Swindell Wins Outlaws Showdown Opener By Richard Day CONCORD, NC (May 25) -- With 28 years in sprint car racing, Sammy Swindell is the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' elder statesman. He dipped...
Swindell Wins Outlaws Showdown Opener
By Richard Day
CONCORD, NC (May 25) -- With 28 years in sprint car racing, Sammy Swindell is the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' elder statesman. He dipped into his vast memory bank of knowledge Thursday while winning the Preliminary Feature when the Inaugural WIX Filters Outlaws Showdown opened at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "This was a track where you had to keep your momentum up, and it was tough getting through some of those lapped cars," Sammy said. "Having a lot of experience at different tracks helps (when racing at a new facility). The CHANNELLOCK crew worked good all night long and kept us fast. "We had a little problem in the heat and maybe overcompensated in the dash, but it was good enough to win. When the air's this heavy, it's hard to pull these wings around, and we have to lean to motors out. If we got some good air here, I think we could go a couple of tenths (of a second) faster." Swindell, the second-fastest qualifier, in the 49-car field, was only .132 seconds off Mark Kinser's track record pace. He finished third in the Second NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and earned the right to start the 30-lap feature outside the front row by winning the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash from inside the third row. The $5,000 victory was Swindell's second in a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Preliminary Feature this year. He also won a Preliminary Feature April 28th at Knoxville Raceway. TNN Sports televised the race live. Swindell and pole-sitter Jac Haudenschild raced wheel-to-wheel down the front straightaway and through the first corner before Sammy surged into the lead high in turn two. Haudenschild was battling the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' three-time champion when Brian Paulus took the #28 Verdelli Farms Maxim for a spin in the first corner two laps later. Paul McMahan and Donny Schatz used inside moves to pass Tim Shaffer and Daryn Pittman for third and fifth place, respectively, during laps four and five. Swindell was .7 seconds ahead of his closest pursuers eight laps into the race. Haudenschild and McMahan exchanged second place during the 14th lap. McMahan took the low line into turn two, only to have "The Wild Child" steer the new #22 fetchOmatic Maxim deep in the third corner to regain the runner-up spot seconds later. The caution-filled 12th lap saw Brad Furr stop in turn three with a flat right rear tire, Billy Pauch have problems accelerating on the restart and Lance Blevins spinning on the front straightaway. Haudenschild challenged Swindell for first place as the green flag replaced the yellow. They raced wheel-to-wheel through turns one and two, but Swindell maintained the lead on the back stretch. Sammy was .8 seconds ahead by the 18th lap. "The Wild Child" and McMahan caught Swindell and raced nose-to- tail with the leader two laps later. McMahan challenged Haudenschild for second place during lap 20. Haudenschild cut Swindell's advantage from 1.6 seconds to .8 seconds during the 29th lap, but Sammy took the checkered flag with .7 seconds to spare. McMahan and Schatz earned the second-row starting positions in Friday's Second CHANNELLOCK Dash by finishing third and fourth. Andy Hillenburg, who started inside the sixth row, passed Joey Saldana and Shaffer during the final eight laps to claim fifth place. Shaffer finished sixth, ahead of Stevie Smith, Pittman and the Kinser cousins - Mark and Steve. Steve Kinser, the leader in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series point standings, was the last driver to qualify for the feature. He passed 14 sprinters to finish 10th and increased his advantage to 111 points when Danny Lasoski took a provisional starting position and finished 25th. Greg Hodnett used a provisional and drove the #V12 Wirtgen Maxim past 14 cars to finish 12th. Mark Kinser received his seventh Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the season for pacing the qualifying session with an 11.997-second, 120.030-m.p.h., lap around the new semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval. An hour-long rain shower delayed the NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Races won by Haudenschild, Randy Kinser, Pittman and Smith. WoO