Joey Saldana 2014 Calistoga Speedway Recap
CALISTOGA, Calif. (April 6, 2014) – After playing to a capacity crowd Saturday night, the World of Outlaws returned to Calistoga Speedway for an encore performance.
Track conditions tonight were vastly different from last night. The half-mile was solid black and slick by the end of hot laps.
In qualifying, Joey Saldana was second quick powering the Motter Equipment HE&M Saw Beltline Body Shop 71M to a 16.513-second lap. Saldana and the Motter team left the Napa region of northern California with the 15.734-second Calistoga Speedway track record set last night.
Saldana lined up fourth in the second heat. When the green flag flew, Cody Darrah took the lead and began to extend his advantage over the rest of the field. The best battle of the heat belonged to Steve Kinser and Saldana as they jockeyed for fourth position. At the checkered flag it was Darrah with the wire-to-wire victory, Kinser fourth and Saldana fifth.
Next on the program was the dash that would solidify the starting lineup for the A-Main. With a straight up start, Saldana would have started on the front row, but after the inversion draw, he was assigned the fifth starting spot. Six cars, six laps. Darrah, who started on the outside pole, grabbed the lead. A slick track made passing tough though Saldana put forth every effort to hunt Logan Schuchart down. At the finish line, the Brownsburg Bullet was sixth which would give him a good outside third row starting position for the feature.
After the four-wide salute to the fans, the 24 car field reverted to the side-by-side starting format for the 25 lap A-Main. When the cars were unleashed pole sitter Darrah paced the field, followed by Daryn Pittman and Brad Sweet. Saldana got a good start on the bottom and gained two positions, moving to fourth. In the early going, Saldana and Jason Meyers were in a dogfight for position. Meyers would get a run and take fourth and Saldana would challenge and win it back. Ultimately Meyers prevailed hugging the bottom of the track as Saldana lost momentum riding the cushion. Schuchart and Abreu also got a run on Saldana as the laps counted down. Meanwhile the leaders were changing as Sweet got by Darrah for the lead and then with eight laps to go, Pittman gained the lead. The only yellow of the race was displayed with five laps to go when Schuchart stopped on the track with a broken front end. During the yellow
Meyers was disqualified when he lost the left side muffler. On the restart it was Pittman,
Sweet, Darrah, Abreu, Saldana and that’s the way they finished at the checkered flag.
“We had a good car both nights here at Calistoga,” said team owner Dan Motter. “We qualified No. 1 and set a track record last night and we were the No. 2 qualifier tonight. We had a podium finish last night and a top 5 tonight. We have consistency which is so important. This team is doing a great job and I feel a victory is close.”
The World of Outlaws California Spring Break comes to a close next weekend with King’s Speedway in Hanford on the calendar April 11 and then a dash south to the only southern California track, Perris Speedway, slated for April 12.
“Through our associate sponsor, HE&M Saw, we are excited to host some of the veterans from Workshops for Warriors at Perris. It will be a special evening for us.”