Tri-City: Race report

Saldana Dominates Tri-City Speedway Event GRANITE CITY, IL (May 15) -- Joey Saldana became the ninth driver to win a 2004 World of Outlaw Sprint Series main event Saturday when he led all 25 laps to win at Tri-City Speedway. Saldana, who ...

Saldana Dominates Tri-City Speedway Event

GRANITE CITY, IL (May 15) -- Joey Saldana became the ninth driver to win a 2004 World of Outlaw Sprint Series main event Saturday when he led all 25 laps to win at Tri-City Speedway.

Saldana, who started driving the #2 Volcano Joe's Coffee Maxim in early April, raced ahead of "Mean 15" leaders Steve Kinser and Danny Lasoski throughout the "A" Feature to claim his first victory of the season. The 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has won 13 main events in his World of Outlaws Sprint Series career.

"I can't thank Larry Woodward enough for giving me an opportunity to race with these guys," Saldana said. "This team's done a great job. Mike Cool, Mike Briggs and Dave Brzozwski have worked really hard and the Charlie Fisher motors are running great. This is the third car I've run with the Outlaws this year, and it's really fulfilling to know that I can still get the job done.

"I knew those guys (Lasoski and Kinser) were back there, but the traffic was really tight. Cars were weaving all over the place on the straightaways, and I didn't want to do anything stupid to throw away a good finish."

Saldana has finished among the top six in seven of the nine "A" Features he has run with the Volcano Joe's Coffee team.

After qualifying ninth quick Saturday, Saldana followed Jason Meyers across the finish line in the Third Heat Race and earned the privilege of starting the "A" Feature outside the front row by winning the Second Dash Race.

Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidates Kraig Kinser and Erin Crocker collided and flipped in the fourth corner as the green flag fell in the main event. Paul McMahan moved forward to the pole position when Craig Dollansky's crew repaired the broken rear end in the #7 VMAC Maxim during the red period.

Saldana won a front-straightaway drag race with McMahan to take the lead as the green flag replaced the red. Saldana was a straightaway ahead of his closest pursuers when he entered lapped traffic four laps into the race. McMahan, who won the "A" Feature at Tri-City Speedway last June 22nd, caught Saldana in dense lapped traffic three laps later with Lasoski just inches from his rear bumper.

Daryn Pittman surrendered seventh place during the 10th lap when mechanical problems in the #21 Hop & Sack CMC forced him into the pit area.

Lasoski drove 2002 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart's #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle into the low groove the second corner to pass McMahan for the runner-up spot the next time around. Kinser, who has won 22 of the 47 World of Outlaws Sprint Series main events at Tri-City Speedway, used a similar move in turn four to pass McMahan for third place two laps later.

"The Dude" and Kinser were catching Saldana in lapped traffic with three laps remaining when Joey pulled off a daring move past Crocker deep in the second corner to open a comfortable advantage. Saldana claimed the $10,000 first prize with six car-lengths to spare.

Lasoski was the runner-up in an "A" Feature for the third time this season. Kinser maintained his World of Outlaws Sprint Series points lead with his eighth top-five finish. McMahan drove the #11H Selma Shell Maxim into fourth place, ahead of Meyers, Brian Paulus, Brooke Tatnell, Tim Shaffer, Donny Schatz and 15th-starting Jason Sides.

Paulus overcame obstacles in the Second Heat Race and the Second Dash Race to record his best finish since winning the NGK Spark Plugs Shootout at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track April 3rd. Brian spun out of fourth place in the Second Heat Race, but recovered to finish sixth and qualify for the main event. A mechanical malfunction on the #28 Arnold Transport Maxim late in the final lap of the Second Dash Race caused Paulus to lose two positions and finish in fourth place.

Shaffer moved past Sides and Pittman into eighth place in the point standings by driving the #83 Beef Packers Eagle past 13 cars into eighth place. Tatnell also improved two positions in the points race with his fourth top-10 finish of the season.

Schatz's #15 Parker Store J&J hit the retaining wall and flipped in the second corner during the first warm-up session. The 1997 Rookie of the Year, driving a backup car for the remainder of the program, won the Second Heat Race and passed three cars to record his series-leading 13th top-10 finish of the season.

Kinser paced the qualifying session with a 109.111-M.P.H. lap around the semi-banked, ½-mile oval.

The World of Outlaws will sanction the Polydome Princeton National at Princeton Speedway Friday and Saturday.

-WoO-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tim Shaffer , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Brian Paulus , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan