Outlaws prelim at Grays Harbor race report, 2000-08-19

Swindell Takes Grays Harbor Preliminary By Richard Day ELMA, WA (August 19) -- Sammy Swindell won his first Preliminary Feature of the 1999 season at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in the middle of the ...

Swindell Takes Grays Harbor Preliminary By Richard Day ELMA, WA (August 19) -- Sammy Swindell won his first Preliminary Feature of the 1999 season at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in the middle of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' annual Wild, Wild Northwest Tour. He won four of the last 10 Preliminary Features on his way to a fifth-place finish in the point standings. History repeated itself Saturday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series returned to Elma, albeit a day late due to Friday's rainout. Swindell closed to within 188 points of leader Steve Kinser in the standings with his series-leading sixth Preliminary Feature victory of the year. Swindell, who tangled with polesitter Joey Saldana within seconds after the green flag fell, could have just as easily watched the 25- lap race from the pit area. He was racing wheel-to-wheel with Saldana through turns one and two when his #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth slid sideways and collided with Joey. The #17 HEM Saw Eagle flipped and collected Tim Shaffer, a Preliminary Feature winner at Grays Harbor in 1998. Sammy restarted at the front of the field and battled Randy Hannagan for 14 3/4 laps before executing the winning pass. "I didn't know how it was going to feel (racing after the first- lap crash)," Sammy said. "We tore some things up. I just got over that curb on the high side in turn one and got a little loose coming off the corner, and when I got out of the throttle I got sideways. Joey didn't have any place to go. We got together there, and tore up the sideboard on the wing and a left rear shock." Swindell, the 12th-fastest qualifier in the 39-car field, won the Fourth NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and earned the right to start the feature outside the front row by following Saldana across the finish line in the CHANNELLOCK Dash. Swindell and Hannagan battled through the first corner as the green flag replaced the red, and Randy surged ahead in turn two. Sammy took the lead in lapped traffic deep in the fourth corner late in the fifth lap, only to have Hannagan come back with an inside move between turns one and two the next time around. Hannagan, Swindell and Vivarin Fast-Time Award winner Mark Kinser raced nose-to-tail through dense lapped traffic throughout the eighth lap. Brian Paulus' second-corner flip the next time around opened the track ahead of the leaders. Swindell chased Hannagan for 5 3/4 laps before taking the high line through turn four into first place. Kinser, who won the main event at Grays Harbor Raceway Park last August 21st, used a similar move to pass Hannagan for second place four laps later. Hannagan lost four more positions late in the 22nd lap when he collided with Shannon Wheatly in the third corner. Donny Schatz, who started outside the fourth corner, put on a late-race charge to gain the final automatic qualifying position in Sunday's CHANNELLOCK Dash. He drove his family's #15 Parker Stores Maxim past Stevie Smith deep in turn two early in lap 24, then won a back-straightaway drag race with Daryn Pittman during the final lap to claim fourth place. Swindell maintained a comfortable advantage throughout the final 10 laps and beat Kinser under the checkered flag by six car-lengths. "I knew his (Hannagan's) tires were going to be a little bit faster at the start, so we had to stay back and let the Goodyears get warmed up," Sammy explained. "I thought I might have shown him my line down there on the bottom of turn four before that (ninth-lap) red, so I had to go up to the top and try it there. We'll just work on getting the CHANNELLOCK car a little closer tomorrow. We were pretty good tonight, but I think we can be a little better." Jac Haudenschild finished in third place, ahead of Schatz, Pittman, Smith, Hannagan, 13th-starting Dale Blaney, Johnny Herrera and Andy Hillenburg. Mark Kinser received his 14th Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the season after chopping .784 seconds off the qualifying standard Blaney set a year ago. Mark drove the #5M Mopar Maxim around the high-banked, 3/8-mile oval in 12.173 seconds, an average speed of 110.901 m.p.h. A collision involving Haudenschild and Steve Kinser sent "The King of the Outlaws" spinning into the infield early in the Third NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race. Kinser's crew, headed by Scott Gerken, quickly repaired the #11 Quaker State Maxim, and Steve qualified for the Preliminary Feature by racing into fifth place. WoO

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Brian Paulus , Daryn Pittman , Joey Saldana , Jac Haudenschild , Johnny Herrera