MESQUITE, TX (October 17) -- Joey Saldana managed to steer clear of the mayhem unfolding around him March 16th, then raced way from the field to win his second consecutive "A" Feature at the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series birthplace, Devil's...
MESQUITE, TX (October 17) -- Joey Saldana managed to steer clear of the mayhem unfolding around him March 16th, then raced way from the field to win his second consecutive "A" Feature at the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series birthplace, Devil's Bowl Speedway.
Saldana, who won the Winter Nationals last October, was gaining on the leaders when Steve Kinsre's engine locked and Tyler Walker crashed into a flipping Tyler Walker late in the 21st lap.
Saldana beat Craig Dollansky under the checkered flag by 3.286 seconds to claim the $12,000 first prize and the 29th Annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals title.
"I was pretty scared out there," Saldana said. "Tyler was working the top in turn four -- that's how he got Steve -- but I was running down on the bottom. When I got to a couple of lapped cars at the end, I wanted to go to the top, but I knew my mechanic Davey (Whitworth) would probably fire me if I got passed. I kept running the same line, and it paid off."
Saldana, the 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, leads the series with 19 fast times. He is driving his family's #17 Eagle Raceway/HEM Saw Eagle this year after racing Dennis Roth's #83 Beef Packers Eagle most of last season. Saldana has won five "A" Features, including the Kings Royal that paid him $50,000.
Saldana will be among the drivers to beat when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series returns to Las Vegas Motor Speedway's semi-banked, ½-mile oval for the 29th Annual Winter Nationals Saturday. He will have plenty of competition waiting for him, however, as 16 drivers have combined to win the first 64 main events. Kinser has exchanged the points lead with Danny Lasoski and his cousin, Mark Kinser, 12 times this year.
Steve Kinser has won 18 "A" Features -- including the Mopar Parts Knoxville Nationals -- and lead the standings by 296 points over Lasoski. "The King of the Outlaws" has driven his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the top 10 56 times, including 43 in the top five.
Lasoski was battling to defend his Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship July 26th when he was injured in a crash at Williams Grove Speedway. He recorded fourth-place finishes in his first three races back, however. "The Dude" has driven NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart's #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle to victory in 13 main events and four preliminary features.
Dollansky has won "A" Features at Eldora Speedway and Nebraska Raceway Park this season. The 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion has recorded 54 top-10 finishes, including 31 in the top five, in the #7 V-Mac/Polydome Maxim.
Tim Shaffer is driving the #83 Beef Packers Eagle this season after racing the #11H Vivarin Maxim for 3½ years. The 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has finished in the top 10 48 times, including 19 in the top five. He won the "A" Feature at Grays Harbor Raceway Park August 17th and two preliminaries.
Two-time series champion Mark Kinser has driven the #5M Mopar Maxim to victory at Pike County Speedway, Houston Raceway Park and Lakeside Speedway, along with four preliminaries.
Donny Schatz drove his #15 Parker Stores J&J to victory in the Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway July 6th and at The Raceway at Powercom Park four days later. The 1997 Rookie of the Year ranks seventh in the standings with 40 top-10 finishes, including 24 in the top five.
Brad Furr, the runner-up in the 2001 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year race, has won "A" Features at Texas Motor Speedway, Watsonville Speedway and Port Royal Speedway this season. He has driven his #2 Sanmina/SCI Eagle into the top 10 in 34 "A" Features, including 13 in the top five.
Stevie Smith left his own car to drive David Helm's #11H Vivarin Maxim this year. He has raced into the top 10 in 36 "A" Features, including victories at Lernerville Speedway and Farmer City Raceway.
Randy Hannagan, the 1995 Rookie of the Year, has shown no ill effects from the severe leg injury that caused him to miss the final two months of last season. He ranks 10th in the point standings.
Daryn Pittman is fully recovered from the back injury he suffered at Hollywood Hills Speedway March 9th. Despite missing nine events in March and April, the 2001 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion is the series' most improved driver with six "A" Feature victories.
Danny Wood is driving Lonny Parsons' #6 Casey's General Stores Maxim this season. The 2000 Rookie of the Year has recorded 12 top-10 finishes, including three in the top five.
Jac Haudenschild is back with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series and Guy Forbrook after bouncing from car to car last season. "The Wild Child" drove the #5 Wirtgen Maxim to victory at I-55 Raceway March 30th and swept the 1/3-Mile Short Track Nationals at Eagle Raceway.
Johnny Herrera HHHis the new driver of the #2W Heintz Brothers Maxim owned by Bill Wilburn, crew chief for NASCAR Winston Cup racer Rusty Wallace. After missing the first two events, Herrera won the preliminary Feature on opening night of the Silver State Shootout at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Walker won the World of Outlaws Gumout Series championship this year. He has raced into the top 10 eight times, including one victory, in 12 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series events.