PETERSEN MEDIA- Returning to Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night for the rain delayed National Open, Joey Saldana would hook up in a memorable battle with Danny Dietrich that would see him come up just short of victory as he would finish in the second spot.
“We were really close on Friday night, we just couldn’t get it done,” Joey Saldana said. “Danny Dietrich was really good and he got the better of us with a few laps to go.”
A lightning fast Williams Grove Speedway greeted 48 cars for the Nationals Open, and with time trials split Saldana would time in second fastest in his flight.
Lining up on the pole of his heat race, Saldana would take care of business aboard the Roth Enterprises/HR Livestock Transportation/Roth Investments No. 83 machine, as his heat race win would send him into the Dash.
With the inversion going his way, Saldana would find himself on the front row of the six-lap shootout and his win would place him on the front row of the 40-lap National Open feature event.
When the race came to life, Saldana jumped out front quickly as he would soon find traffic in just a handful of laps. Continuing to lead the way, Saldana would finally feel pressure on the race’s 14th lap, as Brad Sweet would briefly get by him to take the top spot.
Answering Sweet’s challenge, Saldana would continue to lead until the first caution of the night flew on the 21st lap. The new few laps would prove interesting as action heated up behind Saldana on a pair of restarts.
On a lap 26 restart, Saldana would see Danny Dietrich make a move on him to take the top spot away, but a caution would negate the pass and Saldana would continue on as the leader.
Back underway, Saldana and Dietrich would hook up in an extremely memorable battle that saw Dietirch work the low side of the speedway, while Saldana continued to lead the way as he pounded the cushion.
With traffic becoming a factor late in the race, the battle intensified that much more. Coming to the white flag, Dietrich would have the momentum and would get by Saldana to take over the top spot. Chasing after the new leader for the final circuit, Saldana would be unable to counter the move and would end up with a second place finish.
Though disappointed, Saldana and the Roth Motorsports team were right back at it on Saturday night as the series traveled to Port Royal Speedway.
Timing in eighth fastest during his qualifying flight, ‘The Brownsburg Bullet’ would finish third in his heat race, which would put him in the sixth row of the 30-lap feature event.
Able to crack the Top-10 in the early goings of the feature event, restarts hindered Saldana, as his lane never seemed to get going. Battling with the likes of Brad Sweet and Stevie Smith late in the race, Saldana would close his weekend out with a 10th place run.
“We have four races left this year, and we are going to keep fighting and doing what we can to be there at the end of the night,” Saldana said. “I have to thank Dennis and Teresa Roth for what they continue to do for myself and this race team, as well as my guys for their effort.”
The Roth Motorsports team would like to thank Roth Enterprises, HR Livestock Transportation, Roth Investments, Southern Pacific Farms, 3H Cattle, Mobil1, FK Rod Ends, Weld Wheels, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Kent Performance, Kaeding Performance, and Astro Titanium for their support in 2016.
ON TAP: The Roth Motorsports team will be at the Lakeside Speedway on Friday night before Salina Highbanks Speedway on Saturday night.
2016 BY THE NUMBERS: Starts-85, Wins-5, Top 5’s-29, Top 10’s-63.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Roth Motorsports by checking out their website, www.rothmotorsports83.com, and stay connected with Joey by following him on Twitter @JoeySaldana.
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