Swindell Masters Merced
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Merced-Victory-Lane

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Swindell Relies on Patience, Good Luck Charm for First Win

He retakes the Outlaws points lead as the top five are separated by only 14 points

MERCED, Calif. — March 30, 2012 — There was a special person on the mind of Sammy Swindell as he climbed down from his wing dance on Friday.

Swindell’s granddaughter, Zoe, delivered a special message before the veteran picked up his first World of Outlaws feature victory of the season in front of a rowdy crowd at Merced Speedway.

“She called me, wished me good luck and hoped I won, so I might have to make sure she makes more of those calls,” Swindell said with a grin.

It was Swindell’s 277th career World of Outlaws feature win and one when he used every bit of his experience. A year after winning the first-ever World of Outlaws race at Merced Speedway, the track was different – reconfigured from a quarter-mile bullring to a one-third miler with wider turns and it was a lot more slick than last year’s heavy track.

“It was definitely a tough race track,” he said. “You had to be real patient and stay on line. I was watching some of the guys when we got to traffic and it still looked like the bottom was probably a little bit better lane. So it was just making sure I didn’t miss my marks and I just tried to stay down there.

“I was going to make them try to take it from me. I just didn’t want to give it up and slip off the bottom.”

Swindell, who started on the pole of the 40-lap feature after winning the dash from the pole, was challenged the entire race by Cody Darrah. He stayed within striking distance and even pulled within a car length on several occasions, but Darrah was unable to make a move for the lead.

“On my restarts I could never gain anything,” he said. “I’d always lose a little bit. We had a pretty good car. I’d get up to his left rear (tire) and never really be able to capitalize. I was just kind of waiting on him to make a mistake.

“When we got into traffic I thought something would happen.”

After four timely cautions within the first 16 laps of the race reset the field just as Swindell was entering lapped traffic each time, the final 35 laps were caution free. Swindell reached lapped traffic for the initial time just past the midpoint of the feature and Darrah gave chase the entire time.

On a couple of occasions, Darrah pulled to the bumper of Swindell, including on the second-to-last lap. However, Swindell was smooth and Darrah finished a couple of car lengths behind the veteran as Jason Sides tried to make it a three-way battle just as the checkered flag was waved.

“We were kinda catching those guys toward the end, but just ran out of laps,” Sides said. “(Swindell is) really good in traffic. On a small track like this, that’s what a lot of the key things are. I saw Cody right there with him and he was following his every move. It was going to be hard to get by them unless we had something happen, some kind of spin or something.”

Kraig Kinser, who posted the fastest lap in qualifying at 10.878 seconds, finished fourth and Jason Meyers rounded out the top five in the final race of his Allstar Appreciation Tour.

After flipping on the final lap of his heat race, Craig Dollansky claimed the Last Chance Showdown and earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after driving from 14th to sixth. Steve Kinser was seventh, Joey Saldana eighth, Chad Kemenah ninth and Terry McCarl placed 10th.

Steve Kinser, Saldana and Kemenah each won heat races.

Swindell’s win also put him back atop the World of Outlaws points standings. He has a six-point lead over Donny Schatz with Sides in third – eight points back. Saldana is fourth and trails by 12 markers with Kraig Kinser climbing to fifth – 14 points behind Swindell.

Merced Speedway Notebook

NOTES – This race capped the Allstar Appreciation Tour for two-time defending World of Outlaws champion Jason Meyers, who likely won’t race with the Outlaws until the Knoxville Nationals in August. … Kraig Kinser has a streak of six consecutive races of qualifying in the top five, including two straight fast-time awards. … The World of Outlaws was able to complete five of the eight scheduled events during this spring swing through Nevada and California. Three races were rained out.

WINNERS – Donny Schatz – 2 (Silver Dollar Speedway on March 23 and Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19); Tim Kaeding – 2 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 16 and The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8); Sammy Swindell – 1 (Merced Speedway on March 30); Joey Saldana –1 (Perris Auto Speedway on March 10); Craig Dollansky – 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19); Danny Lasoski – 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 18).

TIME TRIALS – Kraig Kinser was the fastest qualifier around the one-third mile oval with a time of 10.878 seconds to earn five championship points. Also earning points were Terry McCarl (4 points), Cody Darrah (3), Sammy Swindell (2) and Cody Lamar (1).

WE’RE ONLINE – Make sure to check out WorldofOutlaws.com for the latest news and results, plus exclusive driver interviews, video and pictures. Also listen to every event live at DIRTVision.com.

NEXT UP – The World of Outlaws will take next weekend off before returning on April 13 at Paducah International Raceway in Paducah, Ky., and April 14 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo.

Merced Speedway Statistical Report; Merced, Calif.; March 30, 2012

A Main – (40 Laps) – 1-Sammy Swindell [1] [$10,000]; 2. 4-Cody Darrah [2] [$5,500]; 3. 7S-Jason Sides [6] [$3,200]; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser [3] [$2,800]; 5. 14-Jason Meyers [4] [$2,500]; 6. 7-Craig Dollansky [14] [$2,300]; 7. 11-Steve Kinser [7] [$2,200]; 8. 9-Joey Saldana [5] [$2,100]; 9. 63-Chad Kemenah [8] [$2,050]; 10. 24-Terry McCarl [9] [$2,000]; 11. 83-Tim Kaeding [15] [$1,500]; 12. 29-Kerry Madsen [13] [$1,200]; 13. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [10] [$1,100]; 14. 3C-Cody Lamar [11] [$1,050]; 15. 15-Donny Schatz [18] [$1,000]; 16. 25-Bobby McMahan [12] [$900]; 17. 6-Bill Rose [19] [$800]; 18. OO-Jason Statler [16] [$800]; 19. 83SR-Jac Haudenschild [22] [$800]; 20. 44W-Austen Wheatley [23] [$800]; 21. 55-Trey Starks [24] [$800]; 22. O-Jonathan Allard [20] [$800]; 23. 21-Tommy Tarlton [21] [$800]; 24. 17-Justin Sanders [17] [$800]. Lap Leaders: Sammy Swindell 1-40. KSE Hard Charger Award: 7-Craig Dollansky [+8].

Qualifying – 1. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 10.878; 2. 24-Terry McCarl, 11.048; 3. 4-Cody Darrah, 11.062; 4. 1-Sammy Swindell, 11.069; 5. 3C-Cody Lamar, 11.071; 6. 14-Jason Meyers, 11.218; 7. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 11.239; 8. 7S-Jason Sides, 11.240; 9. 9-Joey Saldana, 11.269; 10. 63-Chad Kemenah, 11.293; 11. 11-Steve Kinser, 11.311; 12. 25-Bobby McMahan, 11.316; 13. 29-Kerry Madsen, 11.412; 14. 7-Craig Dollansky, 11.440; 15. 83-Tim Kaeding, 11.474; 16. OO-Jason Statler, 11.489; 17. 17-Justin Sanders, 11.493; 18. 15-Donny Schatz, 11.503; 19. 6-Bill Rose, 11.521; 20. O-Jonathan Allard, 11.557; 21. 21-Tommy Tarlton, 11.587; 22. 55-Trey Starks, 11.588; 23. 83SR-Jac Haudenschild, 11.686; 24. 44W-Austen Wheatley, 11.735; 25. 82-Robbie Whitchurch, 11.956; 26. 99-Shawn Wright, 12.150; 27. 23-Adam McCarthy, 12.510; 28. 19-Art McCarthy, 12.913; 29. 52-Dusty Green, 13.270.

Heat 1 – (10 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 63-Chad Kemenah [1]; 2. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [2]; 3. 11K-Kraig Kinser [4]; 4. 1-Sammy Swindell [3]; 5. 29-Kerry Madsen [5]; 6. OO-Jason Statler [6]; 7. 55-Trey Starks [8]; 8. 6-Bill Rose [7]; 9. 82-Robbie Whitchurch [9]; 10. 19-Art McCarthy [10].

