From Tony Veneziano, Mike Campbell Photo
Kilgore, TX— Not that Joey Saldana really needed a good luck charm with how strong he has been running this season, but just in case, he had one for the inaugural WoO Fest at Lone Star Speedway as his son Reece, who was on fall break from school, made the trip south from Indiana. Saldana won earlier this season at the half-mile located in Kilgore, Texas and also was victorious in Texas at Houston Raceway Park, both of which races his son was his in attendance for.
Saldana made it three-for-three in the state of Texas after wiring the field on Saturday night at Lone Star Speedway to score his series leading 19th A-Feature win of the season with the World of Outlaws and his career-high 20th overall victory with the series.
Saldana earned $12,000 for the win, which was the 58th of his World of Outlaw career as he continues to close in on Stevie Smith who is eighth on the all-time win list with 67 triumphs. For the native of Brownsburg, Indiana it was his fourth win of the season on a half-mile track aboard the Budweiser Maxim.
“This is another great win,” said Saldana. “I can’t thank Willie (Kahne), Kolten (Gouse) and Kale (Kahne) enough. They work really hard. Our shop is based out of Charlotte and they have to do a lot of extra driving to get this car to the race track. It was a great effort by this whole Budweiser team. We qualified in the Top-Five as well, so thanks to Speedway Engines.”
Saldana won the Crane Cams Dash to start on the pole for the 30-lapper with Sam Hafertepe Jr. getting the jump at the start and leading the field into turn one with Saldana moving in front in turn two. Hafertepe kept pace with him throughout the race in lapped traffic and closed to within a few cars lengths a couple of times when Saldana was not able to get around a lapped car. The only caution of the night flew on the 23rd lap, putting the leaders back in open track.
“The clear track definitely helped with how the track was, but my car was really good,” noted Saldana in Victory Lane. “The lapped cars were tough and the track was really fast and I didn’t want to do anything stupid. A couple of times I had to lift and just let the lap car go and get him back in the next corner. It was a great race and our car was great all night.”
The victory was Saldana’s third consecutive in the state of Texas and was the fifth win of his career in the Lone Star State. He has finished ninth or better in 10 of his last 11 starts in Texas and was quick to credit the vast number of starts he has in the state over the years to his success there the last few seasons.
“It’s a lot of time behind the wheels of one of these cars,” explained Saldana when asked what makes his so good in Texas as of late. “The pill draw definitely helped tonight, but you have to be fast all 30 laps. We just made the right adjustments on our car It was another great effort by my team.”
Hafertepe wound up second for the second time this season with the World of Outlaws as he continues to close in on his first career win with the series. He used a strong start to keep pace with Saldana early in the contest and then after Saldana opened a big lead, he was able to reel him back in in lapped traffic aboard the G. H. Plumbing J&J.
“Once we changed our program up around the middle of the year, we’ve been one of the cars to beat every night,” said Hafertepe. “I definitely wanted to win tonight, but Joey (Saldana) is a class act and there is nobody I would rather see beat me than him. He’s doing a lot for the sport and has already had 19 wins this year, so to finish second behind him, I’m not too mad about it. We made some nice moves in lapped traffic and made it interesting for the fans.”
Hafertepe was hoping that the race would go green to checker without any cautions and that nearly was the case, with just the single yellow flag with seven laps remaining. He tried everything he could to keep up with Saldana on the restart, but in open track was just not able to get close enough to him to make a move.
“I knew we had a good car and behind Joey, though he was so good in clean air that we really couldn’t do anything with him,” shared Hafertepe, whose parents Sam Sr. and Lisa own and operate Lone Star Speedway. “I didn’t like to see the caution because he got back in clean air, but that’s the way racing goes. We’ll take our second here tonight and go to Lowe’s (Motor Speedway) and see if we can’t win up there.”
Steve Kinser got around Jason Sides on the opening lap and then recovered after getting completely sideways in turn two on the lap-23 restart to finish third in the Quaker State Maxim.
Jason Meyers worked his way up to finish fourth in the GLR Investments KPC after winning the first heat to earn a spot in the Crane Cams Dash, with Jason Sides fifth in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim.
Donny Schatz, the current series point leader, came home sixth in the Armor All J&J, and was able to gain one point on Meyers in the championship standings, after earning five bonus points for setting fast time in qualifying. The difference between the two is now 19 markers with just the two feature events at the third annual World Finals remaining, as they continue the closest title fight in the 30-plus year history of the World of Outlaws.
Terry McCarl came home seventh on Saturday night in the Big Game Treestands Maxim, with Jac Haudenschild eighth piloting the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Maxim. Lucas Wolfe was ninth in the Allebach Racing Maxim, with Kraig Kinser rounding out the Top-10 in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim.
The World of Outlaws return to action on Thursday, November 5 with qualifying for the third annual World Finals at The Dirt Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, which runs November 5-7.
WOO FEST AT LONE STAR SPEEDWAY NOTES
•FAST QUALIFIER: Donny Schatz paced the 18 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked half-mile oval at 14.191 seconds at 126.841 mph. For his qualifying effort, Schatz earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Joey Saldana (4), Kraig Kinser (3), Terry McCarl (2) and Jac Haudenschild (1).
• LONE STAR SPEEDWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Jason Meyers, Brad Sweet and Steve Kinser won heat races. Joey Saldana won the Crane Cams Dash.
