Second No More: Saldana Scores First Win of 2008 on Opening Night of the Boot Hill Showdown Dodge City, KS-- June 20, 2008-- Joey Saldana had been so close to winning a number of times this season entering the opening night of the Boot Hill...
Second No More: Saldana Scores First Win of 2008 on Opening Night of the Boot Hill Showdown
Dodge City, KS-- June 20, 2008-- Joey Saldana had been so close to winning a number of times this season entering the opening night of the Boot Hill Showdown at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas on Friday night. In fact, he had five runner-up finishes in the first 20 events of the season. He shed the bridesmaid tag on Friday night, picking up his first Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature win of the season over Craig Dollansky and Jason Meyers, with the cameras from SPEED capturing all the action.
Saldana aboard the Budweiser/Open Joist Mopar-powered JEI started second and shot to the lead in the first turn on the opening lap, with Dollansky just behind him. By just the fourth lap of the 30-lap contest, Saldana was in lapped traffic allowing Dollansky to close in on him.
Saldana had to check up in heavy traffic on the seventh lap, giving Dollansky the opening he needed to go under Saldana and take the lead exiting the fourth turn. The lone caution of the event flew just shy of the halfway point of the race. On the ensuing restart on the 14th lap, Saldana looked high on Dollansky exiting the second turn, then dove low under him in the third and fourth corners, winning a drag race down the front straightaway to take the lead and ultimately the $10,000 win.
"This is a good win for us," said Saldana, who drives for NASCAR star Kasey Kahne. "We have been needing this. The pressure has been on us and there have been a lot of people that deserved this win. The team, the sponsors and everyone involved. This is great for everyone, especially Budweiser. We got this one out of the way and now can come back tomorrow and look for another one."
After taking the lead back, Saldana opened a slight advantage with Dollansky tracking him back down as the pair entered heavy lapped traffic with less than 10 laps to go. With eight laps remaining, Saldana and Dollansky were nearly running three-wide with a lapped machine. This allowed Meyers and Chad Kemenah to close in.
"Tonight I felt like we had a good enough car to win and I made a mistake in lapped traffic and Craig (Dollansky) got by me," said Saldana. "I went to the top and was able to stay with him. I knew if we stayed in lapped traffic that I had a shot at getting him again."
With seven laps left, Saldana and Dollansky charged into the third and four turns, with Dollansky having to get on the brakes as the pair nearly touched. He quickly rebounded and pulled right back up on Saldana. Dollansky had one more chance at Saldana with two laps remaining, but did not quite have enough momentum to attempt a pass.
"Getting into (turns) three and four we were pretty close," said Saldana of his battle with Dollansky. "I went to the top and he just about got by me again and I had to slam the door on him pretty hard. He has won four of these and I haven't won any. I'm glad everyone came out of that all right and he got a finish as well."
After having a couple of wins slip out of his grasp due to lapped traffic this season, Saldana was able to use traffic to his advantage on Friday night, as he earned his second career win at Dodge City Raceway Park and the 35th A-Feature win of his World of Outlaws career.
"It was a key for me, because I though I had lost the race in lapped traffic," Saldana said of his car working well in the dense traffic he encountered most of the night. "You are not supposed to do that. Traffic was just atrocious tonight. I came back and got him and we definitely had a good enough car to win."
Dollansky, who was looking for his third consecutive Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature win on Friday night, finished second to earn his 14th Top-Five finish of the season aboard the Auto Value Parts Stores Maxim. He won the third heat race and also finished a very solid fourth in the Crane Cams Dash.
"I feel like we had the car to win that race tonight," said Dollansky. "We were operating pretty good in lapped traffic and even out in the open. I got a hand signal to go to the top there on the restart and that was not the place to go. It was a good strong run for the Larry Woodward team tonight and we came up one spot short."
Dollansky started fourth and moved to second on the opening lap, getting around pole sitter Chad Kemenah, as well as two-time defending series champion Donny Schatz. He was held up a couple of times in traffic, but was quick to point out that that is part of racing. He was one of the first people to come and congratulate Saldana in Victory Lane.
"A few of them, I wasn't sure what they were doing," he explained of the slower cars. "Lapped traffic always seems to come into play in these races and I felt like we were getting through it ok. Joey (Saldana) definitely had a great race car tonight as well. We would have loved nothing more than have gotten three in-a-row tonight, but again we just came one spot short."
Jason Meyers finished third on Friday night in the GLR Investments KPC to earn his series leading 18th Top-Five finish of the year. He started fifth and gained two spots on the opening lap, also getting around Kemenah and Schatz. He closed to within a couple car lengths of Saldana and Dollansky several times, but could not quite get a run on them to battle for the lead.
"Another third-place run is a good run," said Meyers. "To gain some points as well is good. Charlie Garrett built us a new motor for tonight and it is absolutely awesome. We've been waiting for this thing all year and he did a great job. It runs really, really good. We are looking forward to tomorrow night. We had a good race car tonight and it was just hard to pass. We were right there with the leaders, we just couldn't find a hole to get around them. Hopefully we'll have a little bit better starting position tomorrow night and get a win."
The opening night of the Boot Hill Showdown was the first chance for the World of Outlaws to compete at the 3/8-mile track since a significant amount of banking was added to it. Meyers, who won at the track last season, really didn't notice too many changes in the style needed to drive the track even with the added banking.
"It still very similar to the characteristics of the past," Meyers noted to the changes to the track. "I thought it was a little too wet tonight so it didn't really allow for the passing. Hopefully they'll get us a top groove tomorrow night we'll see a little more passing."
