Blaney takes advantage of others’ miscues for All Star win at Waynesfield – June 22, 2014
June 22, 2014
The winged warriors of the All Star Circuit of Champions made a stop at Waynesfield Raceway Park in Waynesfield, Ohio part of Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Ohio Logistics. A packed house was on hand to see some of the best sprint car drivers in the Midwest gather in one place for their chance to take home the victory and make an appearance in Best Performance Motorsports Victory Lane. Crews were busy in the pits putting last minute touches on the cars before they hit the racing surface. Fans in the stands were treated to a full night of racing and activities scattered throughout the main breezeway. Sunday turned out to be a great night for racing with plenty of side-by-side wheel-to-wheel action.
Dale Blaney took advantage of other drivers’ miscues and bad luck Sunday to earn his 101st University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions win on night #2 of the 32nd Annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek.
The 40-lap feature was filled with excitement, drama and plenty of racing mishaps.
Early on Gettysburg, Pennsylvania’s Danny Dietrich seemed headed to his first ever Ohio Speedweek win. But then Byron Reed looked like he would steal the victory. When a lapped car spun in front of Reed it ended his chances and gave Dietrich another shot. But then late in the race Blaney began to pressure Dietrich who would spin with six laps to go while trying to fend off Blaney and get around lapped cars.
Blaney would pull away the final hand full of laps for his second UNOH All Star triumph of the year.
“Battle of survival I guess. Byron and Danny had a really good race going on there and I was just watching it. I knew when we got to traffic I’d probably be a little bit better. Out in the open I really wasn’t that great. I feel bad for Byron. He got the lead and was rolling good and got caught up. And Danny sees me up of four and runs down there and parks it and turns himself around. I know the 35AU (15th starter Jamie Veal) was good in his heat race up on the top. That kid gasses it up. I knew his number was way up there on the board on that red. I was glad to see the checkered,” said Blaney beside his Kennedy Cattle/Ti22 Performance/Penske Shocks backed machine.
For Veal, the little bullring of Waynesfield reminded him of the tracks in his native Australia. And he would use that knowledge to charge to a second place finish.
“This is pretty close to what we race on at home. The team did a great job with the car. The Maxim was good and hopefully this gives us some momentum for the rest of the week,” said Veal beside his SWI Engineering backed machine.
Jac Haudenschild displayed some of that energy in his heat race that has the fans on their feet. The Wild Child didn’t disappoint in the feature either, rim-riding his way to a third place finish.
“It was a really good night. The Rick Rogers car was good and Scotty (Benic) had it nice. We were right there tonight but Blaney is so good at these tracks…heck all the tracks. He’s the guy to beat,” said Haudenschild beside his Mondack Portables, Rick Rogers Construction, Triple X Racing backed #9w. “The traffic was incredible tonight. There were lapped cars everywhere and it was tough out there tonight but I had fun.”
Dietrich and Cap Henry would bring the field to the green at “The Field” in front of a standing room only crowd. Dietrich would grab the lead over fourth starter Reed with Blaney, Henry and Danny Holtgraver in tow. Lee Jacobs would shoot high into the air off of turn two on lap three to bring out a red. The restart order was Dietrich, Reed, Blaney, Henry, Holtgraver, Stevie Smith and Travis Philo.
When the green flew again, so did Dietrich, pulling away slightly from Reed and Blaney. Dietrich would catch the rear of the field by lap 9 and Reed and Blaney closed with Henry, Holtgraver and Philo staying within striking distance. Henry would spin on lap 15 for the second caution.
The restart order saw Dietrich having a lapped machine between himself and Reed and Blaney with four lappers back to fourth place Holtgraver, Smith and Haudenschild. On the ensuing restart Gary Taylor would stop with a flat tire. When the green flew again Reed quickly disposed of the lapped car and ran to Dietrich’s inside. The pair were literally side by side at the scoring stripe over the next couple of laps before Christopher Bell would spin in turn three, collecting Brandon Wimmer who would retire pit side.
The restart order was Dietrich, Reed, Blaney, Smith, Philo, Holtgraver and Jac Haudenschild. Dietrich and Reed would run nose to tail and side by side over the next hand full of laps before encountering heavy lapped traffic by lap 22. And once again the duo would battle hard and it looked like Reed would take control when disaster struck. On lap 24 Henry would spin right in front of the leaders and Reed would pile into him to end his run.
That would necessitate a fuel stop. And when the 3 minutes expired, All Star officials would penalize third running Stevie Smith for not having his crew off the track in time, sending him to the tail. He would elect to go to the pits.
