Kokomo results 2007-06-05

Saldana Conquers Kokomo to Win Hoosier Sprint Nationals Joey Saldana began his sprint car racing career on the short tracks of Indiana, and Kokomo Speedway was one of his frequent stops, since he lived only an hour from the ¼-mile. He first ...

Saldana Conquers Kokomo to Win Hoosier Sprint Nationals

Joey Saldana began his sprint car racing career on the short tracks of Indiana, and Kokomo Speedway was one of his frequent stops, since he lived only an hour from the ¼-mile. He first visited the track on a number of occasions as a spectator and then as a competitor.

He won at the track in the past, but always wanted to be victorious in a World of Outlaws event at the bullring in his home state. On Tuesday night he visited Victory Lane for the first time with the World of Outlaws at the track in the Hoosier Sprint Nationals holding off Donny Schatz and Jason Meyers.

Saldana used the low groove coming off the fourth turn on lap 27 to shoot around Schatz after the final restart of the 40-lap event. After taking the lead, he sliced his way through traffic en route to his sixth A-Feature win of the season and the $10,000 payday.

"It was a good race and a good win for us," said Saldana, driver of the Open Joist Mopar-powered JEI. "It was good for our crew. Ricky (Warner), Justin (Adams) and Willie (Kahne) did a great job tonight. We definitely needed this as a team."

The race began with the caution flag flying before a full lap was completed thus rendering a complete restart. Daryn Pittman led from the outset and built a large early advantage, though he would relinquish that lead on the 20th lap as he came to a stop in turn three with rear end trouble.

Schatz inherited the lead at this point and began to pull away before a late caution bunched the field, giving Saldana a chance to battle for the lead. That was the opening that Saldana needed. Schatz, the reigning World of Outlaws Champion battled Jason Meyers late in the race to hold on to the runner-up position.

"I spun the tires on the restart," said Schatz, driver of the ParkerStore J&J. "Some nights go against you and some nights go with you. It went against us a little bit tonight when we were out front. We're working on our short track program and feeling a lot better. We went through the whole night pretty smooth and normally that is not our style on short tracks. We're glad to be on to something with the short racing and we can only get better."

Saldana lined up fifth for the 40-lap A-Feature and fell back to seventh on the second lap. He began his march to the front on the eighth lap as he got around Danny Lasoski. Next he set his sights on Jeremy Campbell and Jason Solwold. After he got by them, the native of Brownsburg, Indiana used the high side of the track to get around Jason Meyers coming off the fourth turn.

"We feel like we have given a lot of races away," explained Saldana from the winner's circle. "It's really good to come out and get a win again, especially on a short track. We have been working hard on our short track program, so it's nice to come to a little track and run up front."

Throughout the race, Saldana made adjustments to his car from the cockpit, getting better as the race wore on. With a number of caution flags during the 40-lap event, he used strong restarts to keep the leaders in his sight as he worked his way up to the front.

"My car started to free up late in the race," said Saldana. "I was very tight early and fell back early in the race. I just stayed patient with my car. They said I would be tight and I was but, it definitely paid off in the end. The track was pretty deceiving you could have easily been too tight or too loose."

On the tight ¼-mile, Saldana knew that traffic would play a large role in the outcome of the race. He got bottled up a couple of times in traffic, but kept his line and stayed patient waiting for holes to open up where he could weave his way through the slower machines.

"The reason why I won tonight was traffic in the heat race," he said. "If it wasn't for traffic I wouldn't have made the dash. We definitely worked hard all night and we didn't have this race given to us. That's makes us feel even better."

After celebrating with his team, Saldana gave a young fan from Indiana, who was attending his first World of Outlaws event, the trophy and the hat he wore in Victory Lane on the front straigthaway.

Schatz tried everything he could late in the race to close in on Saldana and got close him a couple of times in traffic. The native of Fargo, North Dakota had opened up a sizeable lead when the final caution flag of the event flew on the 27th lap. He was not very thrilled to see the yellow wave, knowing that the lapped cars would go to the tail of the field and provide a clean race track for Saldana and Meyers to chase him.

"I knew where my car was good on the late restart, but all the guys behind me were getting told where to go," said the seven-time race winner this season. "I can normally figure out myself where I need to race. We'll go on and go to Lincoln (Eagle Raceway) and try to get the win there."

While some of the drivers had a tough time negotiating a hole in the first turn, it did not seem to bother Schatz as he picked up his second straight Top-Five finish at the ¼-mile. The current World of Outlaws championship point leader now has 26 Top-10 finishes in the 29 events that have been contested this season.