Kemenah had a very strong night, winning the second heat race, as well as the Crane Cams Dash to earn the pole position in the A-Feature. After having a little trouble on the opening lap, he settled in and ran in the Top-Five for the remainder of the event in the Kantor Oil Company Maxim, coming home fourth. He has 10 Top-10 finishes as he closes in on the Top-Five in points.
"It was a good night," said the 2006 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year. "My hat is off to my crew. My nephew (A.J. Havens) and myself have been holding our head above water for about a month as the only crew on this car and we have a young guy Adam (Brough) from back home on the road with us now. I think I have the best car owner in the field. He put a lot of faith in me and a 20-year old kid to run this team and we are showing what we are capable of."
Jac Haudenschild was fifth in the Owens Corning Fiberglass Maxim to pick up his eighth Top-Five finish of 2008, as he continues to close in on his first win of the season.
Sam Hafertepe Jr. had a strong night finishing sixth in the G.H. Plumbing J&J, after turning the second quickest lap in time trials. Donny Schatz was seventh in the Armor All J&J beginning the night by setting fast time in qualifying, with Daryn Pittman in the Titan Garages Maxim behind him in eighth. Steve Kinser, the 20-time series champion was ninth in the Q Oil Maxim, with Shane Stewart rounding out the Top-10 in the Roth Motorsports KPC.
The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to action on Saturday with the finale of the Boot Hill Showdown which will also be taped by SPEED.
BOOT HILL SHOWDOWN NIGHT #1 NOTEBOOK
* FAST QUALIFIER: Donny Schatz paced the 23 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked 3/8-mile oval at 12.593 seconds at 107.202 mph. For his qualifying effort, Schatz earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Sam Hafertepe Jr. (4), Steve Kinser (3), Jac Haudenschild (2), and Jason Meyers (1).
* QUALIFYING WINNERS: Joey Saldana, Chad Kemenah and Craig Dollansky won heat races... Chad Kemenah won the Crane Cams Dash.
* UP NEXT: The finale of the Boot Hill Showdown at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas on Saturday, June 21, which will be taped for future broadcast on SPEED.
Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Boot Hill Showdown Night #1; Dodge City, KS; June 20, 2008
1) 15-Donny Schatz 12.593
2) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 12.651
3) 11-Steve Kinser 12.749
4) R19-Jac Haudenschild 12.774
5) 14-Jason Meyers 12.776
6) 24-Terry McCarl 12.779
7) 9-Joey Saldana 12.816
8) 55-Kerry Madsen 12.871
9) 2-Craig Dollansky 12.898
10) 83-Shane Stewart 12.956
11) 8K-Chad Kemenah 12.985
12) 21-Daryn Pittman 13.063
13) 20-Kraig Kinser 13.147
14) 24X-Glen Saville 13.158
15) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. 13.220
16) 7S-Jason Sides 13.231
17) 7-Tim Shaffer 13.326
18) 6-Mike Wagner 13.336
19) 5C-Chad Hillier 13.354
20) 1-Jason Martin 13.424
21) 1X-Dennis Park 13.439
22) 21T-Taylor Velasquez 15.186
23) 36-Ty Williams 15.192
Heat 1 (10 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 9-Joey Saldana
2) 15-Donny Schatz
3) 83-Shane Stewart
4) R19-Jac Haudenschild
5) 7S-Jason Sides
6) 20-Kraig Kinser
7) 5C-Chad Hillier
8) 21T-Taylor Velasquez
Heat 2 (10 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 8K-Chad Kemenah
2) 14-Jason Meyers
3) 55-Kerry Madsen
4) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
5) 7-Tim Shaffer
6) 1-Jason Martin
7) 36-Ty Williams
Heat 3 (10 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 2-Craig Dollansky
2) 21-Daryn Pittman
3) 11-Steve Kinser
4) 18-Tony Bruce Jr.
5) 24-Terry McCarl
6) 6-Mike Wagner
7) 1X-Dennis Park
Crane Cams Dash (8 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting
positions of A-feature)
1) 8K-Chad Kemenah
2) 9-Joey Saldana
3) 15-Donny Schatz
4) 2-Craig Dollansky
5) 14-Jason Meyers
6) 21-Daryn Pittman
7) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
8) R19-Jac Haudenschild
9) 24-Terry McCarl
10) 11-Steve Kinser
A-main (30 laps) - Starting Position [#]
1) 9-Joey Saldana [$10,000]
2) 2-Craig Dollansky [$5,000]
3) 14-Jason Meyers [$3,000]
4) 8K-Chad Kemenah [$2,700]
5) R19-Jac Haudenschild [$2,500]
6) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [$2,200]
7) 15-Donny Schatz [$2,000]
8) 21-Daryn Pittman [$1,800]
9) 11-Steve Kinser [$1,600]
10) 83-Shane Stewart [$1,450]
11) 24-Terry McCarl [$1,300]
12) 7-Tim Shaffer [$1,200]
13) 20-Kraig Kinser [$1,100]
14) 1-Jason Martin [$1,000]
15) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. [$950]
16) 7S-Jason Sides [$900]
17) 55-Kerry Madsen [$850]
18) 5C-Chad Hillier [$750]
19) 6-Mike Wagner [$725]
20) 1X-Dennis Park [$700]
21) 21T-Taylor Velasquez [$700]
22) 24X-Glen Saville [$700]
23) 36-Ty Williams [$700]
Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1-6, 14-30; Craig Dollansky 7-13
SuperClean Start of the Night: Joey Saldana
Chicken Hawk Hot Lap Award: Joey Saldana
Penske Power Position: Jason Meyers
KSE Hard Charger Award: Tim Shaffer