World of Outlaws prelim at Hagerstown, May 20

Hodnett Heals Quickly, Wins Hagerstown Opener By Richard Day HAGERSTOWN, MD (May 20) -- A week ago, Greg Hodnett wasn't sure when he would race again. When he decided to return to Jimmy Vasser's ...

Hodnett Heals Quickly, Wins Hagerstown Opener
By Richard Day HAGERSTOWN, MD (May 20) -- A week ago, Greg Hodnett wasn't sure when he would race again. When he decided to return to Jimmy Vasser's #V12 Wirtgen Maxim Tuesday at Lernerville Speedway, he had no idea how his ailing shoulder would respond. Hodnett learned just how quickly he healed Saturday -- in his fourth race since returning to the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series -- leading all 20 laps in the Preliminary Feature at Hagerstown Speedway. "This is great," Greg said. "I really want to thank Tyler Walker and P.J. Chesson for filling in for me. They did a great job and we learned a lot from them actually. They helped us get our car faster." Hodnett suffered a fractured left shoulder blade in a crash at Tri-City Speedway April 15th and missed six events. Hodnett, the fourth-fastest qualifier in the 26-car field, won the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and the First CHANNELLOCK Dash before winning his second Preliminary Feature of the season. He also won the Southern Bleacher Classic opener at Texas Motor Speedway in March. Rain hit Hagerstown Speedway following the NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Races, delaying the preliminary program 66 minutes. Hodnett raced into the lead from the pole as the green flag fell in the feature, only to have Lance Blevins and Christi Passmore collide and flip in turn one. Andy Hillenburg and Keith Kauffman were also involved in the crash. Hodnett assumed first place again when the green flag replaced the red. Stevie Smith, who started inside the fourth row, also got off to a strong start. Smith drove his #19 Ingersoll-Rand Black Bandit past Todd Gracey, Daryn Pittman and Second NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Joey Saldana to take over fourth place. Hodnett was a half-straightaway ahead of his closest pursuers when he entered lapped traffic during the fifth lap. Mark Kinser, who has won four main events at Hagerstown Speedway, closed to within five car-lengths in dense lapped traffic midway through the race. Smith, who won the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature at Hagerstown last July 31st, used an inside move through turns three and four to pass Third NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Donny Schatz for third place late in the 13th lap. Tim Shaffer crashed the #11H Vivarin Eagle on the front stretch several seconds later. Saldana took over fourth place with a high move around Schatz in the second corner early in lap 18. Sammy Swindell, a five-time winner at Hagerstown, passed Schatz deep in turn four later in the 18th lap. Hodnett was five car-lengths ahead of Kinser when he caught the backmarkers again with the white flag waving. Mark narrowed the gap, but was a car-length behind when Hodnett took the checkered flag. "I heard Mark and Stevie behind me that last lap," Hodnett said. "We came up on some lapped cars for racing hard for position in one and two, and it really didn't leave me a whole lot of room. But the good Lord was watching over us and I got by safely. "I want to thank all the fans for coming out tonight and sticking around through the bad weather." Smith and Saldana earned the second-row starting positions in Sunday's Second CHANNELLOCK Dash by finishing third and fourth, respectively. Swindell held off Schata for fifth place. Danny Lasoski finished sixth, ahead of Pittman, Johnny Herrera and 15th-starting Steve Kinser. Jac Haudenschild received his fourth Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the season for pacing the qualifying session. His 14.985-second, 120.120-m.p.h., lap was only .04 seconds off the single-lap record Mark Kinser set last July 31st. Haudenschild and the Elden Racing team experienced problems after time trials, however. "The Wild Child" lost his second row inside starting position in the Preliminary Feature when his crew was unable to change the engine in the #22 Maxim before the cars lined up. Jac started at the rear of the field and raced into 12th place. Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year points leader Danny Wood was running fifth in the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race when the #21W Pepsi Avenger bicycled and flipped over the second-corner retaining wall. His crew repaired the car quickly and Wood finished 15th in the feature. Walker was leading the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race when the engine in the #12 Apple Motorsports sprinter malfunctioned. WoO

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Andy Hillenburg , Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Tyler Walker , Christi Passmore , Daryn Pittman , Joey Saldana , P.J. Chesson , Jac Haudenschild , Johnny Herrera