Saldana Sixth in Ted Johnson Memorial at Devil’s Bowl

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MESQUITE, Texas (April 25, 2015) – For the better part of the week it looked as if Noah had the upper hand at Devil’s Bowl Speedway. Rain forced cancellation of Friday’s event. With the sun finally shining today, track and World of Outlaws officials worked diligently to get the track and pit area prepped for racing tonight after a downpour last evening totaling more than 1.5 inches.

A huge crowd, eager to watch the world’s best sprint car drivers go wheel to wheel, assembled at Devil’s Bowl for the $20,000-to-win Texas Outlaws Nationals.

Returning to join the Outlaws tour for the historical Devil’s Bowl event were Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell.

In preliminary action, Joey Saldana, the last of 30 drivers in the order to take time trials, powered to the No. 10 qualifying position, posting a best lap of 14.441 seconds.

Based on the Outlaws qualifying-to-heat-race formula, Saldana, driving the Motter Equipment HE&M Saw Beltline Body Shop 71M, started on the pole of the first heat. Saldana brought the nine-car field to the starting line and battled Jason Sides for the lead. Saldana tried to power around the outside of Sides but Sides had the advantage. Sides led all eight laps. Saldana finished second. The Brownsburg Bullet secured a position in the A Main, but would not be a participant in the dash.

Following the four-wide salute to the fans, the drivers dropped back to side-by-side formation. Saldana occupied the 11th spot on the starting grid as the field came down for the green flag. Shortly after the start Sammy Swindell made contact with David Gravel. Swindell tumbled but was okay. Travis Rilat was also caught up in the melee as was Kevin Swindell. This brought out a closed red flag before the first lap was in the books.

On the restart, Donny Schatz grabbed the lead, followed by Shane Stewart and Logan Schuchart. Saldana was ninth but advanced to eighth by lap five. On lap eight, Stewart slid by Schatz in traffic to capture the lead. Schatz moved around on the track until he could find an opportunity and a place to steal the top spot on lap 17. In the final third of the race, Saldana worked his way up to sixth place.

Schatz won the Ted Johnson Memorial Cup, the white cowboy hat and a check for $20,000. Stewart was second and Kraig Kinser was third. Saldana’s driving efforts paid off with a very respectable sixth place finish.

Next up for the Motter team is a Thursday, April 30 stop at HEMsaw headquarters in Pryor, Oklahoma followed by a Friday World of Outlaws event at HEMsaw’s hometown track in Salina, Oklahoma.
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