Only three weeks after undergoing surgery to have ten screws and a plate inserted into his broken left hand, Joey Saldana earned one of the toughest and most demanding wins of his World of Outlaws career at the I-55 Raceway on the weekend.
The victory by the Kasey Kahne Racing pilot was his third of the season and has him placed second in the points standings, just 17 points behind current leader Jason Meyers.
After starting from 13th Saldana took the lead on a lap-36 double file restart as he lined up on the low side of the track after leader Craig Dollansky chose the high side. One final restarted awaited Saldana on the next lap, which saw him choose the low line for that restart aboard the Budweiser Maxim before going on to take the win over Dollansky.
“That was a great race car and a great race,” said Saldana. “The entire team put in an amazing effort. I don’t know what to say. I’m glad to be in Victory Lane.”
“It was really tough running the cushion and I didn’t want to wear myself out, the car was working very good on the bottom and I just wanted to stick with it.”
Craig Dollansky led the opening lap of the race and wound up leading 10 circuits en route to a runner-up finish aboard the Big Game Treestands Maxim.
“Those last five laps, we were running out of fuel, so we were fortunate to get a good finish tonight,” shared Dollansky.
“We had a good race car and were good through the middle stages of the race. It came down to lane choice there and Joey (Saldana) got a good restart.”
Jason Sides came all the way from 15th to finish third in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim. He used the low side of the track in the late going to pass a number of cars to earn his third consecutive Top-Five finish at the track.
Sides used four strong double file restarts over the course of the 40-lap contest on his way to the front. He lined up on the outside three times and on inside on the final restart. He started the main event in the 15th spot and actually fell back to 17th on the first lap before beginning his march to the front. He worked his way into the Top-10 on the 18th go-around and was in the Top-Five on lap-27.
Jac Haudenschild, who started on the pole and led 25 laps after scoring his first win of the season on Friday night, wound up fourth in the Owens-Corning Fiberglass XXX.
Steve Kinser worked his way from the 14th starting spot to finish fifth in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim, with his teammate Donny Schatz coming from 11th to sixth aboard the Armor All/STP J&J.
Jason Meyers finished seventh in the GLR Investments KPC and remains the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in each and every race in 2010. He continues to lead the World of Outlaws championship standings as he chases his first title.
Tim Kaeding was eighth in the DTR Transport KPC, with Chad Kemenah ninth piloting the Golden Flavor Sesame Sticks Maxim. Brian Brown rounded out the Top-10 aboard the FVP Maxim.
World of Outlaws Championship Top Ten Standings through April 17
1. Jason Meyers 1722
2. Joey Saldana 1705
3. Steve Kinser 1692
4. Donny Schatz 1655
5. Jason Sides 1631
6. Danny Lasoski 1579
7. Kraig Kinser 1553
8. Jac Haudeschild 1542
9. Paul McMahan 1515
10. Tim Kaeding 1487