Race Story

SALDANA EDGES SCHATZ, RICE TOPS WESTFALL IN ELDORA FOUR CROWN OPENER

Pair of Thrilling Finishes Carry Momentum Into Saturday’s USAC Action to Conclude 33rd Annual Event

ROSSBURG, Ohio (September 19) — Donny Schatz had World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series (WoO) win number 23 in his sights at Eldora Speedway on Friday night but Joey Saldana had other ideas as the second generation driver held off the five-time champion on the way to victory at the Four Crown Nationals. In the companion DIRTcar UMP Modified finale, it was 16 year-old Josh Rice moving to victory lane in only his second appearance at Eldora.

“This is amazing because I actually beat Donny Schatz,” Saldana said in victory lane following his win. “He’s been unbelievable this year and just to be able to race with him and be able to drive with the World of Outlaws – honestly, it’s an honor to just be out here and race.”

Saldana said the win meant a lot to him personally because it is one of the places he grew up at watching his father Joe Saldana race.

“This is an awesome place, a humbling place and I love racing here.”

Saldana started on the pole and held off Kerry Madsen through the first third of the Outlaws event at the Four Crown Nationals. Then Schatz began to make his move. He took over the second spot on lap 12 and worked to take advantage of the two cautions that followed. Despite side-by-side racing and nose out front on a couple of occasions, Saldana held off Schatz scoring his sixth World of Outlaws win of the season.

Saldana, who dedicated his win to crew member Sean Strasbaugh, said he thought Schatz had the better car throughout the night but that qualifying made the difference for his Motter Equipment team over Schatz.

“I think what beat him tonight, not to put him down, was his qualifying effort,” Saldana said. “He just didn’t qualify good enough. I think he had the best car, I just held him up.

“Once I could keep my momentum up front I was pretty good. When it’s in the middle he’s definitely got the car to beat. He was there a couple of times so I knew I had to hit my mark and not let him slide me. But we just qualified well and put ourselves in position and that’s why we beat him tonight. That’s what you’ve got to do every night if you’re going to beat him. Tonight we did it. At least as a team we know we can do it, we just have to keep doing it.”

Saldana currently sits fifth in the championship standings, 511 points out of the lead. His battle for fourth with Kerry Madsen is heating up as the season draws to a close – just 17 points separate the two drivers.

Schatz, who won the last two Outlaws events at Terre Haute and Kokomo, said he made a few mistakes along the way in his STP / Armor All car that left him in second.

“Yeah we were really good early through the middle of the race there but in the end we weren’t as good as we needed to be with all the cautions. But you know that’s the way it goes. These STP guys gave me an awesome racecar. It was a race winning car – I just put myself in a couple of the wrong spots at the right time. It feels good when you make mistakes like that and have a second place finish. Hats off to the guys and we’ll go out and try to get a win tomorrow.”

Schatz continues to lead the standings for the 2014 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship. The driver has a 254 point lead built up over defending champion Daryn Pittman.

Dale Blaney charged forward from an 11th place starting position in his Kennedy Cattle car, taking advantage of the restarts following each of the three cautions on the way to his third place run. On the next to last restart of the night, Blaney moved from fifth into third. Though he challenged Schatz, Blaney was not able to make up any more spots in the final laps.

“Yeah we had a couple of good restarts and gained a bunch – went from fifth to third,” Blaney said. “It was a good race – a good racetrack. It got pretty wide and if you got the wing back you could stick the bottom and fly a little bit. I had a really good car. To run from 11th to third with these guys here at this place is pretty neat.”

Jason Sides was the KSE Hard Charger award recipient of the night after starting in 25th and advancing nine positions to finish in 16th.

Similar to Saldana, Rice had his hands full in the closing stages of his chase. A comfortable lead for Rice was slowly evaporating has three-time 2014 winner Matt Westfall was moving in.

With the laps winding down and the field threading themselves through lapped traffic, Rice continued to show the poise of a seasoned Eldora veteran around the one-half mile oval. Westfall used the lapped traffic expertly as well, but with each waning circuit was able to inch closer.

With two laps remaining he pulled his nose under Rice to show intentions to overtake the lead; but Rice maintained his strong line with just enough poise to edge Westfall by mere inches across the finish line.

Behind them at the finish, within their own battle for positioning were Brian Ruhlman, Jeff Babcock and Joey Kramer.

The concluding leg number two of the 33rd annual Four Crown Nationals will be contested tonight with the three National divisions of the United States Auto Club (USAC) – Midgets, Sprints and Silver Crown.

Fans can purchase remaining race tickets for the Four Crown Nationals — or any other exciting Eldora event — by going online to www.EldoraSpeedway.com. Tickets may also be purchased through the Eldora offices during normal business hours by calling (937) 338-3815.

Additionally, race fans and race teams can get behind-the-scenes access by following @EldoraSpeedway on Twitter, hitting ‘Like’ at Facebook.com/EldoraSpeedway and viewing video highlights at YouTube.com/EldoraSpeedwayInc. Mobile device users can access the Eldora Speedway app for the iPhone, iPad and Android, which are available for download via iTunes and Google Play.


Race Results

Event Box Score

WORLD OF OUTLAWS SPRINTS

TIME TRIALS – 1. 24-Rico Abreu, 12.733; 2. 29-Kerry Madsen, 12.764; 3. 51-Paul McMahan, 12.819; 4. 71M-Joey Saldana, 12.840; 5. 2-Shane Stewart, 12.853; 6. 45-Tim Shaffer, 12.878; 7. 14K-Dale Blaney, 12.918; 8. 7-Craig Dollansky, 12.927; 9. 15-Donny Schatz, 12.930; 10. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 12.937; 11. 4-Cody Darrah, 12.938; 12. 10H-Danny Holtgraver, 12.942; 13. 1s-Logan Schuchart, 12.954; 14. 83-David Gravel, 12.962; 15. W20-Greg Wilson, 12.967; 16. 9-Daryn Pittman, 13.024; 17. 11-Steve Kinser, 13.072; 18. 71-Bryan Clauson, 13.091; 19. 11N-Randy Hannagan, 13.104; 20. 28D-Jac Haudenschild, 13.112; 21. 49-Brad Sweet, 13.113; 22. 53-Christopher Bell, 13.138; 23. 59-Tim Kaeding, 13.159; 24. 9W-Derek Hagar, 13.170; 25. 71MX-Paul May, 13.171; 26. 24H-Brandon Wimmer, 13.188; 27. 19-Paige Polyak, 13.189; 28. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.202; 29. 55F-Taylor Ferns, 13.275; 30. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.350; 31. 9P-Parker Price-Miller, 13.601; 32. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.684; 33. 7C-Caleb Armstrong, 14.074; 34. 33M-Beau Stewart, 14.163; 35. 21-Travis Philo, nt

HEAT 1 – 1. 15-Donny Schatz [2]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [1]; 3. 11-Steve Kinser [5]; 4. 2-Shane Stewart [3]; 5. 24A-Rico Abreu [4]; 6. 49-Brad Sweet [6]; 7. 71MX-Paul May [7]; 8. 55F-Taylor Ferns [8]; 9. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [DNS];

HEAT 2 – 1. 83-David Gravel [1]; 2. 29-Kerry Madsen [4]; 3. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [2]; 4. 45S-Tim Shaffer [3]; 5. 53-Chris Bell [6]; 6. 71C-Bryan Clauson [5]; 7. 7S-Jason Sides [8]; 8. 24H-Brandon Wimmer [7]; 9. 33M-Beau Stewart [9];

HEAT 3 – 1. 4-Cody Darrah [2]; 2. 20W-Greg Wilson [1]; 3. 14K-Dale Blaney [3]; 4. 51-Paul Mcmahan [4]; 5. 11N-Randy Hannagan [5]; 6. 59K-Tim Kaeding [6]; 7. 19P-Paige Polyak [7]; 8. 9P-Parker Pricemiller [8]; 9. 21P-Travis Philo [9];

HEAT 4 – 1. 9-Daryn Pittman [1]; 2. 10H-Danny Holtgraver [2]; 3. 71-Joey Saldana [4]; 4. 28D-Jac Haudenschild [5]; 5. 11K-Kraig Kinser [7]; 6. 9W-Derek Hagar [6]; 7. 1A-Jacob Allen [8]; 8. 7-Craig Dollansky [DNF];

DASH – 1. 71-Joey Saldana [1]; 2. 29-Kerry Madsen [3]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz [5]; 4. 24A-Rico Abreu [4]; 5. 51-Paul Mcmahan [2]; 6. 4-Cody Darrah [6]; 7. 9-Daryn Pittman [8]; 8. 83-David Gravel [7];

B-FEATURE – 1. 7-Craig Dollansky [1]; 2. 59K-Tim Kaeding [4]; 3. 71C-Bryan Clauson [2]; 4. 49-Brad Sweet [3]; 5. 9W-Derek Hagar [5]; 6. 19P-Paige Polyak [8]; 7. 7S-Jason Sides [10]; 8. 71MX-Paul May [6]; 9. 24H-Brandon Wimmer [7]; 10. 55F-Taylor Ferns [9]; 11. 9P-Parker Pricemiller [11]; 12. 21P-Travis Philo [DNF]; 13. 33M-Beau Stewart [DNF]; 14. 1A-Jacob Allen [DNF];

