Saldana Leads Outlaws to Eldora

Joey Saldana

Saldana has scored a series-leading 10 Quick Times so far this season helping to boost his total qualifying points to 66. (Photo: Dave Shank)

Past Eldora Winners

Joey Saldana leads the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series to Eldora Speedway this weekend for the first of three trips to the historic half-mile in 2014.

Saldana holds a 14-point advantage in the standings over defending series champion Daryn Pittman after scoring 11 consecutive finishes of ninth or better including his second win of the year last weekend at Salina Highbanks Speedway in Oklahoma.

"I haven’t been in this spot very often," Saldana said.  "I’m just going to the races and enjoying the time at the track.  The team is working really well.  It's a fun time for us, right now."

Currently in his second season with Motter Motorsports, Saldana leads the series in Quick Times (10) and is tied with Donny Schatz for the most top fives (12).  Last year with the team at Eldora, Saldana posted two top-five finishes in the four races contested.

"We're a pretty low-buck team racing against high-buck teams," Saldana said.  "We put everything in a pretty good perspective.  We do the best we can and get the most we can with what we've got, and I think it’s showing.  We don’t have 10-12 engines.  We have four, and Davey is doing a great job getting the best out of every engine and as much life that we can out of them."

Saldana's last of 11 Eldora wins came in the 2012 Knight Before the Kings Royal, driving for Kasey Kahne Racing.  Although Saldana has seen his share of success at the Ohio track, he's also seen some tough nights that resulted in injuries, including one that ended with a concussion in the fall of 2010 when he was leading the standings going into the race.

"I love racing Eldora," Saldana said.  "It's a cool track.  It’s been pretty tough on me physically but mentally, I love going there and racing."

The series-leading Quick Times have helped build Saldana's lead in the standings, earning a total of 66 qualifying points this season.

"Everybody knows how it works," Saldana said of the points structure.  "We're not doing anything any differently from anybody else.  We're working hard on making our car fast every time it hits the racetrack and capitalizing on those extra points.  I think you saw that with Paul McMahan, Daryn (Pittman) and all the KKR team last year."

Pittman and Kerry Madsen are defending race winners of this weekend's event.  Madsen won again at Eldora in 2013 in the Knight Before the Kings Royal with Brad Sweet taking the Kings Royal the following night.  All three of last year's Eldora winners each have already visited Victory Lane multiple times in 2014.

This weekend will also mark the World of Outlaws debut for Larson Marks Racing with driver Shane Stewart.  Last weekend, the team competed in its first race - the Bob Weikert Memorial at Port Royal Speedway with the All-Star Circuit of Champions - and finished fourth.  NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie Kyle Larson raced with the Outlaws at Eldora last season, finishing 10th and seventh, but will take on the role of car owner this time around at the track where he won the 4-Crown Nationals in 2011.

"Steve (Suchy, crew chief) is excited about Eldora this week because we were really fast there last year and I'm pretty sure he's going back there with the same package," Larson said.  "Eldora is a good track for Shane, too, so it should be a good night."

Saldana, who raced seven seasons with Kahne, commends Kyle, along with co-owner Justin Marks, for getting involved in the sport.

"It's neat to see guys like Tony (Stewart), Kasey and now Kyle showing that they appreciate where they came from," Saldana said.

David Gravel, who won at Merced Speedway in one of his 11 A-Features this year, will have a new ride starting this weekend when he takes the reigns of the No. 83 Roth Motorsports car.

"It’s kind of surreal for me to drive that car and it's going to be awesome," Gravel said.  "Eldora has treated me pretty well.  As long as we stick to the basics, and if I get out there and I’m comfortable in hot laps, I think we'll be fine."

Be sure to check back at MRN.com this weekend for results and updated standings from Eldora.  Plus, tune into "Winged Nation" at www.mrn.com each Tuesday at 12 noon (ET) for the latest in the world of sprint car racing.  Click here to listen to this week’s show including guests Larson, Saldana and Gravel.

Related Topics:

World of Outlaws, Joey Saldana

Photos

  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • 54th Knoxville Nationals
  • Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular
  • Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular
  • Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular
  • © 2014 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites