An Even Dozen: Joey Saldana Wins Finale of the Oil City Cup to Score 12th Victory of the Season Edmonton, AB-August 28, 2010 - After having some bad luck on Friday night in the opener of the Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway, and losing ...
An Even Dozen: Joey Saldana Wins Finale of the Oil City Cup to Score 12th Victory of the Season
Edmonton, AB-August 28, 2010 - After having some bad luck on Friday night in the opener of the Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway, and losing a significant amount of points in the battle for the World of Outlaws championship, Joey Saldana looked to rebound in the finale of the two-day event at the Canadian oval. He did exactly that, getting back on track in impression fashion winning a thrilling race on Saturday night over Donny Schatz and Sam Hafertepe Jr. that saw the trio trade countless slide jobs in lapped traffic.
Saldana slid Hafertepe in turn four in lapped traffic on the 30th lap to take the lead, after nearly taking the top spot a few laps earlier. The second generation driver would lead the remainder of the distance to earn his series leading 12th A-Feature win of the season and his third in his last four starts at Castrol Raceway. The victory for Saldana was his 71st with the World of Outlaws, moving him ahead of Dave Blaney for seventh on the all-time win list.
"That was an amazing race," said Saldana in Victory Lane. "I hope everyone here enjoyed it tonight. I had to really get my elbows up tonight. We had a great car and we had a great car last night and just got caught up in someone else's mistake. Tonight it showed how good of a car we had. We are doing the best we can and everyone on this team is working hard. We have had no luck this year and sooner or later it's got to turn around."
Saldana lined up eighth and methodically worked his way to the front. He used a strong restart on the ninth-lap to move into the Top-Five. A double file restart on the 13th go-around helped him move into the third spot, where he then set his sights on Schatz. Saldana moved into second aboard the Budweiser Maxim just before the halfway point of the 35-lap contest with a perfectly executed slide job on Schatz in turns one and two. The pair would continue a torrid battle for the runner-up spot before they caught Hafertepe in lapped traffic.
"When Donny (Schatz) showed me his nose, I definitely knew that I had to get going or I was going to get beat," admitted Saldana. "He was going to go by both of us. We were all running as hard as we could lap after lap. It was just a good race and I can't say enough about my team."
Saldana, the current World of Outlaws championship point leader, gained 18 points on Steve Kinser, who finished seventh on Saturday night and now has a 26-point advantage over the 20-time series champion. He also picked up 10 makers on Jason Meyers, who is finished fourth on Saturday night. Meyers remains third in the standings, and is now 38 points back. Saldana overcame a flat tire in his heat race to finish sixth to earn a spot in the dash by way of being second quick in time trials. He then had to give up the fifth starting spot in the dash and start at the tail by way of World of Outlaws rules for having to change a tire in a heat race.
"We are trying to win a championship and you can't win championships when you are falling out of races," deadpanned Saldana, who is a native of Brownsburg, Indiana. "We know we have a great car and are doing great things, we just get caught up in silly stuff and that's just racing. Sooner or later it will turn around."
Donny Schatz nearly took the lead a couple of time while he was battling Hafertepe for the top spot, including on the 14th lap on the low side of turn four. He battled Saldana for a number of laps for second. He then got by Hafertepe with three laps remaining to come home second in the Armor All/STP J&J.
"We had a great car," said Schatz. "The guys did a great job tonight. I just put myself in a bad spot in lapped traffic and let Joey (Saldana) get by us and kind of get away from us. I feel like I had a little better car than him and Sam (Hafertepe Jr.) and was trying to smart and it was tricky in (turns) three and four if you didn't hit it just right. Second place is where we were tonight."
Hafertepe started on the pole on Saturday night and quickly jumped out to an early lead over Jason Meyers. He extended that lead until the leaders hit lapped traffic, with Meyers and Schatz closing back in on him them. The native of Sunnyvale, Texas would go on to lead 29 laps aboard the Lone Star Speedway Maxim en route to a third-place finish.
"We just got beat fair and square and that's the name of the game out here," Hafertepe graciously stated. "These guys just ran lapped traffic a little better than I did and that's the bottom line. I got to them first. I guess I kind of helped the guys behind me out by clearing the path a few times. We'll come back and see if we can't get a chance at another one."
Schatz, who lined up third, worked the low side of the track for the first half of the race before switching his line. He and Saldana waged a thrilling battle that saw them trade numerous slide jobs including in lapped traffic when they were right on Hafertepe. For Schatz the runner-up finish was his 27th Top-Five of the season.
