Dodge City, KS — Joey Saldana felt like a win slipped away from him on Friday night at Dodge City Raceway Park as he led most of the race before finishing second to Sammy Swindell. He did his best to make up for that on Sunday afternoon in the finale of the Boot Hill Showdown which had been postponed by rain on Saturday night, scoring his fifth win of the season and the fifth of his career at the state-of-the-art 3/8-mile over Jason Meyers before a very large crowd.
Saldana, who has won three of the last four World of Outlaws events at Dodge City, has finished on the podium in six consecutive starts at the track. He used the $10,000 win on Sunday to extend his lead in the World of Outlaws championship standings to 32-markers over Jason Meyers as he chases his first title.
“It was a great effort,” said Saldana. “Luckily we came away with a win, because Jason Meyers had a great car and we raced pretty hard for that.”
Saldana used a strong restart following a lap-22 caution on a double file restart, on the high side of the track to take the lead from Meyers. Saldana withstood a final caution with two laps to go, choosing the high side of the track on the final restart. He wound up leading 11laps on the afternoon aboard the Budweiser Maxim.
“I went on the top that one time and got beat and went on the bottom and got beat, so I figured the car was working best on the top so I’d stick it out,” explained Saldana of his choice on the final restart. “Since I was the leader, I got to start the race at my pace. I knew when I ran the top the first time my pace was too slow. I just picked my whole pace up so he couldn’t get a run on me.”
Saldana started on the pole for the main event, though was moved back a row following an opening lap red flag in which he was penalized for having too many men on the track when the red flag was opened up for two crew members from each team to come on the to work on their cars. Jason Meyers led on the second start from the pole with Saldana quickly moving into second from the inside of the second row.
Saldana took the lead for the first time on the 10th lap diving under Meyers in turns three and four. Meyers used a strong restart on the 12th lap to retake the lead on the high side after Saldana chose the bottom on the double file restart. Saldana moved back into the lead with nine laps to go en route to the win, which was his series leading 18th Top-Five finish of the season.
“The track just suits sprint cars,” noted the winner, when asked about his success at Dodge City. “I love it. Nobody wants to run the top and it blows me away. The top is just so fast here and I enjoy racing here. It’s not too big and it’s not too small. It suits the World of Outlaws perfect and I look forward to coming here every year.”
Meyers led twice on Sunday afternoon for a total of 19 laps, before finishing second in the GLR Investments KPC to remain second in points as he too chases his first World of Outlaws title. The native of Clovis, California started third and moved right into second on the opening start, before an eight-car accident led to a red flag. He restarted on the pole and quickly jumped to a lead over Saldana and Lucas Wolfe.
“I knew what I needed to do and made the wrong choice,” stated Meyers. “It’s an embarrassment to give that one away on the restart there and I gave Joey (Saldana) the race back. It was a real big mistake, but there’s nothing we can do about it now, but learn from it and move on.”
Meyers chose the low line three times while leading on double file restarts and also started in that position on the final restart as Saldana chose the high side. The runner-up finish was his 14th Top-Five finish of the season and he also qualified third to earn three bonus points on the standings.
“Being the leader, you were better off restarting on the bottom for sure,” he said. “The bottom is where you needed to be and I made the wrong decision.”
Lucas Wolfe finished third as he continues to close in on his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win. He came all the way from 10th to fourth in the dash to earn a second row starting spot in the main event in the Allebach Racing Maxim. He battled Steve Kinser late in the race to score the podium finish.
“It was another good run for us,” said Wolfe. “We’re continuing to run consistent which is very important. I think we were as good as they were in open track, but never quite got in position. We got a good restart a couple of times and they didn’t go through, but that’s just tough racing.”
Wolfe charged into second on the first start and was third on the complete restart. He withstood four yellow and three red flags over the course of the 30-lap contest, making it difficult to get into a rhythm on the way to his eighth Top-Five finish of the year.
“It was a little difficult, but we were able to get up and get some good starts,” he said of all the cautions. “I was able to get good starts whether I was on the inside or outside lane. That definitely helped me stay up here and get a strong third-place finish.”
Steve Kinser finished fourth in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim, with Paul McMahan fifth in the Great Clips Maxim. Jason Sides came from the 11th starting spot to finish sixth aboard the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim.
Brian Ellenberger finished a season-best eighth in the Ti-22 Performance JEI, coming from the 17th starting position to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award.
Ben Gregg finished a career-best ninth in the Kronik Energy Maxim, with Sammy Swindell, who won on Friday night rounding out the Top-10 in the Big Game Treestands Maxim.
The World of Outlaws return to action on Wednesday, June 16 at Missouri State Fair Speedway for Kasey’s King of Sedalia Presented By Budweiser, which is the third round of the Showdown for the Bud Crown.
BOOT HILL SHOWDOWN NIGHT #2 NOTES
•FAST QUALIFIER: Paul McMahan paced the 26 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked 3/8-mile oval at 12.694seconds at 106.349 mph. For his qualifying effort, McMahan earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Donny Schatz (4), Jason Meyers (3), Sam Hafertepe Jr. (2) and Joey Saldana (1).
