Man of Steel: Saldana Wins Inaugural Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway


Joey Saldana

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Pevely, MO— August 8, 2009—Joey Saldana made history in a couple of ways on Saturday night winning the inaugural Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway in Pevely Missouri before a huge crowd, to take home the $20,000 top prize. In addition to putting his name in the record books as the first ever victor in the Ironman 55, he also scored his 13th triumph of the season which set a new career high for him with the World of Outlaws.
For Saldana the win on Saturday night at I-55 Raceway in the inaugural Ironman 55 was the 52nd of his World of Outlaws career, moving him to ninth on the all-time list one ahead current fellow driver Jac Haudenschild. It was his first victory since July 8, which was a span of 13 races, the longest he had gone this season without a win.
“This is a very important race,” said Saldana. “It’s the first one and nobody ever forgets who won the first one. Thanks to everyone for going through all of the hard work to make this event and the track preparation that’s what made it a great race tonight. Thanks to the fans that stuck with us and made it happen.”

Saldana started fourth in the Budweiser Maxim and moved into second on the opening lap and quickly began to chase his teammate Craig Dollansky for the lead. Dollansky entered traffic for the first time on the sixth lap and Saldana kept pace with him as they weaved their way through the slower machines. Dollansky was really held up on the 18th lap, allowing Saldana to close right in on him. On the next lap, Saldana used a textbook slide job coming off turn four to take the top spot. He would pace the field for the remaining 37 circuits enduring one more caution and negotiating traffic for most of the remainder of the 55-lapper which was co-sanctioned with the All Star Circuit of Champions.

“It was a good run for us,” shared the winner. “We got a flat tire there and luckily we held on. We lost a race and a whole race car at Paducah (International Raceway in Kentucky) earlier this season because we blew a tire in the same situation. I’m glad it held air here tonight.”

The race began with Jason Meyers leading into turns one and two. A caution on the opening lap for Lance Dewease slowing on the track led to a complete restart. After a trip to the work area, Dewease who was scheduled to start on the pole had to tag the tail of the field moving third started Craig Dollansky to the pole position. He would lead from the outset with his teammate Saldana quickly moving into second.

A caution on the 30th lap led to a fuel stop, as the drivers were right up against the determined number of laps they would be able to complete counting both the green flag and yellow flag laps.

Saldana has to nurse his car late in the going as he his right rear tire had a hole in it and was going down. For the majority of the race, the second generation driver used the high side of the track just inches off the wall.

“I felt good on the bottom when I got Craig (Dollansky) there in lapped traffic,” noted the winner. “With a flat tire, anything could happen. I just wanted to keep it spinning and keep it going. At the end getting into (turn) one I was getting real tight and almost threw it away there a couple of times.”

After winning the opener of the Ironman 55 weekend on Friday night, Craig Dollansky led the first 18 laps of the main event on Saturday night and wound up finishing second in the DirecTV Maxim to earn his fifth podium finish in the last six races.

“It was a great run for Kasey Kahne Racing to have both cars one and two in a big race, it’s pretty neat,” Dollansky said. “It was a good effort by both race teams. Joey (Saldana) and I were nose to tail there all the way through the race. He got me there on the bottom in (turns) three and four and it looked like the bottom was good at that point of the race. I just was on top running up there and he just snuck by us.”

With very hot conditions greeting the drivers on Saturday, a number of variables came into play for each driver and team. To compensate for the extreme weather conditions, the track crew at I-55 Raceway reworked the track a couple of times, which was greatly appreciated by the drivers.

“I feel very good,” stated Dollansky. “We had a pretty decent race car. It was tight all the way down to the finish. Hopefully it was good for the fans. I appreciate your patience with these guys reworking the race track. I know they put a lot of time and effort into it.”

Danny Lasoski started 16th in the finale of the inaugural Ironman 55 and worked his way to the front of the field to score a third-place finish in the Casey’s General Store JEI.

“We really had a fast car,” said Lasoski. “We knew that both the Kasey Kahne cars would be up on the fence and we locked our car for the bottom. Thanks to Ray (Marler) and his crew for working this track and making it like it was. Kenny Schrader is a racer and Ray Marler is a racer. I used to work for him before I started racing. To have this race here at what is the best track in Missouri is a pleasure, especially being from Missouri.”

Lasoski made up a significant amount of ground over the last few laps of the race, after falling back to 18th over the course of the first 20 laps of the contest. From this point on, he patiently and methodically worked his way to the front. He moved into the Top-10 on the 42nd lap and raced into the Top-Five with just 11 laps remaining.
“You had to think about how tight you wanted your car with the 55 laps,” explained the 2001 World of Outlaws champion. “We got our car right and I would have liked to have had a caution to have seen what I was like with those two guys, because they were out there pretty good.”

