Locked and Loaded: Saldana Wins Preliminary Feature at Knoxville

Knoxville, IAJune 23, 2006-by: Tony Veneziano, WoO Sprint Series PR Director


Joey Saldana nearly won a preliminary feature last week at Red River Valley Speedway, and that race was still fresh in his mind on Friday night. The Brownsburg, Ind native, was determined to show that he was the man to beat on the opening night of The Mediacom World of Outlaws Shoot-Out Presented by Sonic, America’s Drive-In, at Knoxville Raceway. .


Saldana powered around early race leader Billy Alley on the tenth lap on Friday night and held off a charging Donny Schatz to pick up his first preliminary feature win of the season and also locked himself into the top starting spot in the dash on Saturday night.


Saldana in the Mopar powered Dodge/Curb Records JEI started in the second spot and stalked Alley for the first half of the race. After looking high, Saldana dove to the low side in turn three and made the pass for the win. Alley in the Minute Man Copy J & J came home in fourth, to lock himself into the dash as well on Saturday night.


“It was a good run and hopefully we can get a good finish tomorrow,” said Saldana who team is owned by NASCAR superstar Kasey Kahne.


Saldana’s crew has been busy building new cars and working on different combinations as they prepare for some of the biggest events of the year in the next couple weeks. They are using this weekend as a tune-up for when they return in August for the Knoxville Nationals.


“We tried a different motor tonight and that was good,” said Saldana. “We are trying some different motors before the Nationals, and this one tonight ran pretty good. We’ll probably leave it in for tomorrow and just go through everything. We were a little off on the car. We’ll work on it and look to put in a good race tomorrow.”


Saldana was pleased to come out on top of a preliminary feature this week, after feeling like he let one slip away last weekend at Red River Valley. He ended up coming home third in that one after being passed by Schatz, and sees the preliminary feature win as a building block for Saturday night.


“At Fargo, I felt like we were pretty good,” Saldana said. “We just missed it on the chassis and got beat by (Donny) Schatz Hopefully we can get a good run tomorrow. We’ll see how good we are for the Nationals. We’ll just see what happens.”


Saldana used a couple of cautions to his advantage, as it bunched the field up. He was pleased with how the car ran and where he will start the dash tomorrow. Saldana also learned a few items that will help him Saturday night as well as some of the other half-mile tracks the World of Outlaws race at.


“It was a good run and hopefully we can get a good finish tomorrow,” said Saldana. “It seemed like I was a little tight early. I wanted to be on top and he (Alley) was taking that line. Once my car started freeing up, I ran the bottom. He never really the tried the bottom and that is where I passed him. At this place, you have to watch it. When your car frees up, the bottom is usually faster and helps you keep up. You can get a run on a guy. I’ve that because I’ve been beat here many times. “


Schatz in the Parker Stores J & J worked his way up to second after starting in the eighth spot. Schatz worked high and low and passed cars at will as he put himself into the second starting spot in the dash for the finale on Saturday.


The current series point leader had one goal in mind for the night, and that was to get locked into the dash for Saturday evening. He did that easily and also showed that he will be one of the contenders come Saturday night’s finale.


“I’m happy with everything,” said Schatz. “We need just need to come back tomorrow and get it done.”


Schatz will start on the outside of the front row in Saturday night’s dash, and used the high side a good deal on Friday night as he sliced his way through the front of the field. Look for Schatz and Saldana to stage another epic battle on Saturday night in the dash as they line up side by side.


“I think we may have been a bit faster, but we were playing it a little cautious to not get too tight,” said Schatz. “We’re locked in and at the front of the dash and that is really all we wanted to do. It was a big test session tonight. We started the night second quick and ended right where we wanted to be for tomorrow.”


Schatz had one close call on the night as he was attempting to pass Alley for the second spot, when the two cars got together. Schatz a veteran of 10 seasons with the World of Outlaws was able to gather it back up, regroup, and charge past Alley to set his sights on Saldana.  


“We had a little episode with another car trying to get through there and got together,” said Schatz. “I don’t know what that was all about. It caught us back a bit and we had to catch back up.”


Schatz did everything he could to track down Saldana, once he got into the second spot. Fresh off a sweep last weekend at the Duel in the Dakotas, he put himself in prime position for Saturday night as he searches for his seventh A-feature win of the season.


“I would not look at it as laps, but rather we needed lapped traffic,” said Schatz. “You catch a car length a lap, but if he is 30 car lengths ahead, it is pretty tough to catch him. Lapped traffic is where the races are won and lost. They have good race cars and things going in the right direction. Our race cars are just so good, and we just need to be able to race with them. “


Brooke Tatnell in the Race Outfitters/Castrol Eagle secured a guaranteed starting spot in Saturday’s dash by coming home third in the preliminary feature, after lining up eighth. The native of San Souci NSW Australia, passed three cars in the first two laps of the race, before picking off a couple more with just a few laps to go.


“It is good to be starting up front,” said Tatnell. “You still have to be on your ‘A-game’ tomorrow, because you won’t be on the track as much. We’ll definitely take it. We’ve been fast.”


Tatnell used a couple of cautions to his advantage as got great restarts all night long. On Saturday night, he will look for his third A-Feature win of the season to back up his victories at Huset’s Speedway and Orange County Fair Speedway.


“They help and they hurt you,” Tatnell said. “We gained a spot on a restart. We had a very good car tonight.”


Tatnell who always has one of the best looking cars in the pit area, is use to sporting a black car, but his team broke out a white car on Friday night, with red stripes across the middle of the top wing and front wing.


“The car owner wanted a retro look, so we gave him a retro finish,” said a smiling Tatnell.


Alley had a bitter sweet night after leading the first half of the preliminary feature. He was excited to be locked in for the dash on Saturday night, but also pondered, what could have been.


“It’s a heartbreaker,” Alley said. “I have been running 410 sprint cars for a few years now. The last three years off and on. To lead a race like that, makes you want to take it all the way. That’s a race I wish would have gone green to checker in clean air. That’s part of the game and hopefully we can build on this, and continue getting more confident.”


Alley may still be young and learning the intricacies of racing 410-sprint cars, but he showed he can compete with the best of the best, as he held off all challengers in the dash to pick up the win and earn the top starting spot in the preliminary feature.


“This is a new team for me,” said Alley. “We haven’t even raced 20 times together yet. We will build in this, that’s for sure.”


Despite wanting to be in victory lane at the end of the night, Alley knew that the main goal was to get locked into the dash for Saturday night, and learn about the car and what adjustments the team would need to make so that he could be even faster in the finale of The Mediacom World of Outlaws Shoot-Out Presented by Sonic, America’s Drive-In.


“I made a couple mistakes during the late cautions, and if you make a mistake they drive by you,” said Alley. “We can definitely build on it and make a couple of changes. Hopefully tomorrow we can be sitting up there.”


Jason Solwold, who set fast time, in the City Wide Insulation Maxim rounded out the top-five. Randy Hannagan in the Penthouse Magazine Maxim was sixth.

The rest of the top-10 was Danny Lasoski charging to 7th in the Roth Motorsports Eagle, after transferring to the preliminary feature by finishing second in the B-Main. He lined up for the 20 lapper in the 23rd spot, after two engine changes on the night.  

Jac Haudenschild was 8th in the Wright One Construction Maxim, after starting 17th. Kerry Madsen started 21st and finished 9th in the Tulip City Agency Cool, with Justin Henderson rounding out the Top-10 in the Jolt Energy Gum Schnee.




FAST QUALIFIER: Jason Solwold paced the 46 cars in time trials with a lap around the half-mile high-banked oval at 14.973 seconds. Because The Mediacom World of Outlaws Shoot-Out Presented By Sonic, America’s Drive-In, is a multi-day show with varying championship point totals on each night, no qualifying bonus points are awarded. Brooke Tatnell holds the track record of 14.407  seconds established on May 6, 2006.

• QUALIFYING-EVENT WINNERS: Heat race winners included Tyler Walker, as well as Kevin Swindell, Calvin Landis, and Tim St. Arnold. … Billy Alley picked up the win in the dash. …Dusty Zomer won the C-Main. … Brian Brown won the B-Main.

• MAIN EVENT WINNERS: There have been 13 different winners in 24 A-feature events to visit the RacinSoles Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. The win list includes: Donny Schatz (March 9 at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 31 at Batesville Speedway, April 1 at I-55 Raceway, May 16 at Grandview Speedway, May 30 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, and June 18 at Red River Valley Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (May 6 at U.S. 36 Raceway, May 20 at Sharon Speedway and June 14 at The Raceway @ Powercom Park), Joey Saldana (Feb. 10 at Volusia and June 4 at Terre Haute), Sammy Swindell (April 8 at Eldora Speedway and March 10 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (May 7 at Huset’s Speedway and May 29 at Orange County Fair Speedway), Fred Rahmer (May 27 at Williams Grove), Craig Dollansky (April 15 at Tri-State Speedway), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia), Kevin Swindell (May 24 at The Dirt Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway) and Dean Jacobs (May 31 at Lernerville Speedway) and Daryn Pittman (June 10 at Eagle Raceway).

