Frustrating Friday Night for Saldana at Eldora

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ROSSBURG, Ohio (May 8, 2015) – Joey Saldana was at his favorite race place, Eldora Speedway, for two nights of World of Outlaws Sprint Car action beginning tonight. Saldana came into Friday’s event as the most recent WoO winner at Eldora, having scored a victory here Sept. 19th last year.

Branded as ‘The Mother of All Sprint Car Weekends’, for the first time in history the format combined USAC National non-wing Sprint Cars with the Outlaws winged Sprint Cars, with a total of 69 competitors in the Eldora pits.

Saldana was 37th out of 38 cars in the order to take time trials, which was a handicap due to deteriorating track conditions.  The Brownsburg Bullet qualified 30th, lapping the Eldora half-mile in 13.563 seconds.

Following qualifying the Motter Equipment HE&M Saw Beltline Body Shop team swapped motors in the 71M.

Saldana lined up eighth on the 10-car grid for the start of the second heat. When the green flew, the Bullet made his move, vaulting to the fourth spot by the end of the first lap.  Kerry Madsen led the field, Shane Stewart was second and Dale Blaney was third. Saldana was busy playing offense and defense, putting pressure on Dale Blaney ahead of him and trying to ward off a hard-charging Daryn Pittman behind him.  The running order for the top five did not change during the eight-lap event.  Saldana did a masterful driving job and earned a spot in the A Main.

Because of his qualifying position, Saldana was assigned the 23rd starting berth in the feature.  When the track went green on the 30-lap A Main, polesitter Madsen led the field, followed by Donny Schatz and Rico Abreu.  There were two cautions during the evening, laps 6 and 26.  Schatz passed Madsen on lap 14 and led to the checkered flag.  After some jockeying and repositioning, Shane Stewart finished second and Rico Abreu took the third spot on the podium.

Saldana finished 24th.

“The late time trial run put us behind the eight ball early in the night and we just didn’t recover,” said disappointed team owner Dan Motter.  “We will put this night behind us. Tomorrow is a new day and we’ll take another run at the Eldora half-mile.

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