Heat 2 – (10 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 11-Steve Kinser [1]; 2. 7S-Jason Sides [2]; 3. 24-Terry McCarl [4]; 4. O-Jonathan Allard [7]; 5. 83SR-Jac Haudenschild [8]; 6. 17-Justin Sanders [6]; 7. 99-Shawn Wright [9]; 8. 3C-Cody Lamar [3]; 9. 7-Craig Dollansky [5]; 10. 52-Dusty Green [10].

Heat 3 – (10 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 9-Joey Saldana [2]; 2. 14-Jason Meyers [3]; 3. 83-Tim Kaeding [5]; 4. 4-Cody Darrah [4]; 5. 15-Donny Schatz [6]; 6. 25-Bobby McMahan [1]; 7. 21-Tommy Tarlton [7]; 8. 44W-Austin Wheatley [8]; 9. 23-Adam McCarthy [9].

Dash – (8 Laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature) – 1. 1-Sammy Swindell [1]; 2. 4-Cody Darrah [2]; 3. 11K-Kraig Kinser [4]; 4. 14-Jason Meyers [5]; 5. 9-Joey Saldana [8]; 6. 7S-Jason Sides [7]; 7. 11-Steve Kinser [10]; 8. 63-Chad Kemenah [9]; 9. 24-Terry McCarl [3]; 10. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [6].

B Main – (12 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 7-Craig Dollansky [2] [-]; 2. 3C-Cody Lamar [1] [-]; 3. 6-Bill Rose [3] [-]; 4. 21-Tommy Tarlton [4] [-]; 5. 44W-Austin Wheatley [6] [-]; 6. 55-Trey Starks [5] [-]; 7. 82-Robbie Whitchurch [7] [$200]; 8. 23-Adam McCarthy [9] [$180]; 9. 52-Dusty Green [11] [$175]; 10. 19-Art McCarthy [10] [$160]; 11. 99-Shawn Wright [8] [$150].

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Top 20 Championship Standings

Pos.

Driver

Total

Diff

Wins

T5

T10

QT

1

Sammy Swindell

1104

0

1

4

6

1

2

Donny Schatz

1098

-6

2

4

6

0

3

Jason Sides

1096

-8

0

4

6

0

4

Joey Saldana

1092

-12

1

4

6

1

5

Kraig Kinser

1090

-14

0

3

7

2

6

Steve Kinser

1076

-28

0

3

6

0

7

Jason Meyers

1054

-50

0

3

4

1

8

Craig Dollansky

1041

-63

1

3

4

0

9

Chad Kemenah

994

-110

0

1

3

2

10

Cody Darrah

976

-128

0

1

2

0

11

Lucas Wolfe

952

-152

0

0

2

0

12

Kerry Madsen

911

-193

0

1

1

0

13

Terry McCarl

890

-214

0

1

2

0

14

Bill Rose

884

-220

0

0

1

0

15

Jac Haudenschild

853

-251

0

0

1

0

16

Sam Hafertepe Jr.

743

-361

0

0

3

0

17

Tim Kaeding

714

-390

2

3

4

0

18

Trey Starks

582

-522

0

0

0

0

19

Austen Wheatley

531

-573

0

0

1

0

20

Jonathan Allard

490

-614

0

1

1

0

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Armor All (Official Car Care Products), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Goodyear Tires (Official Tire), Gravely Tractors (Official Lawn Equipment), University of Northwestern Ohio, VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), Vicci (Official Apparel); in addition to contingency sponsors, including: Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, JE Pistons, KSE Racing Products, MSD Ignitions, Penske Shocks, Superflow Dynos and Wix Filters; along with manufacturer sponsors, including: Astro Titanium, Fuel Safe, Intercomp, J&J Auto Racing, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, S&S Volvo and TNT Rescue.

LIVE UPDATES: Sammy Swindell Earns Merced Victory

(Paul Trevino Photos)

(10:49 p.m.) Official A-main results:

A-Main – (40 Laps) – 1. 1-Sammy Swindell [1] [$10,000]; 2. 4-Cody Darrah [2] [$5,500]; 3. 7S-Jason Sides [6] [$3,200]; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser [3] [$2,800]; 5. 14-Jason Meyers [4] [$2,500]; 6. 7-Craig Dollansky [14] [$2,300]; 7. 11-Steve Kinser [7] [$2,200]; 8. 9-Joey Saldana [5] [$2,100]; 9. 63-Chad Kemenah [8] [$2,050]; 10. 24-Terry McCarl [9] [$2,000]; 11. 83-Tim Kaeding [15] [$1,500]; 12. 29-Kerry Madsen [13] [$1,200]; 13. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [10] [$1,100]; 14. 3C-Cody Lamar [11] [$1,050]; 15. 15-Donny Schatz [18] [$1,000]; 16. 25-Bobby McMahan [12] [$900]; 17. 6-Bill Rose [19] [$800]; 18. OO-Jason Statler [16] [$800]; 19. 83SR-Jac Haudenschild [22] [$800]; 20. 44W-Austen Wheatley [23] [$800]; 21. 55-Trey Starks [24] [$800]; 22. O-Jonathan Allard [20] [$800]; 23. 21-Tommy Tarlton [21] [$800]; 24. 17-Justin Sanders [17] [$800]. Lap Leaders: Sammy Swindell 1-40. KSE Hard Charger Award: 7-Craig Dollansky [+8]

(10:39 p.m.) Sammy Swindell holds off Cody Darrah to win a thriller. Jason Sides, Kraig Kinser and Jason Meyers round out top five. Full results upcoming.

(9:47 p.m.) Here is the feature lineup:

1, Sammy Swindell. 2, Cody Darrah. 3, Kraig Kinser. 4, Jason Meyers. 5, Joey Saldana. 6, Jason Sides. 7, Steve Kinser. 8, Chad Kemenah. 9, Terry McCarl. 10, Lucas Wolfe. 11, Cody Lamar. 12, Bobby McMahan. 13, Kerry Madsen. 14, Craig Dollansky. 15, Tim Kaeding. 16, Jason Statler. 17, Justin Sanders. 18, Donny Schatz. 19, Bill Rose. 20, Jonathan Allard. 21, Tommy Tarlton. 22, Jac Haudenschild. 23, Austen Wheatley. 24, Trey Starks.

(9:42 p.m.) Craig Dollansky rebounded from a flip during his heat race to win the Last Chance Showdown. Cody Lamar, Bill Rose, Tommy Tarlton, Austen Wheatley and Trey Starks also earned transfers to the feature. Here are the results:

1, Craig Dollansky. 2, Cody Lamar. 3, Bill Rose. 4, Tommy Tarlton. 5, Austen Wheatley. 6, Trey Starks. 7, Robbie Whitchurch. 8, Adam McCarthy. 9, Dusty Green. 10, Art McCarthy. 11, Shawn Wright.

(9:27 p.m.) Sammy Swindell won the dash to earn the pole for tonight’s feature. Here are the dash results:

1, Sammy Swindell. 2, Cody Darrah. 3, Kraig Kinser. 4, Jason Meyers. 5, Joey Saldana. 6, Jason Sides. 7, Steve Kinser. 8, Chad Kemenah. 9, Terry McCarl. 10, Lucas Wolfe.

(9:17 p.m.) Cody Lamar and Craig Dollansky start on the front row of the 12-lap Last Chance Showdown, which transfers the top six to the feature. Here is the lineup:

1, Cody Lamar. 2, Craig Dollansky. 3, Bill Rose. 4, Tommy Tarlton. 5, Trey Starks. 6, Austen Wheatley. 7, Robbie Whitchurch. 8, Shawn Wright. 9, Adam McCarthy. 10, Art McCarthy. 11, Dusty Green.

