PERRIS, Calif. (April 18, 2015) – Joey Saldana and the members of the Motter Motorsports team entertained the Workshops for Warriors veterans and their guests at Perris Auto Speedway tonight prior to shoving off for hot laps and qualifying.
Motter Motorsports’ sponsor HE&M Saw supports Workshops for Warriors, a San Diego-based 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to training, certifying, and placing veterans of the U.S. Armed Services in manufacturing careers. HEMsaw has donated metal cutting band saws to the vocational training program. HEMsaw executives and the veterans were here with Saldana last year when he won
at Perris and all were hoping for an encore performance.
In preliminary action tonight, Saldana wheeled the Motter Equipment Workshops for Warriors HE&M Saw Beltline Body Shop sprint car to the No. 4 qualifying position with a 14.663-second lap.
The World of Outlaws used a different format tonight. Drivers participated in two heat races or qualifiers. The No. 1 and No. 2 in tonight’s qualifying order did not run the second set of heat races nor did the first two heat winners. The remainder of the field ran a second set of heat races, or qualifiers. The heat winners went to the dash along with the No. 3 and No. 4 in the qualifying order to make the traditional elite eight dash.
In his heat, Saldana was seeded third on the grid. When the track went green, Kerry Madsen took the lead followed by David Gravel and Brad Sweet. Gravel passed Madsen for the lead. Saldana and Jason Meyers engaged in a battle for fourth spot and after trading positions, it was the Brownsburg Bullet who ultimately strong-armed the position.
In the qualifier, Saldana started on the outside of the front row. When the green dropped, the Bullet made a strong bid for the lead, diving for the inside line. He grabbed the lead, but Madsen had more momentum driving high and was able to gain the lead. Saldana was second and Jason Meyers was third. The top three maintained their positions to the checkered flag. Saldana transferred to the dash.
In the inversion draw, a ‘six’ ping pong ball was pulled, placing Saldana third in the dash starting order. Front row starter Donny Schatz led the dash from wire to wire. Madsen was second and Saldana was third from green to checkered flag and started third in the feature.
After the four-wide salute to the fans, the drivers aligned in side-by-side formation to come to the starting line for the beginning of the 30-lap SoCal Showdown. Initially polesitter Schatz took the lead followed by Kerry Madsen. Saldana was riding in fourth position but not for long. The Bullet lived up to his name when he found the sweet spot on the racetrack and rocketed from fourth to take the lead on lap three. It was if he was shot out of a cannon and he checked out on the field. By the sixth lap on the half-mile oval he was lapping cars. Paul McMahan was running a distant second. Lap after lap Saldana clearly had solid footing and the 71M was untouchable. Then on lap 28, Saldana slowed in lapped traffic and McMahan caught up. The two drivers battled side by side before McMahan was able to steal the lead. McMahan won the event,
Saldana was second and Schatz was third.
“We wanted to get the win for HEMsaw and the Workshops for Warriors,” said Saldana.
“Just one hesitation in lapped traffic gave Paul the opening he needed. The car was great tonight and we want to give a tip of the helmet to Randy (Wolfe, crew chief), Sean
(Strausbaugh), and Derek (Miller). We want to carry this momentum into Devil’s Bowl
this coming Friday and Saturday.”
Another of Motter’s sponsors, DKW Transport, pledged to donate $2000 to Workshops for Warriors if Saldana finished in the top three.
“That was a very nice gesture on behalf of Shawn Loken at DKW Transport,” said team owner Dan Motter. “We are happy that Workshops for Warriors will be the recipient of that bonus.”
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