"Sometimes you just have to go where everyone else is not to see what is going on and gauge your stuff," explained the four-time and defending series champion. "I felt pretty good on the bottom, though the track kept getting faster and faster and it was wearing the bottom out so I had to go back up top. With a long race, you have to be good everywhere. Like I said, it was tricky in three and four for my car to enter there, so I enter there one time and made the best of it and did what we could."
Hafertepe was pounding the cushion in turns three and four for a majority of the race including in heavy lapped traffic. In open track he was able to easily pull away from the field, but in traffic, Saldana, Schatz and Meyers were able to close back up on him on several occasions. On each of the double file restarts that he was out front on, Hafertepe chose the low line of the track and brought the field up very slowly each time on the restart.
"We were probably hitting it (the wall) every other lap, but to get your first win, you'll do anything," Hafertepe said. "We were doing everything we could and if we would have been a little better of off (turn) two I guarantee we would have won this thing. That is where we were hurt coming off there. These guys were getting off there better than we were, but in (turns) three and four, I don't think anyone had anything for us."
Jason Meyers kept pace with Hafertepe in the early going and ended up fourth in the GLR Investments KPC. He earned two bonus points in the standings for turning in the fourth-fastest lap in time trials and now trails Saldana by 38 points.
Paul McMahan was fifth in the Great Clips Maxim, with Danny Lasoski sixth aboard the Casey's General Stores JEI. Steve Kinser finished seventh in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim to remain second in points, 26 markers out of the top spot. Jason Solwold was eighth in the Extreme Oilfield Technology XXX. Jac Haudenschild was ninth in the Owens-Coning Fiberglass XXX, with Jason Sides rounding out the Top-10 aboard the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim.
The World of Outlaws return to action on Wednesday, September 1 at Cottage Grove Speedway in Oregon.
OIL CITY CUP NIGHT #2 NOTES
* FAST QUALIFIER: Jac Haudenschild paced the 26 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the semi-banked 3/8-mile oval at 13.638 seconds at 98.988 mph. For his qualifying effort, Haudenschild earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Joey Saldana (4), Donny Schatz (3), Jason Meyers (2) and Paul McMahan (1).
* CASTROL RACEWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Kerry Madsen, Jason Solwold and Sam Hafertepe Jr. won heat races. Sam Hafertepe Jr. won the dash. Ben Gregg won the Last Chance Showdown.
* FINES LEVIED: Brad Sweet has been fined $2,500 and suspended for five races for violating Section 2.2A of the World of Outlaws Rulebook regarding "Members acting in a professional manner," in addition to Section 11.1G in regards to "Members driving roughly," pertaining to an incident at Nodak Speedway on Saturday, August 21. Sweet also has been placed on probation for the remainder of the 2010 season. Kasey Kahne Racing has appealed the fine and penalty. Additionally, the No. 11 Tony Stewart Racing team was fined $500 for violating Section 11.1O in the 2010 World of Outlaws Rule Book regarding a "Team member on the racing surface" during a yellow flag on Saturday, August 21 at Nodak Speedway.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 53 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, I-55 Raceway, Eldora Speedway-twice, Dodge City Raceway Park, River Cities Speedway, LaSalle Speedway, Beaver Dam Raceway, Lernerville Speedway, Nodak Speedway and Castrol Raceway), Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, Tri-State (Okla.) Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway, I-96 Speedway, North Central Speedway, I-55 Raceway and Castrol Raceway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park, Jackson Speedway, River Cities Speedway, Lakeside Speedway, Eldora Speedway, Autodrome Drummond and Fulton Speedway), Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park , Tri-City Speedway, Missouri State Fair Speedway and Ohsweken Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway, Cedar Lake Speedway and Nodak Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park, The Dirt Track at Charlotte and Ohsweken Speedway), Lance Dewease (Lernerville Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway and Knoxville Raceway), Sammy Swindell (Dodge City Raceway and Huset's Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway and Junction Motor Speedway), Dale Blaney (Limaland Motorsports Park), Doug Esh (Lebanon Valley Speedway), Greg Hodnett (Williams Grove Speedway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway) and Tim Shaffer (I-55 Raceway).
* 3/8-MILE-WINNERS: Castrol Raceway is a semi-banked 3/8-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced 14 times on a track that size this season. The winners include: Joey Saldana (Dodge City Raceway Park, Nodak Speedway and Castrol Raceway), Craig Dollansky (Cedar Lake Speedway and Nodak Speedway), Jason Meyers (Tri-State-Okla. Speedway and Castrol Raceway), Sammy Swindell (Dodge City Raceway Park and Huset's Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway), Steve Kinser (Fulton Speedway), Donny Schatz (Ohsweken Speedway), Jason Sides (Ohsweken Speedway) and Brooke Tatnell (Junction Motor Speedway).