Saldana ends frustration at Powercom Park. BEAVER DAM, WI (April 22) -- Until Tuesday at The Raceway at Powercom Park, Joey Saldana was frustrated with the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series' 25th Anniversary Season. The 1996 Kevin Gobrecht...
Saldana ends frustration at Powercom Park.
BEAVER DAM, WI (April 22) -- Until Tuesday at The Raceway at Powercom Park, Joey Saldana was frustrated with the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series' 25th Anniversary Season.
The 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year followed the advice of Lee Osborne, who won four "A" Features between 1980 and 1982, and drove the #17 Eagle Raceway MCI into victory lane for the first time this season.
"This feels awesome!" Saldana yelled to the capacity crowd. "I thought we had a race won in Magnolia (MS, Pike County Speedway), but the engine broke under caution. This year has been nothing but frustration so far. Maybe this is a sign that we've finally figured something out with this weight deal. We've seemed to struggle trying to get the car right. I called Lee Osborne this week, and he helped us out a lot with the car. I have to thank Lee and (crew chief) Davey Whitworth for listening to Lee. Eagle Raceway, HemSaw and Joe Saldana -- that's Saldana Motorsports, and that's what keeps us out here."
Shane Stewart, who passed Brian Paulus for the lead during the 15th lap, slowed behind Greg Wilson seven laps later, allowing Saldana to pass him for the $10,000 victory. Saldana is the ninth driver to win an O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series main event this season.
Saldana, the eighth-fastest qualifier in the 45-car field, earned the privilege of starting the 40-lap "A" Feature outside the third row by following Paulus and Stewart across the finish line in the Second Dash Race.
Paulus drove P and P Motorsports' #28 Verdelli Farms Maxim past pole-sitter Kraig Kinser as the green flag fell in the main event. Stewart took the high line around Kinser in turn two several seconds later. Saldana used an inside move between the third and fourth corners to pass Kinser for third place late in lap six.
Stewart and Saldana raced wheel-to-wheel with Paulus nine laps later, and Stewart drove the #4M MIN Motorsports MCI into the lead. Saldana passed Paulus for second place with an inside in turn four late in the 16th lap.
Steve Kinser surrendered eighth place the next time around when he stopped his #11 Quaker State Maxim with a flat right rear tire. Jac Haudenschild, who raced into sixth place from outside the ninth row during the first 15 laps, lost five positions when he lost traction in the second corner as the race resumed.
Stewart was 15 car-lengths ahead of Saldana when he entered lapped traffic midway through the race. Saldana caught Stewart in dense traffic two laps later, however, and took the lead deep in turn three.
Fuel line problems in the #11H Vivarin Maxim forced Jeff Shepard to stop in the first corner early in lap 23. Steve Meyer spun in turn two as the race resumed, bringing out the caution flag again.
Kraig Kinser lost third place late in the 24th lap as he spun in the fourth corner after debris injured his ankle. Kinser walked to the ambulance where the onsite safety crew treated him.
"The Wild Child" started racing toward the front again following the caution period, passing Daryn Pittman and Paulus during the 25th and 26th laps to claim fourth place.
Saldana was a straightaway ahead of Stewart when he caught the back-markers during lap 28. Stewart caught him in dense lapped traffic seven laps later, however. Saldana extended his advantage to 10 car-lengths within two laps, and took the checkered flag with five car-lengths to spare.
"We put on a little bigger tire, and when I got behind the slower cars I had to get out of the throttle because the car would get really tight," Saldana explained. "The last few laps I was just trying no to do anything stupid, but I could feel the car getting tighter and I knew someone would be coming. I knew I had a pretty good race car. Earlier in the race I tried moving around on the track and the car felt good anywhere I tried to put it, so I knew they'd have a tough time getting around me."
Craig Dollansky finished in third place, ahead of Haudenschild, Pittman, Shepard, Paulus, O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski, 19th-starting Donny Schatz and Jason Sides.
Randy Hannagan won the "B" Feature and drove TH Racing's #1X K&C Drywall Rocket past 10 cars to finish 13th in the main event.
Lasoski set quick time for the seventh time this season, driving defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart's #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle around the high-banked, 1/3-mile oval in 12.240 seconds, an average speed of 98.039 M.P.H.