Sammy Swindell is no stranger to victory lane at Cedar Lake Speedway, and on Sunday night he notched his seventh World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win at the track. Swindell slid passed Joey Saldana on a restart on lap 28 and never looked back.
Swindell was joined on the podium by Saldana who finished second and 20-time series champion Steve Kinser. Daryn Pittman collected fourth place after a starting 24th in the feature. Paul McMahan, who set quick time for the event in qualifying for the 10th time this season, rounded out the top five in the feature event.
“The whole Big Game Tree Stands team had a good car we didn’t have to do very much to it tonight, so maybe we’re getting on to what we need to do or where we need to be to win some of these races,” said the Germantown, Tenn., driver of the Big Game Tree Stands Eagle. “The set ups and the way you drive the car are so much different than what it’s been, and it’s probably taken me a bit longer to really figure that out.”
Until that point Saldana had led the race from the drop of the green flag, but was heavily challenged for the lead.
“I don’t know, I went to the top earlier and that was not the right place to be, so I went to the bottom and that was working,” admitted the Brownsburg, Ind., resident. “I went to the cushion probably sooner than what I should have, maybe I should have slid more, I don’t know, he definitely did his homework he’s a smart racer, Sammy. He didn’t make the same mistake after the third or fourth time. He got position of on me and won the race.”
Swindell, Kinser and Kemenah all rushed to throw a slide job at Saldana on each and every restart, but the first legitimate contender to arise was Donny Schatz.
Schatz picked his way through the field after starting fifth and by lap 19 was within striking distance. Schatz began working the bottom waiting for an opportunity to seal the pass. However, just as the chance came the caution flew. An incident in turn four collected three cars just ahead of the leaders, and claimed a fourth in Donny Schatz, who had to restart at the back because of his involvement in the wreck.
On the final restart of the event on lap 27, Swindell figured out the track and going into one through a slide job and after Saldana checked up, Swindell secured the position. Kinser closed and made one last effort at Saldana, but could not complete the pass.
Kinser earned his second podium finish in 10 days, with the first coming at River Cities Speedway.
“I had a good run and the car felt pretty good,” said the 20 time Outlaw champion “I’ve been struggling and I don’t know what the problem is… We’ve been slowly creeping up on it a little bit, but we’ve still got a long ways to go.”
Pittman, the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship leader, had a rocky start to his night after qualifying eighth. Pittman was involved in the second wreck of heat two, with both incidents happening on the opening lap. Pittman flipped into turn three after contact with Bill Balog. Pittman would go to a backup car which would send him to the back of the Last Chance Showdown, and after earning a transfer spot, the back of the feature.
Also involved in a wreck on the same lap were Tim Kaeding and Ryan Wilson who tangled in turn one and two. They both walked away, but the incident ended both of their nights.
Schatz also had woes, but his came in the feature event. After being involved in a wreck while running for the lead, he flipped his car in turn four during the feature. Schatz repaired his machine, but ended up finishing 18th. The finish cost Schatz the second place in the championship standings as McMahan would inherit the position. McMahan trails Pittman by 130 points while Schatz sits another 11 behind McMahan going into the series next event.
The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series heads to Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D. this Wednesdaynight. Next weekend the series moves on to Dodge City (Kans.) Raceway Park for the Boot Hill Showdown