Heartland Park Topeka opener, Thursday, June 15th

Swindell Sweeps Through Sunflower Shootout Opener By Richard Day TOPEKA, KS (June 15) -- To say Sammy Swindell has been the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' hottest driver lately is an understatement. ...

Swindell Sweeps Through Sunflower Shootout Opener By Richard Day TOPEKA, KS (June 15) -- To say Sammy Swindell has been the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' hottest driver lately is an understatement. The series' three-time champion put together his second clean sweep in a little more than two weeks Thursday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opened the Second Annual O'Reilly's Auto Parts Sunflower Shootout at Martin Cat Speedway at Heartland Park Topeka. "The CHANNELLOCK car was about perfect all night long," Sammy said. "We really didn't have to change much. "I think this is three track records we have in the last three races. We also have a couple of clean sweeps, and I'm not sure anyone's ever done that before." Swindell was correct in his assumption. Before him, no driver ever earned the Vivarin Fast-Time Award and won a NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race, a CHANNELLOCK Dash and the feature race in the same program more than once in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' 22 1/2 seasons. "We feel pretty good about the weekend, but it all depends on how much the track changes," Sammy said. "If it stays about like it was tonight, we should be in pretty good shape." Swindell was in "good shape" throughout the first preliminary program. He received his fourth consecutive Vivarin Fast-Time Award after lowering Martin Cat Speedway's qualifying standard by .283 seconds with an 81.967-m.p.h. lap around the temporary semi-banked, 3/8-mile oval. He also won the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race, the First CHANNELLOCK Dash and the Preliminary Feature from the pole. Swindell and Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year points leader Danny Wood raced wheel-to-wheel down the front straightaway and through turn one as the green flag fell in the 20-lap feature. Sammy drove his #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth into the lead high in the second corner. After battling Craig Dollansky for the runner-up spot through the first eight laps, Wood closed to within a car-length of Swindell when the leaders entered lapped traffic early in the ninth lap. A quick move around Brian Paulus in turn four allowed Sammy to open a 15-car- length advantage. A collision involving Wood and Paulus in the third corner midway through the race put the #21W Pepsi Avenger on top of the #28 Verdelli Farms Maxim. Mark Kinser lost 10th place when he spun in turn two as the green flag replaced the yellow. Swindell raced away from Dollansky as the race resumed, but lost a full-straightaway advantage when Dean Jacobs spun in the fourth corner late in the 17th lap. Dollansky was unable to keep pace with Swindell on the final restart, and was racing into turn three when Sammy took the checkered flag for his third Preliminary Feature victory of the season. "I got a little sideways there in turn four one time just to see who I heard behind me, and I was real comfortable with it," Sammy said. "I knew he (Wood) wouldn't get me into trouble or take me out. I just had to make sure I caught up to the lapped cars where it wouldn't get me in trouble. "The wind really made a difference here tonight. You could definitely run a lot harder into turn one than you could into three. One time under caution, I just let it idle around. With the wind, there was about 300 RPM difference from the front to the back. I just had to keep reminding myself to slow down a lot earlier getting into three." Andy Hillenburg finished in third place, ahead of NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winners Jeff Shepard and Jac Haudenschild, 10th-starting Danny Lasoski, Brooke Tatnell, Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser, Tim Shaffer and Joey Saldana. Kinser was in second place in the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash when his #11 Quaker State Maxim hit the restart cone. "The King of the Outlaws" restarted at the rear and raced past four cars to finish sixth. Mark Kinser spun out of sixth place on the final lap of the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash and finished 10th. WoO

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Brian Paulus , Brooke Tatnell , Dean Jacobs , Joey Saldana , Jac Haudenschild