|Cheryl Fleming Photo|
Joey Saldana rocketed to the lead from the outside pole and fended off a challenge from David Gravel to pick up the Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville Speedway. While Saldana was impressive in his win, 410 rookie Logan Wagner also made some noise with a memorable performance even if it had a tough ending.
Wagner, a semi-regular at Lernerville who picked up his first career 410 win in the track’s regular season finale, was able to win heat four to put himself in the dash. After a young fan pulled an eight for the redraw all of the sudden the driver of the RG3 sprint car was on the dash pole.
“Coming into tonight our goal was to make the show,” Wagner said. “When I found out I was on the pole for the dash I was ecstatic.”
|Pat Miller Photo|
Wagner got the jump on Saldana and led all eight laps to earn the pole for the 35 lap main event.
Wagner and Saldana led the field of 24 cars to green and drag raced down the front stretch. Wagner bobbled on the cushion a little bit coming off of turn two allowing the driver of the Motter Motorsports 71m to take the early lead.
The leaders quickly started to get into lapped traffic and as Saldana dealt with the slower cars, Wagner and third starting David Gravel started to close in.
“It seemed like the harder I banged the cushion the closer I would get to (Saldana),” Wagner said.
Wagner was reeling in Saldana, but Gravel was closing in quickly on him as well. On lap 11 Gravel made a move to the inside of Wagner coming off turn four and the two came together on the front stretch causing Wagner to spin into the inside Jersey barrier. Wagner was ok, but his storybook night unfortunately came to an end.
On the restart Saldana pulled away from the field again. Fast qualifier Ed Lynch, Jr went over the back stretch on that restart and pulled in a lap later.
Gravel was able to gain ground on the leader and on lap 21 briefly made his way around Saldana, but the Brownsburg, IN native got right back by to keep the top spot.
The Roth Motorsports pilot stalked Saldana in traffic, but couldn’t find his way by. Meanwhile seventh starting Paul McMahan, made his way up to third passing both Shane Stewart and Danny Holtgraver.
|Runner Up /David Gravel (Pat Miller Photo)|
Saldana worked the bottom of the track and patiently waited for about five laps to get around the lapped car of Lucas Wolfe to create a buffer between him and Gravel which gave him enough of a cushion to pick up his first victory at the Sarver speedway since 2009.
“I thought that running the bottom would make it tough for (Gravel) to get around me,” Saldana said.
The win was his second straight triumph in as many nights and even though they’ve had a great weekend Saldana feels they can continue improving.
“We are getting better, but we are still not where we need to be,” Saldana said.
McMahan was third, followed by Stewart and Holtgraver. You can get the full results here Commonwealth Clash Quick Results.
Saldana, Gravel, Stewart along with Wagner won the heat races and Jason Sides picked won the Last Chance Showdown.