EDMONTON, AB (August 29, 2009) After becoming the first driver this season to win both ends of a two-day event with the World of Outlaws back in June at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas, Joey Saldana remained the only driver to accomplish this feat when he did it for the second time of the year Saturday, taking the checkered flag in the finale of the third annual Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Powered by VP’s M1 Methanol, Saldana dominated the weekend at the 3/8-mile leading all 70 of the laps of the two A-Feature events to pick up a total of $20,000 as the Gold Rush Tour for 2009 continues.
For Saldana, it was his series leading 15 th A-Feature win of the season and the 54 th of his World of Outlaws career. “My crew works so hard and they definitely deserve to win these races,” said Saldana. “They give me a great car every night and it’s up to me to get the job done. It was a great weekend for this entire team and a great effort both nights.”
The race began with Jason Meyers leading the field into turn one with Saldana challenging him on the high side of turn two, with a red flag flying before they got to turn three. On the complete restart, Meyers again led the field into turns one and two, with Saldana blasting into the lead on the high side of turns three and four.
Saldana jumped to a quick lead and was just about to encounter lapped traffic on the fifth lap when the caution flag flew. A strong restart saw him quickly dart to a sizeable lead. He was working his way through lapped traffic on the eighth lap when he got into the wall in turn two, though he gathered it back up and retained the top spot over Jason Meyers.
The native of Brownsburg, Indiana continued to work his way through traffic aboard the Budweiser Maxim toward the halfway point of the 35-lap race. By the 20 th lap he had over a two second lead as he weaved his way through the slower machines, when the second red flag of the night flew.
Meyers kept pace with Saldana on the ensuing restart and took the lead from him on the low side of turn three on the 22 nd lap, when the red flag flew, before the lap was completed, thus giving the lead back to Saldana on the restart.
“It’s definitely better to be lucky that good,” the winner said with a smile. “We needed that yellow and I could kind of see how the lapped cars were getting faster on the bottom and it began to take rubber and Jason (Meyers) showed me that.”
Saldana would use a strong restart on the bottom of the track with 13 laps remaining to open a comfortable lead as the laps wound down. He worked his way through traffic over the final eight laps of the race and wound up winning by nearly four seconds. Saldana endured a total of three red flags and a yellow en route to winning. Two of the red flags were opened up, allowing the crews to work on their machines.
“It was pretty good on the restarts, I just didn’t find that rubber on the bottom of (turn) two fast enough and that could have cost me the race,” he explained. “Once we got to the rubber we had a good car, on the top or wherever we were. They said we pulled away.”