MERCED, Calif. (March 25, 2014) – This weekend marks the halfway point of the World of Outlaws Spring Break swing through California. The Outlaws will be mixing it up on the Merced Speedway bullring Friday, March 28 and then will be trackside at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico Saturday.
World of Outlaws competitors will be making their fourth consecutive appearance at Merced Speedway. To date there has only been one winner at this track: Sammy Swindell.
Joey Saldana, who has nabbed more quick times this season than any other driver,
set the track record here last year of 10.823 seconds. The Motter Equipment HE&M Saw Beltline Body Shop 71M piloted by Saldana has been extremely competitive this season and the Brownsburg Bullet is a winning contender every time he takes the green flag. He is aiming to add his name to Swindell’s.
One of the biggest challenges at Merced is the very narrow race track which makes passing difficult. Additionally, the leaders catch up to the back of the field very quickly, usually within three laps or so. Trying to pick your way through traffic for the majority of the race leads to more offensive and defensive maneuvering than usual and requires intense concentration by the drivers.
At Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, the Saldana name appears in the win column four times starting as far back as 2007 and as recently as last year when the Brownsburg Bullet parked the 71M in victory circle in September.
“I like racing in Chico,” said Saldana. “I believe we gathered some good chassis set-up data last year that will be helpful this weekend. Davey (Whitworth, crew chief) has our car running fast and quick and is comfortable with all the components we are using this year.
“We can run wheel-to-wheel with anyone. The only downside is that we are trying to work our way back up through the point standings following two unfortunate incidences: the arm injury from the rock flying into the cockpit at Las Vegas that kept us from competing in the A-Main, and Tulare where I was running a strong second and spun the car with five laps to go to avoid a lapped car that hit the wall in front of me.
“The season is young, we are seventh in point standings and we’re gunning for the championship.”