Saldana 19th and Third in Don Martin Twin Events at Lernerville
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SARVER, Pa. (July 21, 2015) – Up next in the continuing month of money was the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway, a uniquely formatted doubleheader in which the first 30 lap event was run in traditional World of Outlaws fashion and then the field was inverted for a final 30-lap event in which no points were at stake. No one in the history of the event has won both in the same night.

To add another degree of difficulty to tonight’s event, the Outlaws were back in Pennsylvania Posse territory facing tough competition.

There were 44 cars entered at Lernerville so the two-flight rules were in play. Joey Saldana, 39th in the order to take to the track for time trials, and in the second flight of qualifying, was vying for a position in heat 3 or 4

Saldana, the Lernerville track record holder who has more than twice the No. 1 qualifying awards than any other driver on the Outlaws circuit this year, qualified 20th, an uncustomary position for the driver of the Motter Equipment HE&M Saw Beltline Body Shop 71M.

Saldana rolled off 10th in the fourth and final heat race. There was no question he had his work cut out for him. Saldana methodically picked his way to seventh place before the checkered flag fell on winner Donny Schatz. The Brownsburg Bullet was destined for the Last Chance Showdown.

Saldana now had 12 laps to finish in the top two transfer positions in the A Main and he was seeded 10th on the grid. The green flew and so did Saldana going from 10th to fifth in the opening lap. Driving low, Saldana made his way to third when the caution came out on lap five. Back to green. Saldana tucked in low and drove to the lead but was in a three-way battle with Cole Duncan and Jason Sides. And they were soon joined by Danny Holtgraver. As they thundered down for the white flag, Holtgraver passed Saldana for third. At the checkered flag it was Duncan with the win and Sides second. Saldana opted to take a provisional to start the A Main.

Ed Lynch, who had won the dash and the pole for the feature, withdrew from the event having damaged an engine. Though Jason Johnson offered one of his engines, Lynch did not have the time to make the switch before the green flag.

Saldana started 25th. The first start was called back when officials determined Sheldon Haudenschild was on the throttle too early. The next time the green waved Tim Shaffer vaulted to the lead followed by Donny Schatz, who then assumed the lead on the second lap. The caution came out on lap 10 for two separate incidents. Cody Darrah and Brandon Spithaler collided in turn one while Haudenschild spun in turn four collecting Tim Shaffer. Shaffer was done for the night. There were no driver injuries.

Saldana restarted 16th. On the restart it was Schatz with the lead, Daryn Pittman second and Dale Blaney third. The battle up front saw lead changes and shuffling within the top competitors. Dale Blaney took the lead for the final time on lap 21 and Schatz was unable to regain the position. At the checkered flag it was Dale Blaney with the win, Schatz second and Daryn Pittman third.

Saldana finished 19th, however based on the inversion for the second 30 lap event,
he was on the pole. Saldana surged to the lead when the green flag waved and led the first 12 laps before Cody Darrah was able to sneak by. As Darrah continued to lead, Hodnett passed Saldana on the inside to wrestle second away from the Bullet. At the checkered flag it was Darrah with the victory, Hodnett second and Saldana third.

Dale Blaney finished eighth in the second 30-lapper and won the overall championship. No Outlaws regulars drove to victory circle tonight.

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