After winning the 2010 World of Outlaws title, K&N sponsored Jason Meyers added even more devotees to his already hefty fan-base. Admirers from as far away as Australia began commenting on his Facebook Fan Site, and Australians do love sprint car racing, nearly as much as they like beer. It's viewed as a mix of brave sports heroes going into battle, who more often than not are "working stiffs" spending their weekends on the road. To kick off his 2011 racing campaign, Meyers took part in three of the classic sprint car races "downunder." With the help of Steve Caunt Racing, Meyers experienced not only a solid week of racing, he even pick up his first victory of the year.
Meyers hopes the new look will help in defending his 2010 World of Outlaws title. Photo of Sprint Car in Indiana, CA
The Elite Racing number 14 car will be sporting a new paint job in 2011.
"I was approached by Steve Caunt through Glen Beaton, who works with us, and is from Ballarat, Australia, said Meyers. "He offered to bring us over for a quick trip to include the Presidents Cup, the Kings Challenge and the Classic, which is the Knoxville Nationals of Australia. I have wanted to race in that race for a long time in order to get qualified for the World Challenge event at Knoxville in August, so it was a great opportunity that I could not pass up."
From Meyers' perspective the tracks in Australia are typically very small, similar to the short tracks in California that he grew up racing on. Meyers and Elite Racing are the first team from California to ever to win the World of Outlaws title. He in fact is only the eighth driver to win a World of Outlaws title ever.
"The competition in Australia has really stepped it up over the past five years," adds Meyers. "The caliber of equipment and teams in Australia has definitely started to catch up to the U.S. and it makes it very challenging. I can't say it's quite as tough as the states, yet, but they are well on their way."
"Winning the Australian American Challenge race on the Friday night of the Classic was definitely the highlight of the trip. Steve Caunt and his entire team were great to work with, and to get them a win was special. I have driven for Harry Delamont over the past few seasons in Australia, and he came up to watch too, so it was great to win for Steve and also have Harry and his family in attendance."
After his success on night one, Meyers was looking to capitalize on it during the second evening of racing. Saturday evening at Premier Speedway, night two of the Classic, after a restart, Meyers found himself defending his position from Joey Saldana for the second night in a row, only with different results this time. Saldana first went to the high line in an attempt to get around Meyers, but fell short at the line. Then, coming off turn two, on Lap 29 of the 40 lap feature, Saldana got to the outside of Meyers and the two touched wheels, ending Meyer's 2011 bid to win The Classic.
"It was very unfortunate, because we had a car that could win the race, and I was pretty upset that night, but that's racing and life goes on. The most disappointing part was I thought I could race wheel-to-wheel with the number 9 car, but as it turned out, that wasn't the case. So now I know," remarked Meyers.
With some time to reflect on his trip Meyers says "I absolutely loved the trip down under and I look forward to going back next year. The fan reception and hospitality is second to none. My wife and I want to go over next year with the kids and run a few events and make a vacation out of it."
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