Joey Saldana Dominates Brad Doty Classic Lima, OH--July 13, 2006 -- Joey Saldana wanted to win the Brad Doty Classic for more years than he could remember. The 1996 World of Outlaws rookie of the year had a good amount of success in the race in...
Joey Saldana Dominates Brad Doty Classic
Lima, OH--July 13, 2006 -- Joey Saldana wanted to win the Brad Doty Classic for more years than he could remember. The 1996 World of Outlaws rookie of the year had a good amount of success in the race in the past, and came very close a couple of times to winning it. On Thursday night in the 18th Annual edition of the event, he left no doubt as he dominated the 40-lap A-Feature at Limaland Motorsports Park. One of the highlights of his night was shaking hands with the man whose name the race bears in RacinSoles Victory Lane.
The race drew the largest crowd of the season at the immaculate quarter-mile track that is owned and operated by the University of Northwestern Ohio. This was the first year that Limaland Motorsports Park hosted what is one of the biggest races of the year anywhere in the country. The World of Outlaws battled it out against the best from the All Star Circuit of Champions.
Saldana in the Dodge Mopar-powered/Curb Records JEI started second and took the lead from Terry McCarl on the first lap and went on to pace all 40 laps. McCarl in the Big Games Treestands Eagle came home second after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. came up light at the scales. With two laps to go on a restart they both were on Saldana's tail, but the Brownsburg, Ind. native had just enough of a lead that they were not able to get underneath him.
Saldana was setting a blistering pace and encountered plenty of lapped traffic on the tight and racy track. The yellow flag was good to him a couple of times as it flew right as he was about to get into heavy traffic, and he was able to restart with a clean track ahead of him and slowly pull away.
"I'm just glad we won a race on a quarter-mile," said Saldana, who drives for NASCAR star Kasey Kahne. "I think people didn't think our package would be good on these little tracks. I feel like I have given some away as a driver, and tonight we got it done."
Saldana also set the quickest lap in qualifying on the night of the 44 cars that were on-hand. He also finished second in the dash to earn the outside front row starting spot for the 40-lap A-Feature. He started on the high side of the track, and stayed there for most of the night, running just inches off the wall.
"I felt like in traffic I was doing pretty good," Saldana said. "It seemed like it was my Achilles heal on the other short tracks. I kind of got myself in a bad situation and lost some momentum and those guys ran me down. I definitely felt pretty good though. Traffic always dictates the winner on a quarter-mile. We still had the speed, and I'll take it."
Saldana gained the most points possible on the night and cut 15 points off of Donny Schatz's lead. For his fast qualifying effort, he earned five bonus points, also in addition the standard 150 points the winner of a World of Outlaws A-Feature receives, Saldana earned four other bonus points for leading the most laps.
The win not only was special because it was an event he had been trying to win for a number of years, but also for the man it honors. Brad Doty has given more to sprint car racing than can ever be measured, and Saldana has the utmost respect for the living legend.
"It's huge," said Saldana. "He was a hell of a race car driver. I've been trying to do this for a while when it was with the All Stars. I have come really close and we got it done tonight. He's an awesome guy to win a race for out there."
Saldana is proud of the hard work and long hours his Willie Kahne led crew have been putting in over the last couple months. He is quick to point out that this is a team that had never been on the road full-time with the World of Outlaws before this season, and they are still growing and learning together.
"I feel like we are way ahead of where we should be as a team," said Saldana. "We have a new engine builder in Speedway Engines. They have put us in victory lane five times. We have only fallen out of a race once with motor trouble and that was an honest mistake. Nothing mechanically is hurting us. I can't ask for a better team."
With his fifth win of the year under his belt, Saldana heads to Eldora for the Kings Royal which he won in 2002. He knows that it will take a perfect night to wear the crown again with a large number of cars expected.
"You have to go out and get your car right," said Saldana. "You're going to have to qualify well, and run good in your heat and dash. You have to do good every time on the track. The Outlaws are tough right now. If you don't go out and perform when you hit that race track, you're going to get beat. You have give 110 percent each time out."
McCarl had a spirited battle with Stenhouse (who won earlier this season at Limaland Motorsports Park with the All Star Circuit of Champions) throughout the race. The two traded the runner-up spot countless times, as McCarl used the high and low side of the track to find a line where his car would handle best. He gave every once of energy on the last restart to catch Saldana and got within a couple of car lengths.
"Early on I think I had a better car than Joey in the middle of the track and down low in traffic, but the yellow kept coming out," said McCarl. "He ran the top better than me and probably better than anyone out here. I was moving around and tried everything with my car and looked around up there. I was a little more aggressive with the car on the top. I had to make a bonzi move on the start, but he (Joey) was a little better. We were hoping to win the Brad Doty Classic, it's a big race."
Since he returned from a broken left leg, McCarl picked up his first World of Outlaws A-Feature win of the season during the Bullring Swing at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D. on July 3. He and his team have a renewed energy as they head towards the big money races.
"I told my guys when I got back in the car, that we are not running for points, and if I am second with two laps to go, it's game on, instead of maybe hanging on for second," said McCarl of Altoona, Iowa. "I had a good run on Joey on that last restart, and got to the middle of corner but could not get passed him. We're going for the win every night now."
McCarl has had plenty of success at Knoxville Raceway where he has won six track titles, and this weekend he looks to use some of that big track knowledge at the always daunting Eldora Speedway in the Kings Royal.
"It's one of our premier races, and we look forward to it all winter long," said McCarl. "People really don't consider Terry McCarl a favorite for the Kings Royal or at Eldora in general, and I think they are mistaken. We're going to hopefully show them we can get around that joint."
