Saldana Relies on Experience to Claim Autodrome Drummond

Dollansky rides podium finish to World of Outlaws championship standings lead

DRUMMONDVILLE, Quebec — July 28, 2012 — A night after experience beat him, Joey Saldana repaid the favor.

Saldana capitalized on his knowledge and patience to maneuver around James McFadden late in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series feature Saturday at Autodrome Drummond, where he earned his fifth feature win of the season and 83rd career with the Outlaws.

“Last night, racing Sammy, I think I got beat because he had the experience,” said Saldana, who finished second to veteran Sammy Swindell on Friday at Autodrome Granby. “Tonight, for me, I won the race because just the experience and just seeing where the cars were and being able to know, ‘Hey, I needed to make sure I was on the bottom coming off of (turn) two to get a good run.’ I would say experience definitely helped me tonight.”

Saturday’s event was only the third for the World of Outlaws at the 4/10-mile track, where Craig Dollansky established a new track record in qualifying. Dollansky capped the night by finishing third in a three-way battle for the lead down the stretch of the main event.

“We were close and would have loved to get a win tonight,” he said. “In the grand scheme of things it was a great night for us. It was a fun race. There was a lot going on. (We were) just a couple spots short.”

Dollansky’s success coupled with a crash involving the championship standings leader Steve Kinser pushed Dollansky into the points lead for the first time this season. He now holds a 12-point advantage over Kinser as the top five are separated by only 51 points.

For most of the 35-lap feature, it was Saldana and McFadden in command with the newbie setting the pace. McFadden, the defending World Series Sprintcar champion in Australia, darted from fourth to second in the opening turns and then slid Saldana for the lead in turn three of the opening lap.

“I knew those guys would race hard in the first corner and I just thought I’d be conservative and hit the bottom,” McFadden said. “It worked out for us.”

He set a blistering pace and entered traffic less than a half-dozen laps into the main event. However, a caution on lap 10 bunched the field together and McFadden chose the inside lane on the double-file restart.

Saldana rocketed to the lead by the time they reached the flag stand, but it was erased when Tony Stewart Racing teammates Donny Schatz and Kinser collided while racing for fifth place at the end of the frontstretch. Schatz ended a series of violent flips in the infield and Kinser was unable to continue after sustaining too much damage.

McFadden held onto the top spot on the ensuing restart and Saldana maintained second place within a handful of car lengths during the next dozen laps. The duo entered traffic on lap 15 and Saldana began to reel in McFadden shortly after the midpoint of the feature.

On lap 25, McFadden was trapped in the outside lane in turn two as he tried to lap Etienne Girard. Saldana capitalized and squeezed into the lead as they exited the corner.

“He didn’t really realize the bottom coming off (turn) two,” Saldana said. “He could easily overdrive it and that’s how I got him in lapped traffic. He just kept overdriving (turn) two and I just kept staying patient with my car, got good runs off of (turn) two. Once I got out front I just wanted to make sure I didn’t overdrive it.”

Michael Parent flipped after colliding with Girard in turn two with four laps remaining to set up a late restart. Saldana choose the outside lane and got away clean, with McFadden edging Dollansky at the checkered flag.

“Those guys are my heroes and I’ve grown up watching those guys, so to race wheel to wheel with them and be competitive is a pretty good feeling,” McFadden said.

Kerry Madsen spun in turn three on the final lap while running fourth, which moved Cody Darrah to fourth place and Kraig Kinser to fifth. Kinser earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after starting 13th.

Bill Rose finished a season-best sixth, Swindell was seventh, Chad Kemenah eighth, Madsen ninth and Jessica Zemken rounded out the top 10.

Autodrome Drummond Notebook

NOTES – Craig Dollansky established a new track record in qualifying as he recorded his series-leading eighth quick time of the season. … The top 14 drivers in qualifying set quicker times than the previous track record. … Sammy Swindell claimed his series-leading 15th heat race win, Kerry Madsen his seventh and Chad Kemenah his 10th of the season. … Lucas Wolfe won his first dash of the year.

