CONCORD, N.C. (May 22, 2015) – Joey Saldana and the Motter Equipment HE&M Saw Beltline Body Shop sprint car team returned to The Dirt Track at Charlotte hoping to defend last year’s Circle K/NOS Energy Drink Outlaw Showdown victory.
In preliminary action, Saldana drove the 71M to the No. 15 qualifying position posting a best lap of 14.728 seconds.
Using the qualifying order to format the heat race starting line-ups meant that Saldana rolled off fifth in the third heat. When the track went green polesitter Dave Blaney assumed the lead. During the eight-lap event, Jamie Veal also led until he was passed by eventual winner Donny Schatz. Saldana advanced to finish in the fourth position, securing the 15th starting position in the A Main.
When the field launched for the start of the 30-lap, $12,000-to-win A Main, outside front row starter Kraig Kinser led the pack followed by Schatz and David Gravel. Saldana had moved as far forward as 10th before the yellow came out on lap 10. On the restart, Kinser continued to lead. Two laps later, on lap 12, the caution was displayed again. This time on the restart, Schatz drove by Kinser on the top to take the lead. Saldana got stuck in the middle of a three-abreast battle and lost positions to12th.
Schatz continued to pace the field, Gravel was able to pass Kinser for second and then Pittman got by for third. Schatz crossed the finish line first, followed by Gravel and Pittman. Saldana finished twelfth.
“This was a fast, challenging track,” said team owner Dan Motter. “We couldn’t drive forward as the race progressed. We just have to keep picking away at the problems that plague us. I feel confident that we can improve.”
The World of Outlaws will not compete Saturday or Sunday but will reconvene on Memorial Day in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
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