Saldana Wins 20th Race of 2009 While Donny Schatz Captures Fourth Consecutive Title

From Tony Veneziano, photo courtesy of Mike Campbell

Concord, NC— A couple pieces of history were made on Saturday night live on SPEED in the finale of the World Finals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway before a standing room only crowd as Joey Saldana became just the fifth driver in the 30-plus year history of the series to win at least 20 A-Feature events in a single season, while Donny Schatz became just the second driver ever to win four consecutive World of Outlaws titles.

Saldana’s win was his second of the season at the state-of-the-art four-tenths-mile and he joins an illustrious list of drivers that have won 20 or more A-Feature events in a season with the World of Outlaws, as only 20-time series champion Steve Kinser, three-time titlist Sammy Swindell, two-time champ Mark Kinser and Doug Wolfgang have accomplished that feat prior to Saturday night. Including a preliminary feature win during the Gold Cup Race of Champions in September, Saldana finished the year with 21 overall triumphs.

“This is great,” said Saldana. “In my mind I had won 20 (races), but it’s not official until you have that 2-0 and we did it. Not many men have done that and it’s a pretty tough feat to accomplish. It means our team is going in the right direction and we know we can do it. We definitely have the package to win races, we just have to work on the package to finish races and finishing respectable every night.”

The title for Schatz was his fourth consecutive and second straight driving for Tony Stewart Racing and makes him the only driver other than Steve Kinser to win four and to win four consecutive. The North Dakota native won 12 times this season and led the series with 39 Top-Five finishes.

“If feels awesome,” Schatz said. “It’s a great season when you can win a championship and be the most consistent. It’s very rewarding and I don’t know what to say right now. I’m kind of speechless right now and it won’t sink in until tomorrow. It’s pretty awesome and I am glad to be part of this with everyone at Armor, STP, Chevy and ParkerStore. I’m a lucky guy to get to be part of this and I can’t say thanks enough to the guys that work on these cars and make sure they don’t fall apart on me and make sure I have fast cars and am competitive. I want to thank Tony Stewart for what he has done for us and keeping us on our edge.”

Saldana lined up on the outside of the front row in the Budweiser Maxim on Saturday night, with pole sitter Dale Blaney taking the lead at the start and pacing the field for the 14 laps. The leaders found themselves in lapped traffic on the sixth go-around with Saldana closing back in after Blaney had opened a sizeable lead. Saldana went to the high side of turn four on the seventh lap, nearly taking the lead and then dove under Blaney in turns one and two on the next circuit again nearly taking the top spot. For the next four laps a couple of slower machines separated the pair with Saldana closing back in on the 14th lap. On the 15th lap Saldana charged to the high side in turns one and two and took the lead from Blaney and would go on to pace the field for the remainder of the 30-lapper.

“We put a little harder of a tire on and I didn’t know if he had a softer one, so I wasn’t pushing it,” notes the winner. “He just told me that he had the same tire I had on. With 30 laps, it will be a pretty fast pace and I didn’t want to do anything stupid. As soon as we got to lapped traffic and got moving around, that’s when I got him. We had a great car and just worked hard on it.”

The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway is the home track for Saldana’s Kasey Kahne Racing team, which is based in Mooresville, North Carolina. In addition to Donny Schatz, Saldana is the only driver that has competed in all 23 of the previous World of Outlaws races at the track.

“When your shop is 20 miles away and your team and their families are from here, and they are all able to come out and watch us and see all of that hard work in the off-season pay off is great,” shared Saldana. “It’s huge for us to run well here. It’s been a tough place for me and we figured it out.”

After having a wheel break while running third on Friday night, Blaney wound up second in the finale of the World Finals after leading the first 15 laps of the race in the Ti-22 Performance Maxim. Blaney used a lap-21 restart to get alongside Saldana in turn one, but could not quite make the pass. On the final restart of the night he again dove under Saldana in turns one and two, but Saldana held the lead.

“Any time we come and run with the Outlaws we seem to run good and that makes us feel like we accomplished a little bit,” Blaney said. “We had a great car all weekend and tonight I felt like I made a mistake that cost me the race. We always look forward to running with the Outlaws and it had been a few years since we had been down here. It’s a pretty cool place to come to.”

Jason Meyers who entered the race 25 points behind Donny Schatz in the closest-ever battle for the World of Outlaws title wound up third in the GLR Investments KPC, which was three spots ahead of Schatz, though he ended the season second in points, 19 markers behind the champion in what was ultimately the closest finish in series history. The native of Clovis, California was running fourth on the final lap on Saturday night and won a drag race with Steve Kinser down the front straightway to snag the final spot on the podium by less than a tenth of a second.

“We had a great race car tonight,” stated Meyers. “These guys worked hard and Brian Bloomfield who does our tires made a gamble there and made a great call and gave me a great race car. We knew we had to go for broke and roll the dice tonight and try to get to the front. We did and Donny (Schatz) still had a good run so we came up a little short in the championship. This entire team did a great job this year and I feel blessed to get to work with them. We are going to work hard over the winter and I can’t wait for Florida.”

