Jason Solwold Wins Gold Cup Preliminary Feature Chico, CA--September 8, 2006 -- Jason Solwold felt right at home on Friday night at Silver Dollar Speedway as the sun went down and the temperature steadily dropped. Being from the state of ...
Jason Solwold Wins Gold Cup Preliminary Feature
Chico, CA--September 8, 2006 -- Jason Solwold felt right at home on Friday night at Silver Dollar Speedway as the sun went down and the temperature steadily dropped. Being from the state of Washington, he is use to racing in cool conditions and feels like he is at the top of his game when the air is brisk.
While the track cooled down as the night went on, Solwold kept warming up. He started the evening by turning the second fastest lap in qualifying. He followed that up with a fourth place run in his heat race to secure a spot in the dash. He finished second in the dash to line up on the outside of the second row for Friday night's event.
Solwold held off a hard charging Jac Haudenschild to visit RacinSoles Victory Lane for the first time with the World of Outlaws Sprint Series as he picked up the preliminary feature win on the second night of the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway.
Solwold aboard the City Wide Insulation Maxim shot to the outside of Haudenschild in the Wright One Construction Maxim on the start entering turn one and completed the pass in turn two. Haudenschild fought back and used the high line around the quarter-mile to keep pace with Solwold, who led all 30 laps.
"It's good," said a smiling Solwold. "It's the first Outlaws event that I have won. It's a preliminary, but it's good to have one of those on your resume. We had a good car tonight. There were a lot more cars tonight and that may have been a factor in why the track took rubber halfway through there. It was a good race."
Haudenschild, who won his seven dash of the season to earn the pole position, got everything out of his race car as he made a final run at Solwold after a late restart and came up just a few car lengths short. He used every inch of the cushion as he hugged the wall and closed in on the leader as the pair motored to the checkered flag.
"The car felt good and was handling pretty good," Haudneschild said. "We got a good spot in the dash and a good qualifying number. We have a good starting spot for tomorrow. The guys had the car working good and we should be ok for tomorrow night."
Daryn Pittman in the Titan Garages & Carports Maxim set fast time on the night and wound up third in the preliminary feature to secure a solid starting spot in Saturday's A-Feature. He battled youngster Brad Sweet during the middle portion of the race before settling into third.
"Obviously you want to win anytime you are on the race track," Pittman said. "It's a tough deal with 100-some cars here, and the main goal is tomorrow night. I was counting some points in my head when we had the yellows out there and knew that I had to stay third. I'm happy to be on the front row for the 50-grand. I got my first prelim win at a World of Outlaws race here back in 2000. To get a final day win especially at the Gold Cup would be awesome."
Sweet in the GP Development Maxim finished a very solid fourth in a rare winged-sprint car start. Stevie Smith rounded out the top-five in the Race Against the Abuse of Children Everywhere JEI. Sweet and Smith had an entertaining battle late in the race with the youngster keeping the spot from the veteran.
"It's always good to run with these guys and to run good with these guys," Sweet said. "I don't get to run out here very often. I don't get to run winged cars very often either, so this is a big boost to this team. It's a big boost for me, and hopefully we'll be up front on Saturday night."
Joey Saldana powered his way to sixth in the Mopar-powered Dodge/Curb Records JEI, after starting 13th. Terry McCarl came home seventh in the Big Game Treestands Eagle. Bud Kaeding also in a rare winged-sprint car start was eighth in the Al's Roofing Supply Maxim. Roger Crockett was ninth in the Cross Creek Trucking Maxim, and Peter Murphy in the Ready Green Farms J&J rounded out the Top 10.
Solwold took advantage of a couple of caution flags that flew right before the leaders were about to enter heavy traffic. Having to endure some late restarts with Haudenschild right on his bumper, did not seem to fluster him at all.
"There was a point when I knew he could be not too aggressive, because it was rubber down," said Solwold. "Anytime it takes rubber like that you have to tip toe around a little and save your tires. I saw him inside of me one time and I knew I could get a pretty good run off of turn two. It was just our night tonight. It will be a whole new ballgame tomorrow night."
While Solwold was happy to see the caution flag fly to free up the race track for him, Haudenschild was hoping for just the opposite. After watching Thursday night's preliminary feature, the native of Wooster, Ohio was prepared to battle lapped traffic all night long.
"We were hoping to get in traffic a little more," said Haudenschild. "We didn't get to race in traffic much, but the car still felt good. We just ended up second."
