Lebanon: Race report

Joey Saldana dominates Lebanon Valley feature. WEST LEBANON, NY (May 27) -- Joey Saldana lost his track record, but won the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature Tuesday at Lebanon Valley Speedway. Points leader Danny Lasoski opened...

Joey Saldana dominates Lebanon Valley feature.

WEST LEBANON, NY (May 27) -- Joey Saldana lost his track record, but won the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature Tuesday at Lebanon Valley Speedway.

Points leader Danny Lasoski opened the series' 24th event of the year by slicing .167 seconds off the single-lap record Saldana set at the high-banked, ½-mile oval two years ago with a 109.870-M.P.H. lap. Saldana won the Second Dash Race and led all 25 laps to claim his second main event victory of the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series 25th Anniversary Season, however.

"At Charlotte (The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway) last weekend, we had the same situation happen," Saldana explained. "We timed sixth and the inversion put us up front for the dash, but we couldn't win it. Tonight, I knew if I could win the dash and win the drag race out of turn four at the start, I'd have a pretty good chance.

"I didn't like seeing those yellows, especially at the end. Sprint cars like a track with a little bit of moisture in it, and with all the rain you've had up here I'm surprised we were able to race at all. We'll take the win here and head to Rolling Wheels to try to do it again tomorrow."

Saldana encountered three cautions, including one with four laps remaining. The 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year raced away from the field during the final restart and took the checkered flag with almost a straightaway to spare for the 11th "A" Feature victory of his O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series career. The $10,000 victory pushed him past Daryn Pittman in to third place in the point standings.

Saldana, the sixth-fastest qualifier in the 27-car field, won his third Dash Race of the season for the privilege of starting the main event outside the front row. He drove his family's #17 Eagle Raceway MCI past pole-sitter Paul McMahan on the front straightaway to take the lead as the green flag fell.

The caution flag flew early in the second lap when Andy Snider stopped on the front stretch with a broken front end. Lasoski challenged McMahan for second place between turns three and four as the race resumed, but was unable to surge ahead.

Saldana was 18 car-lengths ahead of McMahan when he entered lapped traffic seven laps into the race. Pittman surrendered sixth place the next time around when the #21 Hop & Sack J&J slowed on the back straightaway and coasted into the pit area. Billy Pauch stopped in turn four with a broken rear end late in the 11th lap, bringing out the caution flag a second time.

Second Heat Race winner Brian Paulus started inside the sixth row and passed three cars during the first 10 laps. He steered P and P Motorsports' #28 Verdelli Farms Maxim into the high groove between the third and fourth corners to pass Jeremy Campbell for seventh place late in lap 13.

Donny Schatz, who won the "A" Feature at Lebanon Valley on May 28, 2001, drove his #15 Parker Stores J&J past First Heat Race winner Jason Meyers deep in turn four to take over fifth place the next time around. Curt Michael passed Campbell for eighth place in the low groove between the first and second corners early in lap 15.

Saldana was a full straightaway ahead of his closest pursuers when he caught the back-markers two laps later. The first eight cars lined up nose-to-tail when the caution flag flew for Doug Emery's turn-two spin early in the 21st lap, however.

Steve Kinser, who has won seven main events at Lebanon Valley Speedway, took advantage of the late caution, driving his #11 Quaker State Maxim past Lasoski and McMahan during laps 22 and 24 to claim the runner-up spot. "The King of the Outlaws" was three-quarters of a straightaway behind when Saldana took the checkered flag.

McMahan climbed into 18th place in the point standings with the third-place finish. Lasoski finished fourth, ahead of Schatz, Meyers, Michael, Paulus, Campbell and Brian Carlson. The ninth-place finish was Campbell's first in the top 10 this season.

-WoO-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Brian Carlson , Brian Paulus , Jason Meyers , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Billy Pauch