Joey Saldana Crosses 100-Win Plateau With World Of Outlaws

By Tony Veneziano


In sprint car circles, a heated debate raged for many years in regard to the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series' all-time wins list. 

The crux of the argument was the question of why some races were counted as full point A-feature wins, while others were recorded as preliminary feature wins and thus not part of the all-time win list, even though the entire field competed in such events. 

Joey Saldana had been part of this discussion since September 2017 when he scored what was then listed as his 99th career A-feature win with the Outlaws. 

Prior to this year, only five drivers had scored 100 or more A-feature wins in the series. Saldana was aiming to become the sixth. He recently was awarded his 100th win and a few more, as the record books were updated to include preliminary feature wins from the past as regular A-feature wins, as long as the entire field competed on a given night of racing. 

With the records amended, Saldana gained six more wins and now sits at 105 for his career.

“When I heard they were changing it, it made total sense,” Saldana said. “I never really understood why the preliminary night races weren’t counted as a World of Outlaws win. You were still racing Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell, Doug Wolfgang, Donny Schatz, Jac Haudenschild, Daryn Pittman, Jason Meyers, and everyone. You would have thought you would have gotten a win when you beat all those drivers, not just a preliminary win. It is cool that they re-did that and made it right.”

With the record books updated, Saldana’s 100th win now is credited as the finale of the World Finals at the Dirt Track at Charlotte in 2015. While he didn’t get to celebrate that night, as at the time it was win No. 94, getting the milestone 100th win has a special meaning to Saldana, who appreciates the history of the sport.

“My goal was to get to 100 wins, after being stuck at 99 for a while,” he shared. “Winning that 100th was going to be a big accomplishment. You don’t hear a lot about it, because Donny Schatz is throwing numbers out there left and right and he’s an amazing talent in a sprint car. It’s hard when you are trying to do something like that to get the recognition. I’ve been beating up and down the road, just like everyone else, trying to make it at the Outlaws level, stuck at that 99, so to now have over 100 is pretty special.”

Prior to the record book being updated, Saldana was sixth on the all-time win list. With 2001 series champion Danny Lasoski being awarded 32 more wins, he moved ahead of Saldana, who now sits seventh. 

The seven drivers who have more than 100 wins to their credit with the Outlaws include 20-time series champion Steve Kinser, who is the winningest driver in series history; followed by three-time title winner Sammy Swindell; nine-time champion Donny Schatz; two-time titlist Mark Kinser; Doug Wolfgang; Lasoski; and Saldana.

“It’s an honor to be seventh on that list,” Saldana said. “To me, it’s still a great accomplishment. It’s been really hard for me and a lot of work. I’ve won Outlaws races with seven different owners. I didn’t do it all with one owner or one team. It’s been a lot of work and effort. Every win has been much appreciated. Hopefully, we can get some more, but knowing I am at a 105 is a great accomplishment.”

In addition to his 105 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series wins, Saldana also has 74 victories with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions as well as over 20 wins internationally in New Zealand and Australia, including the Grand Annual Classic in 2003. All those wins, along with various other victories over the years, total over 200 victories for Saldana in his career. 

Among the biggest wins for the 45-year-old Saldana are a pair of Kings Royal triumphs at the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio. He also has won the Gold Cup Race of Champions twice at Silver Dollar Speedway in California as well as winning the inaugural Ironman 55 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Missouri. 

“I never thought I would win all of these races,” Saldana said. “My dad raced for 25 years professionally and I didn’t realize what I wanted to do until I was about 16 or 17 years old, watching my dad toward the end of his career. To be able to say that I’ve done it and been a part of the World of Outlaws for 18 years and I ran with the All Stars for three years has been a good run. I am very appreciative of everyone who has been a part of it, from the crew guys to the owners to the crews' chiefs to my wife to everyone’s wives and families, who sacrifice to let us do what we love to do."

Saldana joined forces with Rudeen Racing, owned by Kevin Rudeen for this season. Paired with veteran sprint car crew chief Rob Hart, the team looks to run a “True Outlaw” schedule, hitting all of the major events on the calendar. Saldana won in just his second race aboard the No. 26 machine in the fall of 2017 at Cocopah Speedway in Arizona with the ASCS National Tour. 

