MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (May 15, 2015) – The first night of Morgan Cup competition, World of Outlaws vs. Pennsylvania Posse drivers, kicked off tonight at Williams Grove Speedway.
In preliminary action, Joey Saldana drove the Motter Equipment HE&M Saw Beltline Body Shop 71M to the No. 12 qualifying position with a 16.859-second lap.
His qualifying position translated to an outside front row starting spot in the fourth heat. When the green flag waved, Saldana took the lead from the outside, with polesitter Danny Dietrich in pursuit. The Brownsburg Bullet looked fast as he drove off with the wire to wire heat win, earning a position in the dash as well as the A Main.
The inversion draw was the No. 4 ping pong ball which did not impact Saldana’s eighth place starting position. The preferred heat winning starting spot up to this point had been the outside of the front row. Donny Schatz rolled off in that position in the dash and dominated, winning the dash and the pole for the feature. Saldana finished seventh
and rolled off on the inside of the fourth row for the start of the 25-lap A Main.
Greg Hodnett, who started outside on the front row, was the early leader in Friday’s Morgan Cup. Polesitter Donny Schatz followed. No driver had won from the pole at Williams Grove this season but Schatz was always a threat.
Early in the running, smoke began to pour out of Hodnett’s engine but after a couple of laps, it cleared up. Hodnett did not fall off the pace and continued to hold off Schatz even as they ran nose-to-tail. Saldana was running eighth challenging Stevie Smith.
Saldana could duck under Smith but couldn’t keep the momentum to pass him.
As the leaders negotiated through traffic, Schatz found the opening he needed to pass Hodnett for the lead on lap 18 and never looked back. Score one for the Outlaws. Hodnett was second and Brian Montieth took the final spot on the podium.
The Bullet was eighth.
“There were two distinct lanes to race on,” explained team owner Dan Motter. “The track is really fast. There was a good heavy cushion and a good strip of moisture around the bottom, but since everyone was fast, it made passing difficult.
“Track position was king tonight. We had a strong dash run and we were able to hold our own in the feature so all in all it was a pretty good night.”
The Outlaws and Posse drivers will converge upon Williams Grove again tomorrow night for the tie-breaking event and the Morgan Cup will be presented. Hodnett’s victory at Lincoln Speedway Wednesday was one for the Posse, tonight’s win by Outlaws champion Schatz tied the score.
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