Saldana Storms to Victory at Eldora Speedway: Scores Fourth Win of 2010 Rossburg, OH- May 7, 2010- Joey Saldana felt like a win slipped away from him last weekend at Jackson Speedway when he suffered a flat tire late in the going and he made up...
Saldana Storms to Victory at Eldora Speedway: Scores Fourth Win of 2010
Rossburg, OH- May 7, 2010- Joey Saldana felt like a win slipped away from him last weekend at Jackson Speedway when he suffered a flat tire late in the going and he made up for it on Friday, as he was victorious in the opener of Outlaw Thunder by Goodyear for the World of Outlaws at the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio, despite significant damage to the left sideboard of his top wing.
For Saldana, it was his fourth A-Feature win of the season, which ties him with current point leader Jason Meyers atop the win list. Saldana lined up sixth and gained two spot on the opening lap and was up to third on the second circuit. He got around Donny Schatz for second on the 11th lap and took the lead from Lucas Wolfe in turns three and four on the following circuit and would pace the remainder of the distance aboard the Budweiser Maxim.
"We had an awesome car tonight," said Saldana. "That's the way it was in '08 when we won a couple races here and were leading the others and blew tires. We kind of strayed away from that and last year we really struggled here. We went back tonight to how we ran our car in '08 and I can't say enough about my guys. They did a great job."
The first caution of the night flew on the 13th lap with Saldana choosing the high line to restart in, on the double file restart. He charged into turn one, with Schatz and Wolfe battling for the second spot. Saldana would open a big lead as the laps wound down, hitting lapped traffic again on the 19th go-around.
"At Eldora with how the track gets and my car was running very well on the top, so that was where I was going," shared Saldana of the double file restart. "Even if I was on the bottom, I was going to the top. It was a really good night for us and we'll come back tomorrow and hopefully we can duplicate this performance."
The race was scheduled for 30 laps, but was declared official after a lap-25 caution when rain began to pour down. The final caution of the night flew for four-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz, who had a flat tire while running second. He ended up 18th as the final car on the lead lap.
For Saldana, the win was his eighth with the World of Outlaws at Eldora In his career at the famed half-mile with the series he has nearly 50 Top-10 finishes. Winning at Eldora is always extra special for Saldana, as his father Joe won a number of races at the track as well during his career.
"When my dad raced, this was actually one of the few tracks that I got to watch him race at," explained the second generation driver. "It really hasn't changed that much since then. Tony (Stewart) took it over and he kind of changed it a little bit, but now it's back to the way it was when my dad raced here. When it's like this, it's such a fun track to drive. I love it and enjoy it. I respect it as well, because I know it can bite you. I just love racing here."
Wolfe lined up second and took the lead from Schatz on the eighth lap in traffic, using the low side of the back straightaway to get a strong run going into turn three. The native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania would lead four laps en route to matching his season-best finish of second. It was his second consecutive podium finish aboard the Allebach Racing Maxim as he continues to close in on his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win.
"Good results tonight, with all things considered," said Wolfe. "It was our strongest run of the year. I'm happy to have a good result here, racing with Joey (Saldana and (Donny) Schatz. Obviously they are two of the best anywhere."
Wolfe was held up just a bit in lapped traffic on the 12th lap allowing Saldana to close in and take the lead. After lining up on the low side on the double file restart on the 13th lap, he fell back to third, but battled right back to get around Schatz and reclaim the runner-up position.
"It certainly benefited us being in lapped traffic and I was able to get (Donny) Schatz and then the same thing happened with Joey (Saldana)," noted the 2008 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year. "We missed it just a little and played a little wrong on that one caution. If it would have come out one lap earlier, we could have restarted on the front. It was a strong result for us and we'll come back tomorrow and see if we can improve one spot better and get ourselves a win."
Steve Kinser was third in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim in his first start at Eldora driving for Tony Stewart Racing.
Paul McMahan came home fourth in the Great Clips Maxim to earn his sixth Top-Five finish of the season and also moved up a couple of spots in points to seventh.
Jason Meyers rounded out the Top-Five in the GLR Investments KPC to extend his string of Top-10 finishes to start the season to 14. He leads the World of Outlaws championship standings by 15 markers over Steve Kinser as he chases his first title.
Danny Lasoski finished sixth in the Casey's General Store JEI, with Craig Dollansky in seventh piloting the Big Game Treestands Maxim. Sammy Swindell came from 15th to finish eighth in the Big Game Treestands Maxim. Kerry Madsen came home ninth in his first World of Outlaws start of the season aboard the Halls Haulage KPC. Chad Kemenah came from 18th to finish 10th in the Golden Flavor Sesame Sticks Maxim.
The World of Outlaws wrap up Outlaw Thunder by Goodyear at Eldora Speedway on Saturday, May 8, which kicks off with a special Pre-race Pit Party from 3:30-5 p.m., which will allow fans with a grandstand ticket to cross the track and meet their favorite drivers.
ELDORA SPEEDWAY NIGHT #1 NOTES
* FAST QUALIFIER: Paul McMahan paced the 34 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked 1/2-mile oval at 13.413 seconds at 134.198 mph. For his qualifying effort, McMahan earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Jac Haudenschild (4), Danny Lasoski (3), Jason Meyers (2) and Steve Kinser (1).
* ELDORA SPEEDWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Donny Schatz, Randy Hannagan, Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Tim Kaeding won heat races. Donny Schatz won the dash. Chad Kemenah won the B-Main.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 14 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway and Tri-State (Okla.) Speedway), Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, I-55 Raceway and Eldora Speedway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park and Jackson Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park) and Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park).
* 1/2-MILE WINNERS: Eldora Speedway is a high-banked half-mile. The World of Outlaws have raced six times at a track that size in 2010. The winners include: Steve Kinser (VolusiaSpeedwayPark and JacksonSpeedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway), Joey Saldana (Eldora Speedway) and Donny Schatz (VolusiaSpeedwayPark).