The restart order would see Dietrich with a lapped car behind him followed by Blaney, another lapped machine, Jac Haudenschild, Philo, Veal and Shane Stewart. For the second straight night Stewart was charging from the last row starting spot to the front.
When the green flew this time Dietrich could not shake Blaney and Haudenschild while Veal, Philo and Stewart gave chase. Veal would take fourth on lap 29 as Blaney applied pressure to Dietrich. The leaders were racing into lapped cars with 9 laps to go and Blaney kept sticking the nose of his car under Dietrich. The pressure worked as Dietrich tried to block Blaney and split two lapped cars in turn one with six laps to go resulting in a spin.
Blaney was no in charge and pulled away slightly on the start as Haudenschild had his hands full with Veal with Stewart and Philo battling for fifth. Blaney would drive to the checkers with Veal getting by Haudenschild on the last lap for second. Stewart and Philo would round out the top five.
Jac’s son Sheldon would storm from 22nd starting spot to sixth with Greg Wilson from 14th to 7th, Cole Duncan from 19th to 8th, Caleb Helms from 18th to 9th and Bell coming back to round out the top 10.
For more information on Ohio Sprint Speedweek go to www.allstarsprint.com
The Block Insurance Tough Trucks were the first A-main to hit the racing surface for 15 laps of action. All Star race fans were in for a real treat as Kevin Knittle and Shane Jacobs led the field to the green flag. Knittle experienced some mechanical problems as he drove the truck into turns one and two. The truck began to slow down and fall back through the field allowing the 20K of Bill Keeler to make a run for the lead. With Keeler in the top spot, the Hicks clan began to make their run on Keeler. The 37 of Roy Miller, who started on the outside of row two, settled for forth on the leaderboard. Lap after lap, the Hicks brother put the pressure on the 20K of Keeler. The 1S of Mike Sawmiller began to work his way up through the field as Keeler’s truck began to become extremely loose off of turn four. The loose truck finally became a hindrance for Keeler has he went too high on the cushion allowing the Hicks crew to take over. The 1S of Sawmiller decided to take over as well as he moved up to run for the lead. Sawmiller battled with the Hicks brothers until he finally came away with the lead with laps winding down. With five laps to go, the battle for the lead was cut off as the 316 of Ben Hower went around in turn four bringing out the caution. The 0J of Shane Jacobs ran into some issues of his own as he drove down the front stretch with a flat tire. On the restart, Hicks squared and Mike Sawmiller went wheel to wheel for the top spot. Hicks held the top spot for a brief moment until Sawmiller was able to power back on the outside lane. Coming to the white flag, Mike Hicks had his best lap of the night and put serious pressure on Sawmiller. He came up just short allowing Sawmiller to come away with the victory. Mike Hicks and Chris Hicks came in a close second and third place. Sawmiller commented on how close Hicks came in the final laps in Best Performance Motorsports Victory Lane and how he did everything he could to hold him off. Mike Hicks, who finished second, picked up the hard charger award advancing six spots.
Racing returns to the normal Saturday night time slot with a full program of racing action including the Buckeye Machine Non Wing Sprints, Post Agri Service UMP Modifieds, Performance Powder Coating AMSA Mini Sprints, Block Insurance Agency Tuff Trucks and the Indian Lake Outfitter Compacts. The Vintage American Race Cars will also be in attendance to show off a fleet of classic racecars from back in the day. Fans will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the machines that shaped racing, as we know it today. Adult general admissions is just $12, Kids 11-15 are $6 with 10 & under FREE. Pit side gates open at 4PM and grandstand gates open at 5PM. Warm Ups are scheduled for 6PM with the first green flag flying at 7PM. Get all the latest information online at www.waynesfieldracewaypark.net, on Facebook, or by following @OfficialWRP on Twitter.
With a full program of racing returning next week, more Contingency Connection awards will be up for grabs. With Waynesfield Raceway Park being a proud Contingency Connection track this season, nearly $100,000 in contingency awards are available in addition to purse payouts. Additional information on the Contingency Connection is available online or by talking with a track official at the races.
The 3rd Annual Bob Reynolds Memorial returns to Waynesfield Raceway Park over the Independence Day holiday with a special Thursday, July 3 edition of racing. The powerful 360 sprint cars return with $7500 awaiting the winner. The UMP Modifieds will also be on the card with a $3000 payday awaiting the winner. Event promoter Ron Hammons spoke at the All Star race expressing his excitement on the amount of cars and quality racing the event will bring to Waynesfield. The payout has increased each and every year bringing in more and more competitors. Pit side gates swing open at 2:30PM and grandstand gates at 3:30. Cars hit the track for hotlaps at 6PM with racing at the normal 7PM start time. Full details and event flyer are available online at www.waynesfieldracewaypark.net.