.
With Kemenah setting the early pace in the 25-lap event, Chad Layton, Joey Saldana and Donny Schatz raced back-and-forth and top-to-bottom on the big high-speed, half-mile oval before catching traffic. When the three cleared the lapped cars, Schatz emerged in the second position and set his sights on Kemenah.
But Kemenah maneuvered cleanly through the field and locked his machine back into the bottom groove to take the $10,000 checkered flag just ahead of Schatz. It was an exciting start to what was the World of Outlaws 29th season.
“It’s kind of a make believe story,” Kemenah said about his opening night win. “No doubt about it, my starting spot helped, but you still have to be fast enough to stay there. I guess it’s just the best way to get started.”
That night belonged to Kemenah in his debut as a full-time World of Outlaws competitor. He set quick time in qualifying and wound up leading every lap of the A-Feature event. The win also put him atop the World of Outlaws championship standings for the first time in his career.
Schatz finished second on that 2006 opening night, with Joey Saldana one spot behind him. Chad Layton and Brian Brown rounded out the Top-Five.
“We kind of dug ourselves out of a hole and came up smelling like roses after qualifying 10th and pulling a zero invert,” said Schatz, who would go on to claim the 2006 season title, as well as the ’07 and ’08 championships.
To see who emerges as a star in the 38th running of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, make sure to reserve your favorite seats in advance before they’re sold out. With infield trailer heights limited to 9 feet, 6 inches, there are no bad seats in the grandstands at Volusia Speedway Park.
Take advantage of special ‘Super Ticket’ deals that offer seats for all the events contested by each headline division, including six Sprint Car events (All-Star Circuit of Champions on Feb. 3-5, World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Feb. 6-8); eight nights of UMP DIRTcar Modified action (Feb. 3-10); six-nights of Dirt Late Model racing (Feb. 9-14); the and four Advance Auto Parts DIRTcar big-block Modified dates (Feb. 11-14).
To reserve your seats, follow the ticket links at http://www.volusiaspeedwaypark.com, http://www.dirtcarnationals.com or call the Volusia Speedway Park office at 386-985-4402.