Eldora results 2008-07-11

Looking for Another Crown: Saldana Wins Knight Before the Kings Royal Rossburg, OH-- July 11, 2008--If Joey Saldana wins the 25th Annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway on Saturday night, he would join elite company, as the only two drivers...

Looking for Another Crown: Saldana Wins Knight Before the Kings Royal

Rossburg, OH-- July 11, 2008--If Joey Saldana wins the 25th Annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway on Saturday night, he would join elite company, as the only two drivers that have won the famed race more than two times, are 20-time Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Steve Kinser and Jac Haudenschild. Saldana got off to a great start in his quest for his third Kings Royal crown, as he was victorious on Friday in the Knight Before the Kings Royal.

Saldana used a classic Eldora slide job on former Kings Royal winner Dale Blaney to take the lead on the 14th lap, and held off a hard charging Jason Meyers down the stretch to earn the $10,000 victory, which was the 36th of his Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series career.

"We needed this one," said Saldana. "We have been struggling here lately. It's nice to win a race at Eldora. They talk about the Knoxville Nationals, but the Kings Royal is just as big. It certainly deserves its mark in sprint car racing. It's nice to run good the night before and hopefully we can run well tomorrow."

Saldana lined up third in the Budweiser/Open Joist Mopar-powered JEI and moved into second on the opening lap, as he got around pole sitter Rob Chaney, when Blaney had taken the lead. This came after the trio went three-side down the back straightaway.

Jason Meyers moved up to fourth in the early going, putting a slider on Chaney coming off the fourth turn. Chaney got sideways as he tried to battle back for the spot and spun, leading to the first caution of the night. On the ensuing restart, Saldana looked to the high side of turns one and two for a way around Blaney. At the same time, Donny Schatz battled Steve Kinser, as the pair traded slide jobs a number of times. Schatz took the fourth spot from Kinser on the third lap, but the second yellow flag of the night flew before the lap was completed and thus Kinser retained the position.

On the restart, Blaney powered his way to a sizeable lead, with Saldana chasing him. A five-car accident in the third turn on the sixth lap right in front of the leaders, led to a very tense moment for Blaney. He found a small opening to dive through after getting on the brakes as hard as he could. Saldana followed him through unscathed. The teams all had a chance to come on the track and work on their machines since it was an open red flag period.

The next restart saw Blaney go to the low side of the track with Saldana looking high off the second turn and again off turn four. He opened a lead in clean track, but quickly was back in traffic, which allowed Saldana to close in and make the pass for the lead and ultimately the win on the 14th lap as they were in dense lapped traffic. Meyers also used a slide job to move into second. A couple laps before that, six-time Kings Royal winner Steve Kinser lost an engine while running fourth, ending his night.

"It was tough in traffic," noted Saldana, a native of Brownsburg, Indiana. "A lot of them want to race you, and they are not even racing the guy ahead of them in the running order. I had to do my job in traffic, because I have been beat a lot in traffic this year and I didn't want to have that happen again. It gets old after a while."

Meyers stayed with Saldana, while Craig Dollansky who has worked his way from 14th to fourth while running on seven cylinders, battled with Blaney.

Saldana began to pull away though once he got in traffic, which gave Meyers a chance to close in. With five laps to go, Saldana has trouble getting around a lapped machine and Meyers closed to within three car lengths. Meyers charged off the fourth turn, reminiscent of the Wednesday night at Limaland Motorsports Park when he won. Saldana held him off down the front straightaway by 0.267 seconds.

The victory was the second of the year for Saldana at Eldora, though his team ran a completely different set-up that in their previous visits to the legendary half-mile earlier this season. The second generation driver has 16 career wins at the track and has finished first or second in three of his last four starts at Eldora.

"We have kind of gone back to what everyone else is going and it's clearly better for our race car right now," he explained. "We are rolling around the track a lot better lately."

Meyers was second in the GLR Investments KPC, with Blaney in the Berlin Bakery Maxim in third, Donny Schatz in the Armor All J&J in fourth and Craig Dollansky in the Snap-on Tools Maxim in fifth.

Shane Stewart was sixth in the Roth Motorsports KPC, with Jac Haudenschild in the Owens Corning Fiberglass Maxim in seventh, Terry McCarl in the Big Game Treestands Eagle in eighth, Stevie Smith in the R.A.C.E. Foundation JEI in ninth and Kenny Jacobs in 10th aboard the Southern Crane & Tractor Supply JEI.

Saldana began the night by turning in the second fastest lap in time trials. He followed that up with a dominating win in the second heat race, after starting fourth in that event. A third-place finish in the Crane Cams Dash earned his a second row starting spot in the A-Feature. The Kings Royal on Saturday night will be 40 laps in distance and use a unique format that will be announced prior to the race, which has Saldana and his team excited.

"It always helps you to gain confidence when you win here," he said. "Tomorrow is the big one and we are looking forward to it. Our car operates very well in longer races."

