Kasey Kahne picks La Salle from You Tube videos; Saldana is King of the bullring

Discussion in 'LaSalle Speedway' started by jdearing, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. jdearing

    jdearing Administrator Staff Member

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    By: Betty Glynn


    La Salle, IL – Thursday was a night to remember at La Salle Speedway for Sprint Car enthusiasts and fans of Kasey Kahne. The mild mannered star of NASCAR was front and center for every minute of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series return to the Illinois Valley’s largest outdoor arena. Absent for just over six years, the fans came out in full force to show their undying support of the Greatest Show on Dirt.

    Not only did fans get to rub elbows with the stars they were treated to a pyrotechnic show throughout the night along with some impressively fast speeds by the best Sprint Car talent in the country going nose to nose with a lot at stake.

    To kick the evening off, Kahne took the microphone front and center in the grandstands to answer questions that members of the crowd had for him. One young fan stepped forward asking the star about a job.

    “Does Kasey Kahne Racing have internships,” Breanna asked. Kahne’s response came out after a short pause while the crowd got a chuckle. “I don’t know, you will have to ask my sister she is in the trailer.”

    It was apparent by most of his answers that family is a huge part of his racing endeavors. Throughout the night he mentioned his cousins, a brother and his sister all a part of his program who had a role either with one of his teams or working behind the scenes. A true ‘family affair’ for a racer who started out in dirt and tries to give back to his roots as much as he can. Kahne not only co-promoted the venue topper he is also the car owner for two of the WoO Sprint teams in attendance and fighting for the WoO points title.

    Thirty eight year old racer Joey Saldana of Indiana drives the Budweiser #9, much like his boss Kahne, and ended his impressive run from a sixth place start into the victory circle. As the current WoO points leader, he had much to prove to this full house while his boss was watching intently.

    “Hoping one of our cars can race well tonight,” Kahne told the crowd early.

    Indeed not only did one race well, they both did and it just so happened to be against each other. Saldana took over the point during Lap 21 but not without a fight from team mate Paul McMahan who led the first 21 laps.

    Twenty six racers from across the United States checked in for the big event. At least 15 states were represented with racers hailing from as far away as Texas, California, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.

    Qualifying, heat races, the dash and the last chance showdown determined the field of twenty five. Pole sitter and fast time holder Jac Haudenschild was fast and furious but his wild ride down the back stretch during the twelfth lap proved too much as he tumbled in horrific fashion hitting the concrete barrier during his end over end crash. Sad considering he was not only fastest qualifier with a time of 10.712 but posted the fastest racing lap as well with a quick lap of 12.018.

    Before the next lap could be scored, Sammy Swindell and Chad Kemenah made contact and again rides were flipping down the back stretch bringing out another red. Luckily all three drivers were able to exit their machines on their own. After the second vicious crash, teams were allowed to come out onto the track to make adjustments or refuel. It was a site not normally seen at the Speedway as crew members ran with their equipment to their respective drivers. After a restart of Lap 18, Saldana flew under McMahan but didn’t have enough power to over take him.

    Following yet another restart, Saldana powered hard to pass him for the first and final time after a side by side battle that brought the huge crowd to their feet with a roar echoing loud. Prior to the main event, Saldana told the crowd he knew the racing would be good.

    “Only been here a few times and never seen the track like this,” Saldana said. “It’s going to be pretty exciting.”

    While the pair was battling at the helm, a hard charging Steve Kinser was making some noise as he worked up the pack from fifteenth into third. Kinser is the only La Salle two time WoO winner. Donny Schatz started eighth and managed to move forward into the fourth place run.

