Attrition takes a toll on top-five cars, including two drivers in the hunt for Outlaws title
ALGER, Wash. - Aug. 31, 2012 - Once Kerry Madsen crossed the finish line with the checkered flag waving behind him, it was safe to breathe.
Up to that point, not so much.
Five drivers had a bid for the victory end in contact or mechanical failure during World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series action on Friday evening at Skagit Speedway, which wraps up the Outlaws schedule in Washington on Saturday. Opening Ceremonies are slated for 7 p.m.
Madsen overcame a near mess of his own after colliding with Donny Schatz for the lead on a restart en route to his fourth World of Outlaws feature win of the season.
"Any of these races is tough to win," Madsen said. "When you get around the front five, there's not a lot of give and take. Luckily we had track position."
The front row starters battled side by side for the opening lap before Schatz edged Madsen at the line to lead the first lap. He maintained the advantage as the drivers entered traffic on lap six. However, Cody Darrah spun in turn two on lap 11 to cause the first caution of the race.
Attrition to cars in the top five began to take its toll on the restart as fourth-running Tim Kaeding pulled to the infield following an engine issue around the same time there was contact for the lead.
As Schatz and Madsen took the green flag and raced toward turn one, a slight collision occurred near the flag stand. The contact was enough to flatten the left rear tire for Schatz, who dropped several positions before stopping on the frontstretch on lap 13 for a caution.
"It was very close," Madsen said. "Unfortunately we banged wheels. Donny's a great racer and he's renowned for being clean, so really unfortunate for him. I hate that happened for him."
Schatz's crew changed the tire and he restarted 19th, but the attrition continued. Shane Stewart, who advanced to second for the restart, began to challenge Madsen for the lead when a broken rear end sent him to the infield on lap 16.
The drivers entered traffic on lap 22 before trouble struck for a pair of top-five drivers. With three laps remaining, Trey Starks spun on the frontstretch in front of the leaders. Kraig Kinser and his father, Steve Kinser, were nearly side by side in a battle for third place when both collided with Starks.
Kraig Kinser smashed into Starks' car, which had spun around backwards, head on and Steve Kinser caught the left rear tire of Kraig Kinser's car. The contact forced Steve Kinser's car to tip over, which ended his night with an 18th-place result. Kraig Kinser was also done and credited with 17 th.
That gave Sammy Swindell a final chance at recording his third consecutive win and he nearly pulled it off. Swindell, who started on the outside of Madsen on the double-file restart, dove to the bottom in turns one and two. However, Madsen's momentum on the high groove exiting turn two proved just enough to give him the edge going into turn three.
"We got close, but I wasn't expecting him to go to the bottom in (turn) three," Swindell said after finishing second. "He changed directions and kinda went down there and shut down. I got in a little too low and gave him a little chance. But you gotta do whatever you can. He was in the right place."
The runner-up performance was Swindell's fifth top-two finish in the seven races since the Goodyear Knoxville Nationals.
The attrition also helped Craig Dollansky secure his 10th podium finish in the last 14 points events.
"There was a lot of banging wheels and cars were a little bit everywhere, but sometimes some of these races you just have to try to survive them," said Dollansky, who maintained his championship points lead. "We didn't have a real good car. We were kinda hanging in there at best, but we'll go to work on that tomorrow."
Jac Haudenschild charged from 13th to fourth and Chad Kemenah placed fifth. Travis Jacobson ended sixth and Travis Rilat earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after piloting from 22nd to seventh. Joey Saldana was eighth, Jason Sides ninth and Bill Rose rounded out the top 10 after starting 19th.
Schatz rallied to finish 11th, while Stewart and Kaeding were scored 20th and 24th, respectively, after their early challenges for the win ended with mechanical failures.
Skagit Speedway Night 1 Notebook
NOTES - Sammy Swindell established quick time in qualifying for the second consecutive race and the 11th time this season. … The top five in the championship points qualified within the top six and less than one tenth of a second apart. … Jason Sides claimed his fourth heat race win, Travis Jacobson his first and Tim Kaeding his fifth of the season. … Kerry Madsen earned his fourth dash win of the season. … Eric Fisher Jr. became the 35th different Last Chance Showdown winner of the year.
