Joey Saldana Aims to Defend DIRTcar Nationals Sprint Car Title
Kasey Kahne Racing Superstar Also Sets Sights on First World of Outlaws Championship
CONCORD, N.C. - Feb. 3, 2011 - Joey Saldana was one of the hottest drivers in 2010 on the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series national tour. He kicked off the season by winning the DIRTcar Nationals by University of Northwestern Ohio championship and stayed at or near the top of the series standings the entire season.
Now, Saldana and his Kasey Kahne Racing team are gearing up invade Volusia Speedway Park to launch the 2011 World of Outlaws season at the 40 th DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. His performance in 2010 raises the expectation level, making him an immediate contender to win his - and his car owner's - first World of Outlaws crown. He has 33 victories over the past two seasons, more than any other driver, and last year he also managed the points battle exceptionally well.
"Last year we had a tremendous car all week at the DIRTcar Nationals and my crew did a great job adjusting on it," said Saldana, a native of Brownsburg, Ind., and the son of 1970 Knoxville Nationals champion Joe Saldana.
In addition to history being in his favor, the 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year winner also spent some time this winter "Down Under" honing his skills.
"We went down and ran eight races in Australia," Saldana said. "I felt like we ran very well and was able to build up more momentum."
Racing wasn't the only thing Saldana was up to this off-season. He also began training with Pit Fit, an exercise organization that works with drivers like his car owner, Kasey Kahne, and former Indianapolis 500 champion Scott Dixon. In addition to becoming more fit and strong, Saldana has also focused on making sure there are no lingering effects from a concussion he suffered in a crash last fall at Eldora Speedway.
"I started working with Dynavision to make sure my mind was fully recovered from the accident," said Saldana of the unique training technology.
With Saldana ready for a fast start, fans can also expect to see changes in his #9 KKR machine.
"We were very happy to have been partnered with Budweiser for the past few years," said Saldana of his team's sponsor the past several seasons. "We're looking forward to announcing new sponsorship at the DIRTcar Nationals."
In addition to his ride, Saldana's crew is also one of the best in the business. Willie Kahne was the crew chief in 2009 and '10, beginning this season Kale Kahne will step into that role.
"It's going to be strange not working with Willie this season but we have a great team and I'm sure we'll all get on the same page and be as strong as ever."
Through the changes, Saldana's desire and determination remains intact. The hard-charging driver will once again pilot a Maxim chassis this year. His proven success on the track has helped raise his level of confidence in his car, his team and himself, and he knows he's definitely a championship contender.
"We hope we can win it," he said. "It's all about running as strong as you can and just being there at the end."
Tickets to see Saldana and the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series compete in the 40th DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park can be purchased online at www.worldofoutlaws.com/tickets or by calling 386-985-4402 . The racing kicks off on Tuesday (Feb. 8) with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars waving the green flag on the season Friday (Feb. 11), Saturday (Feb. 12) and Sunday (Feb. 13).