AUDIO/RECAP: One for the Road; Saldana Closes World Finals With Win as Schatz Celebrates Title

Jacob Seelman Audio, Carolinas Racing, Featured, Other Sprint Cars, Southeast, Sprints & Midgets, World of Outlaws Sprint Cars 0 Comments

CONCORD, N.C. – Audio and recap by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman – Chris Seelman photo —

Joey Saldana may have given his Motter Motorsports crew the ultimate parting gift on Sunday night at the Dirt Track at Charlotte.

With the future of the team in doubt heading into the offseason, the Brownsburg, Ind. veteran led all 30 laps of Sunday evening’s rain-postponed finale to the Bad Boy Buggies World Finals, picking up his third win of the season, third in the last four years at Charlotte and 94th of his World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series career in the process.

The result was a “perfect” end to a season that started out sluggish for the No. 71M team, according to the driver that parked it in victory lane, and was much-needed for the organization as a whole — with team owner Dan Motter actively seeking sponsorship in order to continue operations in 2016.

“When you have a good car like we had tonight and don’t make a mistake, you should be alright and you should be able to stand in victory lane,” Saldana said after climbing from his mount. “We had a good car tonight. I was never worried with Shane behind me, and just kept hitting my marks all the way. It worked out well and we got the win tonight.”

“This is a big win, and it’s a big, big race,” he added of the World Finals. “When you win here, it may not pay $50,000 or $100,000 but it’s still got a ton of prestige — plus you win the last race of the season and get to have those bragging rights for the next two months. It’s sure one heck of a way to close out the year and give this team what they deserve here after how hard they’ve worked. It’s gratifying for all of us.”

Saldana, who was also celebrating his anniversary with wife Shannon on Sunday, admitted he will likely not be back in the No. 71M next season, acknowledging the financial straits for Motter as he thanked the veteran sprint car owner for a successful three-year run that included 11 victories overall after Sunday’s final result.

“This will probably be my last time driving the 71m and this is the way to go out,” Saldana admitted, “and there’s no better way to go out than to go out on top. This is what you ask for and dream about [doing]. It’s like hitting a Grand Slam to win the World Series, and I couldn’t be more thankful to be able to do that for these guys.”

“I can’t thank Ruth and Dan Motter enough for what they’ve done for me the last three years. They have given me everything that they can give to compete at this level. That’s the root of all evils in racing, is the money that it costs, but they did it for us and I again, can’t thank them enough.”

Saldana, who started on pole by virtue of winning the Dash earlier on in the night, led the field to the green flag and streaked away from Logan Schuchart early in the going. However, by lap six, the leaders were in traffic and both Schuchart and Brad Sweet closed a near-two second gap down to mere car lengths behind Saldana.

Sweet slid Schuchart on lap seven to claim the runner-up spot, but a lap later the caution flew for a crash between night one polesitter Trey Starks and Bryan Clauson that unfolded just as the leaders were coming up to lap Starks. Starks looped his car and Clauson, who was running fifth at the time, had nowhere to go and made right rear contact with Starks’ No. 23.

Saldana chose the inside of the race track for the ensuing restart, and pulled away ahead of a huge scramble for second that saw Shane Stewart move from fourth to second by the time 10 laps were in the books. At halfway it was Saldana over Stewart by just under a second, but two laps later the second yellow of the night flew for a stopped Danny Holtgraver on the frontstretch, with Jason Sides going through the infield in turns one and two to avoid the No. 70.

After that, no one had anything for Saldana, despite a tussle through traffic over the final seven laps. Though Stewart made up a second on Saldana early in the final run, it was the “Brownsburg Bullet” streaking to a 2.698 second victory at the twin checkers.

Stewart, who finished second, said the result was in no way bittersweet after nine wins on the year and a second place finish in the final standings.

“Joey was actually a little better in traffic than I was tonight. He could just cut through there and get it done. I don’t really know what we lacked, I just know I was a little lost in [turns] three and four. … All in all, though, Larson Marks Racing has had a fantastic year. I’m very proud of my guys and proud to be the driver of this hot rod. We’ve had several big wins this season, and all that is due to how hard everyone on the team works and because Justin [Marks] and Kyle [Larson] give us the resources to be able to come out and perform.”

“It’s over now, but I’m excited, we’re all looking ahead to 2016 and hopefully we can come back and hit the ground running — we want to give Donny [Schatz] a run for that crown.”

2013 series champion Daryn Pittman ran from 19th to third on a dicey, dry-slick race track to pick up the night’s KSE Hard Charger Award, with Stevie Smith finishing fourth and reigning UNOH All-Stars Circuit of Champions titlist Dale Blaney rounding out the top five.

Schatz came from 21st to finish eighth and was officially recognized as the 2015 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion – his seventh overall title and second consecutive – after a grueling 75-race schedule that saw him claim 31 wins, 60 top fives and 69 top 10s and wrap up the crown by a whopping 544 points.

“When we came here this weekend — of course we wanted to win, but we were trying some motor stuff [in preparation] for next year,” Schatz explained after hoisting the big trophy. “There’s not many races that you get to go to that are no harm, no foul and tonight was one of those for us. With the championship locked up, we knew we could work on some things and we did that this weekend. We had a decent piece, … obviously passed a lot of cars but didn’t get the win. We learned a lot though, so we’ll savor the title tomorrow night [at the series banquet] and then start applying what we’ve learned to next year and go after another one.”

Stewart, Smith, Kerry Madsen, Sammy Swindell, Kraig Kinser and Danny Lasoski claimed heat race victories to kick off the racing program on Sunday. Rico Abreu won the C-Main and charged from the back of the field to finish fifth in the Last Chance Showdown and advance to the main event, while Pittman took the easy victory in the 12-lap LCS.

The 2016 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series will open at Volusia Speedway Park with the DIRTcar Nationals, Feb. 12-14. For more information, visit www.woosprint.com.

 

Audio with race winner Joey Saldana:

Audio with race and championship runner-up Shane Stewart:

Audio with eighth-place and series champion Donny Schatz:

 

RESULTS: World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series; Bad Boy Buggies World Finals; The Dirt Track at Charlotte; Nov. 8, 2015

A-Main – (30 Laps) – 1. 71M-Joey Saldana [1] [$12,000]; 2. 2-Shane Stewart [4] [$5,500]; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman [19] [$3,200]; 4. 51S-Stevie Smith [8] [$2,800]; 5. 1B-Dale Blaney [20] [$2,500]; 6. 1S-Logan Schuchart [2] [$2,300]; 7. 49-Brad Sweet [6] [$2,200]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz [21] [$2,100]; 9. 7-David Gravel [14] [$2,050]; 10. 24R-Rico Abreu [23] [$2,000]; 11. 19M-Brent Marks [12] [$1,500]; 12. 2L-Danny Lasoski [5] [$1,200]; 13. 29-Kerry Madsen [7] [$1,100]; 14. 11K-Kraig Kinser [10] [$1,050]; 15. 7S-Jason Sides [25] [$]; 16. 51-Paul McMahan [22] [$1,000]; 17. 4-Cody Darrah [24] [$1,000]; 18. 45-Tim Shaffer [15] [$1,000]; 19. 70-Danny Holtgraver [17] [$1,000]; 20. 1-Sammy Swindell [9] [$1,000]; 21. 67-Sheldon Haudenschild [13] [$1,000]; 22. 27-Greg Hodnett [11] [$1,000]; 23. 41-Jason Johnson [26] [$]; 24. 23S-Trey Starks [16] [$1,000]; 25. 24-Terry McCarl [18] [$1,000]; 26. 1A-Jacob Allen [27] [$]; 27. 17W-Bryan Clauson [3] [$1,000].

Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1-30.

KSE Hard Charger Award: 9-Daryn Pittman [+16]

Qualifying – 1. 71M-Joey Saldana, 12.904; 2. 49-Brad Sweet, 12.919; 3. 27-Greg Hodnett, 12.930; 4. 2-Shane Stewart, 12.990; 5. 67-Sheldon Haudenschild, 12.994; 6. 29-Kerry Madsen, 13.025; 7. 45-Tim Shaffer, 13.031; 8. 51S-Stevie Smith, 13.047; 9. 70-Danny Holtgraver, 13.080; 10. 9-Daryn Pittman, 13.099; 11. 19-Paige Polyak, 13.107; 12. 4-Cody Darrah, 13.122; 13. 23C-Tyler Courtney, 13.135; 14. 98H-Dave Blaney, 13.136; 15. 10H-Chad Kemenah, 13.148; 16. 24R-Rico Abreu, 13.200; 17. 41-Jason Johnson, 13.212; 18. 82-Dusty Zomer, 13.214; 19. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.295; 20. 18-Ian Madsen, 13.311; 21. 11N-Randy Hannagan, 13.380; 22. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.385; 23. 1Z-Stewart Friesen, 13.425; 24. 2LX-Logan Forler, 13.454; 25. 77X-Sam Hafertepe, 13.609; 26. 19M-Brent Marks, 12.920; 27. 7-David Gravel, 12.934; 28. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 12.961; 29. 17W-Bryan Clauson, 13.029; 30. 23S-Trey Starks, 13.041; 31. 2L-Danny Lasoski, 13.044; 32. 1-Sammy Swindell, 13.071; 33. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.072; 34. 13-Jac Haudenschild, 13.098; 35. 24-Terry McCarl, 13.104; 36. 1B-Dale Blaney, 13.158; 37. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.169; 38. 51-Paul McMahan, 13.180; 39. 6T-Cole Duncan, 13.194; 40. 33-Dominic Scelzi, 13.290; 41. 94-Ryan Smith, 13.318; 42. 5C-Dylan Cisney, 13.355; 43. 9X-Paul Nienhiser, 13.418; 44. 17BX-Steve Buckwalter, 13.438; 45. 11-Steve Kinser, 13.514; 46. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 13.528; 47. 94Z-Brock Zearfoss, 13.531; 48. 44D-Chase Dietz, 13.587; 49. 23M-Lance Moss, 13.712; 50. 36D-Wayne Dadetto, 14.332

Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 2-Shane Stewart [2]; 2. 45-Tim Shaffer [1]; 3. 71M-Joey Saldana [3]; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman [4]; 5. 24R-Rico Abreu [6]; 6. 23C-Tyler Courtney [5]; 7. 7S-Jason Sides [8]; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen [7]

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 51S-Stevie Smith [1]; 2. 67-Sheldon Haudenschild [2]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet [3]; 4. 41-Jason Johnson [6]; 5. 98H-Dave Blaney [5]; 6. 1Z-Stewart Friesen [8]; 7. 19-Paige Polyak [4]; 8. 18-Ian Madsen [7]; 9. 77X-Sam Hafertepe [9]

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 29-Kerry Madsen [2]; 2. 27-Greg Hodnett [3]; 3. 70-Danny Holtgraver [1]; 4. 4-Cody Darrah [4]; 5. 10H-Chad Kemenah [5]; 6. 82-Dusty Zomer [6]; 7. 2LX-Logan Forler [8]; 8. 11N-Randy Hannagan [7]

Heat 4 – (8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 1-Sammy Swindell [1]; 2. 17W-Bryan Clauson [2]; 3. 24-Terry McCarl [4]; 4. 51-Paul McMahan [5]; 5. 19M-Brent Marks [3]; 6. 17BX-Steve Buckwalter [7]; 7. 94-Ryan Smith [6]; 8. 94Z-Brock Zearfoss [8]; 9. 23M-Lance Moss [9]

Heat 5 – (8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 11K-Kraig Kinser [1]; 2. 23S-Trey Starks [2]; 3. 1B-Dale Blaney [4]; 4. 11-Steve Kinser [7]; 5. 7-David Gravel [3]; 6. 6T-Cole Duncan [5]; 7. 5C-Dylan Cisney [6]; 8. 44D-Chase Dietz [8]; 9. 36D-Wayne Dadetto [9]

Heat 6 – (8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 2L-Danny Lasoski [2]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [4]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart [3]; 4. 9X-Paul Nienhiser [6]; 5. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [7]; 6. 13-Jac Haudenschild [1]; 7. 33-Dominic Scelzi [5]

Dash – (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature) – 1. 71M-Joey Saldana [1]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [2]; 3. 17W-Bryan Clauson [4]; 4. 2-Shane Stewart [5]; 5. 2L-Danny Lasoski [6]; 6. 49-Brad Sweet [3]; 7. 29-Kerry Madsen [7]; 8. 51S-Stevie Smith [9]; 9. 1-Sammy Swindell [8]; 10. 11K-Kraig Kinser [10]

C-Main – (10 Laps – Top 2 finishers transfer to the Last Chance Showdown) – 1. 24R-Rico Abreu [1] [-]; 2. 5C-Dylan Cisney [2] [-]; 3. 9X-Paul Nienhiser [4] [$150]; 4. 41-Jason Johnson [3] [$150]; 5. 82-Dusty Zomer [5] [$150]; 6. 11N-Randy Hannagan [9] [$125]; 7. 1Z-Stewart Friesen [13] [$125]; 8. 2LX-Logan Forler [14] [$125]; 9. 44D-Chase Dietz [12] [$125]; 10. 17BX-Steve Buckwalter [6] [$125]; 11. 1A-Jacob Allen [7] [$125]; 12. 7S-Jason Sides [11] [$125]; 13. 11-Steve Kinser [8] [$125]; 14. 18-Ian Madsen [15] [$125]; 15. 13-Jac Haudenschild [16] [$125]; 16. 77X-Sam Hafertepe [17] [$125]; 17. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [18] [$125]; 18. 23M-Lance Moss [19] [$125]; 19. 36D-Wayne Dadetto [20] [$125]; 20. 94Z-Brock Zearfoss [10] [$125]

Last Chance Showdown – (12 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 9-Daryn Pittman [1] [-]; 2. 7-David Gravel [4] [-]; 3. 19M-Brent Marks [2] [-]; 4. 51-Paul McMahan [6] [-]; 5. 24R-Rico Abreu [13] [-]; 6. 4-Cody Darrah [5] [-]; 7. 98H-Dave Blaney [9] [$300]; 8. 6T-Cole Duncan [8] [$250]; 9. 33-Dominic Scelzi [10] [$225]; 10. 94-Ryan Smith [12] [$200]; 11. 10H-Chad Kemenah [11] [$200]; 12. 5C-Dylan Cisney [14] [$200]; 13. 19-Paige Polyak [3] [$200]; 14. 23C-Tyler Courtney [7] [$200]

 

About the Writer

Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.

The 21-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

Email Jacob at: [email protected]

Follow on Twitter: @Speed77Radio or @JacobSeelman77

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