Saldana Wins Hard Fought Battle to Claim Circle K/NOS Energy Drink Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte

 

‘Brownsburg Bullet’ holds off Schatz to earn his third World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series victory of the season, fourth of his career at Charlotte

 

CONCORD, N.C. — May 23, 2014 — The final results from Friday night show Joey Saldana leading every lap in his Motter Equipment car – what those results do not show is the nearly lap-by-lap battle Saldana fought with Donny Schatz to win the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Circle K/NOS Energy Drink Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track in Charlotte.

 

“To race Donny Schatz on a slick track,” Saldana said. “I think the only reason that saved me was turn one and two – the cushion is what saved me because [Schatz is] definitely everybody’s benchmark when it gets slick.”

 

 

Saldana and Schatz took the green flag from the front row with Logan Schuchart and Kraig Kinser in row two.

 

On lap one Schuchart jumped past Schatz on the high side through turn two and took over the second spot. The move was short lived though as Schatz fought back and retook the spot by lap four.

 

Schatz then set his sights on Saldana. By lap six, the five-time champion was challenging Saldana for the lead. Schatz got his opportunity on lap seven as the pair caught lapped traffic. Just as Schatz piloted his STP/Armor All car around Saldana, the yellow flag flew, giving the lead back to Saldana.

 

As the green flag again flew on lap eight, Shane Stewart caught a tire barrier on the inside of the track and had a scary wreck that saw him flip end-to-end. Stewart was unhurt. Also involved were Jason Sides and Brad Sweet. Both drivers were able to return to the track and finish the race.

 

Saldana and Schatz again caught lapped traffic in the closing laps, but Saldana, despite getting into the back of Sides, made sure not to make the same mistake twice and let Schatz around. This included an impressive pass down the middle of two lapped cars through turns three and four.

 

“I knew Donny was on me and you don’t want to run into anybody but I just knew I had to keep my pace going or he was going to drive right by,” said Saldana, of Brownsburg, Ind. “I don’t know, I think it’s just instinct and you can’t learn it, you just have to experience it and some guys are just really, really gifted and some guys aren’t, so you’ve got to work really hard at it.”

 

Saldana’s win snapped the four race win streak of Daryn Pittman. It had been the longest win streak in the series since Jason Meyers’ five race win streak in 2011. Saldana also closed Pittman’s lead in the championship standings to just one point. This was Saldana’s fourth win at The Dirt Track at Charlotte and his third on the season.

 

After a tough battle down the stretch, Schatz said second place was not the result he wanted for his team or team owner Tony Stewart, who was in attendance tonight.

 

“This whole team, these STP guys, I really wanted to get a win for them tonight,” said Schatz, a five-time series champion from Fargo, N.D. “We haven’t felt like we’ve been very good even though we’ve been in the top five but they keep digging – they keep putting a great racecar under me and keep making it better and that’s all you can really ask for. I get to have a little more fun the next couple of nights and race for fun – I’ve been looking forward to that, but it would have been nice to get a win tonight.”

 

Tonight’s third place finish gave Schuchart and his Shark Motorsports team their best ever Outlaws finish. After the early challenge to Schatz, Schuchart tried again to take over the second spot from Schatz in the closing laps with a slide job out of turn two. Schuchart was not able to make the move stick and Schatz retained the position.

 

“It might have been close and maybe I shouldn’t have done it but I’m trying and I just really want to win,” said Schuchart, of Hanover, Pa. “We had a good car. Our guys did a good job. I was just trying to find a different line that those guys weren’t using that hopefully if they got to racing each other I could catch up to them. I got one shot at it and I tried to take it. I want to win one of these races.”

 

Schuchart said he and his team knew coming into this season that they would be facing a learning curve but that with every race and new track they face, the team is making strides and improvements. He said, though he was happy to run third, he had hoped for a finish a couple of spots better.

 

Lawrenceburg Speedway in Lawrenceburg, Ind. will next host the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars on Monday, May 26. The Outlaws continue their swing through the Midwest with stops at Attica Raceway Park on May 30 and I-96 Speedway on May 31.

 

THE DIRT TRACK AT CHARLOTTE NOTES: For the Dash inversion, the number six was drawn for the 11th time this season… Daryn Pittman’s championship points lead has been reduced to just one point over tonight’s winner Joey Saldana… Donny Schatz won his eighth heat race of the season tonight.

 

SEASON WINNERS: Daryn Pittman – 7 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 14, Calistoga Speedway on April 6 and Devil’s Bowl Speedway on April 19, Williams Grove Speedway on May 16 and May 17, Orange County Fair Speedway, May 18, New Egypt Speedway, May 20); David Gravel – 3 (Merced Speedway on March 28, Eldora Speedway on May 3, and Wilmot Raceway on May 9); Joey Saldana – 3 (Perris Auto Speedway on April 12 and Salina Highbanks on April 25, The Dirt Track at Charlotte on May 23);Donny Schatz – 3 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 15, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 6 and Devil’s Bowl Speedway on April 19); Brad Sweet – 3 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 14, Tucson International Raceway on March 8 and Calistoga Speedway on April 5); Kerry Madsen – 2 (Stockton Dirt track  on March 22 and El Paso Speedway Park on April 15); Paul McMahan – 2 (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 5, Tri-State Speedway on May 10); Rico Abreu – 1 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 15); Christopher Bell – 1 (Jacksonville Speedway on May 7); Cody Darrah – 1 (Kings Speedway on April 11); Steve Kinser – 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 16); Stevie Smith – 1 (Lincoln Speedway on May 14); Shane Stewart – 1 (Eldora Speedway on May 2); Sammy Swindell – 1 (Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 on April 26).

