World of Outlaws–Saldana Dominates Bad Boy Buggies World Finals in His Final Run for Motter Motorsports

Saldana Dominates Bad Boy Buggies World Finals in His Final Run for Motter Motorsports
Schatz crowned 2015 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion
CONCORD, N.C. – Nov. 8, 2015 – Joey Saldana gave everyone a reason to smile in his final appearance in the No. 71M Motter Equipment Motorsports car on Sunday night at the Bad Boy Buggies World Finals as he led a dominating performance to score his third World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory of the season.

“It’s kind of bittersweet really – this will probably be my last time driving the 71M,” Saldana said in victory lane at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. “That’s the awesome way to go out right there. I can’t thank Ruth and Dan Motter enough for everything they’ve done for me these last three years – just giving me an opportunity to race at a high level.”

Saldana and Motter announced late Sunday night they would be parting ways. The team’s statement said Motter’s efforts to secure sponsorship for 2016 were ongoing.

Saldana came into the final night of World Finals after taking the qualifying quick time on Thursday. It was the 17th quick time of 2015 for Saldana, who was the season’s leading qualifier.

As the green flag fell on the rain postponed season finale that saw rare daytime racing for the World of Outlaws, Saldana jumped out front. In clean air, the 71M pulled away from the field as the scramble got underway behind him.

Logan Schuchart, who started on the outside front row, tried to run down the leader as Shane Stewart looked for second. Brad Sweet charged forward from sixth and was quickly on Schuchart’s heels. The two drivers traded third place between lap seven and eight.

When the caution flag flew on lap five, Sweet pounced. On the restart Saldana led Stewart, Sweet, Stevie Smith, Daryn Pittman (who started the feature in 19th position) and Schuchart.

Saldana again pulled away in clean air but as he caught traffic on lap 14, Stewart and Sweet closed in. The caution again flew with 17 laps complete as Saldana maintained the lead. Smith got around Sweet on the restart but was no match for Pittman who continued his charge forward and took over the final podium position.

Saldana took the checkered flag in the first position with Stewart and Pittman close behind.

“This is awesome,” Saldana said. “We’ve really had a good car this year – just too many DNFs and too many mistakes on my part. We’ve had a great car and led a lot of laps and tonight just showed how good our team is.”

Pittman was the KSE Racing Hard Charger of the night after advancing 16 positions throughout the feature.

The finish was the 27th podium finish of the year for Stewart. He finishes 2015 second in the championship points standings with his Larson Marks Racing team.

Saldana closes out 2015 sixth in the championship standings with three wins, 37 top-five finishes and 54 top-ten finishes.

“I don’t know what to say,” Saldana said. “It’s just awesome – awesome experience today and an awesome time to be a part of the World of Outlaws. I love what I do.”

Schatz Crowned a Champion for the Seventh Time

With confetti in the air and fireworks in the distance, Donny Schatz joined World of Outlaws Late Model Series driver Shane Clanton and Super DIRTcar Series driver Matt Sheppard to be crowned a 2015 champion.

Schatz ends the season after a historic year that saw him cross over the double century mark in total wins and score the most single-season wins in 24 years. The championship is the seventh of his career – second only to 20-time champion Steve Kinser.

Schatz thanked his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team for the work they did all season to give him a chance to be in victory lane.

“(Tony Stewart) has done a fantastic job of assembling the best people to do their job and he lets us do our thing,” Schatz said. “The guys on the race team, the Bad Boy Buggies/Chevrolet Performance team, do a phenomenal job. The way they maintain the car, the way they set the car up, just the way they attack things. It’s definitely an honor to drive that thing. There are days I can’t get my job done and they carry me. That’s what it takes, that’s what teamwork is and that’s why we’re standing up here as champions.”

With the enormity of the season and of his position in World of Outlaws history starting to sink in, Schatz said he and his team are already focused on the year to come.

“We’re going to go home after this weekend as champions and we’re going to wipe the slate clean just like we have to,” Schatz said. “These guys are going to start working hard – they’ve already started working hard for next year. So you come back out and hope you can better yourself next year. That’s going to be awfully tough but the group of guys that Tony Stewart has assembled, there wouldn’t be a better group of guys to do it with. These guys are absolutely phenomenal. I’m looking forward to getting to that first race in Florida now.”