From Susan Arnold
Dodge City, KS — (July 5, 2013) — Joey Saldana hoped to keep his Boot Hill Showdown hot streak alive. A five-time and all-time leading A-Main winner at Dodge City Raceway Park, Saldana and the Motter Equipment Fatheadz Eyewear team were ready to face off against the other World of Outlaws competitors who had come to town for the Showdown in the dirt.
Saldana qualified tenth quick with a lap of 13.258 seconds around the 3/8-mile oval, placing him on the pole of the first heat race.
Saldana brought the heat race field down for the green flag. Sitting alongside him was Donny Schatz. In the second row were Sammy Swindell and Daryn Pittman. Rolling in the third row were Craig Dollansky and Tim Kaeding, with CJ Johnson and Jon Freeman at the rear of the field. A lot of heavy competition to start the evening. When the green flew, Schatz took the lead with Saldana following and at the checkered flag, that’s the way they finished.
With a second place heat race finish, Saldana transferred to the dash and after the inversion draw, he was assigned the eighth starting berth. In the short six-lap event, the Brownsburg Bullet gained two positions finishing sixth. He would start sixth in the A-Main.
As the field was unleashed for the A-Main, Saldana was riding high on the track and lost momentum when he had to stand on the brakes to avoid contact with James McFadden. Saldana checked up and continued on before the yellow flew on lap four for Steve Kinser who spun to a stop between turns three and four. There was a rash of right rear tire attrition in the A-Main that continued to bring out the yellow flag. While running sixth with two laps to go, Saldana fell victim to tire failure on the rubbered down race track. Though he pulled to the work area to change the tire, the field came back around quickly for the green flag and Saldana could only watch from the infield work area.
Jason Sides had been leading the lion’s share of the race and as the remainder of the competitors came down for the checkered flag, Donny Schatz was able to drive by Sides on the last corner. Sides had lost a right rear tire right near the finish line.
Schatz was the race winner, Sides was second, and Kraig Kinser rounded out the top three.
“That was rotten luck to lose a tire two laps from the finish,” said a disgruntled Saldana.
“I was trying to keep the tires under me and all of the drivers were continuing to try to assess their tires on the yellow flag laps. There was just nothing we could do to salvage
the damage. It cost us a decent finish.”
Saldana was credited with a 16th place finish.
Tomorrow night the Outlaws will return to this track for the Boot Hill Showdown finale.