This year hasn’t been one of Joey Saldana’s best on the World of Outlaw’s winged sprint car tour.
But Saldana capped the year the best way he knew how – in Victory Lane.
Saldana put on a dominating show Sunday in the World of Outlaws World Finals, winning the 30-lap sprint car feature at the Dirt Track at Charlotte.
“We’ve had a great car and led a lot of laps,” said Saldana, 43, who won $12,000. “(But) we’ve had too many DNFs (did not finish) and too many mistakes on my part.
“It’s kinda bittersweet, really – this might be my last night in (owner Dan Motter’s car). But that’s how you need to go out, by winning.”
Saldana, of Brownsburg, Ind., led all 30 laps and never was seriously challenged in picking up his third World of Outlaws win this season and the 94th of his career.
It also was Saldana’s fifth win at the Dirt Track at Charlotte, second-most among sprint car drivers behind Donny Schatz’ eight victories.
Shane Stewart of Tulsa, Okla., finished second, 2.698 seconds behind Saldana. Completing the top five were Daryn Pittman of Pittsboro, Ind., Stevie Smith of Broken Arrow, Okla., and Dale Blaney of Hartford, Ohio.
Davenport wins late model feature: Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., capped an incredible season racing dirt late models by winning the 50-lap World Finals feature.
Davenport, 32, earned $12,000 for his fourth win in seven starts this season on the World of Outlaws late model tour, and his 22nd overall in dirt late model events nationwide.
It also was Davenport’s fifth victory at the Dirt Track at Charlotte. That ties him with Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., for second on the track’s all-time wins list in dirt late models, one behind Scott Bloomquist.
Davenport, who started second, led the final 20 laps and finished 1.557 seconds ahead of pole-winner Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who also finished second in the weekend’s opening late model feature.
Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., was third, followed by Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., and Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind.
Kerr gets 1st DIRTcar win: Canadian Tim Kerr won his first Super DIRTcar Series big-block modified feature, taking the season-ending feature.
Kerr, of Picton, Ontario, led the final 10 laps in the 40-lap A-Main at the Dirt Track at Charlotte. He finished 2.347 seconds ahead of Matt Sheppard, and won $8,000.
Sheppard, of Waterloo, N.Y., clinched his fourth points championship with his runner-up finish. He needed to finish 20th or better to beat defending series champ Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., for the title.
Larry Wight of Altmar, N.Y., finished third, followed by Danny Johnson of Phelps, N.Y., and Australian Pete Britten. Decker finished seventh.
Mooresville teen Max McLaughlin finished 20th in his second big-block modified start.
Moss has scary wreck in heat: Lance Moss walked away from a scary wreck during one of the World Finals’ sprint car heat races.
Moss, of Cherryville, was racing for position midway through the eight-lap heat when his car slid into the third-turn wall.
Moss’ car flipped onto its side and rode along the wall into the fourth turn until a wheel caught on one of the catch fence posts. The impact flipped his car around and crushed its top wing on the wall.
The race was red-flagged for 29 minutes as track workers made repairs to the catch fence and to remove pieces of Moss’ car that were embedded in the track.
‘Wild Child’ hurt in wreck: Jac “Wild Child” Haudenschild, a 56-time winner on the World of Outlaws sprint car series, injured his arm in a crash during a heat race.
Haudenschild, of Wooster, Ohio, was running fourth in the last of the six sprint car races when his car went hard into the wall between the third and fourth turns.
Haudenschild, 57, was able to walk to the ambulance, where track medical workers discovered severe cuts to his left arm, exposing the bone. He was transported to a local hospital for further treatment.