"The curb built up a little and you had to be patient with it to keep the car stuck underneath it," said Schatz. "We tried running the middle and the bottom throughout the race. The track wasn't bad. Last year it was very rough and we were bouncing all over the place and we started at the back and finished third and tonight we were one spot better. Maybe next time here we can get the win."

Jason Meyers made his first start at Kokomo Speedway since 2005, and finished third on Tuesday night in the Hoosier Sprint Nationals. The native of Clovis, California lined up sixth for the 40-lap event and moved into the Top-Five on the opening circuit, passing eventual race winner Joey Saldana.

"It was another good night for the team," said Meyers, driver of the Primerica Financial Maxim. "I think we are getting back on track. We had a couple of rough nights including hurting our favorite car and we had to build a new one. It has taken us four or five nights to learn what this one likes, and I think we are getting a lot closer. I'm happy with a third. I thought we had a little bit better car at the end but we were loose at the beginning. We're inching up on it with some big races coming up and I think we are where we need to be."

Meyers not only battled the 23 other competitors on the track, but also the tight racing surface. Having raced on many tracks similar to Kokomo in the past in his home state of California, Meyers enjoyed the constant concentration that is required at a track like Kokomo.

"It was tricky in turn one," he admitted. "There was definitely a right way and a wrong way to go through that corner. It was good short track and when you are not going that fast, you don't mind a few holes."

Craig Dollansky finished fourth after getting a large hole in the top wing early in the race. Despite the damage to his car, he was able to advance from the eighth starting position to finish fourth. It was his 18th Top-10 finish of the season and second with crew chief Mike Woodring on board.

"It was a good run for the team tonight," said Dollansky, driver of the Karavan Trailers Maxim. "We are still working on some things, and I feeling more comfortable with the race car right now. We'll keep plugging away. We're gaining on some things and Mike Woodring and Matt Hill are doing a great job."

Dollansky, who won at Kokomo last season, and earned three wins on 1/4-mile tracks in 2006 always enjoys racing on the bullrings. He has four Top-10 finishes on ¼-mile track in the four events so far this season on that size of track.

"Getting through traffic is a big part of what we do, especially if you are operating decent," he explained. "It can make or break your race. Last year we had a lot of lapped traffic and I think we lapped up to fifth. On short tracks you get into a lot of traffic, and that is what makes it exciting for the fans. There is a lot going on and that can often dictate the outcome of the race."

Jason Solwold earned his second straight Top-Five finish as he was fifth on Tuesday night in the City Wide Insulation Maxim. The native of Mt. Vernon, Washington battled for the lead early and ran in the Top-Five all night long, as he earned his 16th Top-10 finish of the year.

Danny Lasoski finished sixth in the Roth Motorsports Eagle, with Steve Kinser coming from 22nd to finish seventh in the Q Oil Maxim to earn the KSE Race Products Hard Charger Award. Chad Hiller, one of the contenders for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award, earned his best career World of Outlaws finish as he came home eighth in the DIRT Inc. Maxim. Jeremy Campbell set fast time for the second straight season at Kokomo Speedway and finished ninth in the RLM Financial Maxim. Shane Stewart, the 2005 World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year rounded out the Top-10 in the Mid-east Machinery Eagle.

The World of Outlaws return to action on Saturday, June 9 in the Eagle Nationals at Eagle Raceway in Nebraska.



* FAST QUALIFIER: Jeremy Campbell paced the 31 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the semi-banked 1/4-mile oval in 11.245 seconds at 80.036 mph. For his qualifying effort, Campbell eared five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Craig Dollansky (4), Chad Hillier (3), Daryn Pittman (2) and Jason Martin (1).

* QUALIFYING WINNERS: Daryn Pittman, Jason Solwold and Danny Lasoski won heat races... Jason Martin won the B-Main... Daryn Pittman won the Crane Cams dash.

* UP NEXT: A trip to Eagle Raceway in Nebraska for the Eagle Nationals is in store on Saturday, June 9.