• FEATURE WINNERS: There has been 63 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature event held in 2009. The winners include: Joey Saldana (Volusia Speedway Park, Silver Dollar Speedway-twice, Thunderbowl Raceway, Lone Star Speedway–twice, Houston Raceway Park, The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway, Lawrenceburg Speedway, Dodge City Raceway Park-twice, U.S. 36 Raceway, 34 Raceway, I-55 Raceway, Castrol Raceway-twice, Skagit Speedway and Deer Creek Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park-twice, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Knoxville Raceway, Eldora Speedway, Canandaigua Speedway, Lawrenceburg Speedway, River Cities Speedway, Cedar Lake Speedway, Eldora Speedway, K-C Raceway and Dacotah Speedway), Jason Meyers (Silver Dollar Speedway, Paducah International Raceway, I-96 Speedway, Red River Valley Speedway, Ohsweken Speedway, Skagit Speedway, Cottage Grove Speedway and Clay County Fair Speedway), Danny Lasoski (Delaware International Speedway, Nodak Speedway, Eagle Raceway, Charter Raceway Park and Lernerville Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lebanon Valley Speedway, I-55 Raceway and River Cities Speedway), Greg Hodnett (Williams Grove Speedway-three times), Steve Kinser (Tri-State Speedway and Limaland Motorsports Park), Terry McCarl (Knoxville Raceway and Eldora Speedway), Jason Sides (Ohsweken Speedway and Eldora Speedway), Dale Blaney (Attica Raceway Park), Cody Darrah (Williams Grove Speedway), Randy Hannagan (Thunderbowl Raceway), Tim Kaeding (Riverside International Speedway),Chad Kemenah (Manzanita Speedway), Tim Shaffer (Rolling Wheels Raceway Park) and Stevie Smith (Lernerville Speedway).
• PRELIMINARY FEATURE WINNERS: There has been two World of Outlaws preliminary features this season. The winners include: Jason Meyers (Silver Dollar Speedway) and Joey Saldana (Silver Dollar Speedway).
• HALF-MILE WINNERS: Lone Star Speedway is a high-banked half-mile oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series has raced 21 times this season on a track that size. The winners include: Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park-twice, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Knoxville Raceway and Eldora Speedway), Joey Saldana (Volusia Speedway Park, Lone Star Speedway- twice and Virginia Motor Speedway), Greg Hodnett (Williams Grove Speedway-three times), Terry McCarl (Knoxville Raceway and Eldora Speedway), Jason Meyers (I-96 Speedway and Red River Valley Speedway), Cody Darrah (Williams Grove Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lebanon Valley Speedway), Chad Kemenah (Manzanita Speedway),Danny Lasoski (Delaware International Speedway) and Jason Sides (Eldora Speedway).
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; WoO Fest at Lone Star Speedway; Kilgore, TX; October 24, 2009
1) 15-Donny Schatz 14.191
2) 9-Joey Saldana 14.208
3) 20-Kraig Kinser 14.271
4) 24-Terry McCarl 14.350
5) R19-Jac Haudenschild 14.387
6) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 14.417
7) 14-Jason Meyers 14.447
8) 19-Brad Sweet 14.465
9) 7S-Jason Sides 14.486
10) 5W-Lucas Wolfe 14.494
11) 6-Danny Lasoski 14.590
12) 11-Steve Kinser 14.648
13) 41-Jason Johnson 14.650
14) 22-Brian Ellenberger 14.685
15) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. 14.755
16) 51-Fred Rahmer 14.757
17) 51W-Wes Miller 15.018
18) 4-Eric Baldaccini 15.136
Heat 1 (8 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 14-Jason Meyers
2) 15-Donny Schatz
3) 5W-Lucas Wolfe
4) 41-Jason Johnson
5) 51-Fred Rahmer
6) 24-Terry McCarl
Heat 2 (8 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 19-Brad Sweet
2) 9-Joey Saldana
3) 6-Danny Lasoski
4) R19-Jac Haudenschild
5) 22-Brian Ellenberger
6) 51W-Wes Miller
Heat 3 (8 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 11-Steve Kinser
2) 7S-Jason Sides
3) 20-Kraig Kinser
4) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
5) 18-Tony Bruce Jr.
6) 4-Eric Baldaccini
Crane Cams Dash (6 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature)
1) 9-Joey Saldana
2) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
3) 7S-Jason Sides
4) 11-Steve Kinser
5) R19-Jac Haudenschild
6) 15-Donny Schatz
7) 14-Jason Meyers
8) 20-Kraig Kinser
9) 24-Terry McCarl
10) 19-Brad Sweet
A-main (30 laps) – Starting Position [#]
1) 9-Joey Saldana [$12,000]
2) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [$5,700]
3) 11-Steve Kinser [$3,500]
4) 14-Jason Meyers [$3,000]
5) 7S-Jason Sides [$2,600]
6) 15-Donny Schatz [$2,400]
7) 24-Terry McCarl [$2,300]
8) R19-Jac Haudenschild [$2,200]
9) 5W-Lucas Wolfe [$2,150]
10) 20-Kraig Kinser [$2,100]
11) 19-Brad Sweet [$1,600]
12) 41-Jason Johnson [$1,350]
13) 6-Danny Lasoski [$1,300]
14) 51-Fred Rahmer [$1,200]
15) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. [$1,100]
16) 22-Brian Ellenberger [$1,000]
17) 4-Eric Baldaccini [$900]
18) 51W-Wes Miller [$850]
Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1-30
SuperClean Start of the Night Award: Jason Meyers
Penske Power Position Award: Steve Kinser
KSE Hard Charger Award: Jason Meyers