Joey Saldana (#71m) racing with Craig Dollansky (#7) Thursday at Knoxville Raceway. - Mike Campbell Photo

 By Susan Arnold

ALGER, Wash. (Aug. 30, 2013) – Skagit Speedway was the first stop on a nine-race barnstorming tour through the Northwest.


Joey Saldana, driver of the Motter Equipment Fatheadz Eyewear 71M Sprint car, has won three times at this track, more than any other current driver.


“I really enjoy this little track, and our goal is to put a fourth win in the books,” said Saldana.

Joey Saldana (#71m) racing with Craig Dollansky (#7) Thursday at Knoxville Raceway. - Mike Campbell Photo
Joey Saldana (#71m) racing with Craig Dollansky (#7) Thursday at Knoxville Raceway. – Mike Campbell Photo


In preliminary action, Saldana earned the third qualifying spot lapping the 3/10-mile oval in 10.821 seconds.


Saldana started fourth in the third heat.  When the green flag waved, pole sitter Sammy Swindell grabbed the lead followed by Brandon Wimmer and Saldana.  A side-by-side battle ensued between Wimmer and Saldana for second with Saldana gaining the position. The yellow waved with three laps complete for Jason Allard who was off the pace and couldn’t get off the track and into the infield.  On the restart, it was Swindell, Saldana and Wimmer and that’s the way they finished the 10-lap heat.


“We qualified well,” said Saldana in a pre-dash interview.  “We have a good opportunity to finish the night off well.”


Saldana earned a starting position in the dash and after the inversion draw, he was assigned the No. 6 position on the grid.    Once again, pole sitter Sammy Swindell took the lead.  Saldana drove the high side with four wheels over the cushion and was able to gain one position, passing Chad Kemenah, the only pass that was made in the dash.

At the checkered flag it was Swindell with the win and the Brownsburg Bullet finished fifth.


Saldana rolled off fifth in the A-Main, and when the field was unleashed, pole sitter Swindell took the lead.  Saldana went to work on Kerry Madsen and was able to pass him for fourth. The red flag flew with six laps complete for contact between Travis Riley, Travis Jacobsen and Trey Starks.  All drivers were uninjured.  Riley had too much damage to continue. Jacobsen made repairs and rejoined the field.

The restart re-rack was Swindell, K. Kinser, McMahan, Saldana.  McMahan got by Kinser for second and Madsen slid by Saldana.    On lap 10, the red flew for Travis Jacobsen who flipped in turn two.  Brad Sweet was hit by the fire truck as the safety vehicle was responding to the Jacobsen incident.  Sweet was granted time in the work area to make repairs and open red flag allowed all competitors to work on their cars. The restart was Swindell, McMahan, K. Kinser, Madsen, and Saldana. Soon after the restart, Madsen passed K. Kinser and Saldana followed, also passing K. Kinser.  With 19 laps complete it was a three-car battle for the lead between Swindell, Madsen and McMahan.  Swindell was able to maintain his position. The final yellow of the 25-lap feature came out for Craig Dollansky who stopped in turn one.  Back to green with Swindell in the lead and Saldana hot on the trail of McMahan but he could not reel him in.  At the checkered flag, it was Swindell with a wire-to-wire victory, Madsen was second, McMahan was third and Saldana was fourth.


This was the Motter team’s fourth consecutive top-5 finish.


On tap for tomorrow night:  last night at Skagit with $12,000 to the winner.