ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Keeping Pace

Swindell Remains Undefeated at Merced Speedway

While most of the national racing series are taking a break during Easter weekend, the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series continued its swing through California with a stop last night in Merced.


Courtesy: WoO Media Relations

MERCED, Calif. - March 29, 2013 - There was no need to panic. The pieces were laid out, just not put together.

On a perfect California Friday evening, Sammy Swindell completed the puzzle to capture his first World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series victory of the season and his third consecutive to remain undefeated at Merced Speedway.

“This track has been good to me,” he said. “We've been here three times and have gotten the same result. I'm looking forward to coming back here again.”

While Swindell wasn't ready to give up on the season after the first 10 races - when he recorded only one top-five finish and four top 10s - Merced was a sight for sore eyes. Swindell had a marvelous record at the third mile in the only two previous World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series events. He qualified in the top four both times, finished in the top four in his heat race both times and placed in the top four of the dash both times.

Oh, and he led an impressive 79 of the 80 feature laps.

That trend continued on Friday when Swindell, who went out last to qualify, timed in sixth quickest on a track that had slowed dramatically. He then placed third in his heat race and second in the dash to earn a spot on the front row of the 40-lap feature.

Yet it was NASCAR sensation Kyle Larson who jumped to the early lead. Larson led the first 13 laps before the right rear tire on his car popped going into turn one, giving the lead to Swindell.

“I think our car was good there to run with Kyle maybe in the last half of the race,” Swindell said. “His car was pretty good to start; mine was a bit tight, but the track was going to go away and the fuel was going to come out. I felt like we had something.”

With the bottom groove favored and only one caution the rest of the race, Swindell maneuvered through traffic perfectly. Championship points leader Daryn Pittman was able to close within three car lengths in traffic once, but Swindell was in control.

“Things went his way tonight,” Pittman said. “Some nights things go your way and put you in the right position to win the race. He's awfully talented and when you give him a chance to win and put him on the front row, he's awfully hard to beat.

“Tonight track position was really important. I think Larson was going to be pretty hard to beat if he didn't have a flat.”

Californian Tim Kaeding, who along with Pittman are the only multiple feature winners this season, passed Chad Kemenah for third place exiting turn two with two laps remaining. It was his sixth top five in eight events this season.

“It's been an awesome year,” Kaeding said. “Tonight really wasn't where we needed to be, but we put ourselves in contention for a top five.”

Kemenah placed fourth and Paul McMahan ended fifth.

Shane Golobic was sixth, fast qualifier and new track record holder Joey Saldana seventh, Brian Brown eighth and Donny Schatz recorded the KSE Hard Charger Award after piloting from 16th to ninth. Jason Sides rounded out the top 10.

Merced Speedway Notebook

NOTES - Joey Saldana established quick time and a track record in qualifying for the first race this season. … Paul McMahan claimed his third heat race win, Greg Wilson his first and Brian Brown his second of the season. … The dash draw was a six. … Kyle Larson became the 11th different dash winner in as many events this season. … David Gravel picked up his first Last Chance Showdown victory of the year.

CONTINGENCY WINNERS - Penske Shocks ($100 certificate): David Gravel; MSD Ignitions ($50 cash): Sammy Swindell; Comp Cams ($50 certificate): Sammy Swindell; STP ($50 cash): Chad Kemenah; Bruce High Performance Transporters ($50 cash and $200 certificate): Chad Kemenah; JE Pistons ($50 cash): Paul McMahan; UNOH ($50 cash): Joey Saldana; American Racing Custom Wheels ($50 cash): Joey Saldana; VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash): Donny Schatz; Edelbrock ($50 cash): Donny Schatz; Comp Cams ($50 cash): Jason Sides; Cometic Gasket ($50 cash): Cody Darrah; Bruce High Performance Transporters ($200 certificate): Terry McCarl; Superflow ($50 cash): Steve Kinser; JE Pistons (set of rings): Greg Wilson; Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash): Greg Wilson; JE Pistons (set of rings): Jonathan Allard; Bruce High Performance Transporters ($200 certificate): Jonathan Allard; MSD Ignitions ($25 cash): Wayne Johnson; Armor All (case of product): Terry McCarl; KSE Racing Products ($100 certificate): Donny Schatz.

WINNERS - Tim Kaeding - 2 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 15 and The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 7); Daryn Pittman - 2 (Tucson International Raceway on March 9 and Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 15); Craig Dollansky - 1 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 16); Kyle Larson - 1 (Stockton 99 Dirt Track on March 22); Danny Lasoski - 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 17); Paul McMahan - 1 (Silver Dollar Speedway on March 23); Terry McCarl - 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 16); Donny Schatz - 1 (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 6) and Sammy Swindell - 1 (Merced Speedway on March 29).

TIME TRIALS - Joey Saldana was the fastest qualifier around the third-mile oval with a track-record time of 10.823 seconds to earn five championship points. Also earning points were Chad Kemenah (4 points), David Gravel (3), Daryn Pittman (2) and Tim Kaeding (1).

WE'RE ONLINE - Make sure to check out WoOsprint.com for the latest news and results, plus exclusive driver interviews, video and pictures. Also listen to every event live at DIRTVision.com .

Merced Speedway Statistical Report; Merced, Calif.; March 29, 2013

A-Main - (40 Laps) - 1. 1-Sammy Swindell [2] [$10,000]; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman [4] [$5,500]; 3. 83-Tim Kaeding [3] [$3,200]; 4. 63-Chad Kemenah [5] [$2,800]; 5. 51-Paul McMahan [9] [$2,500]; 6. 121-Shane Golobic [7] [$2,300]; 7. 71M-Joey Saldana [6] [$2,200]; 8. 21-Brian Brown [8] [$2,100]; 9. 15-Donny Schatz [16] [$2,050]; 10. 7S-Jason Sides [13] [$2,000]; 11. 6-David Gravel [11] [$1,500]; 12. 4-Cody Darrah [18] [$1,200]; 13. 88-Terry McCarl [20] [$1,100]; 14. 57-Kyle Larson [1] [$1,050]; 15. 21M-Jason Meyers [14] [$1,000]; 16. 11-Steve Kinser [15] [$900]; 17. W20-Greg Wilson [10] [$800]; 18. 7-Craig Dollansky [21] [$800]; 19. 83JR-Kyle Hirst [19] [$800]; 20. 77-Jac Haudenschild [12] [$800]; 21. OO-Jason Statler [22] [$800]; 22. 37-Matt Mitchell [23] [$800]; 23. O-Jonathan Allard [17] [$800]; 24. 77X-Wayne Johnson [24] [$800]. Lap Leaders: Kyle Larson 1-13, Sammy Swindell 14-40. KSE Hard Charger Award: 15-Donny Schatz [+7].

Qualifying - 1. 71M-Joey Saldana, 10.823; 2. 63-Chad Kemenah, 10.888; 3. 6-David Gravel, 10.979; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman, 11.039; 5. 83-Tim Kaeding, 11.051; 6. 1-Sammy Swindell, 11.070; 7. 77-Jac Haudenschild, 11.154; 8. 57-Kyle Larson, 11.160; 9. 121-Shane Golobic, 11.167; 10. 51-Paul McMahan, 11.192; 11. W20-Greg Wilson, 11.199; 12. 21-Brian Brown, 11.204; 13. 7S-Jason Sides, 11.217; 14. 21M-Jason Meyers, 11.234; 15. 11-Steve Kinser, 11.247; 16. 15-Donny Schatz, 11.258; 17. O-Jonathan Allard, 11.263; 18. 4-Cody Darrah, 11.295; 19. 83JR-Kyle Hirst, 11.297; 20. 88-Terry McCarl, 11.316; 21. 7-Craig Dollansky, 11.365; 22. 37-Matt Mitchell, 11.397; 23. 77X-Wayne Johnson, 11.435; 24. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 11.462; 25. 44W-Austen Wheatley, 11.470; 26. 24A-Rico Abreu, 11.499; 27. OO-Jason Statler, 11.565; 28. OOX-Cory Eliason, 11.569; 29. 29-Kerry Madsen, 11.590; 30. 88N-D.J. Netto, 11.607; 31. 21X-Carson Macedo, 11.705.

Heat 1 - (10 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 51-Paul McMahan [1]; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman [3]; 3. 77-Jac Haudenschild [2]; 4. 71M-Joey Saldana [4]; 5. 7S-Jason Sides [5]; 6. 83JR-Kyle Hirst [7]; 7. 21X-Carson Macedo [11]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz [6]; 9. OOX-Cory Eliason [10]; 10. 44W-Austen Wheatley [9]; 11. 37-Matt Mitchell [8].

Heat 2 - (10 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. W20-Greg Wilson [1]; 2. 57-Kyle Larson [2]; 3. 83-Tim Kaeding [3]; 4. 63-Chad Kemenah [4]; 5. 21M-Jason Meyers [5]; 6. 88-Terry McCarl [7]; 7. O-Jonathan Allard [6]; 8. 24A-Rico Abreu [9]; 9. 29-Kerry Madsen [10]; 10. 77X-Wayne Johnson [8].

Heat 3 - (10 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 21-Brian Brown [1]; 2. 121-Shane Golobic [2]; 3. 1-Sammy Swindell [3]; 4. 4-Cody Darrah [6]; 5. 7-Craig Dollansky [7]; 6. OO-Jason Statler [9]; 7. 11K-Kraig Kinser [8]; 8. 11-Steve Kinser [5]; 9. 6-David Gravel [4]; 10. 88N-D.J. Netto [10].

Dash - (8 Laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature) - 1. 57-Kyle Larson [1]; 2. 1-Sammy Swindell [2]; 3. 83-Tim Kaeding [3]; 4. 9-Daryn Pittman [4]; 5. 63-Chad Kemenah [5]; 6. 71M-Joey Saldana [6]; 7. 121-Shane Golobic [7]; 8. 21-Brian Brown [10]; 9. 51-Paul McMahan [8]; 10. W20-Greg Wilson [9].

B-Main - (12 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 6-David Gravel [1] [-]; 2. 11-Steve Kinser [2] [-]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz [3] [-]; 4. O-Jonathan Allard [4] [-]; 5. 37-Matt Mitchell [5] [-]; 6. 77X-Wayne Johnson [6] [-]; 7. 24A-Rico Abreu [9] [$200]; 8. 11K-Kraig Kinser [7] [$180]; 9. 44W-Austen Wheatley [8] [$175]; 10. 21X-Carson Macedo [13] [$160]; 11. 29-Kerry Madsen [11] [$150]; 12. 88N-D.J. Netto [12] [$150]; 13. OOX-Cory Eliason [10] [$150].


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Keeping Pace

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Keeping Pace.

Contributors

Doug Pace

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here