After nine weeks of recuperating from a horrendous crash Joey Saldana climbed back into the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 9 Wednesday night at Hartford Motor Speedway and drove it to his fifth World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory of the season. Saldana suffered a shattered right forearm, punctured lung and broken ribs at Eldora Speedway in July.
"This was way more than I expected tonight,” Saldana said in Victory Lane. “My family thought it was too soon but I kept telling them I was ready. I was working out very hard at Pit Fit in Indianapolis to get myself ready to come back. I wanted to come back and be competitive and build something for next year. That’s why I came back for these races. I know and respect racing. Several drivers have been in accidents like mine and will never crawl back into a car. I’m very lucky and blessed to be here tonight and to come away with a win is huge.”
Saldana started from the pole and held off Donny Schatz through three restarts to lead the 25-lap distance on the Michigan half-mile.
Defending Outlaws champion Jason Meyers edged Schatz for second after a miscue on an earlier restart.
“That second chance tonight really helped us out,” said Meyers. ”First off, congratulations to Joey. That was a heck of a come back and proves just how tough of a competitor he is. We had a good car tonight and I was able to make my way up through the field. We started a little deep but made up the ground. It was just a good night for out DDNi/Media-Tile/GLR Investments car. Some of our friends fom Allstar Performance were here tonight and hopefully they had a great time. They re big supporters of what we do.”
Craig Dollansky also got around Schatz to take third.
“That was some good, fun racing,” said Dollansky. “We’re glad that we came up through the field there and had some good battles. It’s another great night for our Big Game Treestands car. Aggressive Hyrdaulics and Karavan Trailers also continue to help us out a lot along with Aeroquip.”
Tim Shaffer finished fourth and Schatz fifth.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series heads to Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway on Friday, September 23rd for a full program of racing on the famed half-mile in Ohio.
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Results Wednesday, September 21, 2011
1. 9-Joey Saldana  [$10,000]; 2. 14-Jason Meyers  [$5,500]; 3. 7-Craig Dollansky  [$3,200]; 4. 83X-Tim Shaffer  [$2,800]; 5. 15-Donny Schatz  [$2,500]; 6. 89G-David Gravel  [$2,300]; 7. 92-Kerry Madsen  [$2,200]; 8. 83-Paul McMahan  [$2,100]; 9. 5W-Lucas Wolfe  [$2,050]; 10. 63-Chad Kemenah  [$2,000]; 11. O4-Cap Henry  [$1,500]; 12. 2M-Dustin Daggett  [$1,200]; 13. 6-Kraig Kinser  [$1,100]; 14. 4-Danny Smith  [$1,050]; 15. 7S-Jason Sides  [$1,000]; 16. 6R-Bill Rose  [$900]; 17. 11-Steve Kinser  [$800]; 18. 14X-Joey Moughan  [$800]; 19. 91-Cody Darrah  [$800]; 20. 9E-Tim Evilsizer  [$800]; 21. 31-Andy Teunessen  [$800]; 22. 3G-Shane Stewart  [$800].
Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1-25.
KSE Hard Charger Award: 14-Jason Meyers [+6].
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