Kings Speedway race report

HANFORD, CA (September 8) -- Joey Saldana has made great strides with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series this season. The 1996 Rookie of the Year won the Vivarin Fast-Time Award, but finished 22nd in the "A" Feature when the series...

HANFORD, CA (September 8) -- Joey Saldana has made great strides with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series this season. The 1996 Rookie of the Year won the Vivarin Fast-Time Award, but finished 22nd in the "A" Feature when the series opened the season at Kings Speedway. Saldana, the second-fastest qualifier, drove his #17 HEM Saw Eagle to victory in the main event Friday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series returned to the semi-banked, 1/3-mile oval. Saldana won his second "A" Feature in the last four after winning one in the last five years. "I don't know if you call this a roll," Saldana said. "I'm just glad we're finishing consistently. When we started this deal this year, I was just hoping to run in the top 10. To beat these guys, you have to be on top of your game." Saldana wasn't "on top of his game" before the "A" Feature, finishing fourth in the Second NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and sixth in the CHANNELLOCK Dash. He moved up to the second row in the main event line-up when ignition problems in the #22 Maxim forced Second NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Jac Haudenschild to start at the rear of the 24-car field. Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser earned the right to start the "A" Feature on the pole by winning his 16th CHANNELLOCK Dash of the season. He burst into first place as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature, only to have Vivarin Fast-Time Award winner Mark Kinser collide with Sammy Swindell and spin in turn three. Mark's crew changed his flat left rear tire while Swindell's team replaced a right rear radius rod, and both restarted at the back. "The King of the Outlaws," winner of seven main events at Kings Speedway, took the lead again and Saldana raced around Third NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Blake Robertson into second place on the complete restart. Two laps later, Dale Blaney followed Danny Lasoski past Robertson in the third corner. The leaders were approaching lapped traffic late in the fourth lap when Steve Kent spun in turn three. Saldana raced around Kinser in the high groove between the first and second corners to take the lead as the green flag replaced the yellow. "I think I just saw the top before Steve did," Saldana said. "If Steve had gone high earlier, I don't think I could have gotten by him. Luckily, Blake Robertson didn't go to the top on the start and that let me get in the position to make a move." Randy Hannagan, who says he's moving from California to an Indianapolis suburb, steered brother Terry's #1X sprinter deep in the second corner to pass Robertson for fifth place one lap later. Greg Hodnett, whose engine problems kept him from taking a Vivarin qualifying lap, raced past 13 cars in the "B" Feature to claim the final spot in the main event. His turn-four spin brought out the caution flag eight laps into the "A" Feature. A bent rear axle on the #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth forced Swindell to stop in the fourth corner four laps later. Stevie Smith surrendered seventh place late in the 18th lap when his #19 Ingersoll-Rand Black Bandit spun in the fourth corner. "The Wild Child," who passed 15 cars in the first half of the race, took the high line through turn two to pass Donny Schatz for the sixth spot two laps later. Andy Hillenburg, who started outside the ninth row, steered his #2 Luxaire J&J into the low groove between the third and fourth corners to pass Schatz for seventh place late in lap 22. Haudenschild and Hillenburg dropped into the low groove to pass Hannagan two laps later. Haudenschild was trying to pass Blaney for fourth place between turns one and two early in the 25th lap when they collided, sending the #93 Amoco Maxim spinning. Johnny Herrera, who won the season opener at Kings Speedway on February 25th, set up a two-lap dash to the checkered flag when he spun in the first corner three laps later. Tim Shaffer spun in turn two as Saldana took the checkered flag 12 car-lengths ahead of Kinser. Lasoski held off Haudenschild for third place. Hannagan passed Schatz late in the 26th lap for fifth. Hillenburg finished in seventh place, ahead of 23rd-starting Dean Jacobs, Danny Wood and Kevin Pylant. Mark Kinser received his 18th Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the year for pacing the 39-car qualifying session with a 93.985-m.p.h. lap. WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Joey Saldana , Randy Hannagan , Jac Haudenschild , Johnny Herrera