HURON, S.D. (June 20, 2015) – The World of Outlaws competitors made their third appearance in slightly more than a week at a track new to the Outlaws tour. Tonight it was Dakota State Fair Speedway.
A huge crowd was on hand tonight to watch the winged warriors’ inaugural event.
For the second consecutive night and the seventh time this season, Joey Saldana proved his expertise in qualifying, capturing quick time with a 14.593-second lap.
Saldana pushed off fourth in the first heat, but didn’t stay there long. When the green flew, Saldana prevailed in a three-car battle for the lead. The distinctive yellow Motter Equipment HE&M Saw Beltline Body Shop 71M checked out on the rest of the field and the Brownsburg Bullet drove to an impressive heat win to earn a starting berth in the all-important dash.
Also for the second night in a row, Saldana, who would have started on the pole in a straight up dash start, fell victim to the ‘six’ ping pong ball in the inversion draw, shuffling him to the third row.
When the dash went green, polesitter Daryn Pittman was on the point followed by Brad Sweet and Donny Schatz. Saldana was fifth on the first lap but on the next lap he won a side by side pedal fest with Paul McMahan to advance to fourth. Pittman won the dash and the pole for the A Main. Second was Sweet, third was Schatz and Saldana was fourth. These four drivers would occupy the first two rows for the start of the feature.
A red flag marred the start of the 30-lap A Main when Dave Glennon got upside down and tore down approximately 100 feet of front stretch fence. Glennon was okay, but a lengthy open red flag period ensued while crews worked quickly to repair the damage.
An hour later engines were re-fired and the field lined up in their original starting positions. The next time the green flew it was for an uninterrupted 30 laps. Pittman led the pack, followed by Schatz, Sweet and Saldana. On lap 10, Pittman was slowed in traffic and Schatz used that to his advantage to steal the lead. At that time the running order was Schatz, Pittman, Stewart, Sweet, Saldana. With two laps to go, Saldana was able to dart under Sweet in turn one to advance to fourth. At the checkered flag it was Schatz, Stewart, Pittman and Saldana.
“We have had some consistency these last several events and I think we are finding the balance on this race car,” said team owner Dan Motter. “We are good off the trailer and if we hadn’t had the six invert in the dash and had started on the front row, I think we would have been pretty hard to beat. The one caveat to that is that we tinkered with the car during the extended red flag, which made it tight. As the track slicked off at the very end of the event, we had more maneuverability.
“I do want to thank the fans for hanging in through the fence rebuild. There were more fans swarming the pit area after the event than any other track this year.
Next up for the Outlaws is a rescheduled race at I-96 Raceway in Lake Odessa, Michigan. Rain washed out the original May 30 race date.
Notable: Motter Motorsports crew chief Randy Wolfe was busy tuning Saldana to a fifth place finish last night at River Cities. Meanwhile, on the East Coast, Wolfe’s son Lucas won at Williams Grove, tying his Dad’s record of 11 career event wins at that facility.