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A Clean Sweep: Saldana Wins Opener at Skagit Speedway

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, September 5 2009
Joey Saldana celebrates at Skagit Speedway. (World of Outlaws photo by  Brian Simonseth)

Joey Saldana celebrates at Skagit Speedway. (World of Outlaws photo by Brian Simonseth)


Alger, WA–One of the toughest things to achieve on the World of Outlaws circuit is to sweep an entire racing program. For the third consecutive season, Joey Saldana accomplished this feat as he set fast time on Friday night in the opener at Skagit Speedway, won the first heat race, was victorious in the Crane Cams Dash and took the checkered flag in the 30-lap A-Feature event at the high-banked bullring.

Saldana took the lead from Jason Sides on the fourth lap of the 30-lap event and would lead the remainder of the race to push his season total of laps led to over 400. The native of Brownsburg, Indiana endured four red flags and three yellows over the course of the race en route to the win.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” said Saldana of his clean sweep. “It’s so tough to do that out. Last year it was the first time that Donny Schatz had ever done it (in his career). That’s how tough the competition is here. Like I’ve said, on any given night we are as good as anybody, it’s just putting the whole thing together through the whole season. We’ve show that we are good enough to accomplish that feat. We have about 16 more races and I don’t wish any bad luck on anyone. We just have to keep doing what we are doing and hopefully we are right there at the end.”

For Saldana it was his third career win at Skagit Speedway, which is one of the home tracks of his car owner Kasey Kahne, who grew up cutting his teeth on the high-banked bullring. The victory was Saldana’s 16th of the season aboard the Budweiser Maxim and the 55th of his World of Outlaws career.

“Kasey gives me a bonus when we win up here,” quipped Saldana. “It’s great to win here in Washington. The whole West Coast swing has always been pretty cool. My wife (Shannon) has always enjoyed coming out here. Growing up in Indiana, you don’t get states and environments like this out here. I know that if I wasn’t racing, I would never get to see places like this. It’s cool coming out here.”

The race began on Friday night with Jason Sides getting the jump on Saldana who started on the pole and led the field into turns one and two, only to have the first red flag of the night fly. On the complete restart, Sides again led the field on the low side of the track with Saldana moving up top. For the next three laps, Saldana was all over Sides and dove under him in turns one and two to take the lead on the fourth lap. The very next lap he hit traffic for the first time on the night and was working his way through the slower machines when a caution flew on the seventh lap.

The remainder of the race was interrupted by a number of cautions and red flags, though Saldana used strong restarts each time to quickly open a lead on Sides. With two laps to go, the final caution of the night flew and Saldana used another strong restart to pull over the final two laps and took the checkered flag by over a second on Jason Sides.

“Actually my car was better in lapped traffic, as crazy as it sounds,” noted the winner. “We freed our car up quite a bit, because here in the past you get into lapped traffic and your car gets real tight. I think that why at the start Sammy (Swindell) almost got me and Jason (Sides) did get me, because I knew my car was pretty free. Once we got racing, I was really good and once we got to lapped traffic I could maneuver pretty good. On that last red we moved our wheel in and tightened our car back up because we didn’t think we would get back to lapped traffic. We knew we had to have a good restart and run the top as hard as we could. We had a good car and it worked well in traffic. Hopefully we can continue this tomorrow night.”

Coupled with a 20th-place finish for current series point leader Donny Schatz, Saldana moved to within 67 points of the three-time and defending series champion in the series standings after his win, with Jason Meyers who finished third on Friday night second in points, just 52 markers out of the lead.

Sides led on each of the first two starts and would pace the field for the first three laps of the 30-lapper en route to a runner-up finish in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim. Sides gained some ground on Saldana a couple of times in lapped traffic only to have the caution flag fly.

“We were second quick to Joey (Saldana) in qualifying and then second in the race,” explained Sides. “We can’t be too sad about that. It was a good race for us top and bottom all around the track. We’ll take it as it comes and second place is a good run for us.”

Jason Meyers started in the fourth row on Friday night and steadily worked his way to the front in the GLR Investments KPC en route to a third-place finish.

“We came from a long way back, which was seventh and usually isn’t that long, but tonight’s it was with how tough the track was on to pass,” Meyers said. “The guys kept working on the car during the reds and we kept getting better. We got it a little too tight on that last red and I couldn’t get it to go with Jason (Sides). It’s hard to catch the guys out front when you get there on a track like this. We’re happy with that run and hopefully we’ll come back tomorrow and have a little better starting position.”

On a restart on the 24th lap, Sides looked under Saldana in turns one and two and again in turns three and four nearly getting even with him. Sides again looked under Saldana on a restart on the next lap.