Meyers started fourth in the 30-lap contest on Friday night and battled with Chaney early before he chased Saldana. For the last half of the race he tried everything he could to track down the leader and nearly did on the last corner of the last lap.

"I had a shot at him there and just didn't go across hard enough," explained Meyers. "I'm disappointed in myself, but you never know if I had crossed there hard, I may have hit the fence. Hindsight is 20/20 and it was a good run for those guys. It was still a good run for our team. These guys have been working hard and second-place is certainly a good run. I think we have a great race car for tomorrow night's race."

After leading the first 13 laps of the event, Blaney, who won the Kings Royal in 2000, finished third. He made a late charge to gain some ground, after holding off Craig Dollansky for a number of laps.

"We ran good tonight," Blaney said. "We had a good starting spot and ran well in the heat and dash. Those two guys that beat me are two of the best there are out here right now. Joey (Saldana) was really really good in traffic. I was coming again at the end, but got held up a little before that. Third is a really good run for us. We'll take it."

Donny Schatz, the two-time defending series champion and current series point leader extended his streak of finishing in the Top-10 in every event in 2008, as he was fourth on Friday night. After the race, he and crew chief Ricky Warner had the hood off the car and were dissecting some troubles they had in the engine, as they will look to defend their Kings Royal win on Saturday night.

"We struggled a little with motor issues tonight," said Schatz. "We qualified not too bad and it was kind of down hill after that. We were chasing the motor all night and it's kind of hard to work on your race car when you are doing that all night. Tomorrow is the big night. We are not miles off, but we are a little bit off and we'll come back tomorrow."

While lapped traffic helped Meyers to have a shot at Saldana late in the race, it also took its toll on him, as he had trouble getting around several lapped machines as he tried to track down Saldana. For Meyers, his runner-up finish was his 21st Top-Five finish of the season.

"It was difficult for all the leaders," commented Meyers. "Joey (Saldana) did a pretty good job getting through there, but everyone around the top and it was hard to slide across the middle. Lapped traffic was tough tonight, which is not usually the case here. It was a beautiful race track tonight and we are looking forward to tomorrow."

Blaney was quick to credit World of Outlaws officials for their quick call over the one-way radio that the drivers wear, when the big wreck on the sixth lap occurred. With five cars involved, including a couple that got upside, nearly the entire track was blocked for a few second as the leaders quickly approached the third turn.

"If I didn't have the Raceceiver, I would have been in that," shared Blaney. "They yelled on the radio and I got on the brakes. A hole opened up and I got through. I have no idea how."

The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to action on Saturday night, with the 25th Annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway.


* FAST QUALIFIER: Kenny Jacobs paced the 40 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked 1/2-mile oval at 13.523 seconds at 133.307 mph. For his qualifying effort, Jacobs earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Joey Saldana (4), Terry McCarl (3), Jason Meyers (2), and Paul McMahan (1).

* QUALIFYING WINNERS: Donny Schatz, Joey Saldana, Dale Blaney and Rob Chaney won heat races... Rob Chaney won the Crane Cams Dash... Jac Haudenschild won the B-Main... Chad Blonde won the C-Main.

* UP NEXT: The 25th Annual Kings Royal at the famed Eldora Speedway, on Saturday, July 12, which will pay the winner $50,000.

Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Knight Before the Kings Royal; Rossburg, OH; July 11, 2008

1) 59-Kenny Jacobs 13.523
2) 9-Joey Saldana 13.543
3) 24-Terry McCarl 13.588
4) 14-Jason Meyers 13.608
5) 6-Paul McMahan 13.686
6) R19-Jac Haudenschild 13.752
7) 2L-Ed Lynch Jr. 13.766
8) 2-Craig Dollansky 13.768
9) 15-Donny Schatz 13.771
10) 11-Steve Kinser 13.775
11) 19-Stevie Smith 13.779
12) 24H-Rob Chaney 13.790
13) 83-Shane Stewart 13.809
14) 11B-Brock Mayes 13.816
15) 2B-Dale Blaney 13.830
16) 21-Daryn Pittman 13.852
17) 7S-Jason Sides 13.856
18) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 13.860
19) 55-Kerry Madsen 13.860
20) 28-Brian Paulus 13.863
21) 2M-Dustin Daggett 13.865
22) W20-Greg Wilson 13.892
23) 2H-Tim Hunter 13.928
24) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. 13.944
25) 1X-Randy Hannagan 13.945
26) 5C-Chad Hillier 13.958
27) 20-Kraig Kinser 13.976
28) O-Jeremy Campbell 13.987
29) 12-Caleb Griffith 13.994
30) 83A-Tim Shaffer 14.013
31) 8K-Chad Kemenah 14.046
32) 16-Lee Stark 14.062
33) 5B-Chad Blonde 14.068
34) 97-Kevin Huntley 14.259
35) 56R-Ryan Myers 14.318
36) 97K-Todd King 14.343
37) 7K-Kevin Nouse 14.528
38) 96AU-Bruce White 14.562
39) 2W-Todd Wanless 14.584
40) 69-Scott Curren 14.906

