Swindell Wins Eagle Nationals Preliminar By Richard Day EAGLE, NE (June 24) -- Sammy Swindell set the qualifying standard at Eagle Raceway when he won the Eagle Nationals in 1992. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' three-time champion...
Swindell Wins Eagle Nationals Preliminar
By Richard Day
EAGLE, NE (June 24) -- Sammy Swindell set the qualifying standard at Eagle Raceway when he won the Eagle Nationals in 1992. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' three-time champion took a big step toward another Eagle Nationals championship Saturday when he set quick-time and won the Preliminary Feature. "The CHANNELLOCK car was really good all night long," Sammy said. "Tomorrow's a little easier day, but we'll still watch the track, where the cars are running and what they're doing to their tires just like we would on a normal race night." Swindell's fourth Preliminary Feature victory of the season pushed him past Stevie Smith into third place in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series point standings. His 11.462-second lap, .198 seconds off the record he set eight years ago, earned him his eighth Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the season, tying Mark Kinser for the series lead. The preliminary program, originally scheduled for Friday, was postponed due to rain. Swindell finished third in the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and secured the second row inside starting position in the Preliminary Feature by following Joey Saldana across the finish line in the First CHANNELLOCK Dash. Saldana drove his #17 HEM Saw Eagle into the lead and Swindell passed Second CHANNELLOCK Dash winner Danny Lasoski as the green flag fell in the 25-lap feature. Sammy caught Saldana on the back straightaway and took over first place with an inside move between the third and fourth corners. Swindell was .3 seconds ahead of Saldana when he entered lapped traffic during the fifth lap. Steering his #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth through lapped traffic with ease allowed Sammy to open a 3.2-second advantage by lap 12. Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser passed Lasoski for third place with an inside move in the fourth corner late in the 15th lap. Swindell increased his lead to 4.3 seconds while "The Dude" battled to regain the position the next time around. Smith was trying to pass Dale Blaney for ninth place late in lap 17 when the #93 Amoco Maxim spun in turn four and took Stevie out of the race. Tim Shaffer steered the #11H Vivarin Eagle high into turn four to pass Lasoski for fourth place as the race resumed. The #28 Verdelli Farms Maxim lost its right front wheel late in lap 20, causing Brian Paulus to spin in the fourth corner. "The King of the Outlaws" steered his #11 Quaker State Maxim deep in turn one to pass Saldana for the runner-up spot with 3 3/4 laps remaining. Swindell caught the backmarkers again as the white flag fell, and took the checkered flag with 2.5 seconds to spare. "The CHANNELLOCK car was just as fast up on the top as it was down low," Swindell said, "so when we got to traffic it wasn't that hard to get by. I caught a couple of guys racing for position once or twice but, other than that, there wasn't much that could slow us down. "On those cautions there at the end, I got to looking around and I saw I had a couple of lapped cars in there. I knew I could just take it a little easier and make sure I ran good, smooth laps and didn't get into the rough stuff as much. It's hard sometimes trying to get to the front, especially in the heats when you have some really good cars starting in front of you, but we just kept after it." Saldana and Shaffer earned the second-row starting positions in Sunday's Second CHANNELLOCK Dash by finishing third and fourth in the Preliminary Feature. Lasoski finished in fifth place, ahead of Mark Kinser, 15th-starting Andy Hillenburg, Third NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Daryn Pittman, Jac Haudenschild and Fourth NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Greg Hodnett. The rear axle on the #15 ParkerStores Maxim broke as Donny Schatz took the green flag for his qualifying laps. He raced into fifth place from the rear of the Fourth NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and finished seventh in the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash. The 1997 Rookie of the Year passed seven cars to finish 17th in the Preliminary Feature. Seventeen-time Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series car owner champion Karl Kinser replaced the engine in the #5M Mopar Maxim before and after the First CHANNELLOCK Dash. Lance Blevins' crew changed engines in the #21 PC Joey Eagle after the First CHANNELLOCK Dash. Mark Kinser and Blevins each passed seven cars in the evening's main event to finish sixth and 12th, respectively. WoO