(9:14 p.m.) The invert for the dash was a four, putting Sammy Swindell on the pole of the eight-lap race. Here is the lineup:

1, Sammy Swindell. 2, Cody Darrah. 3, Terry McCarl. 4, Kraig Kinser. 5, Jason Meyers. 6, Lucas Wolfe. 7, Jason Sides. 8, Joey Saldana. 9, Chad Kemenah. 10, Steve Kinser.

(8:52 p.m.) Joey Saldana led all 10 laps to win the third-and-final heat race. Jason Meyers held off Tim Kaeding (yes, the real Tim Kaeding) for the second dash spot. Here are the results:

1, Joey Saldana. 2, Jason Meyers. 3, Tim Kaeding. 4, Cody Darrah. 5, Donny Schatz. 6, Bobby McMahan. 7, Tommy Tarlton. 8, Austen Wheatley. 9, Adam McCarthy.

(8:46 p.m.) Ok, I’m blind. That wasn’t Tim Kaeding in the Roth car. It was Jac Haudenschild. I’m sorry about that. I fixed my errors.

(8:42 p.m.) Wow! Craig Dollansky and Jason Sides touched off turn four while racing for second as Steve Kinser claimed the second heat race. Sides held on for second and Dollansky flipped, coming to a rest just short of the start-finish line. Here are the unofficial results (I’m in the infield so I’m going off what it looked like at the stripe, so I might have a car or two off):

1, Steve Kinser. 2, Jason Sides. 3, Terry McCarl. 4, Jonathan Allard. 5, Jac Haudenschild. 6, Justin Sanders. 7, Shawn Wright. 8, Cody Lamar. 9, Craig Dollansky. 10, Dusty Green.

Dollansky is out of the car and ok.

(8:38 p.m.) Caution on the restart for Jac Haudenschild, who spun in turn one while racing Craig Dollansky for fifth. The running order remains the same with Haudenschild restarting last — 10th.

(8:36 p.m.) Caution on lap 6 in the second heat race. Cody Lamar, who was running in the sixth and final transfer, hit the U-tire in the bottom of turn four. Here is the running order:

Steve Kinser, Jason Sides, Terry McCarl, Justin Sanders, Craig Dollansky, Jac Haudenschild, Jonathan Allard, Shawn Wright, Dusty Green, Cody Lamar

Kinser chooses the high line on the double-file restart.

(8:30 p.m.) Chad Kemenah held off Lucas Wolfe for the first heat race win. Both advance to the dash. Here are the results:

1, Chad Kemenah. 2, Lucas Wolfe. 3, Kraig Kinser. 4, Sammy Swindell. 5, Kerry Madsen. 6, Jason Statler. 7, Trey Starks. 8, Bill Rose. 9, Robbie Whitchurch. 10, Art McCarthy.

(8:25 p.m.) The first heat is on the track.

(8:16 p.m.) Here are the lineups for the 10-lap heat races, which each transfer the top six to the feature:

Heat #1: 1, Chad Kemenah. 2, Lucas Wolfe. 3, Sammy Swindell. 4, Kraig Kinser. 5, Kerry Madsen. 6, Jason Statler. 7, Bill Rose. 8, Trey Starks. 9, Robbie Whitchurch. 10, Art McCarthy.

Heat #2: 1, Steve Kinser. 2, Jason Sides. 3, Cody Lamar. 4, Terry McCarl. 5, Craig Dollansky. 6, Justin Sanders. 7, Jonathan Allard. 8, Jac Haudenschild. 9, Shawn Wright. 10, Dusty Green.

Heat #3: 1, Bobby McMahan. 2, Joey Saldana. 3, Jason Meyers. 4, Cody Darrah. 5, Tim Kaeding. 6, Donny Schatz. 7, Tommy Tarlton. 8, Austen Wheatley. 9, Adam McCarthy.