Donny Schatz rebounded to finish fourth in the Armor All J&J, after a 2-spot penalty was incurred when a crew member was still on the track by the car after the allotted time had expired during a fuel stop with 25 laps remaining. Jason Sides was fifth in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim, with Stevie Smith sixth in the Zemco Speed Equipment Maxim.

Jac Haudenschild was seventh in the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Maxim, with Tim Shaffer coming all the way from the 22nd starting spot to finish eighth in the Kistler Engines J&J to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award. Kraig Kinser was ninth piloting the Bass Pro Shops Maxim. Jason Meyers stared on the front row and faded late in the race to finish 10th in the GLR Investments KPC.

The World of Outlaws return to action on Wednesday, August 19 at Deer Creek Speedway in Minnesota for their inaugural visit to the immaculate 3/8-mile.

IRONMAN 55 at I-55 RACEWAY NIGHT #2 NOTES
• FAST QUALIFIER: Jason Meyers paced the 38 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked 1/3-mile oval at 10.839 seconds at 110.601 mph. For his qualifying effort, Meyers earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Jason Sides (4), Randy Hannagan (3), Danny Smith (2), and Brian Ellenberger (1).
• QUALIFYING WINNERS: Fred Rahmer, Kraig Kinser, Joey Saldana and Chad Kemenah won heat races. Lance Dewease won the Crane Cams Dash. Daron Clayton won the B-Main.
• FEATURE WINNERS: There has been 48 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature event held in 2009. The winners include: Joey Saldana (Volusia Speedway Park, Silver Dollar Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Lone Star Speedway, Houston Raceway Park, The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway, Lawrenceburg Speedway, Dodge City Raceway Park-twice, U.S. 36 Raceway, 34 Raceway and I-55 Raceway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park-twice, The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Knoxville Raceway, Eldora Speedway, Canandaigua Speedway, Lawrenceburg Speedway, River Cities Speedway, Cedar Lake Speedway, Eldora Speedway and K-C Raceway), Danny Lasoski (Delaware International Speedway, Nodak Speedway, Eagle Raceway, Charter Raceway Park and Lernerville Speedway), Jason Meyers (Silver Dollar Speedway, Paducah International Raceway, I-96 Speedway, Red River Valley Speedway and Ohsweken Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lebanon Valley Speedway and I-55 Raceway), Greg Hodnett (Williams Grove Speedway-twice), Steve Kinser (Tri-State Speedway and Limaland Motorsports Park), Terry McCarl (Knoxville Raceway and Eldora Speedway), Dale Blaney (Attica Raceway Park), Randy Hannagan (Thunderbowl Raceway), Tim Kaeding (Riverside International Speedway),Chad Kemenah (Manzanita Speedway), Jason Sides (Ohsweken Speedway) and Stevie Smith (Lernerville Speedway).
• 1/3-MILE WINNERS: I-55 Raceway is a high-banked 1/3-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced seven times this season on a track that size. The winners include: Danny Lasoski (Eagle Raceway and Charter Raceway Park), Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway and I-55 Raceway), Dale Blaney (Attica Raceway Park), Craig Dollansky (I-55 Raceway) and Randy Hannagan (Thunderbowl Raceway).
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway Night #2; Pevely, MO; August 8, 2009


World of Outlaws 08-08-09
I-55 Raceway

Qualifying
1) 14-Jason Meyers 10.839 2) 7S-Jason Sides 10.877 3) 1X-Randy Hannagan 11.046 4) 4-Danny Smith 11.049 5) 22-Brian Ellenberger 11.074 6) R19-Jac Haudenschild 11.104 7) 15-Donny Schatz 11.156 8) 11-Steve Kinser 11.159 9) 30C-Lance Dewease 11.175 10) 20-Kraig Kinser 11.186 11) 5W-Lucas Wolfe 11.194 12) 63-Chad Kemenah 11.208 13) 51-Fred Rahmer 11.219 14) 6-Danny Lasoski 11.244 15) 9-Joey Saldana 11.275 16) 19-Craig Dollansky 11.279 17) 17-Daryn Pittman 11.310 18) 4K-Kody Kinser 11.320 19) 35-Jimmy Hurley 11.456 20) 1-Stevie Smith 11.459 21) 57D-Tom Dickerman 11.470 22) 6R-Ryan Bunton 11.479 23) 10S-Jeremy Standridge 11.492 24) 56R-Ryan Myers 11.525 25) 12-Jerrod Hull 11.533 26) 44-A J Bruns 11.567 27) 83X-Tim Shaffer 11.591 28) 97-Tommy Worley 11.594 29) 55B-Joey Moughan 11.630 30) 22T-Miranda Throckmorton 11.689 31) W20-Greg Wilson 11.809 32) 92-Daron Clayton 11.836 33) 1M-Jim Moughan 11.891 34) 3-Mark Shirshekan 11.909 35) 39W-Alex Shanks 11.947 36) 2K-Ryan Kempin 12.232 37) O-Brandon Wimmer 12.315 38) 89G-David Gravel 12.417

Heat 1 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 51-Fred Rahmer 2) 30C-Lance Dewease 3) 14-Jason Meyers 4) 22-Brian Ellenberger 5) 17-Daryn Pittman 6) 55B-Joey Moughan 7) 57D-Tom Dickerman 8) O-Brandon Wimmer 9) 1M-Jim Moughan 10) 12-Jerrod Hull

Heat 2 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 20-Kraig Kinser 2) R19-Jac Haudenschild 3) 6-Danny Lasoski 4) 7S-Jason Sides 5) 6R-Ryan Bunton 6) 3-Mark Shirshekan 7) 89G-David Gravel 8) 4K-Kody Kinser 9) 22T-Miranda Throckmorton 10) 44-A J Bruns

Heat 3 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 9-Joey Saldana 2) 5W-Lucas Wolfe 3) 15-Donny Schatz 4) 1X-Randy Hannagan 5) 83X-Tim Shaffer 6) W20-Greg Wilson 7) 10S-Jeremy Standridge 8) 35-Jimmy Hurley 9) 39W-Alex Shanks

Heat 4 (10 Laps, top 5 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 63-Chad Kemenah 2) 19-Craig Dollansky 3) 4-Danny Smith 4) 11-Steve Kinser 5) 1-Stevie Smith 6) 92-Daron Clayton 7) 56R-Ryan Myers 8) 2K-Ryan Kempin 9) 97-Tommy Worley

Crane Cams Dash (8 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature)
1) 30C-Lance Dewease 2) 14-Jason Meyers 3) 19-Craig Dollansky 4) 9-Joey Saldana 5) 20-Kraig Kinser 6) R19-Jac Haudenschild 7) 5W-Lucas Wolfe 8) 63-Chad Kemenah 9) 7S-Jason Sides 10) 51-Fred Rahmer

B-main (12 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 92-Daron Clayton [] 2) 4K-Kody Kinser [] 3) 3-Mark Shirshekan [] 4) 57D-Tom Dickerman [] 5) 44-A J Bruns [$200] 6) 55B-Joey Moughan [$180] 7) W20-Greg Wilson [$175] 8) 12-Jerrod Hull [$160] 9) 97-Tommy Worley [$150] 10) O-Brandon Wimmer [$150] 11) 89G-David Gravel [$150] 12) 1M-Jim Moughan [$150] 13) 10S-Jeremy Standridge [$150] 14) 2K-Ryan Kempin [$150] 15) 39W-Alex Shanks [$150] 16) 35-Jimmy Hurley [$150] 17) 56R-Ryan Myers [$150] 18) 22T-Miranda Throckmorton [$150]

A-main (55 laps) - Starting Position [#]
1) 9-Joey Saldana[4] [$20,000] 2) 19-Craig Dollansky[3] [$6,000] 3) 6-Danny Lasoski[16] [$3,750] 4) 15-Donny Schatz[14] [$3,250] 5) 7S-Jason Sides[9] [$2,750] 6) 1-Stevie Smith[19] [$2,500] 7) R19-Jac Haudenschild[6] [$2,400] 8) 83X-Tim Shaffer[22] [$2,300] 9) 20-Kraig Kinser[5] [$2,200] 10) 14-Jason Meyers[2] [$2,100] 11) 11-Steve Kinser[15] [$1,700] 12) 5W-Lucas Wolfe[7] [$1,400] 13) 1X-Randy Hannagan[11] [$1,300] 14) 63-Chad Kemenah[8] [$1,200] 15) 22-Brian Ellenberger[13] [$1,100] 16) 51-Fred Rahmer[10] [$1,000] 17) 30C-Lance Dewease[1] [$1,000] 18) 17-Daryn Pittman[17] [$1,000] 19) 92-Daron Clayton[23] [$1,000] 20) 6R-Ryan Bunton[21] [$1,000] 21) 57D-Tom Dickerman[20] [$1,000] 22) 4-Danny Smith[12] [$1,000] 23) 4K-Kody Kinser[18] [$1,000] 24) 3-Mark Shirshekan[24] [$1,000]

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