•DODGE CITY RACEWAY PARK QUALIFYING WINNERS: Sammy Swindell, Steve Kinser and Kerry Madsen won heat races. Joey Saldana won the dash.
• FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 25 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, Tri-State (Okla.) Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway and I-96 Speedway), Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, I-55 Raceway, Eldora Speedway and Dodge City Raceway Park), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway and Knoxville Raceway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park and Jackson Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park and The Dirt Track at Charlotte), Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park and Tri-City Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway), Sammy Swindell (Dodge City Raceway) and Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway).
•3/8-MILE WINNERS: Dodge City Raceway Park is a high-banked 3/8-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced four times on a track that size this season. The winners include: Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway), Jason Meyers (Tri-State-Okla. Speedway), Joey Saldana (Dodge City Raceway Park) and Sammy Swindell (Dodge City Raceway Park).
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Boot Hill Showdown; Dodge City, KS; June 13, 2010
1) 91-Paul McMahan 12.694
2) 15-Donny Schatz 12.733
3) 14-Jason Meyers 12.761
4) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 12.798
5) 9-Joey Saldana 12.836
6) 3-Kerry Madsen 12.837
7) 1-Sammy Swindell 12.872
8) 11K-Kraig Kinser 12.889
9) 7S-Jason Sides 12.891
10) 6-Danny Lasoski 12.929
11) 11-Steve Kinser 12.983
12) 5W-Lucas Wolfe 12.989
13) 7-Craig Dollansky 13.037
14) 2B-Ben Gregg 13.041
15) R19-Jac Haudenschild 13.092
16) 63-Chad Kemenah 13.101
17) 4X-Toni Lutar 13.134
18) 22-Brian Ellenberger 13.225
19) 1X-Gary Lee Maier 13.329
20) 72-Steven Richardson 13.651
21) 36-Jason Martin 13.941
22) 91X-Taylor Milton 13.977
23) 81AU-Gavin Punch 14.129
24) 15k-Kerry McAlister 14.193
25) 33-Kris Miller 14.328
26) 6G-Bryan Gossel 16.595
Heat 1 (8 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature) – Starting Position [#]
1) 1-Sammy Swindell
2) 91-Paul McMahan
3) 6-Danny Lasoski
4) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
5) 7-Craig Dollansky
6) 1X-Gary Lee Maier
7) 63-Chad Kemenah
8) 91X-Taylor Milton
9) 33-Kris Miller
Heat 2 (8 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature) – Starting Position [#]
1) 11-Steve Kinser
2) 9-Joey Saldana
3) 15-Donny Schatz
4) 2B-Ben Gregg
5) 11K-Kraig Kinser
6) 4X-Toni Lutar
7) 81AU-Gavin Punch
8) 72-Steven Richardson
9) 6G-Bryan Gossel
Heat 3 (8 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature) – Starting Position [#]
1) 3-Kerry Madsen
2) 5W-Lucas Wolfe
3) 7S-Jason Sides
4) 14-Jason Meyers
5) R19-Jac Haudenschild
6) 22-Brian Ellenberger
7) 15k-Kerry McAlister
8) 36-Jason Martin
Dash (6 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature) – Starting Position [#]
1) 9-Joey Saldana
2) 11K-Kraig Kinser
3) 14-Jason Meyers
4) 5W-Lucas Wolfe
5) 91-Paul McMahan
6) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
7) 11-Steve Kinser
8) 15-Donny Schatz
9) 3-Kerry Madsen
10) 1-Sammy Swindell
A-main (30 laps) – Starting Position [#]
1) 9-Joey Saldana [$10,000]
2) 14-Jason Meyers [$5,000]
3) 5W-Lucas Wolfe [$3,000]
4) 11-Steve Kinser [$2,700]
5) 91-Paul McMahan [$2,500]
6) 7S-Jason Sides [$2,200]
7) 11K-Kraig Kinser [$2,000]
8) 22-Brian Ellenberger [$1,800]
9) 2B-Ben Gregg [$1,600]
10) 1-Sammy Swindell [$1,450]
11) 63-Chad Kemenah [$1,300]
12) 7-Craig Dollansky [$1,200]
13) 6-Danny Lasoski [$1,100]
14) 15-Donny Schatz [$1,000]
15) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [$950]
16) 33-Kris Miller [$900]
17) 15k-Kerry McAlister [$850]
18) R19-Jac Haudenschild [$750]
19) 81AU-Gavin Punch [$725]
20) 4X-Toni Lutar [$700]
21) 1X-Gary Lee Maier [$700]
22) 36-Jason Martin [$700]
23) 91X-Taylor Milton [$700]
24) 3-Kerry Madsen [$700]
25) 72-Steven Richardson [$700]
26) 6G-Bryan Gossel [$700]
Lap leaders: Jason Meyers 1-9, 12-21; Joey Saldana 10-11, 22-30
KSE Hard Charger Award: Brian Ellenberger
Penske Power Position Award: Ben Gregg