CONTINGENCY WINNERS - Penske Shocks ($100 certificate): Jac Haudenschild; MSD Ignitions ($50 cash): Kerry Madsen; Comp Cams ($50 certificate): Kerry Madsen; Armor All (case of product): Jac Haudenschild; STP ($50 cash): Sammy Swindell; UNOH ($50 cash): Chad Kemenah; Gravely Tractors ($50 cash): Joey Saldana; VP Racing Fuel ($50 cash): Jason Sides; Comp Cams ($50 cash): Bill Rose; JE Pistons (set of rings): Lucas Wolfe; Cometic Gasket ($50 cash): Cody Darrah; Wix Filters ($50 cash): Cody Darrah; Superflow ($50 cash): Kraig Kinser; JE Pistons ($50 cash): Kraig Kinser; JE Pistons (set of rings): Jonathan Allard; MSD Ignitions ($25 cash): Tim Kaeding; Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash): Kraig Kinser.
WINNERS - Sammy Swindell - 11 (Grays Harbor Raceway on Aug. 29, Castrol Raceway on Aug. 25, River Cities Speedway on Aug. 17, Autodrome Granby on July 27, Eldora Speedway on July 14, Lakeside Speedway on June 30, Red River Valley Speedway on June 16, Eldora Speedway on May 5, Knoxville Raceway on April 28, Missouri State Fair Speedway on April 20 and Merced Speedway on March 30); Craig Dollansky - 7 (Castrol Raceway on Aug. 24, Lebanon Valley Speedway on July 22, Lernerville Speedway on July 17, I-96 Speedway on June 2, Hagerstown Speedway on May 20, Tri-State Speedway on April 21 and Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19); Donny Schatz - 7 (Nodak Speedway on Aug. 19, Junction Motor Speedway on Aug. 14, Knoxville Raceway on Aug. 11, Cornwall Motor Speedway on July 29, Farmer City Raceway on April 25, Silver Dollar Speedway on March 23 and Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19); Joey Saldana - 5 (Autodrome Drummond on July 28, Eldora Speedway on July 13, The Dirt Track at Charlotte on May 25, Paducah International Raceway on April 13 and Perris Auto Speedway on March 10); Kraig Kinser - 4 (Beaver Dam Raceway on July 7, Dodge City Raceway Park on June 23, River Cities Speedway on June 15 and Kokomo Speedway on June 5); Kerry Madsen - 4 (Skagit Speedway on Aug. 31, Limaland Motorsports Park on July 11, Belleville High Banks on June 29 and Knoxville Raceway on June 9); Tim Kaeding - 3 (Cedar Lake Speedway on July 6, Thunderbowl Raceway on March 16 and The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8); Steve Kinser - 3 (Dodge City Raceway Park on June 22, Orange County Fair Speedway on May 19 and Williams Grove Speedway on May 12); Chad Kemenah - 2 (Lawrenceburg Speedway on May 28 and Eldora Speedway on May 4); Tony Stewart - 2 (Ohsweken Speedway on July 31 and Lernerville Speedway on July 17); Cody Darrah - 1 (Williams Grove Speedway on July 21); Danny Dietrich - 1 (Lincoln Speedway on May 10); Mark Dobmeier - 1 (Huset's Speedway on July 3); Danny Lasoski - 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 18); Paul McMahan - 1 (Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on May 16); Fred Rahmer - 1 (Williams Grove Speedway on May 11); Brad Sweet - 1 (Clay County Fairgrounds on June 8) and Lucas Wolfe - 1 (Bloomington Speedway on Aug. 3).
TIME TRIALS - Sammy Swindell was the fastest qualifier around the 3/10-mile oval with a time of 11.329 seconds to earn five championship points. Also earning points were Kraig Kinser (4 points), Donny Schatz (3), Craig Dollansky (2) and Joey Saldana (1).
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