Lowe's: Friday prelims report

Hodnett takes Outlaws Showdown Preliminary. CONCORD, NC (May 24) - Greg Hodnett used the valuable experience he gained as a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series regular and Stevie Smith's misfortune to win the Preliminary Feature when the XM ...

Hodnett takes Outlaws Showdown Preliminary.

CONCORD, NC (May 24) - Greg Hodnett used the valuable experience he gained as a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series regular and Stevie Smith's misfortune to win the Preliminary Feature when the XM Satellite Radio Outlaws Showdown opened Friday at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

The series' 1993 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award winner lost the lead to Smith during the 15th lap, but a flat tire on the #11H Vivarin Maxim put him back in first place with six laps remaining. Hodnett held off Steve Kinser to win his first Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series feature race since May 20, 2000. Kinser, the series points leader, was the runner-up for the seventh time in nine feature races at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"Stevie had a good run up there on the top and, to be honest, he was gone," Hodnett said. "His tire started going down and he was getting tight. We were just fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of his misfortune. The Apple Dealers/Cars By Dealers Maxim ran great all night long, and we did what we came here to do - get locked in (into the O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash) for Saturday night. I'd just like to thank everyone for coming out tonight, and we'll see you back here tomorrow."

Hodnett, the eighth-fastest qualifier in the 30-car field, won every race he entered - the Second Heat Race, the First O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash and the 25-lap Preliminary Feature.

Smith, who earned the right to start the feature outside the front row by winning the Second O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash, burst into the lead as the green flag fell. Fast-qualifier Joey Saldana spun in turn four, however, bringing out the caution flag and bringing back the original start.

The O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash winners raced wheel-to-wheel down the front straightaway before Hodnett surged into the lead in the low groove between the first and second corners.

"Stevie got a pretty good run on me on the original start, so I knew I had to pick up the throttle a little earlier on the restart and try to block him out a little bit on the front stretch," Hodnett said.

Kinser and Donny Schatz exchanged fourth place during the first and third laps before "B" Feature winner Brad Furr flipped in turn four. Schatz continued his run toward the front as the green flag replaced the red, steering the #15 Parker Stores J&J into the low groove between the first and second corners to pass P.J. Chesson. After Paul McMahan stopped in turn two with a bent drag link, Schatz lost third place when he hit an infield tire marker in the fourth corner and flipped.

Fifth-row starters Jac Haudenschild and Shane Stewart took turns passing each other for fifth place during the seventh and ninth laps.

Hodnett was 10 car-lengths ahead of Smith when he entered lapped traffic early in lap nine. Smith caught him in dense traffic three laps later, however, and took the lead in the high groove between turns and two early in the 15th lap.

Chesson's #76 sprinter suffered a broken fuel line and stopped in the infield four laps later. Chesson escaped injury when a small fire in his car was quickly extinguished. Smith surrendered first place when his right rear tire lost all its air pressure during the 19th-lap caution period.

Craig Dollansky rode the rim around Danny Lasoski between turns three and four to take over fifth place as the race resumed.

Hodnett controlled the final restart and beat "The King of the Outlaws" under the checkered flag by seven car-lengths. Tim Shaffer was racing past several cars late in the final lap when the #83 Beef Packers Eagle spun in the fourth corner.

"Cars fell out, turned over and caught on fire . we just hung in there," Kinser said.

Haudenschild and Stewart claimed the second-row starting positions in Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash by finishing third and fourth. Dollansky finished in fifth place, ahead of Mark Kinser, Lasoski, 13th-starting Tyler Walker, Saldana and Johnny Herrera.

Mark Kinser, who won three of the first four main events the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series ran at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, drove the #5M Mopar Maxim past eight cars from outside the seventh row.

Saldana set quick time for the fifth time this season, pacing the qualifying session with a 12.609-second, 114.204-M.P.H., lap around the semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval.

- WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Tyler Walker , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , P.J. Chesson , Jac Haudenschild , Johnny Herrera