MEADVILLE, PA - June 25, 2001 - There's an air of calm and relaxed focus about Sammy Swindell during this 2001 World of Outlaws season. The 29-year veteran of sprint car racing is pleased with his car's performance, and feels good about the...
MEADVILLE, PA - June 25, 2001 - There's an air of calm and relaxed focus about Sammy Swindell during this 2001 World of Outlaws season. The 29-year veteran of sprint car racing is pleased with his car's performance, and feels good about the decision to run a limited schedule this year. The change in attitude is evidenced by Swindell's performance at Eagle Raceway in Nebraska over the weekend. After finishing no better than fourth during the televised second preliminary event, Swindell's comments were those of a driver and team owner confident in recent decisions and pleased with his performance.
"We went the wrong way with some of our set-ups over the weekend, and we missed a couple opportunities, but the car was really running great and the guys had things dialed in real well otherwise," said Swindell following Saturday's 11th-place finish in the Eagle Nationals finale.
The Eagle Nationals began with a first preliminary event on Thursday, June 21st. Swindell qualified the CHANNELLOCK BLUE® #1 Stealth 28th out of 38 competitors with a lap time of 12.947 seconds - nearly a second off the pace of pole-sitter Danny Wood, who recorded a 12.045 lap time. An eighth-place finish in the fourth O'Reilly Heat Race relegated Swindell to qualifying via the B-Feature. He finished fourth in the B-Feature, and lined up deep in the field for the start of the A-Feature. But Swindell was unable to better his position on the tough Eagle Raceway 1/3-mile, finishing 23rd.
Friday's TNN-televised second preliminary saw the Channellock team, driver and car better prepared for the track conditions. Swindell qualified 12th with a lap time of 12.305 seconds. He then finished second in the fourth O'Reilly Heat Race, 1.32 seconds behind Wood. After starting mid-pack in the second Preliminary Feature, Swindell was able to find the fast groove and pick his way through the pack, eventually passing 10 cars en route to a fourth-place finish.
"The Channellock car really did what it was supposed to," said Swindell after the race. "We learned a few things last night that we changed for tonight. We've got a couple new guys on the team and they did a good job helping Glenn (Stewart, crew chief) get things ready."
The Feature Program began with the top four points-getters in the first two prelims automatically qualified for the A-Feature, while the rest of the field went straight to the heats to determine the rest of the starting order. Swindell, who has two Eagle Nationals crowns to his credit, took third in the second O'Reilly Heat Race, but had to start the second preliminary race from the 18th position.
Once again, Swindell was able to use the track and lapped traffic experience to his advantage as he worked his way through some tight gaps to finish 11th in the Feature.
"It wasn't the best finish we could hope for, but I can't really complain. I've been real happy with the Channellock car. It's been running real good," said Swindell. "The temperature's been different than we're accustomed to out here in Nebraska for this time of year, and the dirt still isn't cooperating with my tires," he quipped, "but we're doing pretty good and I think we're going to get even better as the season goes on. We've done pretty well at Sedalia and Knoxville in the past, so I'm looking forward to these next few races."
Swindell and the World of Outlaws will run a one-night event at State Fair Motor Speedway in Sedalia, MO on June 27th, followed by the Sixth Annual Iowa Ethanol Classic at Knoxville Speedway in Knoxville, IA on the 29th and 30th. Saturday's main event will be televised live on TNN, The National Network at 9:00 p.m. ET.