    At the checkers, Saldana earned $10,000 for his A Main victory. The final finish order along with their starting spot and pay for the night are as follows: 1) 9-Joey Saldana[6] [$10,000] 2) 91-Paul McMahan[1] [$5,500] 3) 11-Steve Kinser[15] [$3,200] 4) 15-Donny Schatz[8] [$2,800] 5) 5W-Lucas Wolfe[3] [$2,500] 6) 83-Tim Kaeding[18] [$2,300] 7) 7S-Jason Sides[13] [$2,200] 8) 14-Jason Meyers[7] [$2,100] 9) 11K-Kraig Kinser[4] [$2,050] 10) 6-Danny Lasoski[9] [$2,000] 11) 1HRP-Daryn Pittman[12] [$1,500] 12) 17B-Bill Balog[22] [$1,200] 13) 10-Ricky Logan[11] [$1,100] 14) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.[17] [$1,050] 15) 1M-Jim Moughan[24] [$1,000] 16) 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski[19] [$900] 17) 4X-Toni Lutar[21] [$800] 18) 2B-Ben Gregg[23] [$800] 19) 7-Craig Dollansky[5] [$800] 20) 1X-Randy Hannagan[10] [$800] 21) 1-Sammy Swindell[14] [$800] 22) 63-Chad Kemenah[16] [$800] 23) R19-Jac Haudenschild[2] [$800] 24) 22-Brian Ellenberger[20] [$800]

    Jason Meyers finished eighth in the A Main but scored big with enough points to claim the Budweiser Crown championship. He also took home the first heat race victory over Saldana, Haudenschild, Wolfe, Sides and Kemenah.

    Heat two victor was Schatz over Hannagan, Kraig Kinser, Swindell, Pittman and Hafertepe Jr. McMahan won the final heat in front of Lasoski, Dollansky, Kaeding, Steve Kinser and Brian Ellenberger.

    During a pre-race one on one interview, I asked Kahne how he came to choose La Salle Speedway for his final leg of the Bud Showdown. He acknowledged he had never been to the track let alone raced on it but he had seen the action via the web which helped play a role in his decision.

    “Well, it’s (Speedway) close to Chicago and I heard good things about it,” Kahne said. “I also watched the races posted on You Tube and really thought the racing was exciting it helped me decide to come here.”

    When asked what he will do whenever he is no longer a NASCAR racer he answered without hesitation.

    “I will probably race more,” Kahne told while laughing. “I really enjoy racing and I know I will race more.”

    Another professional driver who still has a passion for dirt was not only in attendance but gave it his all in the UMP Modified class. Kenny Wallace aka the Herminator was more like a dominator winning both the heat and feature events in style. He was unstoppable in the feature event claiming victory over some stout competition.

    Fourteen Modified’s competed with Jay Ledford winning the first heat race while Mike Spatola took second over Jeff Curl and Nathan Balensiefen. Wallace staked claim to the second win after a strong battle with Dale Lueth. Phil Line finished third in front of Ray Bollinger.

    Wallace shot out of the blocks quick in their main event and was unstoppable carrying the field flag to flag from his outside front row start. Ledford took home second place with Curl, Bollinger, Lueth, Balensiefen, Line and Eric Bruce after him.

    Like Kahne, Wallace has some deep roots and friends in dirt track racing and recognizes the importance of supporting the sport they started out in.

    “Want to thank all you fans. We are here to help you guys,” Wallace told the crowd. “I could have been at my own track tonight in Macon but we came here to support Kasey, Tony (Stewart) and all you fans.”

    Stewart owns the car driven by Steve Kinser who is also an icon in the sprint car world.

    Saturday night the Speedway does not have any scheduled races but on July 17th Fan Appreciation Night returns with a $5 adult admission.

    Scoreboard Results
    Qualifying
    1) R19-Jac Haudenschild 10.712 2) 11K-Kraig Kinser 10.722 3) 91-Paul McMahan 10.775 4) 5W-Lucas Wolfe 10.783 5) 15-Donny Schatz 10.792 6) 7-Craig Dollansky 10.818 7) 14-Jason Meyers 10.877 8) 1X-Randy Hannagan 10.927 9) 10-Ricky Logan 10.954 10) 9-Joey Saldana 10.977 11) 1HRP-Daryn Pittman 10.980 12) 6-Danny Lasoski 10.984 13) 7S-Jason Sides 10.986 14) 1-Sammy Swindell 11.000 15) 11-Steve Kinser 11.007 16) 63-Chad Kemenah 11.010 17) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 11.028 18) 83-Tim Kaeding 11.031 19) 2B-Ben Gregg 11.042 20) 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski 11.203 21) 22-Brian Ellenberger 11.216 22) 1M-Jim Moughan 11.272 23) 4X-Toni Lutar 11.303 24) 84-Ben Wagoner 11.463 25) 4K-Kris Spritz 11.489 26) 17B-Bill Balog -.---

    Heat 1 (10 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
    1) 14-Jason Meyers[2] 2) 9-Joey Saldana[1] 3) R19-Jac Haudenschild[4] 4) 5W-Lucas Wolfe[3] 5) 7S-Jason Sides[5] 6) 63-Chad Kemenah[6] 7) 1M-Jim Moughan[8] 8) 2B-Ben Gregg[7] 9) 4K-Kris Spritz[9]

    Heat 2 (10 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
    1) 15-Donny Schatz[3] 2) 1X-Randy Hannagan[2] 3) 11K-Kraig Kinser[4] 4) 1-Sammy Swindell[5] 5) 1HRP-Daryn Pittman[1] 6) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.[6] 7) 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski[7] 8) 4X-Toni Lutar[8] 9) 17B-Bill Balog[9]

    Heat 3 (10 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
    1) 91-Paul McMahan[4] 2) 6-Danny Lasoski[1] 3) 7-Craig Dollansky[3] 4) 83-Tim Kaeding[6] 5) 11-Steve Kinser[5] 6) 22-Brian Ellenberger[7] 7) 84-Ben Wagoner[8] 8) 10-Ricky Logan[2]

    Dash (8 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature)
    1) 91-Paul McMahan[2] 2) R19-Jac Haudenschild[4] 3) 5W-Lucas Wolfe[1] 4) 11K-Kraig Kinser[3] 5) 7-Craig Dollansky[6] 6) 9-Joey Saldana[9] 7) 14-Jason Meyers[7] 8) 15-Donny Schatz[5] 9) 6-Danny Lasoski[10] 10) 1X-Randy Hannagan[8]
    B-main (10 laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
    1) 10-Ricky Logan[1] [] 2) 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski[3] [] 3) 4X-Toni Lutar[5] [] 4) 17B-Bill Balog[8] [] 5) 2B-Ben Gregg[2] [] 6) 1M-Jim Moughan[4] [] 7) 4K-Kris Spritz[7] [$200] 8) 84-Ben Wagoner[6] [$180]
    A-main (35 laps) - Starting Position [#]
    1) 9-Joey Saldana[6] [$10,000] 2) 91-Paul McMahan[1] [$5,500] 3) 11-Steve Kinser[15] [$3,200] 4) 15-Donny Schatz[8] [$2,800] 5) 5W-Lucas Wolfe[3] [$2,500] 6) 83-Tim Kaeding[18] [$2,300] 7) 7S-Jason Sides[13] [$2,200] 8) 14-Jason Meyers[7] [$2,100] 9) 11K-Kraig Kinser[4] [$2,050] 10) 6-Danny Lasoski[9] [$2,000] 11) 1HRP-Daryn Pittman[12] [$1,500] 12) 17B-Bill Balog[22] [$1,200] 13) 10-Ricky Logan[11] [$1,100] 14) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.[17] [$1,050] 15) 1M-Jim Moughan[24] [$1,000] 16) 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski[19] [$900] 17) 4X-Toni Lutar[21] [$800] 18) 2B-Ben Gregg[23] [$800] 19) 7-Craig Dollansky[5] [$800] 20) 1X-Randy Hannagan[10] [$800] 21) 1-Sammy Swindell[14] [$800] 22) 63-Chad Kemenah[16] [$800] 23) R19-Jac Haudenschild[2] [$800] 24) 22-Brian Ellenberger[20] [$800]

    Lap Leaders: Paul McMahan 1-21, Joey Saldana 22-35
    KSE Hard Charger Award: Steve Kinser
    Penske Power Position Award: Toni Lutar
    Chizmark-Larson Hard Luck Award: Brian Ellenberger

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