The minor slip was it for Saldana, who used his Motter Equipment Eagle to hold off five-time series champion Donny Schatz to finish on the podium at a track where he won in 2009, the Outlaws’ most recent appearance at 34 Raceway.
“The first time we were here and broke a rear end, but we had a good car,” said Saldana. “Then we came back here and won. Tonight, we had a good car, but we didn’t have a car good enough to win, but it’s definitely a home run for us right now. Hopefully we can learn from this and be good again tomorrow.”
Schatz finished just off the podium in fourth with Tim Kaeding rounding out the top five.
Championship leader Daryn Pittman ran short on luck Friday night. After posting quick time, the dash inversion was an eight, putting him in the fourth row. Then, as he was in prime position for another big points night in the A-main, contact with Jason Johnson on lap 12 while racing in the top five left Pittman banging the backstretch wall and bringing out a caution. Pittman was unable to rejoin the field and had to settle for a 22nd-place finish. Still, he owns a healthy 134-point lead over Schatz entering Saturday’s event.