Sunday, February 17, 2013

Joey Saldana Battles To A 15th Place Feature Finish

BARBERVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 16, 2013) – It was another night of World of Outlaws STP Sprint Series thrills and chills as 39 hard charging drivers vied for 26 available positions in the feature in night number two at the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit at Volusia Speedway Park.
Joey Saldana drove the Motter Equipment Fatheadz Eyewear 71M sprint car high, low, and everywhere in between on the world’s fastest half-mile dirt track in every qualifying lap, the heat race, Last Chance Showdown and feature, giving his Hoosier tires a workout.
The track went from greasy in the first hot lap session to extremely fast as the night wore on.
The 71M team qualified 37th with a 13.751-second lap which relegated them to a last place starting position for every event.
In his heat race, after starting 10th, Saldana narrowly missed the fifth and final transfer spot, finishing sixth.
The Brownsburg Bullet had to use the Last Chance Showdown to gain a starting position in the feature. 
The Last Chance Showdown was action-packed with caution flags, cars spinning and others slowing to a stop on the racing surface where slide jobs were the order of the day on the fast track.  After starting 14th, Saldana stayed trouble-free, stalking and picking off one car after another until the checkered flag dropped with the Motter 71M car riding in third place, transferring Saldana to the 24th starting position in the feature.
Saldana moved forward quickly, working his way up to 15th with 15 laps completed when a caution flew for an accident involving teammates Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser.
The track had built up a big cushion by that point, and after the restart, there was almost no passing throughout the field of cars. It was as if the cars were connected like a freight train, and if you got off the cushion, you lost forward drive.
“It was a handful,” said Saldana, “but we overcame a terrible qualifying time and made it into the A-main and moved forward all night long.  We are still searching to get the balance of our car just right. It’s a work in progress and we are getting closer.
“Now it’s on to the final night of the UNOH Dirt Car Nationals tomorrow night.”

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