 • PRELIMINARY FEATURE WINNERS: Joey Saldana’s victory on Friday night at Knoxville Raceway was his first preliminary feature win of the season. He joined Donny Schatz who won the prelim night June 17 at Red River Valley, Fred Rahmer, who won the prelim night on May 26 at Williams Grove Speedway and Sammy Swindell, who won the prelim feature on April 7 at Eldora Speedway, and Daryn Pittman who won the prelim night at Eagle Raceway on June 9.

HALF-MILE WINNERS: Knoxville Raceway is a semi-banked, half-mile oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has now raced 12 times this season on half-mile ovals, including preliminary features. Winners include: Joey Saldana (Volusia, Terre Haute, and Knoxville), Donny Schatz (Las Vegas and twice at Red River Valley), Chad Kemenah (Volusia), Danny Lasoski (Manzanita), Craig Dollansky (Eldora), and Sammy Swindell (Las Vegas and twice at Eldora Speedway twice).

• ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on June 28 the finale from the Eagle Nationals at Eagle Raceway that ran on June 17. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).

• ON THE WEB: The Official World of Outlaws Sprint Series Web site is at http://www.dirtmotorsports.com/sprint. Among the features are updated driver biographies with individual statistics and pictures, race-by-race statistics, detailed track information and race coverage, series news and team press releases. Also, links to the Media Guide and 2006 Official Rulebook can be found at the bottom of the home page.

• LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the series, they can experience the excitement of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series live on Dirtvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network. To listen to the audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo. Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail webmaster@dirtvision.com.

• UP NEXT: The finale of The Mediacom World of Outlaws Shoot-Out Presented by Sonic, America’s Drive-In, on Saturday. The month closes out June 30 with the Wichita Twister Showdown at 81 Speedway in Park City, Kan. The series will then mosey July 1 into the Old West for the Boot Hill Showdown at Dodge City Raceway Park in Dodge City, Kan. Over the Independence Day Holiday, the Mean will head up to Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota for their second appearance.



World of Outlaws Statistical Report
Knoxville Raceway
June 23, 2006


1) Jason Solwold, Carnahan R19, 14.973 

2) Donny Schatz, Schatz 15, 15.074 

3) Jac Haudenschild, Wright 35, 15.081 

4) Craig Dollansky, Karavan 7, 15.124 

5) Joey Saldana, Kahne-Curb 9, 15.135 

6) Daryn Pittman, Titan Racing USA 21, 15.149 

7) Skip Jackson, J&S Autosports 2, 15.211 

8)  Brian Brown, WiseGuy Motorsports 21X, 15.215 

9) Clint Garner, Garner 40, 15.232 

10) Billy Alley, Gifford 17G, 15.240 

11) Randy Hannagan, TH Racing 1X, 15.253 

12) Brooke Tatnell, Rush Racing 8, 15.253 

13) Bronson Maeschen, Maeschen 96, 15.285 

14) Jeremy Campbell, Campbell 10C, 15.290 

15) Justin Henderson, Oswalt D1, 15.306 

16) Dion Hindi, Hindi 11D, 15.307 

17) Calvin Landis, Landis 70, 15.317 

18) Kevin Swindell, Swindell 1, 15.333 

19) Lynton Jeffrey, Jeffrey 12, 15.334 

20) Ryan Anderson, Anderson 71R, 15.337 

21) Tyler Walker, Forbrook 5, 15.341 

22) Tim St. Arnold, Williams 7W, 15.358 

23) Kaley Gharst, Gharst 44G, 15.360 

24) Chris Walraven, Muddy Lush Racing 56, 15.372 

25) Kerry Madsen, VerMeer 55, 15.390 

26) Jason Martin, Martin 36, 15.403 

27) Tim Shaffer, Parsons 6S, 15.409 

28) Larry Ball, Jr., VanGorp 5J, 15.432 

29) Larry Pinegar, Williams 7N, 15.434 

30) Danny Lasoski, Roth 83, 15.467 

31) Matt Moro, Sonner 47, 15.469 

32) Chad Kemenah, Kemenah 15K, 15.480 

33) Jesse Giannetto, Bulldog Motorsports D1X, 15.490 

34) Wayne Johnson, VanderEcken 10, 15.522 

35) Bill Rose, Rose 6, 15.531 

36) Rager Phillips, Phillips 9P, 15.536 

37) Dusty Zomer, Zomer 1Z, 15.554 

38) Becca Anderson, Woodring 19, 15.572 

39) Jerrel Slinkard, Slinkard 15S, 15.580 

40) Terry McCarl, McCarl 24, 15.660 

41) Mike Moore, Moore 69, 15.667 

42) Randy Anderson, Johnson 81, 15.711 

43) Brian Carlson, SC Motorsports 18, 15.789 

44) Greg Jones, Jones 3J, 16.050 

45) Tyler Houseman, Houseman 50, 16.227 

46) Tony Shilling, Schilling 47T, 16.427

First Heat Race (8 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) Calvin Landis 

