WoO Star Joey Saldana To Race In Midgets Battle In Du Quoin

DU QUOIN, Ill.-World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car star Joey Saldana will race in uncharted waters on Dec. 20 in the fifth annual Great Clips Battle at the Center presented by K & N Filters.. The non-points event organized by the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series will be his first time on the one-sixth Mini-Magic Mile at the Southern Illinois Center on the grounds of the Du Quoin State Fair and only his sixth career event in a Midget.


“I’m out of my element, but I’m looking forward to it,” the 42-year-old from Brownsburg, Ind., said. “I’ve never been there, but it seemed like a good idea before I go to the Chili Bowl.”


Saldana has had distinguished career in Sprint Cars. He has 91 career wins in the World of Outlaws including seven last season driving for Motter Equipment teams, the team he’ll return with in 2015. He was fifth in the WoO championship and third in laps led with 336. in 2014. Saldana’s career-best season in WoO was 21 victories in 2009.


“We had a good year,” he said. “We had 24 fast times (best in series) in qualifying, We definitely had the speed. We just need to win more races.”


Saldana made his Midget debut in a USAC National at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway in 1991, finishing fourth. He’s also raced in the Chili Bowl, midget racing’s most prestigious event held in Tulsa, Okla., four times. Saldana finished 16th in the C Main at the Chili Bowl, which had nearly 300 entries, last year. It will be held Jan. 12-18 next year.


Saldana has purchased a new Spike and will have Esslinger power at Du Quoin and the Chili Bowl. He is preparing it with the help of Bryan Clauson Racing and Spike manufacturer John Godfrey.


“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Saldana said. “We’re working with Big Al at Clauson and John Godfrey, who helped me get the engine from Esslinger. It will be fun to Du Quoin and the Chili Bowl, but we’re also serious about it.”


General admission tickets are $20 and children ages 12-and-under are free. Tickets will be sold only on the day of the event. Spectator doors open at 3:00 p.m., hot laps begin at 5 with racing immediately following. The feature will be 40 laps.


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