Donny Schatz continues to the World of Outlaws Championship standings after a strong third place run. Schatz ran into trouble in his heat race, when he was forced into the wall, and that resulted in him missing the transfer spot by one position and thus having to run the B-Main. He held off a determined Danny Smith for that win, to line up inside the seventh row for the A-Feature.
He wasted little time making his way into the Top-10. He methodically picked off cars and used traffic to his advantage. A couple of cautions helped keep the leaders in his sight and bunch the field up.
"We were good at the beginning, but we just put too hard of tires on, and that is my fault," said Schatz. "I made the call on the tires. They just didn't work to our advantage tonight."
Schatz continues his run of finishes of seventh or better, which extends all the way back to May 24. On the year, not only does he have seven wins, but now he has a series best 22 Top-five finishes. He is looking forward to going to Eldora and the team hopes they have an ace up their sleeve.
"We're going to pull a different race car out tomorrow and I feel good about that," said Schatz. "We have a car upstairs that is really good, and we're excited about that. We'll go there tomorrow and see what happens. The big money is on Saturday night. I think we are ready, if we're not ready now, we never will be."
Brooke Tatnell followed up his win last Saturday night at I-55 Raceway with a solid fifth place run to wrap up the Bullring Swing. His team worked hard all night making countless changes on the car to help him stay near the front. He too is excited to head to Eldora with some big money on the line.
"That place is so fast, that you cannot afford to make a slight twitch or mistake," Tatnell said. "We've been good there and just not had a lot of luck. We are ready to turn it around there."
The rest of the top-10 was Craig Dollansky in the Karavan Trailers Maxim in sixth. Dale Blaney in the George Fisher Racing Maxim, was the top finishing regular from the All Star Circuit of Champions in seventh. Randy Hannagan in the Penthouse Magazines Maxim was eighth. Daryn Pittman was ninth in the Titan Garages/Hop-n-Sack Convenience Stores Maxim, with Chad Kemenah, who is leading the chase for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Maxim Racing and ButlerBuilt, rounding out the top-10 in the Racinsoles.com/Underground Utilities Inc. Eagle.
The World of Outlaws roll into Eldora Speedway tomorrow for the Knight before the Kings Royal, followed on Saturday by the 23rd Annual Kings Royal Presented by Crown Royal.
LIMALAND MOTORSPORTS PARK NOTEBOOK
* PASSING THE HELMET: Drivers from the World of Outlaws and All Star Circuit of Champions went through the crowd after the heat races with their helmets to help out fellow driver Tim Shaffer, who was injured in a violent flip at Knoxville Raceway on June 23. The drivers collected over $2,300 to help defer medical costs for Shaffer who is recovering.
* FAST QUALIFIER: Joey Saldana paced the 44 cars in time trials with an AMB i.t.-timed lapped around the 1/4-mile semi-banked oval at 11.513 seconds at 78.173 mph. For his qualifying effort, Saldana earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including Danny Lasoski (4), Jason Martin (3), Terry McCarl (2), and Jac Haudenschild (1). Frankie Kerr holds the track record of 10.982 seconds established in 1998.
* QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: Heat race winners included: Dale Blaney, Phil Gressman, Brock Mayes and Jason Solwold. Todd Kane won the C-Main. ... Donny Schatz won the B-Main... Terry McCarl picked up the win in the dash.
* FEATURE WINNERS: Joey Saldana's win on Thursday night at Limaland Motorsports Park was his fifth World of Outlaws A-feature victory of the season. There have been 14 different winners in 31 A-feature events to visit the RacinSoles Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. The win list includes: Donny Schatz (March 9 at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 31 at Batesville Speedway, April 1 at I-55 Raceway, May 16 at Grandview Speedway, May 30 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, June 18 at Red River Valley Speedway, and June 30 at 81 Speedway), Joey Saldana (Feb. 10 at Volusia, June 4 at Terre Haute, June 23 at Knoxville Raceway, July 1 at Dodge City Raceway Park, and July 13 at Limaland Motorsports Park), Jac Haudenschild (May 6 at U.S. 36 Raceway, May 20 at Sharon Speedway, June 14 at The Raceway @ Powercom Park, and July 7 at Lawrenceburg Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (May 7 at Huset's Speedway, May 29 at Orange County Fair Speedway, and July 8 at I-55 Raceway), Sammy Swindell (April 8 at Eldora Speedway and March 10 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway), Craig Dollansky (April 15 at Tri-State Speedway and June 4 at Eldora Speedway) Fred Rahmer (May 27 at Williams Grove), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia), Kevin Swindell (May 24 at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway) and Dean Jacobs (May 31 at Lernerville Speedway), Daryn Pittman (June 10 at Eagle Raceway), and Terry McCarl (July 3 at Huset's Speedway).
* PRELIMINARY FEATURE WINNERS: There have been four preliminary features run this season by the World of Outlaws. The winners list included: Donny Schatz who won the prelim night June 17 at Red River Valley, Fred Rahmer, who won the prelim night on May 26 at Williams Grove Speedway and Sammy Swindell, who won the prelim feature on April 7 at Eldora Speedway, and Daryn Pittman who won the prelim night at Eagle Raceway on June 9.
* ¼-MILE WINNERS: Limaland Motorsports Park is a semi-banked quarter-mile track. The World of Outlaws have raced on a track that size three times this season. The winners list include: Craig Dollansky at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. on April 15, Jac Haudenschild at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway on July 7, and Joey Saldana at Limaland Motorsports Park on July 13.
* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 19 The 18th Annual Brad Doty Classic from Limaland Motorsports Park. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).