Joey Saldana Weekly Recap (July 15)

Posted on Jul 15 2013 - 2:54pm by Dirt Racing Report

Joey-Saldana-2013Top 10 Finish for Saldana at Brad Doty Classic


LIMA, Ohio (July 11, 2013) – The first of three big nights of racing kicked off with tonight’s Brad Doty Classic at Limaland Motorsports Park.


Competition was stiff among the 49 competitors that came to vie for the trophy.


In preliminary action, Joey Saldana, 2006 winner of the Brad Doty Classic, qualified in the No. 10 position with a 11.118-second run in his Motter Equipment Fatheadz Eyewear 71M Sprint Car.


Saldana was assigned a starting position on the inside of the second row for the fifth and final heat.  The green flag signaled the beginning of an action-packed 10 laps.

Daryn Pittman took the lead, and Saldana drove down low to take the second position.  With one lap complete Sheldon Haudenschild made contact with Sammy Swindell, sending Swindell spinning, bringing out the yellow.  Back to green with Pittman leading, Saldana following. One more lap in the books and the yellow waved again for Haudenschild who hit the wall and Swindell barely missed being collected again.

Back to green.  At the half-way point Stuart Williams moved up to challenge Saldana and was able to steal second.  At the end of the heat race, it was Pittman with the win, Williams second, Saldana was third and Brady Bacon fourth.  All would transfer to the A-Main.


Saldana rolled off on the outside of row eight in the 40-lap feature. There were two laps of four-wide salutes tonight, one for the fans and one for Brad Doty.  When the green waved, Shane Stewart took the race lead, but with only two laps complete the first yellow of the A-Main was displayed when Byron Reed spun, collecting Rico Abreu.  Back to green. Only one more lap was completed before the yellow flew again when Brad Sweet spun and collected Brandon Wimmer.  At the same time, Christopher Bell lost an engine. Back to green and back to yellow for debris on the track. Still three laps in the books. The next time the green was unfurled, Stewart continued to lead with Schatz working the track picking off front runners Steve Kinser, Paul McMahan and Craig Dollansky to take second.  With 17 laps to go, it was a dog fight between Shane Stewart and Schatz. Schatz won the battle and took the lead on lap 24, collecting the $2500 bonus for the leader of lap 25 to commemorate the 25th year of the Brad Doty Classic.  With 28 laps down, Shane Stewart, who had led the opening 23 laps, came to a stop on the backstretch bringing out the yellow once again.  Saldana had methodically picked his way forward to the 10th position.  Back to green but before another lap was completed Dollansky brought out the yellow when he turned sideways in turn four. Back to green. With 10 laps to go, Darrah and Kaeding hooked bumpers while racing and when they unhooked, Kaeding got sideways, collected Brady Bacon and Shane Stewart, bringing out the red flag. Saldana was up to ninth. Back to green until Rico Abreu and Greg Wilson got together with Abreu spinning to a stop, and simultaneously James McFadden stopped in turn two with three laps to go.  Back to green and at the checkered flag, Donny Schatz became the first repeat winner of the Brad Doty Classic, Paul McMahan was runner-up and Daryn Pittman rounded out the podium.  Saldana was 10th.


“The track changed a lot during the long race and became very slick and dusty,” said team owner Dan Motter.  “After starting 16th and avoiding all the spins, we were happy to finish safely in the top 10.”


The prestigious Kings Royal weekend is tomorrow and Saturday at nearby Eldora Speedway.


Dash Win, Podium Finish For Saldana at Knight Before Kings Royal

ROSSBURG, Ohio (July 12, 2013) – The first event of the royal World of Outlaws weekend began with tonight’s Knight Before the Kings Royal at the famed Eldora Speedway.


The Motter Motorsports team made a strong showing, scoring a dash win and a podium finish.


Joey Saldana, the defending champion of this event, qualified fourth, turning a lap of 13.301 seconds in his Motter Equipment Fatheadz Eyewear 71M Sprint Car.


Saldana has dominated at Eldora, winning 22 events thus far in his career.


“I don’t know if I have any secret about success at Eldora, I just appreciate this track and its tradition,” said the Brownsburg Bullet.  “We’re just hoping for a good performance tonight. We are starting fresh with no notes from previous years, just notes from earlier this year.”


Saldana was assigned the fourth starting position in heat four. At the unfurling of the green, second place starter Danny Lasoski took the lead and Saldana passed pole sitter Shane Stewart to take the second position.  While there was some jockeying of position in the rest of the field, Lasoski and Saldana held their positions to finish one-two.


