What a Finish: Joey Saldana Edges Steve Kinser by 0.018 Seconds in Opener of the Magic City Showdown at Nodak Speedway Minot, ND-August 20, 2010- To say the racing this season with the World of Outlaws has been close would be an understatement.
What a Finish: Joey Saldana Edges Steve Kinser by 0.018 Seconds in Opener of the Magic City Showdown at Nodak Speedway
Minot, ND-August 20, 2010- To say the racing this season with the World of Outlaws has been close would be an understatement. Following what was the closest race of the season in the series last event on August 7, an even closer finish was in store on Friday night in the opener of the Gerdau Ameristeel Magic City Showdown Presented by Sleep Inn & Suites, as Joey Saldana inched out Steve Kinser in a Photo-Finish by just 0.018 seconds to score his series leading 11 th A-Feature win of the season and his first victory at Nodak Speedway in Minot, North Dakota.
Saldana led on the white flag lap, with Kinser sliding him coming off turn four to take the top spot. The pair then drag raced down the front straightaway in front of the brand new state-of-the-art grandstand at the high-banked 3/8-mile, with Saldana winning by mere inches over the 20-time series champion. For Saldana, it was his 70th career World of Outlaws A-Feature win, tying him with Dave Blaney for seventh on the series all-time win list.
"That was amazing," said Saldana. "I wasn't getting through those lapped cars too good and didn't want to change anything up and he almost beat me. I thought I had just lost the race. He was sliding across there and there was no grip across the middle and I just got lucky and got back underneath him and got the win. That was crazy with all the yellows and the double file restarts. It definitely makes it nerve wracking for a driver."
With about 10 laps remaining, Kinser caught Saldana in lapped traffic and tried everything he could to get a run on him, finally achieving that on the final lap. The runner-up finish was his series leading 32nd Top-Five of the season, as he and Saldana battle at the top of the standings. The different between the two is now 13 markers with Saldana leading heading into the finale of the Magic City Showdown on Saturday night. Jason Meyers, who is currently third in points, began the night by setting fast time to earn five bonus points in the standings and ended up 11th in the main event in the GLR Investments KPC and is now 63 points out of the lead.
"I got it so sideways off of (turn) four that I just couldn't get it gathered back up and get the car back under me," Kinser said of the last lap duel. "I then spun all the way down the front chute and Joey (Saldana) chopped back under me. I didn't get the job done, that's all I can say."
Saldana took the lead at the drop of the green from Kraig Kinser who started on the pole. While out front, the second generation driver endured five cautions, of which four led to double file restarts. He chose the high side of the track each and every time on the restarts en route to the win aboard the Budweiser Maxim.
"The bottom was good and I actually did think about going down there, but the leader gets to control the start so I figured if I had control I would be ok up top," explained the winner. "A couple of times it got pretty close there. It worked out. I just got lucky tonight."
Saldana had come close to winning a couple of times at Nodak Speedway the last few years, only to have bad luck befall him. He led a majority of the race last season before finishing second and also led a number of laps at the track two years ago in the Magic City Showdown.
"In 2008 we had a really good car and a lapped car spun out and I hit him and popped my left rear tire," noted Saldana. "We were leading when then happened and then last year, we were leading and we broke an oil line off pretty late in the race. We had definitely been close here, so it feels good to get one."
Kinser lined up 13th on Friday night in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim and methodically worked his way to the front. He found himself in the Top-10 just two laps into the 35-lapper and was among the Top-Five by the 13th go-around. He used a strong restart on the 18th lap to move into second, getting around Chad Kemenah and Jac Haudenschild.
"I got to really going good before that one yellow," Kinser shared. "I was picking them off on the bottom and then my tires sealed over a little bit and I could never get them back under me. It started laying a little rubber at the end and I had a shot at it."
Haudenschild came home third on Friday night aboard the Owens-Corning Fiberglass XXX in his first World of Outlaws race after sitting out a few weeks with a broken hand. The Hall of Famer lined up sixth and got around Kemenah at the start to move into fifth and then took second on the 14 th lap when Craig Dollansky and Kraig Kinser tangled while battling for third.
"I'm glad to be back racing," Haudenschild said. "The car felt good tonight. We had a few weeks off and it feels good to be back. We're feeling pretty good and the hand feels a lot better. We had a good starting spot tonight which helps. Hopefully tomorrow we can get qualified a little bit better."
Jason Sides came home fourth in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim on Friday night to earn his 19th Top-Five of the season. Chad Kemenah matched his best finish of the season with a fifth-place effort in the Golden Flavor Sesame Sticks Maxim.
Craig Dollansky rebounded from a crash in the dash which led to his team trashing to get the Aggressive Hydraulics/Big Game Treestands Maxim ready for the main event, to finish sixth.
Donny Schatz, who was running second on the 10th lap when he suffered a flat right rear tire, charged back through the field after restarting 18th, to come home seventh in the Armor All/STP J&J.
Danny Lasoski was eighth in the Casey's General Stores JEI, with Brad Sweet in ninth aboard the AutoValue/Bumper to Bumper Maxim. Paul McMahan rounded out the Top-10 in the Great Clips Maxim.
The World of Outlaws wrap-up the Magic City Showdown at Nodak Speedway on Saturday night with $10,000 again awaiting the winner.
MAGIC CITY SHOWDOWN NIGHT #1 NOTES
* FAST QUALIFIER: Jason Meyers paced the 29 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked 3/8-mile oval at 13.750 seconds at 98.182 mph. For his qualifying effort, Meyers earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Craig Dollansky (4), Kraig Kinser (3), Jason Sides (2) and Paul McMahan (1).
* NODAK SPEEDWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Donny Schatz, Lucas Wolfe and Jac Haudenschild won heat races. Kraig Kinser won the dash. Greg Nikitenko won the Last Chance Showdown.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 50 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, I-55 Raceway, Eldora Speedway-twice, Dodge City Raceway Park, River Cities Speedway, LaSalle Speedway, Beaver Dam Raceway, Lernerville Speedway and Nodak Speedway), Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, Tri-State (Okla.) Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway, I-96 Speedway, North Central Speedway and I-55 Raceway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park, Jackson Speedway, River Cities Speedway, Lakeside Speedway, Eldora Speedway, Autodrome Drummond and Fulton Speedway), Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park , Tri-City Speedway, Missouri State Fair Speedway and Ohsweken Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park, The Dirt Track at Charlotte and Ohsweken Speedway), Lance Dewease (Lernerville Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway and Cedar Lake Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway and Knoxville Raceway), Sammy Swindell (Dodge City Raceway and Huset's Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway and Junction Motor Speedway), Dale Blaney (Limaland Motorsports Park), Doug Esh (Lebanon Valley Speedway), Greg Hodnett (Williams Grove Speedway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway) and Tim Shaffer (I-55 Raceway).
* 3/8-MILE-WINNERS: Nodak Speedway is a high-banked 3/8-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced 11 times on a track that size this season. The winners include: Joey Saldana (Dodge City Raceway Park and Nodak Speedway), Sammy Swindell (Dodge City Raceway Park and Huset's Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Cedar Lake Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway), Steve Kinser (Fulton Speedway), Jason Meyers (Tri-State-Okla. Speedway), Donny Schatz (Ohsweken Speedway), Jason Sides (Ohsweken Speedway) and Brooke Tatnell (Junction Motor Speedway).