Swindell Wins Silver State Preliminary By Richard Day LAS VEGAS, NV (November 1) -- Sammy Swindell has been almost unstoppable in Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Preliminary Features this season. ...
Swindell Wins Silver State Preliminary
By Richard Day
LAS VEGAS, NV (November 1) -- Sammy Swindell has been almost unstoppable in Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Preliminary Features this season. The three-time series champion won his 10th Wednesday, leading all 15 laps on opening night of the ZMAX Silver State Shootout at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The opening-night race, postponed 24 hours due to unsafe track conditions, was taped by TNN for a November 4th telecast. The $5,000 victory pushed Swindell 36 points ahead of defending Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion Mark Kinser, who took a provisional and received credit for 25th place. Swindell also claimed the $10,000 first prize for winning the Ratbag Cup, an award given to the driver scoring the most points in Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series televised races in 2000. Ratbag is the series' official computer game manufacturer. Swindell drove his #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth past pole-sitter Andy Hillenburg on the back straightaway during the opening lap and held off series points leader Steve Kinser and Hillenburg for the victory. "It was really difficult out there, but the CHANNELLOCK car was up to the task," Sammy said. "I'm just glad we were able to finish. It was a tough track. I know it was hard for everybody. Hopefully, they'll get it turned around here for Friday (in the feature program). "Our performance on the race track has been really good all year. We just had too many races we didn't finish. If we could have finished more races, we might have had a championship. We just got too far behind too many times when we had things break on the car." Swindell made his own breaks Wednesday, winning the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race after qualifying ninth-quick. He earned the right to start the Preliminary Feature outside the front row by following Hillenburg across the finish line in the CHANNELLOCK Dash. Kinser, the Vivarin Fast-Time Award winner, year, passed Hillenburg for second place high in turn four late in the third lap, then set his sights on the leader. He lined up behind Sammy one lap later after the #23K SpeedRacer Maxim jumped out of gear, forcing Kasey Kahne to stop in the third corner. Kinser, who clinched his 16th Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship October 21st, challenged Swindell for the lead when the race resumed. "The King of the Outlaws" was a car-length behind Sammy when Joey Saldana and Brooke Tatnell collided and flipped on the back stretch midway through the fourth lap. Kinser was threatening to take the lead within a lap after the green flag replaced the red, but a drive line malfunction forced him to stop in turn four. Swindell raced away from the field on the ensuing restart, only to have Hillenburg catch him during the ninth lap. Lowe's Motor Speedway Promoter Roger Slack threw the red flag the next time around when Shane Stewart flipped between turns one and two. Donny Schatz, who passed eight in the first eight laps, surrendered 12th place when the right rear tire on the #15 Parker Stores J&J lost air pressure during the red period. Swindell steered the #1 into the high line when the race resumed. Hillenburg raced in the low groove while battling Greg Hodnett to maintain the runner-up spot. Swindell was comfortably ahead of his closest pursuers when he entered lapped traffic early in the final lap. Ryan Flynn's back- straightaway flip prompted series officials end the race during the red period. "We had one of Randy Lajoie's new seats in the car, which helped us get through the ruts," Swindell said. "I'm one of the oldest guys, but I might be one of the toughest." Hodnett finished in third place, ahead of World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion Craig Dollansky, Dean Jacobs, 25th-starting Jac Haudenschild, Fourth NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Ronnie Day, Paul McMahan, Kenny Jacobs and Schatz. Steve Kinser received his fourth Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the season for pacing the 65-car qualifying session with a 116.845-m.p.h. lap around the semi-banked, 1/2-mile oval. WoO