Saldana Speedy at I-80

The Wheatley Chronicles – Volume IV, No. 25

Lonnie Wheatley, GREENWOOD, Neb. (June 22, 2016) – Joey Saldana led all 30 laps of Wednesday night’s Craftsman World of Outlaws Sprint Car series feature at I-80 Speedway for his fourth series triumph of the season.

Even though Saldana wired the field in the Roth Motorsports No. 83, it was anything but a snoozer with action aplenty in his wake.

“I really wanted to win this, I need to win it for myself and my family,” Saldana commented in victory lane.  “It’s just confidence, it’s easy to lose your confidence out here.  It definitely felt pretty good.  That’s a different track than we’ve had in a while.  I’ve been struggling on the really slick ones, I really need that to see if I’m any better or not.”

After setting the night’s quick time and then winning the Dash, David Gravel led the feature field to the green flag. But it was front row outside starter outdueling the Connecticut shoe on the opening lap to take command.

From there, Saldana held off Gravel for 17 laps until the race’s first interruption occurred for third-running Logan Schuchart’s flip in turn three.

The action ratcheted up at that point, with ninth-starter Donny Schatz entering the mix for the lead on the restart as Gravel fell back to fifth.

Another caution six laps later shook things up even more when third-runner Daryn Pittman exited to the work area with a deflated left rear tire.

While Schatz appeared to be poised to challenge for the point on the restart, it was Jason Johnson who motored into second to challenge for the lead after starting 11th. Johnson’s challenge was cut short though when his left rear tire gave way two laps shy of the checkered flag.

Saldana denied any Schatz bids on the final restart and raced on to the checkered flag with Schatz settling for second.  “I’ve lost so many races by going straight to the top so I took the bottom, took the middle, just took the groove away so they didn’t have it and then I got back on the top and luckily held on,” Saldana explained of the final restart.

Brad Sweet’s Hard Charger effort from 17th culminated with a third place finish as Brian Brown and Kerry Madsen rounded out the top five.

The Vitals

Series: World of Outlaws

Track: I-80 Speedway (Greenwood, NE)

Car Count: 23

Quick Time: The first one to hit the track, David Gravel set the standard at 14.125 seconds for his second quick time of the year.

Heat Winners (starting position in parentheses): Kerry Madsen (2), Daryn Pittman (1), Joey Saldana (1).

Heat Moments: The Madman won the first heat on the low side while Pittman and Saldana worked the upper portion of the 4/10-mile clay oval to top the next two heats; Brad Sweet looped it in turn two on the opening lap of the second heat and collected Greg Wilson, Sweet returned while Wilson was sidelined with front end damage; Gravel was the only pole starter not to win as he chased Madsen to the stripe, it worked out in his favor with an invert of four landing him on the pole of the dash; Saldana outdueled Ian Madsen over the opening pair of laps of the third heat and ended up front row outside of the Dash.

Dash Winner (starting position in parentheses): David Gravel (1).

Dash Moments: Gravel jumped out front and won it handily with Logan Schuchart sliding past Kerry Madsen in turn two on the final round to snare the fourth starting position for the feature.

“B” Main Moments: Not on this night.

“A” Main Cautions: Three

17 laps – The red flag flies past the midway point when third-running Logan Schuchart dumps it against the fence in turn four.

23 Laps – Terry McCarl comes to a stop on the track. Third-running Daryn Pittman is forced to the work area with a flat left rear with fifth-place David Gravel to the work area as well with wing damage.

28 Laps – In second and pushing for the lead, “The Ragin’ Cajun” Jason Johnson slows with a shredded right rear tire.

“A” Main Hard Charger: Sweet salvaged a podium finish after rough early going by racing from 17th to third.

The Box Score…

Qualifying – 1. 5-David Gravel, 14.125; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman, 14.205; 3. 83-Joey Saldana, 14.211; 4. 29-Kerry Madsen, 14.214; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 14.244; 6. 18-Ian Madsen, 14.255; 7. 7S-Jason Sides, 14.260; 8. 41-Jason Johnson, 14.268; 9. 82-Dusty Zomer, 14.325; 10. 7W-Tasker Phillips, 14.360; 11. 21-Brian Brown, 14.366; 12. 15-Donny Schatz, 14.383; 13. 2-Shane Stewart, 14.407; 14. 49-Brad Sweet, 14.446; 15. 7-Paul McMahan, 14.477; 16. 1A-Jacob Allen, 14.482; 17. 24-Terry McCarl, 14.509; 18. 10-Dakota Hendrickson, 14.521; 19. 12-Lynton Jeffrey, 14.603; 20. W20-Greg Wilson, 14.727; 21. 3-Billy Alley, 14.882; 22. 13-Clyde Knipp, 15.145; 23. 2K-Kevin Ingle, 15.368

Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 29-Kerry Madsen [2]; 2. 5-David Gravel [1]; 3. 7S-Jason Sides [3]; 4. 7W-Tasker Phillips [4]; 5. 2-Shane Stewart [5]; 6. 12-Lynton Jeffrey [7]; 7. 13-Clyde Knipp [8]; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen [6]

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 9-Daryn Pittman [1]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [2]; 3. 21-Brian Brown [4]; 4. 41-Jason Johnson [3]; 5. 24-Terry McCarl [6]; 6. 49-Brad Sweet [5]; 7. 2K-Kevin Ingle [8]; 8. W20-Greg Wilson [7]

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 83-Joey Saldana [1]; 2. 18-Ian Madsen [2]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz [4]; 4. 82-Dusty Zomer [3]; 5. 7-Paul McMahan [5]; 6. 3-Billy Alley [7]; 7. 10-Dakota Hendrickson [6]

Dash – (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 6 starting positions of A-feature) – 1. 5-David Gravel [1]; 2. 83-Joey Saldana [2]; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman [3]; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart [5]; 5. 29-Kerry Madsen [4]; 6. 18-Ian Madsen [6]

A-Main – (30 Laps) – 1. 83-Joey Saldana [2][$10,000]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [9][$5,500]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet [17][$3,200]; 4. 21-Brian Brown [8][$2,800]; 5. 29-Kerry Madsen [5][$2,500]; 6. 18-Ian Madsen [6][$2,300]; 7. 2-Shane Stewart [13][$2,200]; 8. 5-David Gravel [1][$2,100]; 9. 7-Paul McMahan [15][$2,050]; 10. 7S-Jason Sides [7][$2,000]; 11. 7W-Tasker Phillips [10][$1,500]; 12. 9-Daryn Pittman [3][$1,200]; 13. 82-Dusty Zomer [12][$1,100]; 14. 41-Jason Johnson [11][$1,050]; 15. W20-Greg Wilson [23][$1,000]; 16. 3-Billy Alley [18][$900]; 17. 13-Clyde Knipp [19][$800]; 18. 12-Lynton Jeffrey [16][$800]; 19. 24-Terry McCarl [14][$800]; 20. 1S-Logan Schuchart [4][$800]; 21. 2K-Kevin Ingle [20][$800]; 22. 10-Dakota Hendrickson [21][$800]; 23. 1A-Jacob Allen [22][$800]. Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: 49-Brad Sweet [+14]


The Wheatley Chronicles brings insight and highlights from all variety of racing series throughout the nation in 2016 and beyond along with the Open Wheel Power Rankings on a regular basis. Please send any comments, questions or advertising inquiries regarding The Wheatley Chronicles at to Lonnie Wheatley at