A FEATURE – 1. 71-Joey Saldana [1]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [3]; 3. 14K-Dale Blaney [11]; 4. 29-Kerry Madsen [2]; 5. 83-David Gravel [8]; 6. 2-Shane Stewart [9]; 7. 51-Paul Mcmahan [5]; 8. 20W-Greg Wilson [16]; 9. 4-Cody Darrah [6]; 10. 45S-Tim Shaffer [10]; 11. 9-Daryn Pittman [7]; 12. 10H-Danny Holtgraver [14]; 13. 1S-Logan Schuchart [15]; 14. 53-Chris Bell [22]; 15. 59K-Tim Kaeding [23]; 16. 7S-Jason Sides [25]; 17. 11N-Randy Hannagan [19]; 18. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [13]; 19. 71C-Bryan Clauson [18]; 20. 24A-Rico Abreu [DNF]; 21. 49-Brad Sweet [DNF]; 22. 11K-Kraig Kinser [DNF]; 23. 11-Steve Kinser [DNF]; 24. 7-Craig Dollansky [DNF]; 25. 28D-Jac Haudenschild [DNF];

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UMP DIRTcar MODIFIEDS

HEAT 1 – 1. 7B-Jeff Babcock [4]; 2. 55S-Zach Schroeder [1]; 3. L5-Casey Luedeke [2]; 4. 24M-Zeke Mckenzie [6]; 5. 52-John Phlipot, Jr [3]; 6. 6M-Dylan Woodling [7]; 7. 18-Ryan Sutter [8]; 8. 28R-Chad Rosenbeck [5]; 9. 4J-David Treon, Jr [9];

HEAT 2 – 1. 49-Brian Ruhlman [5]; 2. 11R-Josh Rice [8]; 3. 17W-Tanner Wilson [3]; 4. 05-David Smith [1]; 5. 1SW-Scott Williams [7]; 6. 11MH-Mike Hohlbein [6]; 7. 67S-Warren Shingleton [9]; 8. 26D-Mike Dirksen [DNS]; 9. 75D-Gary Dunaway [DNS];

HEAT 3 – 1. 45P-Brian Post [1]; 2. 54-Matt Westfall [5]; 3. 65-Todd Sherman [2]; 4. 18L-Randy Lines [8]; 5. 23J-Aaron Orr [6]; 6. 51-Cody Timmerman [7]; 7. 15D-Greg Dunaway [4]; 8. 36-Brandon Vaughan [DNF];

HEAT 4 – 1. 14K-Joey Kramer [1]; 2. 88-Scott Orr [3]; 3. WO-Jeff Koz [4]; 4. X-Jerry Bowersock [7]; 5. 20-Josh Morton [6]; 6. 5X-Tim Richardson [8]; 7. 00K-Nick Katterhenry [5]; 8. 79-Shane Unger [2];

B-FEATURE – 1. 1SW-Scott Williams [2]; 2. 20-Josh Morton [4]; 3. 18-Ryan Sutter [9]; 4. 6M-Dylan Woodling [5]; 5. 5X-Tim Richardson [8]; 6. 28R-Chad Rosenbeck [13]; 7. 36-Brandon Vaughan [15]; 8. 52-John Phlipot, Jr [1]; 9. 11MH-Mike Hohlbein [6]; 10. 4J-David Treon, Jr [17]; 11. 67S-Warren Shingleton [10]; 12. 79-Shane Unger [16]; 13. 15D-Greg Dunaway [11]; 14. 00K-Nick Katterhenry [DNF]; 15. 23J-Aaron Orr [DNF]; 16. 51-Cody Timmerman [DNS]; 17. 26D-Mike Dirksen [DNS]; 18. 75D-Gary Dunaway [DNS];

A FEATURE – 1. 11R-Josh Rice [4]; 2. 54-Matt Westfall [3]; 3. 49-Brian Ruhlman [8]; 4. 7B-Jeff Babcock [9]; 5. 14K-Joey Kramer [6]; 6. 55S-Zach Schroeder [5]; 7. 88-Scott Orr [2]; 8. L5-Casey Luedeke [1]; 9. 17W-Tanner Wilson [10]; 10. X-Jerry Bowersock [16]; 11. 05-David Smith [14]; 12. 18L-Randy Lines [15]; 13. 45P-Brian Post [7]; 14. 65-Todd Sherman [11]; 15. WO-Jeff Koz [12]; 16. 24M-Zeke Mckenzie [13]; 17. 18-Ryan Sutter [19]; 18. 1SW-Scott Williams [17]; 19. 20-Josh Morton [18]; 20. 5X-Tim Richardson [21]; 21. 28R-Chad Rosenbeck [22]; 22. 36-Brandon Vaughan [23]; 23. 6M-Dylan Woodling [DNF]; 24. 52-John Phlipot, Jr [DNF];


Photos

Images from the Event


Videos

Video Highlights From The Event

9.19.14 Four Crown Nationals Highlights: World of Outlaws Sprints | DIRTcar UMP Modfieds