KANSAS CITY, Kan. (July 1, 2015) – The World of Outlaws competitors gathered tonight at Lakeside Speedway for a rescheduled event originally postponed because of rain. The Lakeside event was the opener for three events this week.
In time trials, despite hitting the track 16th out of 21entrants, Joey Saldana ripped around the 4/10-mile dirt oval in 13.749 seconds, solidifying the No.2 qualifying position in his Motter Equipment HE&M Saw Beltline Body Shop 71M.
In the second heat, fourth place starter Saldana made a significant improvement on the opening lap, picking up momentum and passing polesitter Daryn Pittman on the outside to gain the second position behind leader Kraig Kinser. Kinser led the eight-lap heat from start to finish, Saldana was second and Pittman was third. The Brownsburg Bullet earned a position in the dash.
In the inversion draw, the ‘four’ ping pong ball was pulled, shuffling Saldana from a front row starting position to a second row position on the dash grid. Participation in the dash is very important to competitors because it gives them the last look at the track before the A Main, and the way they finish the dash determines how the first four rows line up for the feature.
When the green flew on tonight’s dash, David Gravel assumed the lead, followed by Paul McMahan and Saldana. On the second lap, a well executed inside slide job by Saldana wrestled second place away from McMahan. Gravel won the dash and the pole for the feature and Saldana would start second in the A Main.
When the green flag waved to start the 30-lap A Main, Saldana built momentum on the cushion to vault to the lead. Following Saldana was Gravel, then Kerry Madsen and Paul McMahan. On lap 13, the yellow slowed competition and erased nearly a five-second lead that Saldana had built up. The restart order was Saldana, Kerry Madsen, Schatz, McMahan and Gravel. After the green came out it was still Saldana leading the pack but Schatz had moved to second to pressure the Bullet. As the laps ticked by, Saldana was able to hold off the hard charging Schatz but on lap 28, Schatz took the lead when Saldana got held up in traffic. One lap from the finish, the yellow came out again, which set up, technically, a 31-lap event with a green, white, checkered finish.
Schatz won the event, Saldana was second and Kerry Madsen was third.
“It was a great night,” said Saldana. “Schatz found the bottom. He’s really good at that kind of thing. You can over drive it real easy, but then you go down there and you think it’s no good but you’ve got to be patient with it. He is smart with stuff like that. I never went down there until after the checkered so that was my own fault. But it was a great team effort. We had a flat tire on our trailer on the way to the track so at least we made it today. The guys worked hard to make it. The whole night was really good. We were stuck in second. Second in qualifying, second in the heat, dash and feature. It is a really good solid night for us and something for the team to be proud of. We’ll go on to the next track, which is Dodge City, and hopefully run just as well.”
Saldana led the first 27 laps of the feature and now has a total of 124 laps this season.
Next up: a doubleheader at Dodge City Raceway Park (Kansas) Friday and Saturday, July 3-4.
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