“There was a couple of times that we actually stayed with him, but it was spinning coming off of the corner,” he said. “We just couldn’t stay with him on the straightway. He was just so much better around the top in (turns) one and two. It just seemed like it took me a lap or two to get going.”

Under the red flags, Meyers’ team was able to make some adjustments on his car to make it better as he did all he could to reel in Saldana and Sides. For Meyers the podium finish was his series-leading 43rd Top-10 performance of the season.

“For us it kind of helped us, because it bunched the field back up,” stated Meyers of all the cautions and red flags. “Had this thing gone green to checker, I don’t think you would have seen much passing at all. For us it worked out and you’re going to get that on a race track like that. Hopefully they’ll slicken this thing up a little bit for tomorrow night.”

Kraig Kinser finished fourth in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim, with Craig Dollansky fifth in the DirecTV Maxim.

Australian Robbie Farr finished sixth to earn his best career finish with the World of Outlaws in the Orrcon J&J. Travis Rutz was seventh piloting the Pawn X-Change Maxim, with Shane Stewart eighth in the K&B Racing ART. Jason Solwold was ninth aboard the Shark Racing Engines XXX. Lucas Wolfe rounded out the Top-10 in the Allebach Racing Maxim.

The World of Outlaws return to action on Saturday, September 5 at Skagit Speedway with $20,000 awaiting the winner.


• FAST QUALIFIER: Joey Saldana paced the 34 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked three-tenths-mile oval at 11.073 seconds at 97.235 mph. For his qualifying effort, Saldana earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Jason Sides (4), Craig Dollansky (3), Shane Stewart (2), and Jayme Barnes (1).

• QUALIFYING WINNERS: Joey Saldana, Tyler Walker, Nick Engberg and Sammy Swindell won heat races. Joey Saldana won the Crane Cams Dash. Tim Kaeding won the B-Main.

• FEATURE WINNERS: There has been 53 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature event held in 2009. The winners include: Joey Saldana (Volusia Speedway Park, Silver Dollar Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Lone Star Speedway, Houston Raceway Park, The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway, Lawrenceburg Speedway, Dodge City Raceway Park-twice, U.S. 36 Raceway, 34 Raceway, I-55 Raceway, Castrol Raceway-twice and Skagit Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park-twice, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Knoxville Raceway, Eldora Speedway, Canandaigua Speedway, Lawrenceburg Speedway, River Cities Speedway, Cedar Lake Speedway, Eldora Speedway, K-C Raceway and Dacotah Speedway), Danny Lasoski (Delaware International Speedway, Nodak Speedway, Eagle Raceway, Charter Raceway Park and Lernerville Speedway), Jason Meyers (Silver Dollar Speedway, Paducah International Raceway, I-96 Speedway, Red River Valley Speedway and Ohsweken Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lebanon Valley Speedway, I-55 Raceway and River Cities Speedway), Greg Hodnett (Williams Grove Speedway-twice), Steve Kinser (Tri-State Speedway and Limaland Motorsports Park), Terry McCarl (Knoxville Raceway and Eldora Speedway), Dale Blaney (Attica Raceway Park), Randy Hannagan (Thunderbowl Raceway), Tim Kaeding (Riverside International Speedway),Chad Kemenah (Manzanita Speedway), Jason Sides (Ohsweken Speedway) and Stevie Smith (Lernerville Speedway).

• 3/10-MILE WINNERS: Skagit Speedway is a high-banked 3/10-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced three times this season on a track that size. The winners include: Craig Dollansky (River Cities Speedway), Joey Saldana (Skagit Speedway) and Donny Schatz (River Cities Speedway).

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Skagit Speedway Night #1; Alger, WA; September 4, 2009