Kinser ended up fourth in the Quaker State Maxim, with fellow Hall of Famer Fred Rahmer in fifth aboard the Miller Brothers machine. Schatz ended up sixth after falling back to 10th early in the race piloting a special edition STP J&J. Danny Lasoski was seventh in the Casey’s General Store JEI, with Terry McCarl eighth aboard the Big Game Treestands Maxim. Tim Shaffer came from 21st to finish ninth in the Kistler Engines J&J to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award, with Ed Lynch Jr. rounding out the Top-10 in the Howard Concrete J&J.

The World of Outlaws wrap up the 2009 season on Sunday night with the series annual Night of Champions which will be held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, North Carolina.


•FAST QUALIFIER: Donny Schatz paced the 56 cars that took time for Saturday’s portion of the World Finals which was held on November 5 with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the semi-banked four-tenths-mile oval at 13.770 seconds at 104.575 mph. For his qualifying effort, Schatz earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Steve Kinser (4), Ed Lynch Jr. (3), Danny Lasoski (2) and Jason Sides (1).

• WORLD FINALS NIGHT #2 QUALIFYING WINNERS: Terry McCarl, Steve Kinser, Joey Saldana and Jason Meyers won heat races. Dale Blaney won the Crane Cams Dash. Cale Conley won the B-Main. Tim Kaeding won the C-Main. Bob Howard won the D-Main.

• FEATURE WINNERS: There has been 65 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-twice, 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, Clay County Fair Speedway and The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor 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).

• FOUR-TENTHS-MILE WINNERS: The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway is a high-banked four-tenths-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced five times this season on a track that size. The winners included: Joey Saldana (The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway-twice), Danny Lasoski (Lernerville Speedway), Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Stevie Smith (Lernerville Speedway).

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; World Finals Night #3; Concord, NC; November 7, 2009

Qualifying (Held on November 5)

1) 15-Donny Schatz 13.770

2) 11-Steve Kinser 13.859

3) 2L-Ed Lynch Jr. 13.883

4) 6-Danny Lasoski 13.883

5) 7S-Jason Sides 13.922

6) 3C-Cale Conley 13.955

7) 2-Dale Blaney 13.960

8) 22H-Greg Hodnett 13.970

9) 24-Terry McCarl 13.990

10) 51-Fred Rahmer 14.075

11) 9-Joey Saldana 14.093

12) 14-Jason Meyers 14.102

13) 19-Cody Darrah 14.126

14) 7-Craig Dollansky 14.132

15) O7X-Brandon Wimmer 14.139

16) 6F-Bob Felmlee 14.156

17) 94-Zach Zimmerly 14.184

18) 91-Brad Sweet 14.187

19) 1Z-Jessica Zemken 14.203

20) 13-Don Droud Jr 14.207

21) 5W-Lucas Wolfe 14.210

22) 7M-Mark Smith 14.210

23) 43-Doug Dodson 14.214

24) 28-Todd Kane 14.217

25) 83X-Tim Shaffer 14.255

26) G1-Jeremy Campbell 14.268

27) 27-Curt Michael 14.271

28) 21-Brian Montieth 14.285

29) 63-Chad Kemenah 14.326

30) 30C-Lance Dewease 14.334

31) 17-Daryn Pittman 14.354

32) 1B-Keith Baxter 14.361

33) 20-Kraig Kinser 14.362

34) 35-Justin Henderson 14.384

35) 22B-Ben Gregg 14.427

36) 93-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 14.436

37) 15X-Adam Wilt 14.489

38) 25-Brooke Tatnell 14.492

39) 83-Tim Kaeding 14.518

40) 81-Craig Folmar 14.548

41) 1-Chris Shirek 14.615

42) R19-Jac Haudenschild 14.624

43) 13X-Kramer Williamson 14.644

44) 60C-Kory Crabtree 14.669

45) 22-Brian Ellenberger 14.686

46) 55-Chad Layton 14.726

47) D4-Danny Holtgraver 14.785

48) 89-Robbie Stillwaggon 14.794

49) 49-Bob Howard 14.865

50) 6W-Brad Wickham 14.884

51) O-Glenn Styres 14.897

52) 63J-Josh Weller 14.919

53) 4K-Kris Spitz 15.375

54) 19K-Kyle Pruitt 15.602

55) 23-Todd Zinn 15.858

56) 6X-Mark Cole 16.232

Heat 1 (8 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) 24-Terry McCarl

2) 7S-Jason Sides

3) 15-Donny Schatz

4) 19-Cody Darrah

5) 83X-Tim Shaffer

6) 94-Zach Zimmerly

7) 5W-Lucas Wolfe

8) 20-Kraig Kinser

9) 63-Chad Kemenah

10) 1-Chris Shirek

11) 15X-Adam Wilt

12) 22-Brian Ellenberger

Heat 2 (8 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) 11-Steve Kinser

2) 7-Craig Dollansky

3) 30C-Lance Dewease

4) 51-Fred Rahmer

5) 91-Brad Sweet

6) 3C-Cale Conley

7) 7M-Mark Smith

8) G1-Jeremy Campbell

9) 25-Brooke Tatnell

10) R19-Jac Haudenschild

11) 35-Justin Henderson

12) 55-Chad Layton

Heat 3 (8 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) 9-Joey Saldana

2) 2-Dale Blaney

3) 2L-Ed Lynch Jr.

