Swindell Wins as 'Dude' Regains Points Lead By Richard Day WEST FARGO, ND (July 6) -- Sammy Swindell won his second nationally televised race of the year while the top four positions in the point standings shifted Friday as the Pennzoil World of...
Swindell Wins as 'Dude' Regains Points Lead
By Richard Day
WEST FARGO, ND (July 6) -- Sammy Swindell won his second nationally televised race of the year while the top four positions in the point standings shifted Friday as the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series ran its second preliminary program at the Fourth Annual Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway.
Swindell, a three-time series champion who is racing on a part- time basis this season, was equal to the challenges of Craig Dollansky and local favorite Donny Schatz while winning the exciting race televised live on TNN: The National Network.
Dollansky, who finished second in both Preliminary Features, passed opening-night winner Steve Kinser for third place in the standings. Danny Lasoski's seventh-place finish, coupled with Mark Kinser's mechanical woes, allowed "The Dude" to regain the points lead.
Swindell, the 10th-fastest qualifier in the 38-car field, won the Second O'Reilly Heat Race and earned the right to start the 30-lap feature inside the second row by following Randy Hannagan and Dollansky across the finish line in the CHANNELLOCK Dash. He exchanged the lead with Dollansky three times between the 21st and 25th laps en route to his first Preliminary Feature victory of the season.
"There haven't been very many races I've won where I had to work that hard," said Swindell, winner of 256 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main events. "Tonight, it was just a matter of getting into the right place at the right time. This CHANNELLOCK car has been fast all year; it's just been a matter of getting some tires we could keep under it and not spin the wheels."
Hannagan drove his brother Terry's #1X K&C Drywall Eagle into the lead as the green flag fell in the feature. Lasoski won a back-stretch drag race with Swindell for third place just seconds before Dollansky passed Hannagan for the lead high between turns three and four.
Joey Saldana lost eighth place early in the second lap when he spun into Danny Wood in the second corner and flipped. Dollansky raced away from the field as the green flag replaced the red and was 2.3 seconds ahead of "The Dude" when he entered lapped traffic six laps into the race. Dollansky, Lasoski and Swindell raced nose-to-tail through dense lapped traffic three laps later.
Hannagan' second-corner spin early in the 11th lap cost him sixth place. Lasoski challenged Dollansky for the lead as the race resumed, but was unable to surge ahead. Swindell raced past "The Dude" in the low groove in the fourth corner several seconds later.
Dollansky was .8 seconds ahead of Swindell when he caught the back-markers a second time during lap 17. Although the two collided in the fourth corner two laps later, Dollansky managed to maintain first place.
Swindell and Dollansky exchanged first place twice during the 21st and 22nd laps. Swindell surged ahead deep in turn two, only to have Dollansky pass the low groove in the third corner one lap later.
Schatz, who started outside the fourth row, joined the battle for first place midway through lap 24. The capacity crowd rose to its feet as Schatz drove his family's #15 Parker Stores J&J wheel-to-wheel with the leaders down the back straightaway. Swindell surged into the lead and Schatz took second place as they headed into the third corner.
Dollansky regained the runner-up spot the next time around, taking the high line past Schatz in turn two.
Andy Hillenburg, whose Luxaire crew built him a new #2 J&J Thursday night, flipped over Mark Kinser as the green flag fell in the Second O'Reilly Heat Race, then won the "B" Feature. He started inside the sixth row and raced into fourth place in the evening's main event.
Jason Meyers drove DOCC Motorsports' #20 Eagle Raceway Eagle past 10 cars in the first 25 laps, then passed Schatz and Hillenburg during the 27th and 28th laps to finish in third place.
Swindell coasted to a 4.2-second victory as Meyers challenged Dollansky for the runner-up spot.
"We tried to be patient there at the start, and not work our tires too hard; just see where everyone was going to run, and find out where we could run when we got to traffic," Swindell said.
Mark Kinser started on the pole in the Second O'Reilly Heat Race. The throttle linkage on the #5M Mopar Maxim broke as the green flag fell, however, causing him to slow dramatically and crash with Hillenburg, Meyers, James Chesson and Mike Johnson. After engine problems kept him from starting the "B" Feature, Kinser took a provisional and received credit for 26th place when his problems persisted in the Preliminary Feature.