LAKE ODESSA, MICHIGAN (June 24, 2015) – The JJR team and the Outlaws were back at I-96 Speedway in Michigan again after the original event scheduled for May 30th was postponed because of rain. There were 28 cars in the pits vying for one of the prestigious 24 starting spots in the coveted feature event. Sammy Swindell was still co-piloting the Jason and Bobbi Johnson owned JJR entry and the team was focused on putting together a solid night for the owner of three WoO championships in his career.
Getting the night started off right in time trials is critical if you want to have a good night of racing against the tough WoO competitors. They are the best of the best. Sammy was the eighteenth car to push off aboard the Priority Aviation Services/Hepfner Racing Products (HRP) #41 Maxim. His Kistler Engine came to life and the quicker of his two laps around I-96 Speedway was 14.025 seconds, which was fifth quick overall.
Lining up on the inside of row two in the second heat race beside rising superstar Christopher Bell, the Bartlett, Tennessee speed chauffeur was ready to go. The front row of Joey Saldana and Paul McMahan brought the field up to speed with Saldana taking the lead and becoming the rabbit with McMahan, Bell and Swindell in hot pursuit. The pace was fast and the action was exciting. Saldana would take the heat race win with Swindell securing the fourth transfer spot and earning his way into the Dash event in the MSD Performance/K&N Filters Maxim.
An inversion of six was pulled which made for a legendary front row in the Dash. Steve Kinser was on the pole with Sammy Swindell starting to his outside. These two legends have been beside each other before in their careers and the two competitors always put on an exciting show. When the green flag dropped it was just like old times. The two legends raced wheel-to-wheel and banged wheels at speed. Swindell’s Schoenfeld Headers/Wilwood Disc Brakes entry got crossed up in turn four and he lost a spot in the running order. When Kinser took the checkers he was followed across the finish line by fellow Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) teammate Donny Schatz and Swindell in the #41.
The 35 lap A-Main was next on the evening’s racing agenda. Sammy would roll out onto the track and navigate his way into his third starting position beside Brad Sweet. It was an all TSR front row with Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz pacing the field. When the green flag waved it was Kinser gaining the top spot with Schatz and Swindell racing hard behind him. Swindell was working hard and wheeling the Fischer Body Shop/Waco Metal Maxim around the clay oval, but the field behind him was coming fast. The race was interrupted early with some yellow and red flag periods, but when racing resumed the exciting WoO stars filled the air with the sound of speed. The action on the track from front to back was exciting. The racing was fierce and the competitor’s wheels were close lap after lap. Swindell was driving hard and doing everything he could to hold off the competition. He was losing spots as the racing near the front saw multiple lead changes. Schatz took the lead for a while before Brad Sweet tracked him down and threw a vicious slider to take the lead right before a red flag was displayed for Ryan Ruhl. Sweet would go on to take the victory over Schatz to break his win streak, with Sammy bringing the JJR entry home in the 12th position.
The team will now head to 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa on Friday night as they try to end as well as they have been starting. Come out to the track and catch up with Sammy and the JJR team!