Pittman too was hoping to get into traffic so he could make up some ground. His crew had set up his car to run more around other cars on the tight and racy quarter-mile.
"We can sit here and say we would have been better in traffic, but we will never know since we never got there," Pittman said. "My car was good. I don't think I was as good as them running the cushion in the open track. I was a little tighter. I felt like my car would be better if we got into traffic. We had to start moving off the cushion and go to the middle and the bottom. That's how it goes. (Jason) Solwold did a good job and my hat is off to him, and (Jac) Haudenschild is always good at Chico. We're pumped for tomorrow night."
Before battling with Haudenschild, Solwold had to contend with hometown favorite Sean Becker, who tried his best to get underneath Soldwold for the lead. He was quick to credit his crew for working hard all night and finding a few things to make the car even faster as the night wore on.
"Early in the night we were struggling a little bit and kept changing things here and there," said Solwold. "We got it to come around, and it pays off to start up front."
Thanks to his win, as well a solid second place qualifying effort and a strong run in his heat race, Solwold earned the most points of any of the competitors during the first two nights of the Gold Cup. This will position him on the pole for Saturday evening's A-Feature that will pay $50,000 to win.
"In a points deal like this, you have to get every position that you can," he said. "We lost a couple in the heat race, but we kept out head up kept going after and here we are."
Haudenschild had his hands full, not only keeping up with the leader, but he always had to hold off a very determined Pittman. While he is known for rim riding and hugging the wall, the native of Wooster, Ohio searched the track high and low for the perfect groove before settling for one.
"I tried to go low a couple times, but the cushion was really the way around here tonight," he said. "That's where everyone was running."
Haudenschild earned the sixth most points during preliminary action and will thus line up on the inside of the third row when the field rolls for the 53rd Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions on Saturday night. His team will take a wait-and-see approach to track conditions as warm afternoon temperatures are expected to yield a dip in the mercury when the sun goes down similar to Friday nght.
"We just have to wait and see how the track will be tomorrow night," Haudenschild said. "It's been different both nights so far. We'll see what the track is like and just try to keep up with it."
Pittman tried to slip under Haudenschild a couple times, but could not quite make the move stick. Knowing that he would be assured a front row starting spot from his point accumulation if he finished third or better, the native of Owasso, Okla., made sure to be patient and not take an uncalculated risks.
"We just have to wait and see what the track does," said Pittman. "Weather does not really affect this track like it does some places. The wind really affects it more than anything. The last two years I have been here, it has rubbered up on the prelim nights and never on the final night. The track will probably be a little wetter and that will create a better race for the fans. We just have to stay on top of it and put the right tires on. We'll get fresh tonight and be ready to go, and put in 40 of my best laps."
Sweet was ecstatic about his run, especially since he does not have the chance very often to race in a 410-winged car. While it takes him a few laps to get the feel for a winged car back after racing their non-wing counterparts, he finds many similarities in the machines and can apply that when strapped into the cockpit.
"With the non-wing cars you lift a lot earlier and get a lot more sideways," said Sweet. "You just have to remember to keep the foot down and keep the car straighter. They both complement each other. It's just awesome to come out here and do so well with the winged car"
Having observed two nights of racing before his team took to the track, Sweet is confident that they will make the right calls for Saturday night to deal with an ever-changing track that will see over 100 cars take to it.
"The track progressively has gotten more slick as the week goes on," said Sweet. "We tried to do a few different things tonight and it seemed to work out. We'll come back pretty strong tomorrow and hopefully a little better."
The Gold Cup Race of Champions wraps up on Saturday night for the World of Outlaws Sprint Series with a 40-lap A-Feature that will pay an event record $50,000 to win.
GOLD CUP RACE OF CHAMPIONS NOTEBOOK NIGHT #2
* FAST QUALIFIER: Daryn Pittman paced the 60 cars in time trials with an AMB i.t.-timed lapped around the 1/4-mile high-banked oval at 11.454 seconds at 78.575 mph. Because the Gold Cup is a multi-day show with varying championship point totals on each night, no qualifying bonus points are awarded. Craig Dollansky holds the track record of 11.281 seconds established on Sept. 8, 2005.
* QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: Heat race winners included: Roger Crockett, Jeff Delte, Dion Hindi, and Joey Magurah.... Mike Stallings won the first D-Main. Colby Wiesz won the second D-Main. ... Seth Bergman won the C-Main. ... Brandon Wimmer won the B-Main. ... Jac Haudenschild picked up the win in the dash.