“We are going to run as many World of Outlaws shows as we can and some All Stars races as well,” Saldana said. “Whatever races make sense is what we’ll run and we’ll try to do it at a high level. We’ve had some good runs but not consistent runs. We ran fourth at Bakersfield (Speedway) and second at Arizona Speedway, which was a very solid run. Hopefully, we can build on that and be successful. Kevin has a great program and team. It’s an honor to drive for him. 

"Hopefully we can get some ‘W’s’ with the team. Being successful night in and night out on a consistent basis, you will win races and that's what I want to do and that’s what the team wants to do.”

Brent Marks, Brad Sweet Add To World Of Outlaws Win Totals

Brent Marks and Brad Sweet were both victorious as the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series was back in action, after a 2,300-plus mile trip from California. Marks earned his third win of the season and his first at Eldora Speedway, while Sweet picked up a “W” at Lernerville Speedway to garner his eighth triumph of the season and his first at the historic track in Western Pennsylvania. One of the crown jewels of sprint car racing awaits this week as the Outlaws invade the famed Williams Grove Speedway for the National Open.

Bobby Varin Looking To Defend Home Turf At Fonda

After two attempts to run the Jack Johnson Tribute, ‘The Jack’ will finally see the green lights this Saturday night at Fonda Speedway with the stars and cars of the Super DIRTcar Series.

Sweet, Pittman, Eliason Wrap Up West Coast Swing With Wins

The West Coast Swing wrapped up for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series last weekend, with Brad Sweet, Daryn Pittman and Cory Eliason each picking up a win. Sweet was the biggest winner as he took home $20,000 in the 49er Gold Rush Classic at Placerville Speedway. Eliason banked $12,000 for winning the finale of the Wine Country Classic at Calistoga Speedway, while Pittman won the opener of that two-night event. The series now heads 2,300-plus miles to compete at the legendary Eldora Speedway as part of the Four Crown Nationals weekend.

Parker Price-Miller Wins Second Canadian Sprint Car Nationals Title

Anytime he climbs aboard a car for the Hills Racing team at Ohsweken Speedway, Parker Price-Miller is always one of the drivers to beat. The native of Kokomo, IN, showed his prowess yet again this past weekend at the three-eighths-mile, winning the 14thAnnual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals for the second time in his career, pocketing $10,000 in the process.

Johan Kristoffersson Wins Eighth Title Of Season In Latvia

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloRacing!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

2018 Neste World RX of Latvia

PSRX Volkswagen driver Johan Kristoffersson edged closer to a second World Rallycross title in a row with another dominant performance in Latvia, his eighth win of the season.

Breaking Down The Canadian Sprint Car Nationals

While the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals have only been around since 2005, the extravaganza at Ohsweken Speedway in Ontario has quickly become one of the premier events in all of sprint car racing. A “Who’s Who” of drivers have won the event over the years, including a Hall of Famer, a trio of ASCS past champions and a multi-time Empire Super Sprints title winner. Another stout field of drivers is entered this year for the two-night event, which opens on Friday, September 14 and concludes on Saturday, September 15.

Johan Kristofferson Going For Eighth Win In Latvia

The Johan Kristofferson show rolls on to this weekend’s Neste World RX of Latvia.

COMING SOON: Live Racing Like Never Before

Prepare for a new immersive live experience that will transform the way you watch racing. You shared your live stream dreams with us and we're making them all come true with fan-driven features that you've been craving. 

Matt Sheppard, Tim Fuller Favored At Brewerton, Mohawk

This Friday, September 14th the Super DIRTcar Series will be making their second trip this season to Brewerton Speedway for the fourth annual Duel at the Demon.

Abreu, Sweet, Schatz Victorious on Outlaws West Coast Swing

Rico Abreu, Brad Sweet and Donny Schatz all picked up wins over the last week as the West Coast Swing continued for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. Abreu was the biggest winner, pocketing $15,000 in the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in California. Sweet was victorious in the Gold Cup opener, while Schatz won at Willamette Speedway in Oregon. This week, the West Coast Swing concludes, with a visit to Placerville Speedway and a two-night event at Calistoga Speedway.