World of Outlaws' preliminary at Knoxville

Herrera Takes Iowa Ethanol Classic Preliminary By Richard Day KNOXVILLE, IA (June 30) -- Johnny Herrera has enjoyed the thrill of victory and endured the agony of finishing near the back of the pack ...

Herrera Takes Iowa Ethanol Classic Preliminary By Richard Day KNOXVILLE, IA (June 30) -- Johnny Herrera has enjoyed the thrill of victory and endured the agony of finishing near the back of the pack during his second season with DOCC Motorsports. The 1995 Knoxville Raceway champion made his return to "The Home of the Nationals" a victorious one Friday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opened the Fifth Annual Iowa Ethanol Classic. "My crew -- Dave (Whitworth), Tyler (Swank) and Cyndi (Craft) -- has really been working hard," Herrera said. "I think there was some frustration there for a while, but we worked through it though and we're looking forward to tomorrow night." Herrera's second Preliminary Feature victory of the season gave him the pole position in Saturday's Second CHANNELLOCK Dash. Herrera, the eighth-fastest qualifier in the 44-car field, won the Fourth NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and earned the right to start the Preliminary Feature outside the front row by winning the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash. After battling polesitter Dale Blaney for 16 3/4 laps, the 1986 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Rookie of the Year took the lead with an inside move in the fourth corner and led the final 8 1/4 laps for the $5,000 victory. Blaney drove the #93 Amoco Maxim into the lead as the green flag fell in the Preliminary Feature. First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Joey Saldana took over second place by winning a back- straightaway drag race with Herrera. Jumping the cushion in the second corner pulled the front tires on Saldana's #17 HEM Saw Eagle off the ground the next time around. Joey rode a wheelie down the back stretch while Herrera and Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser passed him. Defending Amoco Knoxville Nationals champion Mark Kinser raced into fifth place early, passing Daryn Pittman and Vivarin Fast-Time Award winner Stevie Smith in the low groove between turns one and two, during the third and fifth laps. Blaney was .7 seconds ahead of Herrera and Steve Kinser when he entered lapped traffic late in lap five. "The King of the Outlaws" made a run at Herrera in the second corner and on the back stretch six laps later, but was unable to pass the #20 Networks Eagle. Herrera used a slide move to pass Blaney between turns one and two the next time around, but Dale regained the lead in the second corner. Herrera attempted the same move early in the 13th lap, but Blaney was equal to the challenge and Kinser almost took over second place on the back straightaway. Herrera continued battling Blaney, and passed him for the lead deep in turn four the next time around. Kinser steered his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the high groove between the third and fourth corners to pass Blaney for the runner-up spot late in the 17th lap. Herrera opened a two-second advantage with three laps remaining and maintained a comfortable lead all the way to the checkered flag. "I fell behind there at the start, but we got into traffic pretty quickly and I was able to chase those guys down," Johnny said. "I got the lead, but I knew Steve would be coming hard. I saw him get beside me one time in traffic. He was trying to slide me there, but the DOCC Motorsports car was just too good tonight. It got a little rough up there in turn two -- it really wasn't that bad until the feature. You just had to keep your foot down and keep the wheels spinning to get through it." Blaney and Mark Kinser claimed the second-row starting positions in Saturday's Second CHANNELLOCK Dash by finishing third and fourth. Daryn Pittman finished in fifth place, ahead of Tim Shaffer, Sammy Swindell, Brooke Tatnell, 23rd-starting Danny Lasoski and Saldana. Swindell was running second in the Third NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race when the #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth spun in the fourth corner. He won the "B" Feature, then passed seven cars in the evening's main event. Smith received his fourth Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the season for pacing the qualifying session with a 115.912-m.p.h. lap around Knoxville's legendary half-mile oval. WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Joey Saldana , Johnny Herrera