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Joey Saldana Opens 50th Gold Cup with First Chico Win - By Bobby Gerould - 09/04/03 - Chico, CA. ...Brownsburg Indiana's Joey Saldana led all 30 laps of Thursday night's O'Reilly World of Outlaws preliminary feature that started the three-day, 50th annual Gold Cup Race of Champions. After a convincing win in the first dash, polesitter Saldana outgunned Tim Shaffer into turn one at the green flag, and then fought off a late charge by Shaffer to gain the win. Saldana's first career win at Silver Dollar Speedway came in his own #17 Maxim/Kistler wrenched by Davey Woodworth, and Jaime Coates.

“I thought Tim Shaffer was right on me", related Saldana to Troy Hennig in the winners circle interview. "A couple of lapped cars showed me the rubber right there in the middle, but luckily I went to the bottom when those cars got together and flipped, otherwise I’d have been right in the middle of it. With the way our luck has been, I'm surprised I wasn't in the middle of it."

Saldana was superb even though he had to tiptoe at times on the slick quarter-mile surface. Surviving seven restarts, Saldana maintained the lead despite challenges from Jac Haudenschild, and later Shaffer. Haudenschild, a two-time Gold Cup winner, caught Saldana in deep traffic on lap ten. However, no sooner than 'Haud' reached the leader, did Saldana make a hairsplitting move in turn one to put two tailenders between he and the Ohio veteran.

Two laps later, the first caution flag appeared for a stalled Jason York. York restarted but the pace of the race slowed with six more yellow flags in the final 17 laps.

Jason Sides made a terrific Chico debut. The leading candidate for WoO Rookie of the Year honors raced in third most of the event. On lap 17, Shaffer went low exiting turn four to pass Sides for the position. Shaffer took 2nd from Haudenschild one circuit later. Shaffer made a couple runs at Saldana but could never get around him. Saldana won by 10 carlengths, with all 24 starters finishing.

"We’re just trying to make the most out of what’s left of the season", said Saldana. "It’s really tough to race against these guys night in and night out. You don’t get to start up front very often, so when you do you’d better make the most of it.”

Shaffer finished as runner-up, with Sides passing Haudenschild to claim third place. Quick qualifier, Steve Kinser, also passed Haudenschild late in the race. Kinser was fourth, and Haudenschild fifth at the checkered. Sixth through tenth were; Donny Schatz, Dennis Moore Jr., Jason Statler, Kevin Pylant, and Jeff Hodgson.

The red flag appeared on lap 25 for Todd Carmichael, who tangled with York and flipped in turn 4. Shain Matthews was involved as well. There were no injuries, and all drivers involved were able to restart. Matthews was running 3rd in the final heat race when he got into the wall and upside down on the frontstretch. Matthews was uninjured, but unable to restart. Matthews made repairs in time for the B-Main, and transferred from there to the feature event. A-main

48 cars timed-in on night number one. "Hot dogs" expected for Friday's split-field format prelim include, Danny Lasoski, Tim Kaeding, Sammy Swindell, Jason Meyers, Paul McMahan, Brent Kaeding, Blake Robertson, Daryn Pittman, Shawna Wilskey, Tommy Tarlton, Sean Becker, Brian Paulus, Andy Forsberg, Brad Furr, Jon Allard, Jimmy Carter, Peter Murphy, Garrett Ishii, Brian Coelho, and many more!

O’Reilly World of Outlaws

Silver Dollar Speedway

September 4, 2003

Qualifying 1) Steve Kinser, Kinser 11, 11.859 2) Roger Crockett, Doyle 11C, 11.976 3) Jason Sides, Sides Motorsports 7S, 12.010 4) Jac Haudenschild, Woodward 4, 12.019 5) Kevin Pylant, Pylant 14P, 12.114 6) Tim Shaffer, Roth 83, 12.177 7) Joey Saldana, Saldana 17, 12.242 8) Todd Carmichael, Lacy 2T, 12.251 9) Jeff Hodgson, Hodgson V8, 12.288 10) Johnny Herrera, Forbrook 5, 12.311 11) Dennis Moore, Jr., Williams 0, 12.331 12) Brad Sweet, Moral 15B, 12.349 13) Chad Riolo, Riolo 17R, 12.362 14) Craig Stidham, Stidham 3, 12.369 15) Jason York, York 25, 12.386 16) Nick Rescino, Jr., Rescino 65N, 12.490 17) Donny Schatz, Schatz 15, 12.623 18) Toni Lutar, Lutar 4X, 12.635 19) Kyle Schild, Schild 16, 12.637 20) Shain Matthews, Matthews 67, 12.671 21) Jason Statler, Statler 00, 12.678 22) Jimmy Trulli, Trulli 33, 12.705 23) Randy Hannagan, TH Racing 1X, 12.706 24) Tony Sousa, Moore 22, 12.711 25) Carl Enns, Enns 80, 12.729 26) Mark Hall, Hall 54, 12.768 27) Davey Key, Key 15K, 12.783 28) Stephen Allard, Finley 77F, 12.792 29) Destiny Hays, Hays 20D, 12.812 30) Rick Fowzer, Fowzer 5F, 12.987 31) Emory Gray, Gray 82, 13.001 32) Korey Lovell, Lovell 71L, 13.002 33) Troy Hovey, Hovey 37, 13.035 34) Bob Maiwald, Maiwald 7M, 13.066 35) Marc Mackay, Mackay 86, 13.128 36) Mike Schriver, Willette 72W, 13.183 37) Colby Weisz, Weisz 21W, 13.305 38) Marv Magouirk, Magourik 64L, 13.322 39) Bernie Sloop, Sloop 65, 13.347 40) Tommy Fogarty, Fogarty 66TF, 13.396 41) Mark Tabor, Jr., Tabor 38N, 13.449 42) Geoff Duppman, Duppman 96, 13.519 43) Shawn Schmitz, Schmitz 88, 13.541 44) Nick Ringo, Jr., Ringo 1R, 13.566 45) Tom Baker, Baker 3T, 13.718 46) Pat Harvey, Harvey 15C, 13.744 47) Randall Ditgen, Ditgen 08, 14.263 48) Gregg Sherman, Sherman 00Z, 14.632

