A Dazzling Debut: Doug Esh Wins in First Trip to Lebanon Valley Speedway West Lebanon, NY-July 25, 2010- Doug Esh had never seen Lebanon Valley Speedway until Sunday afternoon when he rolled through the pit gate, but that didn't really matter as...
A Dazzling Debut: Doug Esh Wins in First Trip to Lebanon Valley Speedway
West Lebanon, NY-July 25, 2010- Doug Esh had never seen Lebanon Valley Speedway until Sunday afternoon when he rolled through the pit gate, but that didn't really matter as he quickly got up to speed and put himself in the right spots to win in his debut at the blazing fast half-mile to score his first World of Outlaws A-Feature win of the season and the second of his career.
Esh started on the pole and beat Jason Sides into turn one at the drop of the green and would use strong restarts a couple of times en route to the $10,000 triumph, as he continues to fill in for the injured Jac Haudenschild in the Owens-Corning Fiberglass XXX.
"This is unbelievable," said Esh in Victory Lane. "I have to thank Lon Carnahan for giving me a shot. It's a shame that Jac (Haudenschild) got hurt. The Triple X car, I had never driven one and this may be the best car I have ever sat in. Leonard, Marie and Kyle worked hard all day and had one of the fastest cars here tonight and I just had to get the job done."
Esh was out front with two laps to go when the second and final caution flag of the night flew, setting up a double file restart with 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser lining up alongside of him. Esh chose the low side of the track and led the field into turns one and two to hold onto the lead and was able to pull away a little bit on the final lap of the 25-lap contest.
"He is 'The King' and I am the little guys," quipped the winner when asked about having Kinser line up next to him on the double file restart. "I figured if I could get a good run off of (turn) four and get to the corner first I could get it done. Jason Sides and I battled all night from the front row. These motors take off great and never stop."
Esh chose the low side at the half-mile on both double file restarts, at a track where traditionally the pole position is on the outside line and drivers always chose the high side of the track on restarts when given the choice. The first caution of the night flew on the 13th lap, at which time Esh had opened a fairly sizable lead over Jason Sides.
"Leonard (Lee) and I talked about it and all night I started on the bottom and was able to get the lead, so why change that," explained the native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "The car felt great down there and the motor runs great off the corner. I didn't want to change what was working."
Steve Kinser used strong double file restart on the 13th lap to get by Jason Sides for second and looked to the inside of Esh in turns one and two and again in three and four to no avail on that same lap. On the finale restart he lined up on the high side of the half-mile next to Esh and wound up second in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim to score his series leading 26th Top-Five finish of the season.
"I wanted to be down in the moisture, is where I wanted to be," shared the 20-time series champion. "There was no way you were going to beat anyone off the top off of (turn) four, it was just too slick. Once you got speed up there you were all right. I wanted to try and work the bottom and think I could have. I didn't need that last yellow, if we would have raced in traffic that was probably about the only shot we had."
Donny Schatz came from the ninth starting spot to finish third aboard the Armor All/STP J&J to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award. He gained three spots on the opening lap before Jason Meyers got back around him for sixth on the second circuit. The pair then battled for the next several laps. Schatz was able to gain a spot on the lap-13 double file restart on the way to his 21st Top-Five finish of the season.
"We had a shot at it, but catching him is one thing and passing him is a whole different thing," stated Schatz. "It was a good run for us starting ninth, you can't complain about that. We passed all the guys on the bottom and would have liked to have had a few more laps, but 25 laps was enough and we got a pretty respectable finish."
Jason Meyers ended up fourth in the GLR Investments KPC, with Craig Dollansky fifth in the Big Game Treestands Maxim. Jason Sides was sixth in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim. David Gravel matched the best finish of his career with the World of Outlaws, coming home seventh in the JaneDoeNoMore.org J&J.
Joey Saldana, the current World of Outlaws point leader, finished eighth in the Budweiser Maxim, with Danny Lasoski ninth in the Casey's General Stores JEI. Paul McMahan rounded out the Top-10 in the Great Clips Maxim.
The World of Outlaws return to action on Tuesday, July 27 at Autodrome Drummond in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada for an inaugural event.
LEBANON VALLEY SPEEDWAY NOTES
* FAST QUALIFIER: Joey Saldana paced the 28 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked half-mile oval at 16.567 seconds at 130.380 mph. For his qualifying effort, Saldana earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Jason Meyers (4), Craig Dollansky (3), David Gravel (2) and Steve Kinser (1).
* LEBANON VALLEY SPEEDWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Doug Esh, Chad Kemenah and Danny Lasoski won heat races. Doug Esh won the dash. Kraig Kinser won the Last Chance Showdown.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 43 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 and Lernerville 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 and North Central Speedway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park, Jackson Speedway, River Cities Speedway, Lakeside Speedway and Eldora Speedway), Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park , Tri-City Speedway and Missouri State Fair 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), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park and The Dirt Track at Charlotte), 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) and Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway).
* HALF-MILE-WINNERS: Lebanon Valley Speedway is a high-banked half-mile. The World of Outlaws have raced 21 times at a track that size in 2010. The winners include: Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park, Jackson Speedway, Lakeside Speedway and Eldora Speedway), Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway and I-96 Speedway), Joey Saldana (Eldora Speedway-twice), Jason Sides (Tri-City Speedway and Missouri State Fair Speedway), Lance Dewease (Williams Grove Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Doug Esh (Lebanon Valley Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Knoxville Raceway), Greg Hodnett (Williams Grove Speedway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park) and Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway).