Swindell Wins Second Prelim At Red River Valley MEADVILLE, PA - July 9, 2001 - Sammy Swindell may be mild-mannered, but camera shy he's not. The three-time World of Outlaws series champion once again rose to the occasion and collected a win in...
Swindell Wins Second Prelim At Red River Valley
MEADVILLE, PA - July 9, 2001 - Sammy Swindell may be mild-mannered, but camera shy he's not. The three-time World of Outlaws series champion once again rose to the occasion and collected a win in front of a nationally televised TNN audience on Friday, July 6th at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, ND.
Swindell and the Outlaws were in town for the three-night "Duel in the Dakotas" which started Thursday with the first of two preliminary races. Swindell qualified the #1 Channellock Stealth 16th-fastest with a lap time of 15.691 seconds. After making some adjustments following qualifying, Swindell ran away with the fourth O'Reilly Heat Race of the evening, as well as the Channellock Dash. His Dash win secured Swindell the pole position for the drop of the green in the First Preliminary Feature. But Swindell's lead was to last only the length of the first straightaway. Danny Wood passed him low in the first corner. Later in the first lap, Steve Kinser passed Swindell as well, and from that point on, the 1997 champion could only battle to hold ground, as Craig Dollansky and Paul McMahan also found their ways around him. After 25 laps, Swindell's was the fifth car under the checkered flag.
"The Channellock car was running great, but the Goodyears just didn't do the job tonight," said a disappointed Swindell following the race. "It seemed like each time a yellow came out and we were in a restart position, I just couldn't get the bite the other guys were getting, and it cost us a position or two each time."
Friday's second Preliminary Feature was a different story. Swindell was the tenth-fastest qualifier in the 38-car field with a lap time of 16.092 seconds around the Red River half-mile oval. He then won the second O'Reilly Heat Race, and placed third in the Channellock Dash, earning the inside second-row starting spot for the feature.
Swindell chased down the leaders for the first 21 laps before gaining the lead over Dollansky. The two battled back and forth, and Donny Schatz joined the fray as well. Schatz raced wheel-to-wheel with the two, nearly taking the lead before Swindell managed to surge ahead, leaving Dollansky and Schatz to sort out the second and third spots.
"I had to really work for that win," commented Swindell after the hard-fought victory. "We finally found some tires that would get a good bite on this track. Craig and Donny were right on me there at the end, but I guess I found the right part of the track and a good enough grip to stay ahead of them. That was fun." The crowd in attendance and the viewers around the country were treated to one of the most competitive races in recent memory.
But Dollansky was to get his revenge for Saturday's A Feature. After two nights of qualifying races, Saturday's event began with the O'Reilly Heat Races. By virtue of his preliminary point standings, Swindell was already guaranteed the fourth starting position in the Feature race behind Danny Lasoski, Dollansky and Steve Kinser.
There was only one lead change during the A Feature when Dollansky found his way around Kinser in the 13th lap. Swindell successfully battled Lasoski and Jeff Shepard for fourth place late in the race, then maneuvered the Channellock #1 around Shepard for third-place following a red flag caution in the 29th lap. Swindell defended the spot and held on to finish the race third.
Swindell summarized his thoughts on the weekend following the A Feature:
"All in all I was real pleased with our progress this weekend. The car was running great again. We did struggle with the tires after the first night, but we had it together for the win Friday and did a pretty good job Saturday. We've found a few things that aren't the way they should be on the car and knowing what's wrong will give us a chance to make some repairs in the next ten days or so while we're back at the shop."
Running a limited schedule this year, Swindell's next race is the "Eldora Clash" on July 20th at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. The "King's Royal" will take place the following night at Eldora. The Channellock team will then compete at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, PA on July 24th, followed by two nights at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, PA on July 26th and 27th. On the 28th, Swindell and company will race at Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, MD.