CONTINGENCY WINNERS – Penske Shocks ($100 certificate): Bill Rose; MSD Ignitions ($50 cash): Craig Dollansky; Comp Cams ($50 certificate): Kraig Kinser; Armor All (case of product): Alain Bergeron; STP ($50 cash): Kraig Kinser; UNOH ($50 cash): Kraig Kinser; Gravely Tractors ($50 cash): Sammy Swindell; VP Racing Fuel ($50 cash): Chad Kemenah; Comp Cams ($50 cash): Alain Bergeron; JE Pistons (set of rings): Alain Bergeron; Cometic Gasket ($50 cash): Mike Stelter; Wix Filters ($50 cash): Etienne Girard; Superflow ($50 cash): Etienne Girard; JE Pistons ($50 cash): Lucas Wolfe; JE Pistons (set of rings): Devin Caron; MSD Ignitions ($25 cash): April Wilson; Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash): Lucas Wolfe.

WINNERS – Sammy Swindell – 8 (Autodrome Granby on July 27, Eldora Speedway on July 14, Lakeside Speedway on June 30, Red River Valley Speedway on June 16, Eldora Speedway on May 5, Knoxville Raceway on April 28, Missouri State Fair Speedway on April 20 and Merced Speedway on March 30); Craig Dollansky – 6 (Lebanon Valley Speedway on July 22, Lernerville Speedway on July 17, I-96 Speedway on June 2, Hagerstown Speedway on May 20, Tri-State Speedway on April 21 and Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19); Joey Saldana – 5 (Autodrome Drummond on July 28, Eldora Speedway on July 13, The Dirt Track at Charlotte on May 25, Paducah International Raceway on April 13 and Perris Auto Speedway on March 10); Kraig Kinser – 4 (Beaver Dam Raceway on July 7, Dodge City Raceway Park on June 23, River Cities Speedway on June 15 and Kokomo Speedway on June 5); Tim Kaeding – 3 (Cedar Lake Speedway on July 6, Thunderbowl Raceway on March 16 and The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8); Steve Kinser – 3 (Dodge City Raceway Park on June 22, Orange County Fair Speedway on May 19 and Williams Grove Speedway on May 12); Kerry Madsen – 3 (Limaland Motorsports Park on July 11, Belleville High Banks on June 29 and Knoxville Raceway on June 9); Donny Schatz – 3 (Farmer City Raceway on April 25, Silver Dollar Speedway on March 23 and Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19); Chad Kemenah – 2 (Lawrenceburg Speedway on May 28 and Eldora Speedway on May 4); Cody Darrah – 1 (Williams Grove Speedway on July 21); Danny Dietrich – 1 (Lincoln Speedway on May 10); Mark Dobmeier – 1 (Huset’s Speedway on July 3); Danny Lasoski – 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 18); Paul McMahan – 1 (Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on May 16); Fred Rahmer – 1 (Williams Grove Speedway on May 11); Tony Stewart – 1 (Lernerville Speedway on July 17) and Brad Sweet – 1 (Clay County Fairgrounds on June 8).

TIME TRIALS – Craig Dollansky was the fastest qualifier around the 4/10-mile oval with a time of 13.128 seconds to earn five championship points. Also earning points were Joey Saldana (4 points), Lucas Wolfe (3), James McFadden (2) and Cody Darrah (1).

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Autodrome Drummond Statistical Report; Drummondville, Quebec; July 28, 2012

A-Main – (35 Laps) – 1. 9-Joey Saldana [2] [$10,000]; 2. 55X-James McFadden [4] [$5,500]; 3. 7-Craig Dollansky [3] [$3,200]; 4. 4-Cody Darrah [7] [$2,800]; 5. 11K-Kraig Kinser [13] [$2,500]; 6. 6-Bill Rose [11] [$2,300]; 7. 1-Sammy Swindell [9] [$2,200]; 8. 63-Chad Kemenah [10] [$2,100]; 9. 29-Kerry Madsen [6] [$2,050]; 10. 1Z-Jessica Zemken [15] [$2,000]; 11. 8B-Alain Bergeron [14] [$1,500]; 12. 36-Mike Stelter [17] [$1,200]; 13. 25-Michael Parent [12] [$1,100]; 14. 422-Etienne Girard [19] [$1,050]; 15. 15-Donny Schatz [5] [$1,000]; 16. 11-Steve Kinser [8] [$900]; 17. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [1] [$800]; 18. 3-Dale Gosslin [22] [$800]; 19. 46-Kayle Robidoux [18] [$800]; 20. 84-Tyler Rand [20] [$800]; 21. X2-Curtis Bradshaw [23] [$800]; 22. 24K-Devin Caron [16] [$800]; 23. 15AW-April Wilson [21] [$800]. Lap Leaders: James McFadden 1-24, Joey Saldana 25-35. KSE Hard Charger Award: 11K-Kraig Kinser [+8].