Wheel to Wheel: Saldana Edges Haudenschild in Thriller at River Cities Speedway to Win the Duel in the Dakotas Grand Forks, ND-- June 20, 2010-- River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota has been one of the most exciting tracks on ...
Wheel to Wheel: Saldana Edges Haudenschild in Thriller at River Cities Speedway to Win the Duel in the Dakotas
Grand Forks, ND-- June 20, 2010-- River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota has been one of the most exciting tracks on the World of Outlaws circuit, since the series first competed at the high-banked bullring in 2007, with side-by-side, wheel-to-wheel action the norm. The track certainly lived up to that moniker on Sunday night as Joey Saldana and Jac Haudenschild went at it tooth and nail down the back straightaway on the white flag lap for the win, touching wheels at one point, with Saldana staying ahead by just mere inches as the pair charged into turns three and four.
Saldana edged the Hall of Famer at the line by a scant 0.164 seconds to score his sixth win of the season and the second of his career at River Cities Speedway. For Saldana it was the 65th A-Feature win of his World of Outlaws career, as he was crowned the overall champion of the Duel in the Dakota which was comprised of both nights of racing this weekend, following a fourth-place performance in the opener on Saturday night.
"It's always good to win," said Saldana. "I thought we had a shot at it last night (Saturday) and just never got to restart on the bottom, so I'm glad to win tonight. The crew did a great job and we just kept working on things all night. It feels good to be running up front for Budweiser and Kasey Kahne Racing."
Saldana started on the pole and battled Steve Kinser on the opening lap, with Kinser powering down the back straightaway to lead the opening circuit. Saldana used a textbook slide job on the 20th lap in turns one and two to take the top spot from the 20-time series champion.
Saldana chose the high side of the track on a double file restart with seven laps remaining with Haudenschild lining up to his inside. Haudenschild kept pace with him on the restart and was all over him over the last couple of laps nearly taking the lead on the back straightaway on the final go-around, as well as with two laps to go coming off turn four.
"We definitely touched," stated Saldana, who is a second generation driver. "I went around the outside of the lap cars and that's the way it goes. That's just racing I guess."
Saldana wound up leading the final 16 laps of the 35-lapper aboard the Budweiser Maxim. He chose the high line on a trio of double file restarts while out front and tried his best to conserve his right rear tire which didn't have much left on it at the checkered flag.
"I was definitely worried about the tire, because I think I found the rubber before Steve (Kinser) did," noted the winner. "It definitely helped to find the rubber and then it was hang on and try not to smoke them off. That was the hard part, because we definitely smoked them off."
Haudenschild came home second for the second consecutive night, piloting the Owens-Corning Fiberglass XXX to earn his seventh Top-Five finish of the season. He did everything he could in the late going as he and Saldana battled for the top spot.
"We were able to get up alongside him, but weren't able to get around him," Haudenschild said. "The car felt good all night and I'm glad to finish up here. The car has been good and we've been up there and battling these guys. We'll just keep shooting for some more wins."
Donny Schatz, the four-time and defending World of Outlaws champion who hails from North Dakota, finished third in the Armor All/STP J&J. He lined up ninth and quickly gained a few spots in the early going. He battled his teammate Steve Kinser late in the going for third and was then able to close in on the lead pair of Saldana and Haudenschild, but ran out of laps.
"It was fun," said Schatz. "In the first part we were able to get around the bottom and then were able to get around the top and middle. It could have been anyone's race the last lap or two and that's all you can ask for."
The race began with Steve Kinser charging to the lead on the high side of the track as the field powered through turns one and two, with Saldana in tow. The pair found themselves in lapped traffic by the fifth lap. The first red flag of the night flew on the 12th lap when Jason Meyers got upside down while battling Kerry Madsen for third. Meyers ended up 17th and fell a spot to third in points.
On the ensuing double file restart, Kinser chose the high line and quickly jumped out to a six-car length lead. The leaders again were in heavy lapped traffic within a few laps, with Saldana splitting two cars at one point while running second. He then slid around Kinser on the 20th lap in turns one and two, with Haudenschild charging around top to take the second spot.
Kinser, who was victorious on Saturday night, finished fourth aboard the Bass Pro Shops Maxim to earn his series leading 25th Top-10 finish of the season. He also moved into second in the standings as he chases his record 21st title.
Paul McMahan was fifth in the Great Clips Maxim, with Lucas Wolfe sixth aboard the Allebach Racing Maxim. Jason Sides was seventh in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim, with Kraig Kinser eighth in the Quaker State Maxim. Danny Lasoski was ninth in the Casey's General Store JEI, with Sam Hafertepe Jr. rounding out the Top-10 in the G.H. Plumbing machine.
The World of Outlaws return to action on Friday, June 25 with an inaugural event at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Nebraska.
RIVER CITIES SPEEDWAY NIGHT #2 NOTES
* FAST QUALIFIER: Paul McMahan paced the 36 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked 1/4-mile oval at 11.228 seconds at 96.188 mph. For his qualifying effort, McMahan earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Joey Saldana (4), Lucas Wolfe (3), Donny Schatz (2) and Kerry Madsen (1).
* RIVER CITIES SPEEDWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Jac Haudenschild, Danny Lasoski, Thomas Kennedy and Steve Kinser won heat races. Joey Saldana won the dash. Wade Nygaard won the Last Chance Showdown.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 27 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, Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, Tri-State (Okla.) Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway and I-96 Speedway), Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, I-55 Raceway, Eldora Speedway, Dodge City Raceway Park and River Cities Speedway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park, Jackson Speedway and River Cities Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway and Knoxville Raceway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park and The Dirt Track at Charlotte), Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park and Tri-City Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway), Sammy Swindell (Dodge City Raceway) and Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway).
* 1/4-MILE WINNERS: River Cities Speedway is a high-banked 1/4-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced three times this season on a track that size. The winners include: Steve Kinser (River Cities Speedway), Joey Saldana (River Cities Speedway) and Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park).