World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; The Dirt Track at Charlotte; Concord, N.C.; May 20, 2014

A-Main – (30 Laps) – 1. 71M-Joey Saldana [1] [$12,000]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [2] [$5,700]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart [3] [$3,500]; 4. 51-Paul McMahan [5] [$3,000]; 5. 4-Cody Darrah [8] [$2,600]; 6. 83-David Gravel [6] [$2,400]; 7. 11-Steve Kinser [9] [$2,300]; 8. 9-Daryn Pittman [14] [$2,200]; 9. 29-Kerry Madsen [10] [$2,150]; 10. 11K-Kraig Kinser [4] [$2,100]; 11. 49-Brad Sweet [7] [$1,600]; 12. 19M-Brent Marks [17] [$1,350]; 13. W20-Greg Wilson [11] [$1,300]; 14. 1-Sammy Swindell [16] [$1,200]; 15. 63-Chad Kemenah [15] [$1,100]; 16. 1A-Jacob Allen [18] [$1,000]; 17. 60-Kory Crabtree [13] [$900]; 18. 3F-Rick Fraley [20] [$850]; 19. 7S-Jason Sides [19] [$800]; 20. 23-Lance Moss [21] [$800]; 21. 2-Shane Stewart [12] [$800]; 22. 98H-Dave Blaney [22] [$800]. Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: 9-Daryn Pittman [+6]

Qualifying – 1. 15-Donny Schatz, 14.878; 2. 49-Brad Sweet, 14.915; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 15.012; 4. 98H-Dave Blaney, 15.068; 5. 51-Paul McMahan, 15.182; 6. 71M-Joey Saldana, 15.219; 7. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 15.278; 8. 83-David Gravel, 15.328; 9. 4-Cody Darrah, 15.343; 10. 11-Steve Kinser, 15.390; 11. 29-Kerry Madsen, 15.448; 12. W20-Greg Wilson, 15.527; 13. 2-Shane Stewart, 15.551; 14. 60-Kory Crabtree, 15.677; 15. 9-Daryn Pittman, 15.708; 16. 63-Chad Kemenah, 15.724; 17. 1-Sammy Swindell, 15.864; 18. 19M-Brent Marks, 15.891; 19. 1A-Jacob Allen, 15.891; 20. 7S-Jason Sides, 16.136; 21. 3F-Rick Fraley, 16.384; 22. 23-Lance Moss, 16.478

Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 15-Donny Schatz [4]; 2. 63-Chad Kemenah [6]; 3. 2-Shane Stewart [5]; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser [2]; 5. 1A-Jacob Allen [7]; 6. 11-Steve Kinser [1]; 7. 23-Lance Moss [8]; 8. 98H-Dave Blaney [3]

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 51-Paul McMahan [3]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [4]; 3. 83-David Gravel [2]; 4. 7S-Jason Sides [7]; 5. 29-Kerry Madsen [1]; 6. 1-Sammy Swindell [6]; 7. 60-Kory Crabtree [5]

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 71M-Joey Saldana [3]; 2. 4-Cody Darrah [2]; 3. W20-Greg Wilson [1]; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman [5]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart [4]; 6. 19M-Brent Marks [6]; 7. 3F-Rick Fraley [7]

Dash – (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 8 starting positions of A-feature) – 1. 71M-Joey Saldana [2]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [6]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart [4]; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser [1]; 5. 51-Paul McMahan [3]; 6. 83-David Gravel [7]; 7. 49-Brad Sweet [5]; 8. 4-Cody Darrah [8]

 

 

World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Championship Standings

Pos.

Car

Driver

Total

Diff

Wins

T-5

T-10

QT

1

9

Daryn Pittman

4248

0

7

17

25

2

2

71M

Joey Saldana

4247

-1

3

19

24

12

3

15

Donny Schatz

4227

-21

3

19

27

2

4

51

Paul McMahan

4189

-59

2

16

26

6

5

29

Kerry Madsen

4057

-191

2

11

24

2

6

49

Brad Sweet

4000

-248

3

11

20

1

7

11

Steve Kinser

3910

-338

1

7

19

0

8

4

Cody Darrah

3853

-395

1

7

17

1

9

11k

Kraig Kinser

3737

-511

0

2

10

0

10

1

Sammy Swindell

3610

-638

1

5

10

1

11

7s

Jason Sides

3440

-808

0

1

5

0

12

1S

Logan Schuchart

3214

-1034

0

2

5

0

13

59

David Gravel

3150

-1098

3

7

16

2

14

1A

Jacob Allen

2737

-1511

0

0

1

0

15

1Z

Lucas Wolfe

2231

-2017

0

1

4

0

16

83

Tim Kaeding

1992

-2256

0

3

10

0

17

W20

Greg Wilson

1567

-2681

0

0

0

0

18

21

Brian Brown

1491

-2757

0

1

2

0

19

24A

Rico Abreu

1390

-2858

1

3

5

0

20

9W

Jac Haudenschild

1329

-2919

0

1

3

0

 

The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: American Racing Custom Wheels (Official Custom Wheel), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Lincoln Welders (Official Welder), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors, including: Bruce High Performance Transporters, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, JE Pistons, KSE Racing Products, Mobil 1, MSD, Sweet Manufacturing, and Superflow Dynos; along with manufacturer sponsors, including: ButlerBuilt, Intercomp, J&J Auto Racing, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, S&S Volvo and TNT Rescue.