Opening with a Bang: Joey Saldana Wins First Night of Kasey^Ã’s King of Bulls Gap Presented By Budweiser Bulls Gap, TN--March 19, 2010--Joey Saldana isn't quite sure what it is about Volunteer Speedway in Bull Gap, Tenn., but every time he has...
Opening with a Bang: Joey Saldana Wins First Night of Kasey^Òs King of Bulls Gap Presented By Budweiser
Bulls Gap, TN--March 19, 2010--Joey Saldana isn't quite sure what it is about Volunteer Speedway in Bull Gap, Tenn., but every time he has raced at the blazing fast ultra high-banked four-tenths-mile he has been in contention for a win. He extended that streak on Friday as he opened Kasey's King of Bulls Gap Presented By Budweiser on Friday night with a victory.
Saldana picked up his second consecutive win with the World of Outlaws at Volunteer Speedway and the third victory of his career at the track in the event which was co-sanctioned with the All Star Circuit of Champions. Saldana was challenged throughout the race by 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser and used a strong restart with five laps remaining to seal the win.
"It feels good to win again," said Saldana. "Track position was key for me tonight. I felt like we had a really good car on the long runs, but not on the restarts. I definitely have to figure out these double file restarts, because they haven^Òt helped me yet. I almost gave the race away on that one with Steve (Kinser), but I'll take it and we^Òll come back tomorrow."
For Saldana the win was his second of 2010 aboard the Budweiser Maxim and he did it with car owner and NASCAR star Kasey Kahne in attendance. In addition to promoting Kasey^Òs King of Bulls Gap Presented By Budweiser, which was the first race of the Showdown for the Bud Crown four-race mini-series, Kahne also competed on Friday night, fielding a total of four cars.
"It's special anytime for a driver when an owner can see what you accomplish on the race track," noted Saldana. "It's so hard for him with his schedule to be able to make it to our races and see what we do week in and week out, but he understands it. It's nice when he is around to see it and appreciate it to run well. He knows what he is doing for us is paying off. He does a lot behind the scenes to make this deal happen. It's gratifying to run well when he is here."
Saldana led from the pole and jumped out to an early lead, hitting traffic just five laps into the 35-lapper. He withstood five yellow flags and a red flag, leading each time on the restart. Each time there was a double file restart, he chose the low line and had Steve Kinser try a couple of slide jobs heading into turns one and two in a bid for the lead.
"It would have been a shame if we had lost the race, because I felt like we were getting through lapped traffic really good and were moving around good," shared Saldana. "Our car was really good. In sprint car racing anything can happen and we almost gave it away tonight."
Steve Kinser got a strong run on Saldana on a lap-30 double file restart, taking the lead in turns one and two, only to have the a red flag fly before the lap was complete, thus leading to a single file restart by way of World of Outlaws rules, because there was two consecutive caution flags before another lap is completed. Following the final single file restart of the night with five laps to go, Kinser was able to close back in on Saldana with two laps to go, but could not quite get a run on him on the final lap, coming home second in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim.
"We had a good run and we have been fast all year, so I can't complain," said Kinser. "To come here and not get my blood pressure up is good. I have a bad habit of doing that. I thought I got cheated a little bit on that one restart when they put Danny (Lasoski) back ahead of me, but I was able to get a better run on Joey (Saldana) and caught him asleep and got the lead, but they had a wreck on that lap. I knew the next time Joey wasn't going to give me that opportunity."
Danny Lasoski ran up front all night and wound up third in the Casey^Òs General Stores JEI. He was running fourth on the final restart and was able to get around Brad Sweet to pick up his best career finish at Volunteer Speedway and also matched his best finish of 2010 with the World of Outlaws.
"It was a great run," Lasoski said. "I can^Òt thank Lonnie Parsons enough for letting me run this car. We were pretty good there in the feature and were able to hang up there with those guys. We are looking forward to tomorrow night and seeing if we can get a few more spots."
Brad Sweet finished a very strong fourth in the Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Maxim in his debut at Volunteer Speedway after starting seventh.
Paul McMahan rounded out the Top-Five in the Great Clips Maxim, putting three of the four Kasey Kahne Racing machines entered in the race in the Top-Five. Kahne himself opened the night by setting a new track record in qualifying at Volunteer Speedway blistering the old mark by well over a full second in his first 410-sprint car start of 2010.
Donny Schatz came from 14th to finish sixth in the Armor All/STP J&J to earn the KSE Race Products Hard Charger Award. Jason Meyers was seventh aboard the GLR Investments KPC to extend his string of Top-10 finishes to eight on the season. Daryn Pittman was eighth in the Hunter Truck Sales Maxim. Dale Blaney was ninth in the Ti-22 Performance Maxim, with Kraig Kinser rounding out the Top-10 in the Quaker State Maxim.
The World of Outlaws wrap up Kasey's King of Bulls Gap Presented By Budweiser on Saturday, March 20 at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap.
KASEY'S KING OF BULLS GAP NIGHT #1 NOTES
*FAST QUALIFIER: Kasey Kahne paced the 38 cars that took time with a record setting AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked four-tenths-mile oval at 10.258 seconds at 140.378 mph. For his qualifying effort, Kahne earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Jason Meyers (4), Kraig Kinser (3), Steve Kinser (2) and Tim Shaffer (1).
*VOLUNTEER SPEEDWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Danny Lasoski, Ben Gregg, Brad Sweet and Steve Kinser won heat races. Joey Saldana won the dash. Jason Sides won the B-Main.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been eight World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Thunderbowl Raceway), Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway and Volunteer Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park) and Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park).
*FOUR-TENTHS-MILE WINNERS: Volunteer Speedway is a high-banked four-tenths-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced once this season on a track that size. The winner was Joey Saldana (Volunteer Speedway).