FL (February 11) -- To say Joey Saldana is starting the 2004 season
strong would be an understatement. Saldana had two wins and a second
place finish the final three night's at Volusia last weekend and
kicked off the 28th Annual 410 Sprint Winternationals at East Bay
Raceway Park on Wednesday with yet another victory. The win came in
the opening night of the four-day $157,000 event. According to
Saldana's car owner Red Stauffer, it's the fifth win for the new
Hoosier-shod Shaw chassis sprint car. Hoosier's Open Wheel Dirt
Product Manager Neil Cowman attended the event and reported all but
one of the 35 cars on hand elected to ride on Hoosier tires including
Greg Wilson who switched to the Hoosier brand and finished fourth.
Thirty-five cars were entered in qualifying on the
1/3-mile dirt oval with Fred Rahmer blistering the perfectly prepared
track in a scant 12.632 seconds. Rahmer was followed by Jim Nier,
Terry McCarl, Joey Saldana and Danny Smith. The 19 fastest times in
qualifying were set by drivers riding on Hoosier tires.
All four preliminary heat races were also won by
Hoosier-shod drivers. Josh Wells, Jeff Shepard, Jesse Giannetto and
Kevin Frey were the four heat race winners.
In the 25-lap feature, Joey Saldana, using a Hoosier
D10/RD12 (left rear/right rear) combination, came from the fourth
starting position to take the lead on the 12th circuit en route to the
win. Finishing in second place was Jim Nier followed by Terry McCarl,
Greg Wilson and Danny Smith. All four opted to run Hoosier's softest
combination--a pair of D10's. Third place finisher Terry McCarl stated
after the race that the track was so good that they used the same two
(Hoosier) tires all night.
Rounding out the top ten were Lance Dewease, Fred
Rahmer, Shane Stewart, Sammy Swindell and Jeff Shepard as Hoosier-shod
drivers captured the top 14 positions in the night's feature
Also competing at East Bay were the 600cc mini sprints
of the Florida Mini Sprint Association. Twenty-seven cars were on hand
for a 20-lap feature with 16 cars riding on the Hoosier brand. The
race was won by George Ulmer using a Hoosier 69.0/10.0-10 RD12 right
To learn more about these two races and other
activities at East Bay visit their website at www.eastbayracewaypark.com.