Saldana Gets First Midget Score in Battle at the Center

DU QUOIN, Ill. (December 20, 2014) – The Fifth Annual POWRi Midgets “Battle at the Center” resulted in the first Midget racing feature victory for World of Outlaws Sprint Car star Joey Saldana.

The “Brownsburg Bullet” went from third to first on the 35th of 40 laps atop the 1/6 Mini Magic Mile at the Southern Illinois Center when the lead duo of Bryan Clauson and Christopher Bell ran afoul of lapped traffic.

Saldana won his heat and qualifying race to land on the pole of the feature event, but spent the early portion of the race chasing fellow front row starter Clauson before tenth-starter Bell rallied by for second.

Lady Luck was on Saldana’s side on this night though, with Saldana taking command with six laps to go and staying ahead of one final melee that collected another group of frontrunners in the final rounds.

Saldana raced to the stripe in the closing laps aboard the Esslinger-powered Tarlton & Sons/Dissolvaloy No. 21 Spike-chassis owned by wife Shannon Saldana, with Clauson rallying back through the field in the closing laps to snare runner-up honors in the Dooling/Rusty Kunz/Curb Records No. 63.

Justin Peck claimed the show position with Spencer Bayston and Daniel Robinson rounding out the top five. The balance of the top ten included Andrew Felker, Kevin Ramey, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Tim Siner and Jody Rosenboom.

Saldana, Isaac Chapple, Clauson, Parker Price-Miller, Bell, Rosenboom, Nick Knepper, Dillon Welch and Sean Murphy topped heat race action for the 59-car field with Saldana, Clauson and Bayston winning the Qualifying races.

5th Annual Battle at the Center Results:

Heat Winners: Joey Saldana, Isaac Chapple, Bryan Clauson, Parker Price-Miller, Christopher Bell, Jody Rosenboom, Nick Knepper, Dillon Welch, Sean Murphy.

Non-Qualifier Races (Top 3 from each advance to Qualifying Races):

First Non-Qualifer: 1. 7-Austin Brown, 2. 12-J.B. Gilbert, 3. 10b-Patrick Bruns, 4. 10c-Dalton Camfield, 5. 53-Aaron Schuck, 6. 3d-David McKay, 7. 6r-Lucas Schott, 8. 0-Hunter Lane, 9. 4x-Shawn Petersen, 10. 96-Robert Bell, 11. 86c-Dave Camfield, Jr., 12. 0rw-Rob Walton, 13. 21d-Justin Dickerson.

Second Non-Qualifier: 1. 91T-Tyler Thomas, 2. 79J-Jacob Patton, 3. 10cx-Jimmy Clark, 4. 56-Isaac Schreurs, 5. 2x-Donald McIntosh, 6. 7jr-Robert Black, 7. 25j-Matt Juhl, 8. 29-David Hair, 9. 25-Dylan Peterson, 10. 88-Terry Babb, 11. 17ndr-Duke Nalon III, 12. 5c-Colten Cottle, 13. 19p-Robert Ballou.

Qualifying Races (Top 7 from each advance to “A” Main):

First Qualifier: 1. 21-Joey Saldana, 2. 91-Dereck King, 3. 5x-Justin Peck, 4. 71-Christpher Bell, 5. 11r-Ryan Criswell, 6. 11a-Andrew Felker, 7. 31-Kyle Schuett, 8. 79J-Jacob Patton, 9. 7r-Anton Julian, 10. 7x-Robby Parish, 11. 7-Austin Brown, 12. 18-Payton Pierce, 13. 53h-Matt Harms,

Second Qualifier: 1. 63-Bryan Clauson, 2. 55-Nick Knepper, 3. 57-Daniel Robinson, 4. 2-Seth Motsinger, 5. 14r-Jody Rosenboom, 6. 66-Shane Cockrum, 7. 14w-Matt Westfall, 8. 52c-Isaac Chapple, 9. 10b-Patrick Bruns, 10. 77k-Katlynn Leer, 11. 86s-Danny Smith, 12. 4-Chris Winters, 13. 91T-Tyler Thomas.

Third Qualifier: 1. 39-Spencer Bayston, 2. 9p-Parker Price-Miller, 3. 99p-Dillon Welch, 4. 17-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 5. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 6. 15-Tim Siner, 7. 1T-Tony Roney, 8. 12-J.B. Gilbert, 9. 16-Dave Camfield III, 10. 5m-Sean Murphy, 11. 5h-Matt Ponder, 12. 59-Wade Seiler, 13. 10cx-Jimmy Clark.

“A” Main (40 Laps):

1. 21-Joey Saldana, 2. 63-Bryan Clauson, 3. 5x-Justin Peck, 4. 39-Spencer Bayston, 5. 57d-Daniel Robinson, 6. 11a-Andrew Felker, 7. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 8.17-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 9. 15-Tim Siner, 10. 14r-Jody Rosenboom, 11. 31-Kyle Schuett, 12. 91-Dereck King, 13. 55-Nick Knepper, 14. 2-Seth Motsinger, 15. 11r-Ryan Criswell, 16. 71-Christopher Bell, 17. 66-Shane Cockrum, 18. 9p-Parker Price-Miller, 19. 14w-Matt Westfall, 20. 1r-Tony Roney, 21. 99p-Dillon Welch.