First Heat Race (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Donny Schatz 2) Steve Kinser 3) Jeff Hodgson 4) Nick Rescino, Jr. 5) Colby Weisz 6) Todd Carmichael 7) Destiny Hays 8) Carl Enns 9) Tony Sousa 10) Mark Tabor, Jr. 11) Troy Hovey 12) Tom Baker

Second Heat Race (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Johnny Herrera 2) Joey Saldana 3) Randy Hannagan 4) Roger Crockett 5) Jason York 6) Kyle Schild 7) Mark Hall 8) Rick Fowzer 9) Geoff Duppman 10) Bob Maiwald 11) Marv Magouirk 12) Pat Harvey

Third Heat Race (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Toni Lutar 2) Tim Shaffer 3) Dennis Moore, Jr. 4) Jason Sides 5) Craig Stidham 6) Davey Key 7) Jimmy Trulli 8) Emory Gray 9) Marc Mackay 10) Bernie Sloop 11) Shawn Schmitz 12) Randall Ditgen

Fourth Heat Race (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)—1) Jac Haudenschild 2) Kevin Pylant 3) Chad Riolo 4) Stephen Allard 5) Jason Statler 6) Korey Lovell 7) Mike Schriver 8) Nick Ringo, Jr. 9) Brad Sweet 10) Shain Matthews 11) Tommy Fogarty 12) Gregg Sherman

C-main (10 laps, top 2 finishers transferred to B-main)—1) Marc Mackay 2) Geoff Duppman 3) Bernie Sloop 4) Shsawn Schmitz 5) Mark Tabor, Jr. 6) Pat Harvey 7) Gregg Sherman 8) Tommy Fogarty 9) Randall Ditgen 10) Nick Ringo, Jr. 11) Mike Schriver 12) Tom Baker 13) Marv Magouirk 14) Bob Maiwald

First Dash (7 laps, finishing order determined inside first 8 rows of A-feature)--1) Joey Saldana 2) Kevin Pylant 3) Jason Sides 4) Donny Schatz 5) Steve Kinser 6) Johnny Herrera 7) Jason York 8) Chad Riolo

Second Dash (7 laps, finishing order determined outside first 8 rows of A-feature)—1) Tim Shaffer 2) Jac Haudenschild 3) Roer Crockett 4) Dennis Moore, Jr. 5) Toni Lutar 6) Nick Rescino, Jr. 7) Jeff Hodgson 8) Craig Stidham

B-main (12 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to A-feature)—1) Brad Sweet 2) Shain Matthews 3) Todd Carmichael 4) Davey Key 5) Jimmy Trulli 6) Kyle Schild 7) Destiny Hays 8) Rick Fowzer 9) Carl Enns 10) Marc Mackay 11) Korey Lovell 12) Emory Gray 13) Geoff Duppman 14) Tony Sousa 15) Mark Hall 16) Troy Hovey

A-main (30 laps)--1) Joey Saldana 2) Tim Shaffer 3) Jason Sides 4) Steve Kinser 5) Jac Haudenschild 6) Donny Schatz 7) Dennis Moore, Jr. 8) Jason Statler 9) Kevin Pylant 10) Jeff Hodgson 11) Nick Rescino, Jr. 12) Randy Hannagan 13) Davey Key 14) Johnny Herrera 15) Stephen Allard 16) Chad Riolo 17) Roger Crockett 18) Craig Stidham 19) Toni Lutar 20) Jason York 21) Todd Carmichael 22) Brad Sweet 23) Colby Weisz 24) Shain Matthews

Lap leaders: Joey Saldana 1-30

Notes: With 1 lap complete in the A-main there was a caution for Brad Sweet, who cut a tire and spun in turn 4. Sweet pitted for repairs and restarted. During the caution period, the red flag was displayed due to a medical emergency in the infield. The race was restarted after a brief delay.

* Johnny Gibson contributed to this report. home.

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