Back on Top: Joey Saldana Wins Knight Before Kings Royal & Retakes World of Outlaws Point Lead Rossburg, OH-July 16, 2010- After a couple of frustrating races that saw him have some bad luck and fall to second in the World of...
Back on Top: Joey Saldana Wins Knight Before Kings Royal & Retakes World of Outlaws Point Lead
Rossburg, OH-July 16, 2010- After a couple of frustrating races that saw him have some bad luck and fall to second in the World of Outlaws championship standings, Joey Saldana got back on track in a big way on Friday night, scoring the win in the Knight Before the Kings Royal at the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio and retaking the top spot in the standings as well.
The $10,000 win was Saldana's series leading ninth of the 2010 campaign and his 18th career triumph at Eldora, with nine of those coming in World of Outlaws events. With the victory, Saldana moved into sole possession of eighth-place on the all-time World of Outlaws win list with 68 A-Feature wins.
Saldana lined up second with Lucas Wolfe leading the field into turn one, before he blasted around the high side of turn two to take the top spot and quickly jumped out to a comfortable lead in the Budweiser Maxim.
"We worked hard and it was a great effort by everyone," said Saldana. "This is the motor we should have won Lakeside (Speedway) with and I destroyed it. Rick Long with Speedway Engines worked really hard to get it back to us. There are a lot of people that helped us to get this motor back for this weekend and I can't thank them enough for getting us an engine that can compete and win these races."
Saldana was out front during two yellow flag and one red flag period on Friday night. He chose the high side of the track on each restart and charged into turns one and two to quickly open a lead. He would pace all 30 circuits to score his second win of the season at Eldora Speedway.
"I've seen this place so many times throughout the years just from watching and the top is faster," shared the winner. "It seems like if you can get momentum faster than the next guy you'll be ok. This track is definitely a momentum place and its fun when it's like that, but it's still pretty tough to drive."
During a long green flag stretch that lasted 25 laps, following a third lap caution, Saldana set a blistering pace around the high side of the legendary high-banked half-mile and wound up lapping up to the 12th-place finisher. He looks for the track to be a little bit different tomorrow for the 27th Annual Kings Royal, an even he has won twice in his career.
"The track was pretty treacherous on the cushion tonight and I don't think they'll let it be like that tomorrow," noted Saldana. "They'll probably make it slicker so it's more even for everybody. I was told there were a lot of lapped cars between us tonight. We'll just have to wait and see. We learned a lot tonight and I know that lapped traffic will be very tough tomorrow. We'll see what happens tomorrow."
Donny Schatz used a strong double file restart with three laps to go, to take second from Paul McMahan. He would end up in the runner-up spot aboard the Armor All/STP J&J. The four-time and defending series champion started third and fell back to fifth on the opening lap. He then worked his way by Jason Sides for fourth, before tracking down Lucas Wolfe for third with just four laps remaining and then McMahan.
"We got better as the race went on and that's all you can ask for," Schatz said. "Tomorrow is 40 laps and that's like another whole race. I'm just glad to get a second-place finish tonight. The Armor All guys did a great job and we learned a lot. Hopefully we can come back tomorrow and be better."
Paul McMahan continued his strong summer coming home third in the Great Clips Maxim to earn his 14th Top-Five finish of the season. He started fourth and charged past Donny Schatz on the opening lap, before getting by Lucas Wolfe on the second lap. He was running second on the final restart with three laps to go and lined up on the low side of the track.
"I don't think I had anything for Joey (Saldana)," McMahan said. "I spun the tires on that restart and it was just a mistake on my part. It was a great night for KKR and everyone involved with this team. This is five straight Top-Fives and hopefully we can move up a couple of spots tomorrow and get that 50-grand."
Steve Kinser ended up fourth in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim to earn his series leading 35th Top-10 finish of the season. Lucas Wolfe was fifth in the Allebach Racing Maxim. Jac Haudenschild came all the way from the 23rd starting spot to finish sixth in the Owens-Corning Fiberglass XXX. He was caught up in a second lap incident which sent him to the work area and then stormed back through the field.
Dale Blaney was seventh in the Ti-22 Performance Maxim, with Jason Sides eighth piloting the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim. Craig Dollansky was ninth in the Big Game Treestands Maxim, with Daryn Pittman rounding out the Top-10 in the Indy Race Parts Eagle.
The World of Outlaws return to action on Saturday, July 17 with the 27h Annual Kings Royal at the famed Eldora Speedway which will again pay $50,000 to-win. The cameras from SPEED will be on hand to capture all of the action for broadcast on August 7.
KNIGHT BEFORE THE KINGS ROYAL NOTES
* FAST QUALIFIER: Paul McMahan paced the 47 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked half-mile oval at 13.311 seconds at 135.227 mph. For his qualifying effort, McMahan earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Joey Saldana (4), Daryn Pittman (3), Dale Blaney (2) and Donny Schatz (1).
* KNIGHT BEFORE THE KINGS ROYAL QUALIFYING WINNERS: Jason Sides, Steve Kinser, Kasey Kahne and Craig Dollansky won heat races. Lucas Wolfe won the dash. Kerry Madsen won the Last Chance Showdown. Rob Chaney won the C-Main
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 37 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 and Beaver Dam 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 and North Central Speedway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park, Jackson Speedway, River Cities Speedway and Lakeside Speedway), Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park , Tri-City Speedway and Missouri State Fair Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway and Cedar Lake Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway and Knoxville Raceway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park and The Dirt Track at Charlotte), Sammy Swindell (Dodge City Raceway and Huset's Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway and Junction Motor Speedway), Dale Blaney (Limaland Motorsports Park), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway) and Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway).
* HALF-WINNERS: Eldora Speedway is a high-banked half-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced 17 times at a track that size in 2010. The winners include: Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park, Jackson Speedway and Lakeside Speedway), Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway and I-96 Speedway), Joey Saldana (Eldora Speedway-twice), Jason Sides (Tri-City Speedway and Missouri State Fair Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Knoxville Raceway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park) and Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway).