Swindell Records Clean Sweep at Lebanon Valley
By Richard Day
WEST LEBANON, NY (May 29) -- To say Sammy Swindell was the class
of the field Memorial Day when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series
opened its annual spring tour of New York at Lebanon Valley Speedway
would be a total understatement.
Swindell dominated every aspect of the series' 21st event of the
season. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' three-time champion cut
almost a half-second off the single-lap record, then won the First
NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race, the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash and led all 25
laps in the "A" Feature.
"My guys work hard and the CHANNELLOCK car was fast from the time
we unloaded it tonight," Sammy said proudly. "All we did all night
long was put tires on it and put fuel in it. Preparation before the
race is a big part of it.
"We've been pretty fast here lately. If we haven't been in the
lead, we've been close to it. We were blessed tonight, I guess. We
lost a lug or a cylinder there on the last lap. I'm glad we didn't
have to go 26."
Swindell recorded the first clean sweep in Pennzoil World of
Outlaws Series history August 7, 1995, at Bridgeport Speedway. The
$10,000 victory, his second of the season and the fourth of his career
at Lebanon Valley Speedway, pushed him past Danny Lasoski into fourth
place in the point standings and ended Mark Kinser's two-race winning
streak at the facility.
Sammy received his third Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the year after
pacing the 28-car qualifying session with a 16.656-second, 108.069-
m.p.h., lap around the high-banked, 1/2-mile oval. Stevie Smith's
17.155-second lap was the qualifying standard for almost two years.
Swindell earned the right to start the "A" Feature outside the
front row by winning his series-leading 10th CHANNELLOCK Dash of 2000.
Sammy raced around First CHANNELLOCK Dash winner Jac Haudenschild
in the fourth corner as the green flag fell in the main event. Third
NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Lance Blevins lost third place when
he drove the #21 PC Joey Eagle over the cushion in turn one, allowing
Smith and Kinser to race past him the next time around.
Swindell was a straightaway ahead of his closest pursuers when he
entered lapped traffic during the sixth lap. Haudenschild narrowed the
gap to eight car-lengths in dense lapped traffic five laps later.
Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year points leader Danny Wood raced
wheel-to-wheel with "B" Feature winner Dean Jacobs ahead of the
leaders for several laps before Swindell passed them during laps 13
and 14 and increased his advantage.
"This track doesn't change much throughout the night," Sammy
explained. "I caught up to Danny and Dean there, and they were racing
pretty much side-by-side for a few laps, and it slowed us down. Danny
got a little loose there and Dean got by him, and once they were
single file, we were able to get by both of them."
A flat right rear tire on the #17 HEM Saw Eagle forced Joey
Saldana to stop on the front stretch early in the 15th lap. Johnny
Herrera raced into fifth place when Blevins jumped the first-corner
cushion during the ensuing restart. In his haste to regain the
position, Blevins collided with Haudenschild and spun into Dale Blaney
between turns three and four. Although neither was injured, Blevins
nor Blaney returned to the race.
Donny Schatz, who lined up in second place after the crash, was
unable to keep pace with Swindell as the green flag replaced the
yellow. Swindell opened a full straightaway advantage within five laps
and took the checkered flag as Schatz raced into the third corner.
Smith finished in third place, ahead of Kinser, Herrera,
Haudenschild, Andy Hillenburg, Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points
leader Steve Kinser, Tim Shaffer and 19th-starting Lance Dewease.
Steve Kinser's only qualifying lap was the third-fastest in the
qualifying session. He hit the turn-four retaining wall and flipped
his next time around. Members of several teams helped Kinser's crew
repair the #11 Quaker State Maxim in time for him to start the Third
NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will complete its New York
tour Wednesday at Rolling Wheels Raceway, then run single-program
events at Eldora Speedway and the Terre Haute Action Track Saturday
and Sunday. WoO