TUMULTUOUS NIGHT OF RACING AT LASALLE SPEEDWAY;
SALDANA FINISHES 13TH
LASALLE, Ill. (June 28, 2013) – The World of Outlaws began a trilogy of weekend events tonight. First stop: LaSalle Speedway. Joey Saldana was the most recent winner of this race, having been victorious when the Outlaws raced here last in 2010.
Saldana likes the quarter-mile high banked clay oval and was looking forward to the intense competition of a night of racing with the Outlaws.
In qualifying, the second generation driver turned his quickest lap in 10.467 seconds, placing him seventh in the qualifying order.
The qualifying times are used to formulate heat race starting grids and Saldana’s No. 7 position transferred to a starting berth inside the second row of the third heat. When the green flew, Tim Kaeding took the lead, Craig Dollansky was second with Saldana giving chase in third position. With a narrow groove and not much room or time to pass, at the checkered flag, the order remained the same.
Saldana acquired a 15th starting spot for the A-Main. After three tumultuous efforts, the 40 lap A-Main finally got underway on the fourth attempt. The first failed attempt was caused by contact between A.J. Bruns and another car. The second yellow came out for contact between Saldana and Jason Solwold. Saldana was able to continue but Solwold went to the work area to change front axles. Another try for the green was foiled by an incident that gathered up Kerry Madsen, Chad Kemenah, Daryn Pittman and Brian Paulus. All these incidents initiated a shuffle at the rear of the field as each of the drivers that could continue were relegated to the back of the grid.
On the fourth try, the field was unleashed only to get three laps in the books before contact between Paul Nienhiser and Jordan Goldesberry brought out the yellow. Neither driver was injured but neither was able to continue racing.
Green again. Red flag this time before another lap could be completed for Daryn Pittman and Wayne Johnson who flipped end over end down the front stretch in spectacular fashion. Both drivers were able to walk away, but Johnson’s night was finished. Miraculously Pittman made enough repairs to continue racing.
Through all the thrills and spills, with dogged determination, Saldana parlayed some hard charging driving into a 13th place finish.
“What a night,” said Saldana. “After all that happened getting into the top half of the field was pretty amazing. Obviously we are looking for a much better run tomorrow night in Wisconsin at Beaver Dam Raceway.”
Tim Kaeding, the pole sitter, led wire to wire with significant challenge from Donny Schatz who finished second. Craig Dollansky rounded out the podium.