Swindell Completes Portland Speedway Sweep By Richard Day PORTLAND, OR (August 26) -- As the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' 2000 season heads into its final two months, Sammy Swindell knows it...
Swindell Completes Portland Speedway Sweep
By Richard Day
PORTLAND, OR (August 26) -- As the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' 2000 season heads into its final two months, Sammy Swindell knows it will take a dramatic change of events to pass Steve Kinser and win his fourth series title. Swindell gained 16 points on "The King of the Outlaws" Saturday while completing his sweep of the double-feature event at Portland Speedway. The $12,000 victory was his eighth of the season. "We have a really good team and the CHANNELLOCK car was really good tonight," Sammy told the record crowd from victory lane. "We've been pretty fast all year long. We're the ones to beat most places, if something doesn't happen to the car. How many races are left? Maybe we can just win all of them." Trailing by 162 points, Swindell would have to win and lead the most laps in the remaining 15 main events and 11 Preliminary Features, while Kinser averaged a third-place finish or worse, to claim the championship. Sammy also revealed his wasn't the only flag-to-flag victory by a member of the Swindell family Saturday. "Kevin (Sammy's son) started on the pole and led all 40 laps to win his kart race back home tonight, too, so I'm pretty proud of Swindell Motorsports right now," he said. The elder Swindell earned the privilege of starting the 30-lap main event on the pole by winning his 20th CHANNELLOCK Dash of the year. He burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the series' 47th "A" Feature of the season and never looked back. Swindell was 15 car-lengths ahead of outside polesitter Mark Kinser when he entered lapped traffic during the fifth lap. Kinser narrowed the gap to four car-lengths in dense lapped traffic three laps later, only to have Swindell increase his advantage to a full straightaway by lap 13. Vivarin Fast-Time Award winner Danny Lasoski battled Joey Saldana for eight laps before steering the #83 Beef Packers Eagle into the low groove between the first and second corners to pass him for fourth place midway through the race. Kinser closed to within seven car-lengths of the leader during lap 21 when Swindell had problems passing Dale Blaney. Sammy increased his advantage steadily after maneuvering around the 1998 Rookie of the Year and took the checkered flag with 20 car-lengths to spare. "Traffic was really tough," Swindell said. "The fast way around the track was pretty narrow there in the feature. We had some trouble and got slowed up when we caught some lapped cars. We just had to take our time and be careful. There was that one black car (Blaney) that was swerving there pretty good and held me up for a while. I guess that's just what you do to keep from going a lap down." Swindell wasn't the only driver having problems with lapped cars. "We had a tough time in traffic tonight," Mark Kinser said. "Sammy's probably one of the best and smoothest drivers in traffic, so I knew it was going to be tough to get by him. He got held up enough to let me catch up a couple of times, but getting around him is a completely different thing. "We had a slump there for a while, but I think we're getting back on top of things now. Steve has a pretty big lead in the points, but we're going to give it out best shot to keep up." Lasoski, Saldana and Third NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race Donny Schatz relegated "The King of the Outlaws" to sixth place late in the final lap before he coasted across the finish line with a broken rear end. "I don't really know what happened to Steve," Lasoski said. "I just got by him in turn three, and I could tell he'd slowed down a bunch. "I just want to thank Portland Speedway and the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series for letting us put on a show here. For just ripping up the asphalt and getting a new track in here, they did a good job. I'm sure it will be even better next year when we come back." Lasoski moved into fourth place in the point standings when Stevie Smith finished 14th in the "A" Feature. Eleventh-starting Andy Hillenburg finished in seventh place, ahead of Randy Hannagan, Greg Hodnett and Brian Paulus. Lasoski received his third Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the season for pacing the qualifying session with a 105.079-m.p.h. lap around the semi-banked, 1/2-mile oval. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' annual Wild, Wild Northwest Tour will climax Tuesday at Riverside Speedway in Cottage Grove, OR. The series will sanction the Eighth Annual Harvest Classic at Calistoga Speedway in Calistoga, CA, Friday through Sunday. WoO