Posse Strikes Back as Hodnett Bests Marks, Saldana at Williams Grove Speedway
Hodnett becomes the 18th different World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series winner of the season; Hodnett and Marks give Posse 1-2 finish
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – July 18, 2014 – Greg Hodnett led the Pennsylvania Posse to a World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway, striking back on night one of the Summer Nationals after Outlaw Daryn Pittman won Thursday night at Lincoln Speedway.
Hodnett, who started the A main in fourth in his Lelands.com/Pasquariello’s Auto Shop car, dominated the second half after getting around Outlaw Joey Saldana and fellow Posse Brent Marks on a restart. Hodnett said the double file restarts that had hurt him the night before at Lincoln, helped him at Williams Grove.
“We’re just fortunate to be standing here,” Hodnett said. “It’s a great field of cars.”
Hodnett, who has 12 previous World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series wins, became the 18th different winner of the season.
Saldana started on the front row with Justin Barger. Cody Darrah and Hodnett started in row two. As the green flag flew on the feature, Saldana jumped out to a large lead while Brent Marks moved from his sixth place starting position into third.
By lap 13, Marks, who had moved to second, was challenging Saldana for the lead as the two worked through lapped traffic. A red flag flew on lap 15 after contact between Kerry Madsen and Cody Darrah. The wreck ended Madsen’s night and relegated Darrah to the back of the field.
When the race returned to green, Hodnett, who had advanced to the third position, made his move. Hodnett got around Marks, and then battled Saldana for the next two laps.
“I had been trying the bottom and middle a couple of times through the night and I knew if I was slow enough we could do it – and off a restart usually you are,” Hodnett said. “So we got a good run down the front straight off of four, off the bottom, just kind of let it take its head and stay on the back wheels and try not to slip the tires. We got down into turn one and two, and pretty much just got under Joey enough to keep moving him up and keep pushing, pushing, pushing trying to get under him to get a good, clean run off the bottom. Fortunately for us that’s what happened.”
Hodnett took the lead on lap 17 and was never seriously challenged again.
“We’re going to make the most of this one tonight because you never know when you’ll get another one!” Hodnett said.”
Marks finished second in his BAPS Auto Paint Supply car after getting around Saldana shortly after the mid-race restart. Despite that, Marks, who was closing the gap on Saldana when the red flag came out, said he did not want to see the race stoppage. He said he screwed up on the restart and that allowed Hodnett to get around him.
He credited his team for providing the equipment he needed to score his best ever Outlaws finish.
“We had a great car all night,” Marks said. “I give all the credit to my guys – they bust their butts all the time to get me to the racetrack and we’re able to do all these Outlaw races this year which has really helped me out. It got me on the front stretch here with a podium finish – finally.
“It was fortunate we had a really good run tonight. We were able to sneak in there through the invert and win the heat race and get in the dash. Coming from [sixth] to second is pretty neat here with the Outlaws show at Williams Grove. It’s a great feeling.”
Saldana, who has five wins on the season, closed out the night in the third position in his Motter Equipment car. He credited the competition in Central Pennsylvania and at Williams Grove on Friday night.
“My car was getting looser as the race went on,” Saldana said. “I think that’s why I took off. I was pretty good way too soon. To win these you’ve got to be good at the end not the beginning. We just missed it a little bit. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes and hope that we come out tomorrow and do a better job.”
Hodnett and Marks weren’t the only members of the Posse to have a good night. Lucas Wolfe scored the quick time and the Posse swept the Heat races. In the first heat race of the night, Ryan Taylor fought a fierce battle with Steve Kinser, beating the 20-time champion on the last lap.
Donny Schatz’s points lead continued to shrink after his ninth place finish. He now leads Daryn Pittman by 42 points. Third place Paul McMahan is 87 points out of the lead.