Central State Fair Speedway report

Saldana Breaks Through at Central State Fair By Richard Day YAKIMA, WA (August 22) -- Joey Saldana certainly knows how to thank his sponsors. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' 1996 Rookie of the...

Saldana Breaks Through at Central State Fair
By Richard Day YAKIMA, WA (August 22) -- Joey Saldana certainly knows how to thank his sponsors. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' 1996 Rookie of the Year signed a contract extension with HEM Saw and National Roadside Assistance recently, then responded with his first "A" Feature victory of the season Tuesday at Central State Fair Speedway. "We've been fast all year long, but it seems like either the driver's screwed up or we've had a mechanical problem," Saldana said. My guys (Mike Thurmond, Jamie Coats and Chris Aukland) probably deserve this one more than I do. My dad really deserves this one. He's the one who put this team together. I'm really glad for HEM Saw and National Roadside Assistance. They told me at Knoxville (the Amoco Knoxville Nationals) they'll be back for five more years, and this is a great way to show them that I appreciate it." The $10,000 victory was the second of Saldana's career -- his first since July 24, 1995, at I-96 Speedway. Ironically, Joey led all 30 laps at tracks the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series was visiting for the first time in each of his "A" Feature victories. Saldana, the 12th different driver to win a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main event this season, held the same distinction in 1995. His first victory snapped Steve Kinser's two-feature winning streak, while Tuesday's triumph ended Mark Kinser's string of three straight "A" Feature victories. Joey, 24 points ahead of Andy Hillenburg entering the race, added another 24 to his advantage. Saldana, the seventh-fastest qualifier in the 24-car field, won the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race. He earned the right to start the "A" Feature on the pole by winning his seventh CHANNELLOCK Dash of the year from outside the front row. Saldana drove his #17 HEM Saw Eagle into the lead as the green flag fell in the main event and was 10 car-lengths ahead of Vivarin Fast-Time Award winner Mark Kinser when he entered lapped traffic during the fourth lap. Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser passed Tim Shaffer deep in turn four for fifth place late in lap five. Danny Lasoski collided with Doug Lippincott and flipped in the second corner the next time around. Lasoski's crew quickly replaced the left rear tire and top wing on the #83 Beef Packers Eagle and "The Dude" restarted at the back of the pack. Second NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Dale Blaney surrendered 10th place when his crew changed the right rear tire on the #83 Amoco Maxim during the red period. Blaney was running second in the CHANNELLOCK Dash when he spun in turn four on the final lap. Hillenburg took the low line through the first corner to pass Brian Paulus for 11th place two laps after the race resumed. Paulus was trying to catch Hillenburg several seconds later when his #28 Verdelli Farms Maxim hit the infield tire marker in turn four. At the same time, Lasoski's left front wheel broke, causing him to stop on the front straightaway. "The Dude" finished 21st, allowing Stevie Smith to pass him for fourth place in the point standings. Hillenburg, who started inside the eighth row, drove his #2 Luxaire J&J deep into the third corner to pass fellow Oklahoman Daryn Pittman for 10th place as the green flag replaced the yellow. Mark Kinser challenged Saldana late in the 11th lap and was just inches from the leader's rear bumper when they entered lapped traffic three laps later. A daring move past Shawna Wilskey in turn one gave Saldana a half-straightaway advantage midway through the race. Sammy Swindell took over second place when Mark tried to pass Wilskey high in the first corner. Donny Schatz, who chased Kinser throughout the final 4 1/3 laps of the Amoco Knoxville Nationals championship feature 10 days before, passed him for third place early in the 17th lap. Shaffer steered the #11H Vivarin Eagle into the high groove between turns three and four several seconds later. Barry Martinez' broken drive line forced him to stop on the back straightaway the next time around, tightening the field and taking the leaders out of lapped traffic. Schatz was on the move again when the race resumed, battling Swindell for three laps before driving the #15 Parker Stores Maxim around high between turns three and four to take the runner-up spot. Saldana was four car-lengths ahead of Schatz when he caught the backmarkers again with 4 1/2 laps remaining. Donny slid out of the high groove while trying execute the winning pass early in the 29th lap and was four car-lengths behind when Joey took the checkered flag. "I had no idea if anyone was close to me there at the end," Saldana said. "This was a really tough track, and I knew when I won the CHANNELLOCK Dash, I had a pretty good shot if I didn't mess up in the feature. This is what it's all about. Every team out here wants to be right here at the end of the night." Swindell held off Shaffer for third place. Tim's fourth top-five finish of the season pushed him into 12th place in the standings. The Kinser cousins -- Mark and Steve -- finished fifth and sixth, ahead of Johnny Herrera, Smith, Jac Haudenschild and Hillenburg. Mark Kinser received his 15th Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the year for pacing the qualifying session with a 95.677-m.p.h. lap around the semi-banked, 3/8-mile oval. Randy Hannagan was .019 seconds faster than Kinser, but received credit for 17th position because he took his lap out of turn at the end of Vivarin qualifying. WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Tim Shaffer , Shawna Wilskey , Mark Kinser , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Brian Paulus , Joey Saldana , Randy Hannagan , Jac Haudenschild , Johnny Herrera