Both drivers earned starting berths in the dash. The dash inversion draw played to Saldana’s advantage placing him on the pole for the second time this season.


“We’re trying to make the car comfortable,” said Saldana.  “Hopefully we made the right adjustments, but this draw definitely helps.”


And it appeared that the car was comfortable in the dash as Saldana led wire to wire to win his third dash this season.


The dash win came with big rewards as Saldana also earned the pole of the A-Main.

At the flash of the green in the 30-lap feature, Brad Sweet went to the top and took the lead with Saldana second and Kerry Madsen in hot pursuit in third.  With four laps down the leaders began to encounter traffic.  On lap six, Madsen was able to make a move by Saldana for second place.  The track was slick to the cushion up against the wall.  Madsen and Sweet were in a passionate fight for the lead, trading places until Madsen took command of the lead on lap 20.  At the end of an all green feature it was Madsen with the win, Sweet in second place and Saldana in third.


“Our car was a little too free tonight,” said Saldana after the race.  “We need to tighten it up a little more for tomorrow, but Kerry (Madsen) was really fast tonight and deserved the win.”


The team will begin preparations for tomorrow night’s prestigious Kings Royal.


Great start to Kings Royal ends with Mechanical Problems

ROSSBURG, Ohio (July 13, 2013) – One of the most anticipated nights of the season included 42 winged sprint car warriors fighting for the coveted coronation ceremony and accompanying seat on the royal throne at the Kings Royal along with a $50,000 King’s bounty.


Joey Saldana is a two-time winner of this event (2002, 2006).  When he won in 2002, he collaborated with the same crew chief he has today, Davey Whitworth.  And by his own admission, it was probably one the most significant victories of his career because it was the win that made him feel like he would be a legitimate contender in World of Outlaws racing.


Tonight those drivers who have been fortunate enough to have been King for a night were called by royal names commensurate with their most recent victory. Saldana was known as King Joey XXIII.


In preliminary action, King Joey turned an impressive lap around the Eldora half-mile of 13.210 seconds good for the No. 2 qualifying position.


The format of the Kings Royal differs from the regular season formula. The dash is eliminated and the line up of the starting grid of the A-Main relates to the drivers’ heat finish.


“In order to have a legit shot at the win you need to win your heat race,” said King Joey. “You can’t make mistakes and I’ve learned that the last 10 laps of the feature are crucial. You have to drive smart.”


In heat race action, King Joey rolled off fourth in the Motter Equipment Fatheadz Eyewear 71M alongside King Sammy Swindell.  When the field broke, pole sitter

Tim Shaffer took the lead, followed by Rico Abreu and Saldana in third.  On lap 3, Saldana put a slide job on Abreu to take second, while Abreu continued to challenge.

Saldana was working the top side of the track on the cushion against the wall.  On lap 7 Saldana took the lead from Shaffer and pulled away to take the heat race win.


So far the game plan was coming together.


Under Kings Royal rules, King Joey would start the A-Main in the fifth position.  This marked Saldana’s 154th career start at Eldora Speedway.  When the green flew to start the run for the 30th Kings Royal crown, it was a three-way battle between Brad Sweet, Brandon Wimmer and Donny Schatz for the lead, with Sweet out in front of the pack. The red flag brought an abrupt halt to the action when Steve Kinser made contact with Tony Stewart causing Stewart to flip.  Stewart climbed out and was okay but his No. 14 Sprint Car was taken back to the pits on the wrecker.


Back to green.  Sweet continued to lead.


With 17 laps to go, Saldana slowed on the backstretch and retired to the pits with mechanical problems.


Up front, Sweet, Wimmer and Schatz continued to battle until the red flag came out again with 25 laps complete.  Chad Kemenah was out of shape and Paul McMahan was caught up with him as he had no place to go.  The accident also caused damage to Kerry Madsen’s car.  Brad Sweet had built up a two-second lead between red flags.


Back to green but before a lap could be completed Rico Abreu hit the wall in turn four causing heavy front end damage and a broken front axle. Rico remained in the car as it was towed back to the pits.


Back to green and Sweet took the lead again with Schatz and Tim Kaeding making a dramatic challenge with three laps to go.  Kaeding clawed his way past Schatz on the last lap.  At the checker it was a wire-to-wire win for King Sweet XXX, Kaeding was second and Donny Schatz was third.


Saldana was credited with a 22nd place finish.


Next on the schedule:  the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup Twins at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., Tuesday, July 16.