Saldana Dominates Sharon Speedway Event By Richard Day HARTFORD, OH (July 31) – Joey Saldana collided with Danny Wood at the beginning of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series’ inaugural main event at Sharon Speedway two months ago and eventually finished behind Wood and winner Danny Lasoski. Saldana had no such problems Wednesday when the series returned to the Blaney family’s racing facility, pacing the qualifying session and leading all 30 laps from the pole to claim the $10,000 first prize.
Outside pole sitter Brad Furr was challenging Saldana for the lead early in the 20th lap when Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser bounced off the retaining wall in turn two and stopped with a flat right rear tire. Saldana raced away from Furr when the green flag replaced the yellow, and coasted to his fourth "A" Feature victory of the season.
"Sometimes you have to be lucky," Saldana said. "Brad had a little harder tire on than I did, and his tire was probably just starting to work when the caution flag came out. The caution definitely helped us, and it probably hurt Brad. They told me he fell back to third. "Any time you can win a World of Outlaws race, whether it’s in Ohio, or Washington, or Alabama, it gets your confidence up. These guys are the best in the world and the only way you can get any better is running with them. I have to thank Craig and Linda Cormack. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be out here. HEM Saw helps us a lot, but not enough to be out here full time. Craig wanted to get out of racing, but he decided to sponsor us, and I’m really grateful he did. There are a lot of guys out here he could have helped. Davey Whitworth has been working so hard, and Jamie Coates and Janet Whitworth, too, and I have to work just as hard behind the wheel as they have to not let them down."
Saldana recorded his series-leading 13th fast time, driving his family’s #17 Eagle Raceway Eagle around the semi-banked, 3/8-mile oval in 13.294 seconds, an average speed of 101.550 M.P.H. After finishing third in the First Heat Race, the 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award recipient earned the right to start the 30-lap "A" Feature on the pole by winning the First O’Reilly Auto Parts Dash. Saldana burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series’ 46th main event of the year.
Kinser, who started inside the third row, drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the high groove between turns three and four to pass Paul McMahan for second place late in the opening lap. Furr, who lost two positions during the first lap, took the low line through the third and fourth corners to pass McMahan for third place the next time around. Saldana was eight car-lengths ahead of "The King of the Outlaws" when he entered lapped traffic six laps into the race. Furr challenged Kinser for second place for a couple of laps before beating him down the back straightaway midway through lap nine. Third Heat Race winner Tim Shaffer challenged Randy Hannagan for fourth place while Kinser tried to regain the runner-up spot from Furr during the race’s middle stages.
Pennsylvanians Ed Lynch, Jr., and Stevie Smith exchanged sixth place during laps 16 and 17. Furr raced wheel-to-wheel with Saldana through the third and fourth corners late in the 19th lap, but was unable to surge ahead. Kinser lost third place one lap later when his collision with the wall flattened his right rear tire. Dale Blaney, who started outside the ninth row, raced past 10 cars during the first 22 laps. The 1998 Rookie of the Year rode the rim around Daryn Pittman between turns one and two for seventh place early in lap 24. Hannagan steered TH Racing’s #1x K&C Drywall Eagle into the low groove in the third corner to pass Furr for the runner-up spot three laps later. Hannagan, the 1995 Rookie of the Year, was racing into turn three as Saldana took the checkered flag.
Furr held off the hard-charging Shaffer for third place. Lynch, who won the 11th Annual Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup the previous week, finished fifth, ahead of Smith, Blaney, Pittman, Wood and McMahan. Mark Kinser was leading the Third Heat Race when the engine in the #5M Mopar Maxim lost power. The two-time Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion raced past four cars to finish 15th in the "A" Feature. Johnny Herrera, driving the #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle for the injured Lasoski, qualified second-quick but had problems in the Second Heat Race. The 1986 Rookie of the Year won the "B" Feature and finished 16th in the main event. WoO
2002 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Sharon Speedway, Hartford, OH Wednesday, July 31, Feature Program #46 Qualifications: 1. Joey Saldana, Saldana 17, 13.294; 2. Johnny Herrera, Stewart 20, 13.493; 3. Brad Furr, Furr 2, 13.562; 4. Dale Blaney, Andrews 72, 13.577; 5. Stevie Smith, Helm 11H, 13.580; 6. Paul McMahan, Johnson U2, 13.581; 7. Steve Kinser, Kinser 11, 13.645; 8. Danny Wood, Parsons 6, 13.653; 9. Ed Lynch, Jr., Lynch 2L, 13.682; 10. Randy Hannagan, TH Racing 1x, 13.722; 11. Tim Shaffer, Roth 83, 13.728; 12. Daryn Pittman, Sher-Don Motorsports 21, 13.784; 13. Craig Dollansky, Karavan Racing 7, 13.787; 14. Mark Kinser, Kinser 5M, 13.813; 15. Jarrod Larson, Larson 47, 13.833; 16. Brian Ellenberger, Ellenberger 20E, 13.912; 17. Donny Schatz, Schatz 15, 13.917; 18. Rob Chaney, Pullins 29, 13.922; 19. Andrew Palker, Palker 57x, 13.960; 20. Jac Haudenschild, SC Racing 9H, 14.079; 21. Greg Wilson, Hampshire 63, 14.161; 22. Scott Bonnell, Bonnell 3B, 14.162; 23. Jack Sodeman, Jr., Sodeman 23JR, 14.168; 24. Brandon Wimmer, Two Winners Racing 7TW, 14.195; 25. Jamie McKinney, McKinney 95, 14.251; 26. Gary Edwards, Schuller 61, 14.254; 27. Mike Kekich, Kekich 5K, 14.279; 28. Mike Woodring, Woodring 19,14.330; 29. Ricky Ferkel, Ferkel 0, 14.609; 30. Rob Eyler, Eyler 5E, 14.637; 31. Gary McCandless, McCandless 7J, 14.669; 32. Ryan Coniam, Coniam 6C, 14.762; 33. Mike Lutz, Kerr 32, 15.240; 34. Gary McCollum, McCollum 17M, 15.355; 35. Dan Taylor, Taylor 22T, 15.426; 36. Butch Beasley, Beasley 1, 15.777; 37. Gale Ruth, Jr., Ruth 5x, 16.127.
First Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Donny Schatz, 2. Ed Lynch, Jr., 3. Joey Saldana, 4. Danny Wood, 5. Brandon Wimmer, 6. Ricky Ferkel, 7. Jamie McKinney, 8. Mike Lutz, 9. Gale Ruth, Jr., 10. Brian Ellenberger. (first five qualified for the "A" Feature)
Second Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Rob Chaney, 2. Randy Hannagan, 3. Jack Sodeman, Jr., 4. Jarrod Larson, 5. Steve Kinser, 6. Johnny Herrera, 7. Gary Edwards, 8. Rob Eyler, 9. Gary McCollum. (first five qualified for the "A" Feature)
Third Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Tim Shaffer, 2. Paul McMahan, 3. Brad Furr, 4. Mike Kekich, 5. Andrew Palker, 6. Gary McCandless, 7. Dan Taylor, 8. Mark Kinser, 9. Scott Bonnell. (first five qualified for the "A" Feature)
Fourth Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Greg Wilson, 2. Craig Dollansky, 3. Daryn Pittman, 4. Stevie Smith, 5. Jac Haudenschild, 6. Dale Blaney, 7. Mike Woodring, 8. Butch Beasley, 9. Ryan Coniam. (first five qualified for the "A" Feature)
First O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash (five laps): 1. Joey Saldana, 2. Stevie Smith, 3. Steve Kinser, 4. Tim Shaffer, 5. Ed Lynch, Jr., 6. Craig Dollansky, 7. Donny Schatz, 8. Andrew Palker. (finish determined the inside starting positions in the first eight rows in the "A" Feature)
Second O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash (five laps): 1. Brad Furr, 2. Paul McMahan, 3. Randy Hannagan, 4. Danny Wood, 5. Jac Haudenschild, 6. Daryn Pittman, 7. Jarrod Larson, 8. Rob Chaney. (finish determined the outside starting positions in the first eight rows in the "A" Feature)
B Feature (12 laps): 1. Johnny Herrera, 2. Dale Blaney, 3. Mark Kinser, 4. Mike Woodring, 5. Jamie McKinney ($200); 6. Ricky Ferkel ($180); 7. Gary Edwards, 8. Gary McCanless ($120); 9. Ryan Coniam ($100); 10. Butch Beasley ($90); 11. Dan Taylor ($70); 12. Gale Ruth, Jr. ($60); 13. Mike Lutz ($60); 14. Scott Bonnell ($50); 15. Brian Ellenberger ($50); 16. Rob Eyler ($50); 17. Gary McCollum ($50). (first four qualified for the "A" Feature)
A Feature (30 laps): 1. Joey Saldana  ($10,000); 2. Randy Hannagan  ($5,500); 3. Brad Furr  ($3,200); 4. Tim Shaffer  ($2,800); 5. Ed Lynch, Jr.  ($2,500); 6. Stevie Smith  ($2,300); 7. Dale Blaney  ($2,220); 8. Daryn Pittman  ($2,100); 9. Danny Wood  ($2,050); 10. Paul McMahan  ($2,000); 11. Donny Schatz  ($1,500); 12. Craig Dollansky  ($1,200); 13. Steve Kinser  ($1,100); 14. Jarrod Larson  ($1,050); 15. Mark Kinser  ($1,020); 16. Johnny Herrera  ($920); 17. Rob Chaney  ($800); 18. Jac Haudenschild  ($800); 19. Andrew Palker  ($800); 20. Mike Kekich  ($800); 21. Greg Wilson  ($800); 22. Brandon Wimmer  ($800); 23. Gary Edwards  ($820); 24. Jack Sodeman, Jr.  ($800); 25. Mike Woodring  ($820).
Provisional starter: Gary Edwards
Lap leader: Joey Saldana 1-30 WoO