From Susan Arnold
New Richmond, WI — (June 20, 2013) — A huge crowd gathered at Cedar Lake Speedway tonight to watch The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car drivers continue their acceleration infatuation for the third consecutive night.
The Motter Motorsports team had one of their best nights of racing, leading the lion’s share of laps in an edge of your seat action packed A-Main, ultimately finishing in the runner-up position.
Joey Saldana drove the Motter Equipment Fatheadz Eyewear 71M Sprint Car to the No. 4 qualifying position, lapping the one-third mile oval in 11.599 seconds.
After applying the Outlaws formula to the qualifying position to determine heat race starting positions, Saldana was assigned a starting berth on the inside of the second row for the first heat race. At the drop of the green, the two front row starters, Chad Kemenah and Craig Dollansky, fought for the lead with Kemenah winning the battle.
Dollansky was second, with Saldana in pursuit. With a very narrow racing surface, there wasn’t room to safely make a pass and the cars began to string out. At the checker it was Kemenah with the win, Dollansky was second and Saldana came home third, earning a spot in the dash and the A-Main.
After the inversion draw, Saldana was awarded the No. 3 starting position in the dash.
As the field was unleashed for the six-lap event, polesitter Chad Kemenah jumped to the lead, followed by Saldana who held his line and protected his second place position to the checkered flag.
Because the dash finish determines the A-Main starting lineup, Saldana started on the outside of the front row in the feature next to polesitter Sammy Swindell. At the flutter of the green, Saldana, riding the high side, took the lead. By lap four he began to encounter lapped traffic. The yellow flew with five laps complete when Craig Dollansky spun to a stop. For the restart, Saldana chose the high side once again, and Swindell was on the inside. At the green, Swindell took the lead, but the start was called back because Ian Madsen jumped the start. Taking a page out of Swindell’s playbook for the next restart, Saldana chose the inside line.
This time when the green flew, Saldana was out in front. With eight laps complete, Saldana started to pull away, and quickly encountered traffic. The yellow came out with 13 laps complete for David Gravel who suffered front end damage when he tangled with the wall in turn three.
Green again, and Saldana was off and running with a one-second lead at the halfway point of the feature. With 15 laps to go, Donny Schatz was on the move and passed Swindell for second, pulling up for a side-by-side, stride-for-stride battle with Saldana. While they were engrossed in the crusade for the lead, one of the cars in front of them, R.J. Johnson, flipped upside down, collecting Kraig Kinser, James McFadden, and ultimately Schatz. With 11 laps to go, the red was displayed. All drivers were okay, Schatz and Kinser were able to make repairs and re-fire.
Saldana brought the field down for the restart and jumped to the lead while Steve Kinser was able to pass Swindell for second. But action was short lived as the yellow came out for Dollansky who made contact with another car. Another restart, and Saldana began to pull away after he took the green. With eight laps to go, Schatz caught one of the inside tire markers and flipped bringing out the red one more time. Schatz was okay and went to the work area to make repairs. For yet another time, Saldana brought the field down slowly from the inside line. This time there was a different outcome. As Saldana passed the flagstand he spun the tires briefly but the momentary bobble was enough for Swindell to maneuver past Saldana and take the lead which he held to the checkered flag. Saldana was runner-up and Steve Kinser was third.
“We had a good car tonight,” said Saldana in his post-race interview. “We just came up a little bit short. Dan and Ruth Motter (car owners) are here tonight. This race is one of the closest to home for them and even though we weren’t able to get the win, it was a great effort by the whole Motter team.”
So to recap the night: Saldana finished third in his heat race, second in the dash, and second in the A-Main, leading 27 of 35 laps.
Game on! The team can’t wait to get back into action Wednesday night, July 3 in Brandon, S.D.