Heat 1 (8 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 15-Donny Schatz
2) 83-Shane Stewart
3) 6-Paul McMahan
4) 59-Kenny Jacobs
5) 7S-Jason Sides
6) 1X-Randy Hannagan
7) 2M-Dustin Daggett
8) 5B-Chad Blonde
9) 12-Caleb Griffith
10) 7K-Kevin Nouse

Heat 2 (8 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 9-Joey Saldana
2) 11-Steve Kinser
3) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
4) 11B-Brock Mayes
5) 83A-Tim Shaffer
6) 5C-Chad Hillier
7) W20-Greg Wilson
8) 97-Kevin Huntley
9) R19-Jac Haudenschild
10) 96AU-Bruce White

Heat 3 (8 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 2B-Dale Blaney
2) 19-Stevie Smith
3) 24-Terry McCarl
4) 2L-Ed Lynch Jr.
5) 20-Kraig Kinser
6) 55-Kerry Madsen
7) 8K-Chad Kemenah
8) 2H-Tim Hunter
9) 56R-Ryan Myers
10) 2W-Todd Wanless

Heat 4 (8 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 24H-Rob Chaney
2) 14-Jason Meyers
3) 21-Daryn Pittman
4) 2-Craig Dollansky
5) 28-Brian Paulus
6) 18-Tony Bruce Jr.
7) 16-Lee Stark
8) O-Jeremy Campbell
9) 97K-Todd King
10) 69-Scott Curren

Crane Cams Dash (6 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature)
1) 24H-Rob Chaney
2) 2B-Dale Blaney
3) 9-Joey Saldana
4) 14-Jason Meyers
5) 11-Steve Kinser
6) 15-Donny Schatz
7) 83-Shane Stewart
8) 19-Stevie Smith
9) 24-Terry McCarl
10) 59-Kenny Jacobs

C-main (8 laps, top 2 finishers transferred to B-main)
1) 5B-Chad Blonde
2) 97-Kevin Huntley
3) 2W-Todd Wanless [$125]
4) 97K-Todd King [$125]
5) 96AU-Bruce White [$125]
6) 69-Scott Curren [$100]
7) 56R-Ryan Myers [$100]
8) 7K-Kevin Nouse [$100]

B-main (12 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) R19-Jac Haudenschild
2) 55-Kerry Madsen
3) 1X-Randy Hannagan
4) 5C-Chad Hillier
5) 2H-Tim Hunter [$200]
6) 8K-Chad Kemenah [$180]
7) W20-Greg Wilson [$175]
8) 12-Caleb Griffith [$160]
9) 2M-Dustin Daggett [$150]
10) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. [$150]
11) 16-Lee Stark [$150]
12) O-Jeremy Campbell [$150]
13) 5B-Chad Blonde [$150]
14) 97-Kevin Huntley [$150]

A-main (30 laps) - Starting Position [#]
1) 9-Joey Saldana[3] [$10,000]
2) 14-Jason Meyers[4] [$5,500]
3) 2B-Dale Blaney[2] [$3,200]
4) 15-Donny Schatz[6] [$2,800]
5) 2-Craig Dollansky[14] [$2,500]
6) 83-Shane Stewart[7] [$2,300]
7) R19-Jac Haudenschild[12] [$2,200]
8) 24-Terry McCarl[9] [$2,100]
9) 19-Stevie Smith[8] [$2,050]
10) 59-Kenny Jacobs[10] [$2,000]
11) 21-Daryn Pittman[16] [$1,500]
12) 6-Paul McMahan[11] [$1,200]
13) 8K-Chad Kemenah[25] [$300]
14) 55-Kerry Madsen[19] [$1,050]
15) 83A-Tim Shaffer[24] [$1,000]
16) 24H-Rob Chaney[1] [$900]
17) 20-Kraig Kinser[23] [$800]
18) 1X-Randy Hannagan[21] [$800]
19) 11-Steve Kinser[5] [$800]
20) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.[18] [$800]
21) 11B-Brock Mayes[15] [$800]
22) 5C-Chad Hillier[22] [$800]
23) 7S-Jason Sides[17] [$800]
24) 28-Brian Paulus[20] [$800]
25) 2L-Ed Lynch Jr.[13] [$800]

Lap Leaders: Dale Blaney 1-13, Joey Saldana 14-30

Chicken Hawk Hot Lap Award: Dale Blaney
Penske Power Position Award: Dale Blaney
SuperClean Start of the Night Award: Rob Chaney
KSE Hard Charger Award: Chad Kemenah

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Kenny Jacobs , Brian Paulus , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Shane Stewart , Greg Wil , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Sam Hafertepe Jr. , Tony Bruce Jr. , Bruce White