ELBRIDGE, N.Y. (Oct. 10, 2015) – The race at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park was the lone event on the World of Outlaws schedule this week.
Joey Saldana was the first in a succession of drivers to break the 14-year track record at Rolling Wheels tonight during qualifying. Ultimately Saldana and the Motter Equipment HE&M Saw Beltline Body Shop 71M settled in the No. 7 qualifying spot with a lap of 15.805 seconds. The driver who was credited ultimately with the track record was Paul McMahan logging a 15.461-second lap at 145.527 miles per hour, officially making Rolling Wheels the fastest dirt track in the world and that speed the fastest ever turned by a sprint car at any dirt track. The previous record for the fastest track was 143.209 mph at Volusia Speedway.
Saldana started on the outside of the front row of heat one. When the track went green, Saldana blazed the trail and quickly began to put distance between himself and the rest of the field. Turning speeds at over 140 mph, Saldana was the flag to flag winner and earned a spot in the dash.
The Brownsburg Bullet, starting seventh in the dash, was not involved in the inversion draw. Only the zero, four and six ping pong balls can be drawn.
The first attempt at starting the dash ended before a lap could be completed when Kerry Madsen and Donny Schatz banged wheels racing for second place. Madsen got sideways and then backed across the track causing Saldana to take evasive action. Madsen made repairs to a damaged wheel and tire, and returned to the field for the restart. Polesitter David Gravel led when the track went green again. Gravel led all six laps of the dash to win the pole for the 25-lap A Main. Saldana finished sixth and started on the outside of the third row in the feature.
“At Rolling Wheels you have to move around and find the track,” said Saldana, “and to win this race you have to be good at the bottom. So hopefully we have a shot at it.”
After the four-wide salute to the fans, the drivers reassembled in side-by-side formation for the start of the feature which quickly went red when Madsen got sideways and collected Shane Stewart, who had no place to go, and sent both cars tumbling. The drivers were okay. Stewart went to the work area, the team made repairs and he rejoined the field. Madsen also returned.
Re-rack the field for start No. 2. Polesitter Gravel grabbed the lead followed by Donny Schatz, Daryn Pittman, Brad Sweet and Saldana. The running order remained the same through two yellow flags. After the second yellow flag restart a four-car incident once again triggered the red flag which morphed into an open red flag, allowing the crews to work on their team cars.
Back to green on a single file restart with 19 to go. Gravel back to the lead followed by Schatz Sweet, Pittman and Saldana. On lap 13, as the leaders were negotiating traffic,
the window of opportunity for Schatz opened and he drove through, taking the lead. As the laps ticked by, there was a bit of shuffling as Sweet and Pittman both were able to maneuver past Gravel. Schatz was the event winner, Sweet was second, and Pittman was third. Saldana maintained fifth position while fending off aggressive moves by McMahan.
Next week is another single event at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, Friday, Oct. 16.
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