(8:09 p.m.) Kraig Kinser has timed in quickest for the second straight race. It also marks the sixth consecutive race of him qualifying in the top five. He was the only 10-second driver with a lap of 10.878 seconds.

Terry McCarl was second at 11.048, Cody Darrah third at 11.062, Sammy Swindell fourth at 11.069 and Cody Lamar was fifth quick at 11.071 seconds. This is only the third race that Lamar has been in a 410ci engine.

(7:39 p.m.) The drivers are getting ready for qualifying.

(7:30 p.m.) Jason Meyers was the quickest in the final hot-lap session with a lap of 11.237 seconds. Austen Wheatley remains the fastest overall and the only driver in the 10-second bracket.

(7:26 p.m.) Austen Wheatley was the quickest in the fourth hot-lap session and was the first driver to break the 11-second barrier with a lap of 10.947 seconds.

(7:22 p.m.) Sammy Swindell was quickest in the third hot-lap group with a lap of 11.076 seconds.

(7:20 p.m.) The third group is on the track for its session.

(7:05 p.m.) So far, the top four drivers are separated by less than one-tenth of a second. Tommy Tarlton is quickest at 11.559 with Joey Saldana a close second — 11.561. Lucas Wolfe is third at 11.596 and Donny Schatz fourth at 11.651.

(7:01 p.m.) The ambulance has to go check on someone in the grandstand area, so the third hot-lap session is under a red flag. The drivers are headed to the pits to wait.

(6:55 p.m.) Group one will have another hot-lap session for a green-white-checkered. Tommy Tarlton was the quickest in the second hot-lap session at 11.559 seconds.

(6:21 p.m.) The driver’s meeting just wrapped up. Drivers are about to get in their cars to heat the engines.

(5:23 p.m.) Here is tonight’s format:

There are 29 cars and each will get two qualifying laps. There will be three, 10-lap heat races, which will be inverted by four (i.e., the fastest qualifier starts fourth in the first heat, the second fastest starts fourth in the second heat, etc.). The top two from each heat advance to the eight-lap dash and the top six in each heat advance to the 40-lap main event. Also, the next four in qualifying time who advance to the main event but don’t finish in the top two of their heat will go to the dash. 

The drivers who didn’t qualify for the feature will compete in a 12-lap Last Chance Showdown, which will transfer the top six to the feature. The top four get their qualifying time back.

(5:21 p.m.) Here is the qualifying order, which will also serve as a roster for tonight:

14 — Jason Meyers

3c — Cody Lamar

24 — Terry McCarl

17 — Justin Sanders

25 — Bobby McMahan

11 — Steve Kinser

7s — Jason Sides

00 — Jason Statler

4 — Cody Darrah

15 — Donny Schatz

9 — Joey Saldana

5w — Lucas Wolfe

21 — Tommy Tarlton

11k — Kraig Kinser

6 — Bill Rose

0 — Jonathan Allard

63 — Chad Kemenah

82 — Robbie Whitchurch

1 — Sammy Swindell

23 — Adam McCarthy

19 — Art McCarthy

83 — Tim Kaeding

7 — Craig Dollansky

55 — Trey Starks

83sr — Jac Haudenschild

44w — Austen Wheatley

99 — Shawn Wright

29 — Kerry Madsen

52 — Dusty Green

(5:15 p.m.) All 29 sprint cars are signed in.

(4:40 p.m.) It’s still an amazing day out here. The sun is shining bright and everyone is soaking it up after how wet it’s been the last couple of weeks in California.

(4:28 p.m.) There are 26 drivers signed in with three others in the pit area who haven’t signed in.

(3:16 p.m.) The pill draw just opened for the qualifying lineup.

(2:14 p.m.) It is a beautiful day here at Merced Speedway. The temperature is about 65 degrees with a few scattered, white clouds.

There are almost two dozen sprint cars in the pits right now with the driver’s meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Qualifying is set for 7 p.m.