1) 9-Joey Saldana 11.073

2) 7S-Jason Sides 11.093

3) 19-Craig Dollansky 11.105

4) 7K-Shane Stewart 11.129

5) 33-Jayme Barnes 11.144

6) 73-Jason Solwold 11.178

7) 26-Travis Rutz 11.186

8) 39C-Paul McMahan 11.191

9) O-Jonathan Allard 11.202

10) 14-Jason Meyers 11.223

11) 4-Nick Engberg 11.246

12) 7-Robbie Farr 11.276

13) 6-Danny Lasoski 11.290

14) 24T-Tyler Walker 11.295

15) 20-Kraig Kinser 11.295

16) 10-Sammy Swindell 11.313

17) 18-Travis Jacobson 11.356

18) 88-Jesse Whitney 11.378

19) 83-Tim Kaeding 11.386

20) 15-Donny Schatz 11.398

21) 5X-Colton Heath 11.423

22) 98M-Mitch Olson 11.431

23) 5W-Lucas Wolfe 11.448

24) 11-Steve Kinser 11.457

25) 11EH-Marc Duperron 11.479

26) 75-Kevin Smith 11.513

27) 94-Zach Zimmerly 11.514

28) 22-Brian Ellenberger 11.538

29) R19-Jac Haudenschild 11.612

30) 59-Eric Fisher 11.636

31) 66-Barry Martinez 11.742

32) 4X-Toni Lutar 11.750

33) 40-Brock Lemley 12.304

34) 44H-Michael Harris 11.956

Heat 1 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) 9-Joey Saldana

2) O-Jonathan Allard

3) 6-Danny Lasoski

4) 33-Jayme Barnes

5) R19-Jac Haudenschild

6) 18-Travis Jacobson

7) 5X-Colton Heath

8) 11EH-Marc Duperron

9) 40-Brock Lemley

Heat 2 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) 24T-Tyler Walker

2) 14-Jason Meyers

3) 7S-Jason Sides

4) 73-Jason Solwold

5) 88-Jesse Whitney

6) 98M-Mitch Olson

7) 59-Eric Fisher

8) 75-Kevin Smith

9) 44H-Michael Harris

Heat 3 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) 4-Nick Engberg

2) 20-Kraig Kinser

3) 5W-Lucas Wolfe

4) 26-Travis Rutz

5) 19-Craig Dollansky

6) 83-Tim Kaeding

7) 66-Barry Martinez

8) 94-Zach Zimmerly

Heat 4 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) 10-Sammy Swindell

2) 7-Robbie Farr

3) 39C-Paul McMahan

4) 7K-Shane Stewart

5) 11-Steve Kinser

6) 15-Donny Schatz

7) 22-Brian Ellenberger

8) 4X-Toni Lutar

Crane Cams Dash (8 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature)

1) 9-Joey Saldana

2) 7S-Jason Sides

3) 10-Sammy Swindell

4) O-Jonathan Allard

5) 19-Craig Dollansky

6) 24T-Tyler Walker

7) 14-Jason Meyers

8) 7-Robbie Farr

9) 20-Kraig Kinser

10) 4-Nick Engberg

B-main (12 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) 83-Tim Kaeding

2) 18-Travis Jacobson

3) 5X-Colton Heatz

4) 15-Donny Schatz

5) 94-Zach Zimmerly [$200]

6) 11EH-Marc Duperron [$180]

7) 59-Eric Fisher [$175]

8) 22-Brian Ellenberger [$160]

9) 98M-Mitch Olson [$150]

10) 40-Brock Lemley [$150]

11) 4X-Toni Lutar [$150]

12) 44H-Michael Harris [$150]

13) 66-Barry Martinez [$150]

14) 75-Kevin Smith [$150]

A-main (30 laps) – Starting Position [#]

1) 9-Joey Saldana[1] [$8,000]

2) 7S-Jason Sides[2] [$4,000]

3) 14-Jason Meyers[7] [$2,500]

4) 20-Kraig Kinser[9] [$2,200]

5) 19-Craig Dollansky[5] [$2,100]

6) 7-Robbie Farr[8] [$2,000]

7) 26-Travis Rutz[14] [$1,800]

8) 7K-Shane Stewart[11] [$1,600]

9) 73-Jason Solwold[13] [$1,500]

10) 5W-Lucas Wolfe[22] [$1,300]

11) 18-Travis Jacobson[17] [$1,200]

12) 83-Tim Kaeding[19] [$1,100]

13) R19-Jac Haudenschild[24] [$1,000]

14) 88-Jesse Whitney[18] [$700]

15) 5X-Colton Heath[21] [$600]

16) 24T-Tyler Walker[6] [$600]

17) 33-Jayme Barnes[12] [$600]

18) 10-Sammy Swindell[3] [$600]

19) 4-Nick Engberg[10] [$600]

20) 15-Donny Schatz[20] [$600]

21) 39C-Paul McMahan[15] [$600]

22) 6-Danny Lasoski[16] [$600]

23) 11-Steve Kinser[23] [$600]

24) O-Jonathan Allard[4] [$600]


Lap Leaders: Jason Sides 1-3, Joey Saldana 4-30

SuperClean Start of the Night Award: Jac Haudenschild

Penske Power Position Award: Jason Meyers

KSE Hard Charger Award: Lucas Wolfe

– World of Outlaws Racing

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, September 5 2009
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