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 ‘I WAS READY’: Saldana Conquers Hartford in Return to Racing 

World of Outlaws star exceeds expectations, wins in first race back since July crash

HARTFORD, Mich. – Sept. 21, 2011 – Many people told him it was too soon. His family and friends cautioned him against it. Joey Saldana, though, knew Wednesday night at Hartford Motor Speedway he was ready to return to World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series action.

With support from car owner Kasey Kahne, Saldana climbed back into the #9 Red Bull Maxim for the first time in nine weeks, since suffering a shattered right forearm, a punctured lung and broken ribs in scary crash during the Kings Royal in July at Eldora Speedway. He never looked back. Saldana earned the pole position at the half-mile dirt oval and dominated the 25-lap feature for his fifth victory of the season and the most uplifting win of his career.

“This was way more than I expected tonight,” said Saldana, of Brownsburg, Ind. “My family thought it was too soon but I kept telling them I was ready. I was working out very hard at Pit Fit in Indianapolis to get myself ready to come back. I wanted to come back and be competitive and build something for next year. That’s why I came back for these races. I know and respect racing. Several drivers have been in accidents like mine and will never crawl back into a car. I’m very lucky and blessed to be here tonight and to come away with a win is huge.”

An eight in the dash inversion draw put Saldana on the outside row for the 6-lap sprint that determines the first 10 starting spots of the main event. Saldana wrestled the lead away from four-time champion Donny Schatz to earn the right to start on the pole for the 25-lap feature.

Saldana raced away from the field at the drop of the green flag and held Schatz and the rest of the field at bay through three restarts. As he pulled away from the pack in the closing laps, the battle was on for second as two title contenders battled back and forth. Current points leader and defending series champion Jason Meyers bobbled on a restart, but was another yellow flag waved before the entire field had completed a lap to give him back his spot. Making the best of his second chance, Meyers got a good jump and used his momentum to get around Schatz.

“That second chance tonight really helped us out,” said Meyers, of Clovis, Calif. “First off, congratulations to Joey. That was a heck of a come back and proves just how tough of a competitor he is. We had a good car tonight and I was able to make my way up through the field. We started a little deep but made up the ground. It was just a good night for out DDNi/Media-Tile/GLR Investments car. Some of our friends from Allstar Performance were here tonight and hopefully they had a great time. They are big supporters of what we do.”

After losing second to Meyers, Schatz fell into the clutches of Craig Dollansky and his Big Game Treestands Maxim. On the final lap, Dollansky set up a diving pass going into Turn 1 and slid up in front of Schatz coming off of Turn 2. With the #15 STP/Armor All/Chevrolet behind him, Dollansky powered to the finish to wrap up the last podium spot.

“That was some good, fun racing,” said Dollansky, a 10-time winner this season from Elk River, Minn. “We’re glad that we came up through the field there and had some good battles. It’s another great night for our Big Game Treestands car. Aggressive Hyrdaulics and Karavan Trailers also continue to help us out a lot along with Aeroquip.”

Silver Cup champion Tim Shaffer closed fast, too, and edged Schatz in a thrilling drag race to the checkered flag for a fourth-place finish with Schatz rounding out the top five. Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion who is second in points behind Meyers, experienced mechanical woes and finished 17th.

Saldana will get another shot to conquer Eldora Speedway when the World of Outlaws returns to Tony Stewart’s track on Friday night (Sept. 23) before heading Saturday to the Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville Speedway.

 

HARTFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK

WINNERS – There have been 56 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events in 2011. The winners include: Craig Dollansky – 9 (Silver Dollar Speedway on March 12, Salina Highbanks Speedway on May 3, River Cities Speedway on June 17 and 18, Dodge City Raceway Park on July 1, Lebanon Valley Speedway on July 24, I-55 Raceway on August 6, Skagit Speedway on September 2, Clay County Fair Speedway on September 16); Steve Kinser – 9 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 11 and 12, Pike County Raceway on Feb. 25, the Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 4, Lakeside Speedway on June 4, River Cities Speedway on August 19, Huset’s Speedway on August 20, Antioch Speedway on September 12, Deer Creek Speedway on September 17); Donny Schatz – 6 (Attica Raceway Park on May 20, Princeton Speedway on June 25, Limaland Motorsports Park on July 13, Bloomington Speedway on August 5, Knoxville Raceway on August 13, Black Hills Speedway on August 23); Joey Saldana – 5 (Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 3, Thunderbowl Raceway on March 19, Eldora Speedway on May 6, Beaver Dam Raceway on July 9, Hartford Motor Speedway on September 21); Paul McMahan – 4 (the Dirt Track at Charlotte on May 28, Belleville Highbanks on June 3, Brockville-Ontario Speedway on July 29, Silver Dollar Speedway on September 9); Jason Meyers – 4 (Cedar Lake Speedway on July 8, Williams Grove Speedway on July 23, Autodrome Drummond on July 30, Castrol Raceway on August 26); Sammy Swindell – 4 (Royal Purple Raceway on Feb. 26, Merced Speedway on April 1, Tri-State Speedway on April 30, Knoxville Raceway on June 11); Jason Sides – 4 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 13, Calistoga Speedway on April 2, I-96 Speedway on May 30, Dodge City Raceway Park on July 2); Tim Shaffer – 2 (Eldora Speedway on July 15, Lernerville Speedway on July 19); Dale Blaney – 1 (Lernerville Speedway on July 19); Cody Darrah – 1 (Castrol Raceway on august 27); Sam Hafertepe Jr. – 1 (Skagit Speedway on September 3); Greg Hodnett – 1 (Williams Grove Speedway on July 22); Kraig Kinser – 1 (Cottage Grove Speedway on September 5); Kyle Larson – 1 (Silver Dollar Speedway on September 10); Daryn Pittman – 1 (Williams Grove Speedway on May 13); Tony Stewart – 1 (Oshweken Speedway on July 27); Tyler Walker – 1 (Eldora Speedway on July 16.)

 

TIME TRIALS – Steve Kinser was the fastest qualifier around the half mile oval with a time of 16.046 seconds and earned five championship points. Also earning points were Jason Meyers, Cody Darrah, Paul McMahan and David Gravel. It marked Kinser’s third Quick Time of the season.

 

WE’RE ONLINE – Make sure to check out the all-new WorldofOutlaws.com for the latest news and results, plus exclusive driver interviews, video and pictures. Also listen to every event live at DIRTVision.com.

 

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Hartford (Mich.) Motor Speedway; Sept. 21, 2011

A-Main – (25 Laps) – 1. 9-Joey Saldana [1] [$10,000]; 2. 14-Jason Meyers [8] [$5,500]; 3. 7-Craig Dollansky [3] [$3,200]; 4. 83X-Tim Shaffer [4] [$2,800]; 5. 15-Donny Schatz [2] [$2,500]; 6. 89G-David Gravel [11] [$2,300]; 7. 92-Kerry Madsen [12] [$2,200]; 8. 83-Paul McMahan [7] [$2,100]; 9. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [14] [$2,050]; 10. 63-Chad Kemenah [9] [$2,000]; 11. O4-Cap Henry [10] [$1,500]; 12. 2M-Dustin Daggett [15] [$1,200]; 13. 6-Kraig Kinser [16] [$1,100]; 14. 4-Danny Smith [17] [$1,050]; 15. 7S-Jason Sides [13] [$1,000]; 16. 6R-Bill Rose [19] [$900]; 17. 11-Steve Kinser [6] [$800]; 18. 14X-Joey Moughan [20] [$800]; 19. 91-Cody Darrah [5] [$800]; 20. 9E-Tim Evilsizer [21] [$800]; 21. 31-Andy Teunessen [18] [$800]; 22. 3G-Shane Stewart [22] [$800]. Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1-25. KSE Hard Charger Award: 14-Jason Meyers [+6].

