Swindell Sails To Eighth Victory
GRANBY, Quebec — Uh oh.
Sammy Swindell recently found the problem for his so-called slump and he answered it with an emphatic victory on Friday during the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series inaugural visit to Autodrome Granby.
“We’ve kinda been struggling a bit, but we found out we had a car from some of those little skirmishes that we had was a little twisted so our setup wasn’t where it was supposed to be,” he said. “It’s nice to be back in a car that you can just run hard.”
Swindell did just that to dominate for his series-leading eighth feature win of the season in the Outlaws first of six races in Canada this season. He set a blistering pace while claiming the dash and then led all 25 laps of the main event, although it wasn’t decided until the checkered flag.
The fifth-and-final caution of the race came while Swindell was exiting turn four on the final lap, signifying a green-white-checkered finish and erasing nearly a half-a-lap lead.
“I thought well maybe they’d thrown the checkered and I kept looking,” Swindell said. “When I got there it was another yellow, so you have to endure that again. I’ve been bit a few times on that.”
He choose the outside lane and rocketed into a sizeable lead over Joey Saldana, who charged from sixth to second during the first nine laps.
“We chose a pair of 100 tires,” he said. “Sammy had a 200 on the right rear. I would say the longer the race went, the better he got. Early on to get from sixth to second, the 100s got me there and then they fell off at the end.”
There were four cautions, including two red flags, during the opening dozen laps to slow the pace of the main event. Donny Schatz stopped on the backstretch while running in the top 10 on the second lap. After a quick pit stop, he restarted last – 24th – and later finished 10th .
Rick Wilson brought out the second caution of the race on lap eight when he stopped in turn four. Three laps later Kerry Madsen spun in turn two while running 10th and fast qualifier Kraig Kinser tipped over in turn three as the caution started to be displayed, prompting the initial red flag of the event.
The second red flag happened after Alain Bergeron crashed into the frontstretch wall on the restart. Bergeron didn’t flip, but the fuel window was reached and all the teams were able to make changes during the red flag.
Swindell quickly sailed to a large lead on each restart while Saldana held off Cody Darrah for the runner-up position. Steve Kinser found grip on the bottom in the closing five laps and rallied to finish third.
“I was terrible at the beginning of the race,” he said. “I was just too tight. When you’re tight you can’t get no speed up going into (turn) one and lose a position every time. I made it all back up at the end, but not a good way to do it starting on the front row.”
Darrah was fourth and Dollansky placed fifth.