World of Outlaws Statistical Report; Hoosier Sprint Nationals at Kokomo Speedway; Kokomo, IN.; June, 5, 2007

1) 10C-Jeremy Campbell 11.245
2) 7-Craig Dollansky 11.294
3) 5C-Chad Hillier 11.297
4) 21-Daryn Pittman 11.320
5) 36-Jason Martin 11.369
6) 24-Terry McCarl 11.370
7) 2-Brooke Tatnell 11.374
8) R19-Jason Solwold 11.375
9) 14-Jason Meyers 11.404
10) 1X-Randy Hannagan 11.443
11) 15-Donny Schatz 11.461
12) 83-Danny Lasoski 11.469
13) 9-Joey Saldana 11.502
14) 8H-Shane Stewart 11.522
15) 35-Jac Haudenschild 11.551
16) 3X-Chad Kemenah 11.581
17) 11H-Kerry Madsen 11.606
18) 8K-Zach Chappell 11.618
19) 6-Tim Shaffer 11.633
20) 7TW-Brandon Wimmer 11.645
21) 4K-Kelly Kinser 11.657
22) 11D-Dion Hindi 11.681
23) 7S-Jason Sides 11.683
24) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 11.709
25) 20-Paul McMahan 11.709
26) 11-Steve Kinser 11.873
27) D1-Justin Henderson 11.873
28) 4B-Tom Busch 11.914
29) 18T-Tony Bruce Jr. 12.044
30) 16-Lee Stark 12.696
31) 58-Jamie Frederickson 13.583

Heat 1 (10 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 21-Daryn Pittman
2) 9-Joey Saldana
3) 1X-Randy Hannagan
4) 10C-Jeremy Campbell
5) 2-Brooke Tatnell
6) 6-Tim Shaffer
7) 3X-Chad Kemenah
8) 20-Paul McMahan
9) 11D-Dion Hindi
10) 4B-Tom Busch
11) 58-Jamie Frederickson

Heat 2 (10 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) R19-Jason Solwold
2) 15-Donny Schatz
3) 8H-Shane Stewart
4) 7-Craig Dollansky
5) 11-Steve Kinser
6) 11H-Kerry Madsen
7) 7S-Jason Sides
8) 18T-Tony Bruce Jr.
9) 36-Jason Martin
10) 7TW-Brandon Wimmer

Heat 3 (10 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 83-Danny Lasoski
2) 14-Jason Meyers
3) 24-Terry McCarl
4) 5C-Chad Hillier
5) 8K-Zach Chappell
6) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
7) D1-Justin Henderson
8) 16-Lee Stark
9) 4K-Kelly Kinser
10) 35-Jac Haudenschild

Crane Cams Dash (8 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature)
1) 21-Daryn Pittman
2) R19-Jason Solwold
3) 83-Danny Lasoski
4) 15-Donny Schatz
5) 9-Joey Saldana
6) 14-Jason Meyers
7) 10C-Jeremy Campbell
8) 7-Craig Dollansky
9) 5C-Chad Hillier
10) 24-Terry McCarl

B-main (12 laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 36-Jason Martin
2) 7TW-Brandon Wimmer
3) 20-Paul McMahan
4) 3X-Chad Kemenah
5) 7S-Jason Sides
6) 35-Jac Haudenschild
7) 4K-Kelly Kinser [$200]
8) D1-Justin Henderson [$180]
9) 18T-Tony Bruce Jr. [$175]
10) 4B-Tom Busch [$160]
11) 16-Lee Stark [$150]
12) 58-Jamie Frederickson [$150]
13) 11D-Dion Hindi [$150]

A-main (40 laps) - Starting Position [#]
1) 9-Joey Saldana[5] [$10,000]
2) 15-Donny Schatz[4] [$5,500]
3) 14-Jason Meyers[6] [$3,200]
4) 7-Craig Dollansky[8] [$2,800]
5) R19-Jason Solwold[2] [$2,500]
6) 83-Danny Lasoski[3] [$2,300]
7) 11-Steve Kinser[22] [$2,200]
8) 5C-Chad Hillier[9] [$2,100]
9) 10C-Jeremy Campbell[7] [$2,050]
10) 8H-Shane Stewart[14] [$2,000]
11) 1X-Randy Hannagan[13] [$1,500]
12) 6-Tim Shaffer[18] [$1,200]
13) 3X-Chad Kemenah[15] [$1,100]
14) 2-Brooke Tatnell[12] [$1,050]
15) 24-Terry McCarl[10] [$1,000]
16) 20-Paul McMahan[21] [$900]
17) 35-Jac Haudenschild[23] [$800]
18) 7TW-Brandon Wimmer[19] [$800]
19) 7S-Jason Sides[24] [$800]
20) 11H-Kerry Madsen[16] [$800]
21) 8K-Zach Chappell[17] [$800]
22) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.[20] [$800]
23) 21-Daryn Pittman[1] [$800]
24) 36-Jason Martin[11] [$800]

Lap Leaders: Daryn Pittman 1-19, Donny Schatz 20-26, Joey Saldana 27-40

KSE Hard Charger Award: Steve Kinser

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Shane Stewart , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Sam Hafertepe Jr. , Tony Bruce Jr.