ANTIOCH, Calif. (Sept. 13, 2015) – The World of Outlaws event at Antioch Speedway tonight concluded the West Coast Swing.
In preliminary action, Joey Saldana drove the Motter Equipment HE&M Saw Beltline Body Shop 71M to the No. 5 qualifying position with an 11.682-second lap.
This qualifying position placed him in the third starting position in the second heat. When the track went green, Logan Schuchart assumed the lead followed by Tyler Walker and Saldana. Near the end of the race, Walker four-wheeled over the cushion to pass Schuchart for the lead. Walker won the heat, Schuchart was second and Saldana was third. The Brownsburg Bullet’s finish position earned the Motter team a spot in the dash.
In the inversion draw, the ‘six’ ping pong ball was pulled, a good draw for Saldana who would start second in the dash. With racing underway it was a battle between Donny Schatz and Saldana for the lead, with the advantage to Saldana. Then Schatz took the lead and a lap later Saldana wrestled it back. At the end of the eight-lap dash, it was Saldana with the victory and the pole position for the 30-lap A Main.
“This is definitely a demanding little race track and it will be interesting in lapped traffic,” said Saldana.
With the green flag, Saldana out-dueled Schatz to lead the first four laps before Schatz
took the lead on lap five. After a caution on lap nine with Schatz and Saldana scheduled to restart one-two, Schatz noticeably had a tire going down. Schatz tried to rev the engine to build the tire pressure to no avail. He had no choice but to go to the work area to have the tire replaced and then join the rear of the field. So the restart order was Saldana, Pittman, Tyler Walker, Brad Sweet and David Gravel in the top five. Back to green and Pittman jumps to the lead with Saldana in hot pursuit and Tyler Walker third.
The last 10 laps brought out a plethora of cautions. The running order of the top three did not change until lap 22 when Walker passed Saldana for second. A couple of yellows on laps 23 and 27 with Pittman continuing to lead, Walker second and Saldana third. Then coming down for the white flag, the Bullet passed Walker to come home second behind Pittman.
“It was weird. We tightened our car up a bunch and I was dead loose from the word ‘go’,” said Saldana. “We just hung in there as long as we could. Then Tyler (Walker) was getting loose there at the end and we just got a run on him there. So you just have to do what you can in a short time. But I was way free, but once it cleaned up and I went to the top I was better but to that point I was struggling.
“Good runner-up finish for us. We’ll take it and keep digging. That’s all you can do. Go to the next race and try to win it.”
It was a second place weekend sweep for Saldana: two runner-ups in two nights of Gold Cup competition and the second place tonight make a total of seven so far this season.
Next on the Outlaws agenda is Clay County Speedway in Spencer, Iowa, Friday, Sept. 18.
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