PETERSEN MEDIA- Amidst the biggest week of the season, Joey Saldana comes into the Knoxville Nationals on the strength of a charge to fifth from 14th at the Ironman 55 as well as a sixth place finish during Sunday night’s Capitani Classic at the Knoxville Raceway.
“The Knoxville Nationals is a race you want to win,” Saldana said. “We had a couple of good runs last week, but we have to come out this week on our game and be quick each time we hit the track.”
During Saturday night’s Ironman 55 at the Federated Auto Parts I-55 Speedway in Pevely, MO, Saldana and his Roth Motorsports team would time in second fastest before finishing fourth in heat race action.
Moving into the 55-lap feature event, Saldana would grid the field from the 14th starting position. On a surface that was fast in the early goings of the race before widening out, Saldana would fly around the speedway as he marched the Roth Enterprises/HR Livestock Transportation/Roth Investments No. 83 machine forward.
Seemingly picking off cars at will, “The Brownsburg Bullet” would take the checkered flag with a fifth place finish and earn KSE Hard Charger honors on this night.
Making the tow to the Knoxville Raceway to take part in Sunday night’s Capitani Classic as a final tune up before the Nationals, Saldana would time in third quickest before pocketing a second place finish in his heat race.
Sitting third in points following heat races and time trials, Saldana would enter the Pole Shootout as the third seed, but would fall to Brian Brown in his first match and line up in the second row for the 25-lap feature event.
Settling into the fourth spot as the race came to life, Saldana would feel pressure from Brent Marks for the position just before the race’s halfway point. With Marks briefly taking the spot, Saldana would answer back on lap 10 to secure the spot.
Falling to fifth on the 12th lap, Saldana would continue to run inside the Top-Five but would soon find himself battling with Jason Solwold in the final laps. On the 20th circuit, Saldana would drop to the sixth spot where he would run the final five laps and end up finishing.
“We have some work to do for our qualifying night, and we will do all we can to get this thing up front Saturday night,” Saldana added. “A race like this is one you want to run well at, and we will do all we can for Dennis and Teresa Roth. They support us week in and week out, and its on us to run well on the big stage.”
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: Joey and the Roth Motorsports team return to action on Thursday night for their qualifying night at the Knoxville Nationals.
2016 BY THE NUMBERS: Starts-66, Wins-4, Top 5’s-25, Top 10’s-50.
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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