Qualifying – 1. 11-Steve Kinser, 16.046; 2. 14-Jason Meyers, 16.052; 3. 91-Cody Darrah, 16.086; 4. 83-Paul McMahan, 16.121; 5. 89G-David Gravel, 16.138; 6. 92-Kerry Madsen, 16.142; 7. 7-Craig Dollansky, 16.189; 8. 83X-Tim Shaffer, 16.223; 9. 9-Joey Saldana, 16.270; 10. 15-Donny Schatz, 16.296; 11. 63-Chad Kemenah, 16.328; 12. O4-Cap Henry, 16.336; 13. 7S-Jason Sides, 16.336; 14. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 16.405; 15. 2M-Dustin Daggett, 16.412; 16. 6R-Bill Rose, 16.422; 17. 6-Kraig Kinser, 16.460; 18. 3G-Shane Stewart, 16.635; 19. 4-Danny Smith, 16.689; 20. 14X-Joey Moughan, 16.894; 21. 31-Andy Teunessen, 17.857; 22. 9E-Tim Evilsizer, 18.713.

Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 15-Donny Schatz [1]; 2. 7-Craig Dollansky [2]; 3. 11-Steve Kinser [4]; 4. 83-Paul McMahan [3]; 5. 7S-Jason Sides [5]; 6. 4-Danny Smith [7]; 7. 6R-Bill Rose [6]; 8. 9E-Tim Evilsizer [8].

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 83X-Tim Shaffer [2]; 2. 63-Chad Kemenah [1]; 3. 14-Jason Meyers [4]; 4. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [5]; 5. 89G-David Gravel [3]; 6. 6-Kraig Kinser [6]; 7. 14X-Joey Moughan [7].

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. O4-Cap Henry [1]; 2. 9-Joey Saldana [2]; 3. 92-Kerry Madsen [3]; 4. 91-Cody Darrah [4]; 5. 2M-Dustin Daggett [5]; 6. 31-Andy Teunessen [7]; 7. 3G-Shane Stewart [6].

Dash – (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature) – 1. 9-Joey Saldana [2]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [1]; 3. 7-Craig Dollansky [4]; 4. 83X-Tim Shaffer [3]; 5. 91-Cody Darrah [6]; 6. 11-Steve Kinser [8]; 7. 83-Paul McMahan [5]; 8. 14-Jason Meyers [7]; 9. 63-Chad Kemenah [9]; 10. O4-Cap Henry [10].

 

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Points Standings, through September 21

Pos.

Driver

Total

Diff

Wins

Top 5

Top 10

QT

1

Jason Meyers

7589

 

4

33

47

10

2

Steve Kinser

7462

-127

9

28

44

3

3

Donny Schatz

7455

-134

6

28

46

2

4

Paul McMahan

7299

-290

4

19

41

10

5

Craig Dollansky

7225

-364

9

24

39

2

6

Jason Sides

7189

-400

4

19

36

3

7

Lucas Wolfe

6793

-796

0

7

23

0

8

Kraig Kinser

6684

-905

1

4

20

0

9

Chad Kemenah

6658

-931

0

5

17

4

10

Cody Darrah

6456

-1133

1

6

18

0

11

Sammy Swindell

6247

-1342

4

18

27

9

12

Joey Saldana

6078

-1511

5

19

26

5

13

Bill Rose

6066

-1523

0

1

4

0

14

Kerry Madsen

4766

-2823

0

5

17

0

15

Brad Sweet

4753

-2836

0

10

24

2

16

Ben Gregg

2723

-4866

0

1

2

0

17

Sam Hafertepe Jr.

2482

-5107

1

5

11

0

18

Austen Wheatley

2127

-5462

0

0

0

0

19

Tim Kaeding

1747

-5842

0

3

6

0

20

Terry McCarl

1738

-5851

0

1

4

0

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Armor All (Official Car Care Products), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Goodyear Tires (Official Tire), Chizmark Larson Insurance , Factory Motor Parts, VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), Vicci (Official Apparel); in addition to contingency sponsors, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, RacingJunk.com KSE Race Products, Racing Electronics, S&S Volvo and R2C Performance; Engine Builder’s Challenge participants Don Ott Racing Engines, Kistler Engines, Shaver Specialties and Speedway Engines; and Chassis Builder’s Challenge participants J&J Auto Racing, Maxim Racing and XXX Race Company.