ELBRIDGE, N.Y. (July 23, 2013) – Joey Saldana and the Motter Equipment Fatheadz Eyewear 71M team were out to steal some thunder at the World of Outlaws event at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park.
And they did just that as they began the night by notching their fourth quick time of the season, turning in a No. 1 qualifying effort of 16.267 seconds.
After applying the Outlaws formula to structure heat race line-ups from the qualifying order, Saldana was assigned the fourth starting position for the first heat race. At the drop of the green, Saldana blasted past Sammy Swindell to take second place and was engaged in a battle for the lead with Jason Sides for the first half of the race. Saldana was driving high, riding the cushion and at the halfway point, he made a solid run at Sides, running nose to tail and side by side, taking the lead and running away with a 20- car-length lead to the checkered flag. Saldana was the only driver to win a heat from as far back as the fourth starting position
So far the stars were lining up for a good night.
After the inversion draw, Saldana was seeded in the sixth starting position for the dash. At the unfurling of the green, the most bizarre start occurred. Kerry Madsen took the lead, but Paul McMahan came to a stop on the track bringing out the yellow. At the same time Madsen and Jason Sides went over the banking between turns three and four. McMahan drove back to the trailer and would not complete the dash, but Outlaws officials had to throw the red to extricate Madsen’s heavily damaged car from underneath the guardrail. Sides actually had driven over the banking to check on Madsen. Madsen was okay. No laps were in the books. On the restart, Saldana was now fourth on the starting grid. At the green, Chad Kemenah took the lead, with Donny Schatz second, Daryn Pittman third and Saldana fourth. And that’s the way they rode out the six-lap dash. Saldana would have the fourth starting position in the A-Main.
The wacky, off the wall situations continued to impact the feature. When the green flew to signal the start of the 25-lap A-Main, Chad Kemenah took the lead but only one lap was completed before the yellow came out for an altercation between Paul McMahan and Sammy Swindell and a separate incident involving a Glen Styres spin. Swindell suffered nose wing damage and went to the work area to make repairs. It was a shock to see fourth place runner Joey Saldana pull into the work area as well, with a flat right rear tire taking its toll on the team again this race. Saldana changed tires and joined the rear of the field. McMahan was able to get back under power. Back to green with Kemenah leading, Pittman second, Schatz third and then another yellow before a lap could be completed for McMahan who also had a flat right rear tire and a lot of suspension damage. McMahan was not able to return to the field before the two-minute clock ran out.
On the next restart, Pittman took the lead followed by Kemenah and Schatz. With seven laps complete the yellow was displayed for Kraig Kinser who stopped on the track after making contact with the wall earlier. Kinser was done for the night. Another shock!
During the Kinser yellow, second place runner Kemenah pulled into the work area, done for the night.
Another restart with Pittman back in the lead. With 13 laps complete, Saldana had advanced to 11th in the running order. The caution came out again with three laps to go when Glenn Styres was off the pace and couldn’t get off the track and Stewart Friesman also stopped on the track. Back to green and the battle between Pittman and Schatz continued to rage until the checkered flag, with Pittman holding on for the win to break Schatz’s three-race winning streak, Schatz second and Cody Darrah third.
Saldana was able to work his way back to 10th.
The Motter team will join the Outlaws in Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 27 and continue to Ontario, Canada for a Sunday night event.