Saldana Sails To Thunderbowl Win

33489Jpg
Share:
Joey Saldana knows the importance of patience in racing. He showed plenty of it on Friday night as battled Jac Haudenschild at the ultra-racy 1/3-mile high banked Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California. After falling back to third on the second lap of the race, he bided his time and made a late charge to take the $10,000 win.

Saldana lined up for the 35-lap A-Feature on the outside of the front row and charged around Haudenschild on the bottom of the front straight-a-way on the 24th lap to pick up his first World of Outlaws A-Feature win of the season and the 23rd of his career.

Saldana driving the Open Joist Mopar-powered JEI for NASCAR star Kasey Kahne, turned the fastest lap of the 26 starters on the 29th lap of the event. After powering his way around Tim Shaffer on the 11th lap, he methodically followed Haudenschild for the next 13 circuits.

“In the feature, we just stayed after it,” said Saldana, the 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year. “We had a good car. This track is so tough to pass on, that when you make your move, you have to hopefully make it stick. At the beginning I got a little behind with a full tank of fuel, but once I got settled in there we were ok, and got the win.”

Late in the race, Saldana endured some very heavy lapped traffic and had a couple of close calls, as the slower machines forced him to change lines and take evasive measures. After a late restart, he pulled away and had nearly a quarter of a lap on Haudenschild when the checkered flag flew.

“The cautions were good for me,” he said. “I was trying to get a run on the guys down in turn three. On the one restart, I got a run off of turn two and that is how I got (Tim) Shaffer. Then we had another yellow and that is how I got Jac (Haudenschild). The yellows were the only way that you were going to set a guy up and get around him. Then after that, you had to make sure you didn’t make any mistakes in lapped traffic, because traffic was atrocious.”

For Saldana, it was his first World of Outlaws win with Crew Chief Ricky Warner. The pair won an O’Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions race to open up the year during the Florida DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.

“We felt like right out of the box we had a good package,” Saldana said. “Winning an Outlaws race mean a lot. That’s what we are racing for. Tonight, we showed that our short track program is a lot better than it was last year. Last year that was out Achilles heal, the short tracks. It’s really gratifying to come out here on a sticky track like this and pass cars to win the race.”

Haudenschild in the Wright One Construction Maxim started from the pole, after winning his first dash of the season and held on to finish second with a quickly deflating left rear tire, after leading the first 23 circuits.

“We had a good race car tonight,” said Haudenschild. “It was fast all night. It was a tacky track, and it was hard to pass cars and it was hard to get passed. You just have to keep your line. Bonzi (Bruns) and the boys had the car set up well. That caution hurt us late in the race.”

Tim Shaffer ran in the Top-three all night and came home third in the Casey’s General Stores Maxim. Jason Meyers was fourth in the Primerica Financial Maxim. Terry McCarl rounded out the top five in the Big Game Treestands Eagle.

Shaffer, who won at Thunderbowl in 2005, began the night by turning the fastest lap of the 42 cars that took time. Early in the race, the native of Aliquippa, Penn., took the lead briefly on the back straight-a-way, but that pass was negated as the caution flag flew before the cars made it back to the start/finish line. The veteran drive stayed in the lead trio all night long.

“There’s something about this place that I get along well with,” said Shaffer. “I really like the track, and it seems like there are certain things that I do right here. Hopefully we can keep that up for tomorrow night. We made some changes for the feature tonight and it worked. It was pretty impressive.”

Jason Meyers, who hails from Clovis, Calif., has always enjoyed racing at Thunderbowl. On Friday night, he picked up his first top-five finish of the season, as he came home fourth. He battled Terry McCarl for the fourth spot for most of the race, and after running in fifth, took the spot on the 27th lap.

“A couple of the cars out there we had to pass twice,” Meyers said. “We had a good line up high coming off turn two, and the car was really good up there. Once in a while it would bite you, it was pretty tight up there. The guys did a great job. It’s always fun for us to come back to Tulare. It’s like sleeping in your own bed, getting close to home. After the trip we had to Florida, we sure did need a night like this to get on a roll and we feel real good about it. I look forward to coming back tomorrow night and building on it.”

The rest of the top 10 was Craig Dollansky in the Karavan Trailers Maxim in sixth, Brooke Tatnell was seventh in the Volcano Joe’s Coffee Schnee, Justin Henderson was eighth in the Dan Dan the Sonic Man Rocket, Ronnie Day was ninth in the Primerica Financial Maxim, and Becca Anderson was 10th in the Spectro Oil Maxim.

Reigning series champion Donny Schatz used a provisional to start the A-Feature and worked his way from 25th to a very respectable 12th-place finish.

The World of Outlaws wrap up their stay at Thunderbowl Raceway on Saturday night with another full racing program that will pay $10,000-to win.

Next MRN Broadcast

On Air Now
Dec. 19, 2017 7:00 PM ET

Photos

  • Knoxville Nationals
  • Knoxville Nationals
  • Knoxville Nationals
  • I-55 Raceway
  • I-55 Raceway
  • I-55 Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Wilmot Raceway
  • Eldora Speedway
  • Eldora Speedway
  • Eldora Speedway
  • The Dirt Oval at Route 66
  • The Dirt Oval at Route 66
  • The Dirt Oval at Route 66
  • The Dirt Oval at Route 66
  • The Dirt Oval at Route 66
  • The Dirt Oval at Route 66
  • The Dirt Oval at Route 66
  • The Dirt Oval at Route 66
  • Williams Grove Speedway
  • Williams Grove Speedway
  • Williams Grove Speedway
  • Williams Grove Speedway
  • Lincoln Speedway
  • Eldora Speedway
  • Eldora Speedway
  • Eldora Speedway
  • Plymouth Speedway
  • Plymouth Speedway
  • Plymouth Speedway
  • Plymouth Speedway
  • Volusia Speedway Park
  • Volusia Speedway Park
You may unsubscribe at any time.
Motor Racing Network
555 MRN Drive
Concord, NC 28027
www.mrn.com/Footer/Contact-Us.aspx
(704)262-6700
feedback@mrn.com

© 2017 MRN. All Rights Reserved

FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

ISC Track Sites