Joey Saldana became the 19th different Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National feature winner of the year as the series wrapped up the 2010 season with Saturday night's Inaugural Las Vegas Sprint Car Super Nationals.
Saldana gunned into the lead at the outset of the 35th Lucas Oil ASCS National feature of the year and led all 30 rounds aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing Budweiser No. 9 for the $6,000 triumph in front of Brian Brown, Sammy Swindell, Jack Dover and Tony Stewart.
With Saldana topping the season finale, Louisiana’s Jason Johnson finished off his second Lucas Oil ASCS National championship with a 15th-place run to take the crown by 129 points over Brady Bacon. The title was worth $60,000 of the $250,000 points fund that will be distributed among the top 15 in points at the series awards banquet that will take place December 12 in Tulsa, OK.
While “The Brownsburg Bullet” led all the way on Saturday, the winning move likely came on Friday night when he disposed of Darren Long in the final corner for the fourth and final lock-in to the Las Vegas Sprint Car Super Nationals.
Saldana landed on the pole position in the redraw and that was essentially all she wrote. “Last night definitely is the reason why we’re winning tonight,” Saldana explained. “Running the top four definitely put is in the position for this win.”
Saldana outgunned fellow front row starter Ben Gregg at the drop of the green flag, with the lead duo separating from the likes of Brian Brown, Sammy Swindell, Tony Stewart and Jack Dover by the time traffic became a factor after ten laps.
“Tonight it was keep your tire underneath ya and don’t do anything stupid,” Saldana commented. “When I got to lapped cars I didn’t wanna do anything crazy.”
When the race’s only caution appeared after 23 laps for Dustin Morgan’s disabled mount, Saldana found open track again and slipped away to post the win by a comfortable 4.860-second margin.
After holding down the runner-up position for the initial 23 rounds, Arizona’s Gregg hit the cone on the frontstretch and was sent tailback before opting to watch the final circuits from the pit area.
Brown assumed the runner-up position aboard the FVP No. 21 Maxim and held the spot to the line, with Swindell taking the show position in the Big Game Tree Stands No. 1 Maxim. Dover made his way around Tony Stewart on the eleventh round and held fourth to the line in the Shaver-powered 3D Auto Transport No. 53 Eagle, with Stewart rounding out the top five in the Bass Pro Shops No. 11.
Darren Long crossed the stripe in sixth, with Danny Lasoski, Aaron Berryhill, Shane Stewart and Donny Schatz completing the top ten.
Lasoski, Ben Gregg, Brad Sweet, Berryhill, Andy Gregg, Shane Stewart and Jason Solwold topped Saturday night’s heat races, with Chad Hillier, Tim Crawley and Tim Kaeding winning the “B” Mains.