2) Chris Walraven 

3) Jason Solwold 

4) Clint Garner 

5) Kerry Madsen 

6) Dion Hindi 

7) Brian Brown 

8) Dusty Zomer 

9) Larry Pinegar 

10) Mike Moore 

11) Jesse Giannetto 

12) Tyler Houseman (DNS)

Second Heat Race (8 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1)  Kevin Swindell 

2) Kaley Gharst 

3) Justin Henderson 

4) Billy Alley 

5) Donny Schatz 

6) Skip Jackson 

7) Danny Lasoski 

8) Wayne Johnson 

9) Jason Martin 

10) Becca Anderson 

11) Tony Shilling 

12) Randy Anderson (DNS)

Third Heat Race (8 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) Tim St. Arnold 

2) Randy Hannagan 

3) Jac Haudenschild 

4) Daryn Pittman 

5) Tim Shaffer 

 6) Jeremy Campbell 

7) Brian Carlson 

8) Lynton Jeffrey 

9) Bill Rose 

10) Jerrel Slinkard 

11) Matt Moro

Fourth Heat Race (8 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)

1) Tyler Walker 

2) Craig Dollansky 

3) Brooke Tatnell 

4) Joey Saldana 

5) Chad Kemenah 

6) Ryan Anderson 

7) Terry McCarl 

8) Bronson Maeschen 

9) Rager Phillips 

10) Greg Jones 

11) Larry Ball, Jr.

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

1)  Dusty Zomer  

2) Becca Anderson   

3) Mike Moore  [$100] 

4) Tony Shilling  [$100] 

5) Greg Jones  [$100] 

6) Tyler Houseman  [$100] 

7) Brian Carlson  [$100] 

8) Jerrel Slinkard (DNS)  [$100] 

9)Terry McCarl (DNS)  [$100] 

10) Randy Anderson (DNS) [$100]   

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

1) Billy Alley 

2) Joey Saldana 

3) Jac Haudenschild 

4) Clint Garner 

5) Daryn Pittman 

6) Jason Solwold 

7) Donny Schatz 

8) Brooke Tatnell 

9) Randy Hannagan 

10) Craig Dollansky

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

1)  Brian Brown  

2)  Danny Lasoski  

3)  Skip Jackson  

4)  Jeremy Campbell  

5)  Dion Hindi [$150] 

6)  Lynton Jeffrey [$125] 

7) Bronson Maeschen  [$100] 

8) Jason Martin  [$100] 

9)  Jesse Giannetto [$100] 

10) Larry Pinegar  [$100] 

11) Becca Anderson  [$100] 

12) Dusty Zomer  [$100] 

13)  Ryan Anderson [$100] 

14) Rager Phillips  [$100]  

15)  Wayne Johnson  [$100] 

16) Bill Rose  [$100]   

17) Larry Ball, Jr.  [$100] 

18) Matt Moro (DNS)  [$100] 

A-main (20 laps)

1) Joey Saldana  [$5,000] 

2) Donny Schatz  [$3,000] 

3)  Brooke Tatnell [$2,500] 

4) Billy Alley  [$2,200] 

5) Jason Solwold  [$2,100] 

6) Randy Hannagan  [$2,000] 

7)  Danny Lasoski [$1,800] 

8)  Jac Haudenschild [$1,600] 

9) Kerry Madsen  [$1,500] 

10) Justin Henderson  [$1,300] 

11)  Clint Garner  [$1,200] 

12) Brian Brown  [$1,100] 

13) Jeremy Campbell  [$1,000] 

14) Chad Kemenah  [$700] 

15)  Kevin Swindell [$600] 

16) Kaley Gharst  [$600] 

17)  Calvin Landis [$600] 

18) Daryn Pittman  [$600] 

19) Skip Jackson  [$600] 

20)  Tim St. Arnold [$600] 

21)  Tyler Walker [$500] 

22) Chris Walraven  [$500] 

23) Craig Dollansky  [$500] 

24) Tim Shaffer  [$500]

Lap leaders: Billy Alley 1-9, Joey Saldana 10-20