4) 17-Daryn Pittman

5) O7X-Brandon Wimmer

6) 83-Tim Kaeding

7) 1Z-Jessica Zemken

8) 43-Doug Dodson

9) 27-Curt Michael

10) 22B-Ben Gregg

11) 13X-Kramer Williamson

12) D4-Danny Holtgraver

Heat 4 (8 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) 14-Jason Meyers

2) 6-Danny Lasoski

3) 6F-Bob Felmlee

4) 13-Don Droud Jr

5) 1B-Keith Baxter

6) 93-Sam Hafertepe Jr.

7) 28-Todd Kane

8) 89-Robbie Stillwaggon

9) 21-Brian Montieth

10) 60C-Kory Crabtree

11) 81-Craig Folmar

12) 22H-Greg Hodnett

Crane Cams Dash (6 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature)

1) 2-Dale Blaney

2) 9-Joey Saldana

3) 2L-Ed Lynch Jr.

4) 11-Steve Kinser

5) 15-Donny Schatz

6) 7S-Jason Sides

7) 24-Terry McCarl

8) 14-Jason Meyers

9) 7-Craig Dollansky

10) 6-Danny Lasoski

D-main (8 laps, top 2 finishers transferred to C-main)

1) 49-Bob Howard

2) 6W-Brad Wickham

3) 63J-Josh Weller [$100]

4) 23-Todd Zinn [$100]

5) 19K-Kyle Pruitt [$100]

6) 4K-Kris Spitz [$100]

7) O-Glenn Styres [$100]

8) 6X-Mark Cole [$100]

C-main (10 laps, top 2 finishers transferred to B-main)

1) 83-Tim Kaeding

2) 25-Brooke Tatnell

3) 15X-Adam Wilt [$125]

4) 22-Brian Ellenberger [$125]

5) 1-Chris Shirek [$125]

6) 81-Craig Folmar [$100]

7) 55-Chad Layton [$100]

8) 60C-Kory Crabtree [$100]

9) 49-Bob Howard [$100]

10) 89-Robbie Stillwaggon [$100]

11) D4-Danny Holtgraver [$100]

12) 13X-Kramer Williamson [$100]

13) 6W-Brad Wickham [$100]

14) R19-Jac Haudenschild [$100]

B-main (12 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) 3C-Cale Conley

2) 22H-Greg Hodnett

3) 94-Zach Zimmerly

4) 1Z-Jessica Zemken

5) 5W-Lucas Wolfe [$200]

6) 7M-Mark Smith [$180]

7) 28-Todd Kane [$175]

8) 63-Chad Kemenah [$160]

9) 27-Curt Michael [$150]

10) 20-Kraig Kinser [$150]

11) G1-Jeremy Campbell [$150]

12) 93-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [$150]

13) 83-Tim Kaeding [$150]

14) 35-Justin Henderson [$150]

15) 22B-Ben Gregg [$150]

16) 25-Brooke Tatnell [$150]

17) 21-Brian Montieth [$150]

18) 43-Doug Dodson [$150]

A-main (30 laps) – Starting Position [#]

1) 9-Joey Saldana[2] [$10,000]

2) 2-Dale Blaney[1] [$5,500]

3) 14-Jason Meyers[8] [$3,200]

4) 11-Steve Kinser[4] [$2,800]

5) 51-Fred Rahmer[13] [$2,500]

6) 15-Donny Schatz[5] [$2,300]

7) 6-Danny Lasoski[10] [$2,200]

8) 24-Terry McCarl[7] [$2,100]

9) 83X-Tim Shaffer[21] [$2,050]

10) 2L-Ed Lynch Jr.[3] [$2,000]

11) 7S-Jason Sides[6] [$1,500]

12) 91-Brad Sweet[18] [$1,200]

13) 22H-Greg Hodnett[12] [$1,100]

14) 19-Cody Darrah[14] [$1,050]

15) 6F-Bob Felmlee[16] [$1,000]

16) 3C-Cale Conley[11] [$900]

17) 94-Zach Zimmerly[17] [$800]

18) 17-Daryn Pittman[23] [$800]

19) 20-Kraig Kinser[26] [$0]

20) 1Z-Jessica Zemken[19] [$800]

21) 13-Don Droud Jr[20] [$800]

22) O7X-Brandon Wimmer[15] [$800]

23) 1B-Keith Baxter[24] [$800]

24) 7-Craig Dollansky[9] [$800]

25) R19-Jac Haudenschild[25] [$0]

26) 30C-Lance Dewease[22] [$800]

Note: Jac Haudenschild and Kraig Kinser used World of Outlaws Provisionals to start the A-Feature.

Lap Leaders: Dale Blaney 1-14, Joey Saldana 15-30
SuperClean Start of the Night Award: Jason Meyers
Penske Power Position Award: Jason Meyers
KSE Hard Charger Award: Tim Shaffer