Saldana Wins in New Zealand Concord, NC--Dec. 10, 2006 -- Joey Saldana and Craig Dollansky battled all season for wins with the World of Outlaws Sprint Series. Saldana picked up seven A-Feature wins, while Dollansky racked up six A-Feature wins...
Saldana Wins in New Zealand
Concord, NC--Dec. 10, 2006 -- Joey Saldana and Craig Dollansky battled all season for wins with the World of Outlaws Sprint Series. Saldana picked up seven A-Feature wins, while Dollansky racked up six A-Feature wins along with two preliminary feature victories. It was no different on Sunday as the pair battled in the $20,000-to win International Sprint Car Classic at Western Springs Speedway in Penrose, Auckland, New Zealand, this time as teammates for Salter Motorsports, and car owner Ron Salter.
Dollansky, who calls Elk River, Minnesota home, began his trip to New Zealand last week aboard the Salter Cartage #7USA with a dominating win at Western Springs Speedway.
The International Sprint Car Classic was originally scheduled for Saturday night, but heavy rain and unfavorable track conditions forced its postponement until Sunday.
The extra day off did not seem to bother either Dollanksy or Saldana, nor the large enthusiastic crowd that packed the grandstands to see the drivers who finished second and third respectively in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series championship standings this past season.
Saldana began the day in the Salter Cartage #63 USA car and was one of the three fastest drivers in hot laps, along with his teammate Dollansky. Saldana's night appeared to be over though after he lost an engine in early heat race action, but teammate Dean Brindle, who already has two Feature wins so far this season, offered to give up his car, the Salter Cartage #22 to Saldana, who traveled to New Zealand for this race only. Saldana was thus able to compete in two heats races leading up to the Feature race.
In other heat race action, Dollansky claimed the fourth-spot in the first heat. He backed that up with a win in the third heat, with Saldana finishing third in his new ride. In the fourth and final heat, Saldana picked up the win after starting third. It only took him three laps to get to the front.
Dollansky started on the pole position for the 30-lap Feature race, with Saldana on the outside of the front row. Dollansky used a strong start to take the lead into the first turn, setting the fastest lap of the race on the opening circuit. He would lead the first 19 laps of the event, working in-and-out of lapped traffic on the tight quarter-mile.
Saldana patiently worked his way through the traffic as well, shadowing Dollansky. The native of Brownsburg, Indiana, used a slide job to take the lead and ultimately the $20,000-win on the 20th circuit. Dollansky would up third, after Ricky Logan slipped around him on lap 26 to earn the runner-up spot, and a clean sweep of the podium for American drivers.
Saldana, who drives for NASCAR star Kasey Kahne on the World of Outlaws circuit, is currently on his way back home, while Dollansky will remain in New Zealand for two more races, including the "Powerbuilt Sprint Car Classic" in Christchurch on December 19th at Powerbuilt Speedway. The event will be the third of four scheduled for the month of December for Dollansky.
The 2007 World of Outlaws Sprint Series season opener, the DIRTcar Nationals, is set for February 9-11 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida.