Blaney back in UNOH All Star victory lane to open Thunder Through the Plains!
WILMOT, WI (July 21, 2012) By Brian Liskai– After having missed the last two University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions events due to mechanical issues with his team’s tow vehicle, Dale Blaney was chomping at the bit to get back behind the wheel of his Ti22 Performance machine.
Blaney, a three time UNOH All Star champion, dominated the early portions of the “Outlaw Sprintacular” co-sanctioned UNOH All Stars/Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series event Saturday at Wilmot Raceway. “The Low Rider” then had to hold off three time UNOH All Star Champion and current series’ point leader Tim Shaffer and IRA champion Bill Balog in the closing laps to score the win.
It was Blaney’s 7th UNOH All Star win of 2012 and the 91st of his career, moving him to within seven victories of tying hall-of-famer Kenny Jacobs for the series’ all-time win lead.
“I blew the rust off…it’s seems like it’s been three weeks since I ran last,” joked Blaney. “Seriously, I hung around David Gravel the last two races and watched. I think some times when you can just watch what other racers are doing; it can help make you a better driver.”
“We have been good just about every race this year. We were dominant most of the race, but the last couple of laps in traffic was a challenge. We got a little tight with two or three to go and the middle where I had been running blew off so I had to search around and try to get around traffic,” added Blaney.
The event was the first of the UNOH All Star’s annual Thunder Through the Plains, which features nine races and carries a $10,000-to-win point fund as part of the series’ Great Plains Region.
Shaffer, who had won the last two UNOH All Star events in New York, would settle for second.
“I started complaining because we didn’t win tonight and then I remembered we have been really good the last month. We have new personnel this year and that has put a lot of weight on me. But, Dave Lawrence and James Chambers are busting their butts and we are really starting to communicate well. I’ll gladly shoulder more responsibilities with the team when we are running well…we are having a lot of fun,” said Shaffer of his Aaron Call/Janet Holbrook Motorsports owned machine.
“I heard a lot of negative stuff about this track…it was fantastic. The track was very racy. It was like any other track…it changed during the course of the feature and you had to move around and look for a better groove. Hats off to Dale and George (Fisher, crew chief). They have been together a long time and they work very well together. They had the better car tonight,” added Shaffer beside his Kistler Engines, VRP Shocks backed #83. “What a great atmosphere at this place. The attitudes from the fans were awesome. We stayed a long time after the races to talk to the fans. There’s something to build on here…I hope we can come back a lot more.”
Balog, who has won the last four IRA championships and has scored two of his series leading 9 feature events in 2012 at Wilmot, would earn the feature’s “hard-charger” honor by blasting his eighth starting spot to finish third.
“That was cool…it was a lot of fun,” said Balog, who hails from Brookfield, Wisconsin. “We blew a motor last night and it was our second one…we were done. I called a friend who had a fresh Shaver motor and convinced him to let us borrow it. Finishing third to Dale Blaney and Tim Shaffer…heck, they have won the Kings Royal and Knoxville Nationals between them…it doesn’t get much better than that.”
“We race here a lot and the All Star guys…most have never seen this place, so we had an advantage. But, they showed why they are some of the best in the business,” added Balog beside his Buesser Concrete, Hoeft Builders, Gleason Equipment backed #17B. “Lapped traffic was crazy tonight. It seemed like we were in traffic in the first lap. That makes it fun and challenging.”
Twenty-four drivers would accept the green flag for the 35-lap main event with UNOH All Star series drivers dominating the first four rows, holding down six of the top eight positions. Blaney, who sat on the pole, would outgun David Gravel, who had two runner-up finishes in the last pair of All Star events, to take the early lead. Shaffer had started in the third position and darted past Gravel for the second spot before the completion of lap two.
The lead duo of Blaney and Shaffer would check out on the field while Cap Henry would work by Gravel for the third position prior to the first caution which appeared for a spin by Wilmot Raceway regular Rusty Egan on lap 10. Egan would loop his ride again moments later forcing the second caution of the contest.
When the green reappeared, Blaney would again show the way as Shaffer worked past lapped cars while trying to close the gap on the leader. Balog began to use his knowledge of the track to pick off positions, working past Paul McMahan and Gravel to reach the fourth spot.
The pace would be slowed again on lap 21 when Marty Perovich came to a halt on the track. Four more laps went into the books before the first and only red flag of the event occurred when 2011 Wilmot Raceway champion Tommy Sexton flipped his mount heading into turn one. Sexton would emerge from his battered machine unhurt but the incident negated a solid top 10 showing for the popular local racer.
Under the red-flag, series officials allowed the pit crews to head trackside to add additional fuel and make adjustments for the final 10 laps.
The rest of the race would pass without any further interruption as Blaney negotiating through lapped traffic with Shaffer staying within striking distance.
Meanwhile, fourth running Balog brought the capacity crowd to their feet as he worked the high line. After taking the white flag, Balog would sweep past Henry for third and then make a daring attempt to get by Shaffer off the final turn. That effort would fall just short with Blaney taking the win by two car lengths over Shaffer who narrowly edged out Balog. Henry would settle for fourth followed by IRA regular Mike Reinke, who scored his second straight top five in IRA action.
Gravel and McMahan finished sixth and seventh respectively, while IRA Series regular Phillip Mock earned eighth. Perovich and Mike Kertscher would comprise the top 10 finishers.
Wilmot Raceway – 7/21/2012
All Star Circuit of Champions (38 Cars)
Qualifying – Kistler Engines
1. 89G-David Gravel, 13.143; 2. 2-Dale Blaney, 13.183; 3. 54-Cap Henry, 13.302; 4. 83-Tim Shaffer, 13.387; 5. 17-Marty Perovich, 13.421; 6. O2-Mike Reinke, 13.457; 7. 45-Paul McMahan, 13.570; 8. 17B-Bill Balog, 13.701; 9. 1M-Phil Mock, 13.754; 10. 56-Ryan Irwin, 13.828; 11. 68-Dave Uttech, 13.838; 12. 4K-Kris Spitz, 13.849; 13. 80K-Mike Kertscher, 13.872; 14. 50-Rusty Egan, 13.872; 15. 9-Raymond Hensley, 13.911; 16. 79-Korey Weyant, 13.954; 17. 3-Scott Young, 13.961; 18. 53W-Bill Wirth, 14.057; 19. 2W-Scotty Neitzel, 14.087; 20. 23-Russel Borland, 14.090; 21. O1-Chris Dodd, 14.098; 22. 83D-Tommy Sexton, 14.100; 23. 8A-Nick Alden, 14.103; 24. 7-Scott Uttech, 14.123; 25. 41-Dennis Spitz, 14.132; 26. 94-Brandon Thone, 14.134; 27. 95-Billy Warren, 14.181; 28. 11-Darrell Dodd, 14.271; 29. 43-Jereme Schroeder, 14.281; 30. 5H-Patrick Haynes, 14.418; 31. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski, 14.435; 32. 14-Kenny Haynes, 14.538; 33. 12-Mike Decker, 14.705; 34. 20R-Robbie Pribnow, 14.790; 35. 38-Allen Hafford, 14.914; 36. 25-Steve Muth, 15.062; 37. 71-Chad Tessman, 15.583; 38. 28B-Matt Bolin, 15.751
Heat 1 – Kears Speed Shop (10 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 80K-Mike Kertscher ; 2. 17-Marty Perovich ; 3. 89G-David Gravel ; 4. 43-Jereme Schroeder ; 5. 1M-Phil Mock ; 6. 3-Scott Young ; 7. 12-Mike Decker ; 8. 41-Dennis Spitz ; 9. 71-Chad Tessman ; 10. O1-Chris Dodd
Heat 2 – All Pro Aluminum Heads (10 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 2-Dale Blaney ; 2. 83D-Tommy Sexton ; 3. O2-Mike Reinke ; 4. 53W-Bill Wirth ; 5. 50-Rusty Egan ; 6. 94-Brandon Thone ; 7. 20R-Robbie Pribnow ; 8. 5H-Patrick Haynes ; 9. 28B-Matt Bolin ; 10. 56-Ryan Irwin
Heat 3 – Dragon Race Fuels (10 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 54-Cap Henry ; 2. 2W-Scotty Neitzel ; 3. 45-Paul McMahan ; 4. 9-Raymond Hensley ; 5. 8A-Nick Alden ; 6. 68-Dave Uttech ; 7. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski ; 8. 95-Billy Warren ; 9. 38-Allen Hafford
Heat 4 – Kinsler Fuel Injection (10 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 83-Tim Shaffer ; 2. 7-Scott Uttech ; 3. 23-Russel Borland ; 4. 17B-Bill Balog ; 5. 79-Korey Weyant ; 6. 14-Kenny Haynes ; 7. 4K-Kris Spitz ; 8. 11-Darrell Dodd ; 9. 25-Steve Muth
Dash – Outerwears Performance Products (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 6 starting positions of A-feature
1. 2-Dale Blaney ; 2. 89G-David Gravel ; 3. 83-Tim Shaffer ; 4. O2-Mike Reinke ; 5. 54-Cap Henry ; 6. 17-Marty Perovich
B-Main – MSD Ignition (12 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 68-Dave Uttech ; 2. 56-Ryan Irwin ; 3. 3-Scott Young ; 4. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski ; 5. 4K-Kris Spitz ; 6. 14-Kenny Haynes ; 7. 5H-Patrick Haynes ; 8. 11-Darrell Dodd ; 9. 12-Mike Decker ; 10. 20R-Robbie Pribnow ; 11. 94-Brandon Thone ; 12. 25-Steve Muth ; 13. 71-Chad Tessman ; 14. 38-Allen Hafford ; 15. 28B-Matt Bolin
A-Main – University of Northwestern Ohio (35 Laps)
1. 2-Dale Blaney; 2. 83-Tim Shaffer; 3. 17B-Bill Balog; 4. 54-Cap Henry; 5. O2-Mike Reinke; 6. 89G-David Gravel; 7. 45-Paul McMahan; 8. 1M-Phil Mock; 9. 17-Marty Perovich; 10. 80K-Mike Kertscher; 11. 56-Ryan Irwin; 12. 9-Raymond Hensley; 13. 79-Korey Weyant; 14. 68-Dave Uttech; 15. 23-Russel Borland; 16. 53W-Bill Wirth; 17. 7-Scott Uttech; 18. 2W-Scotty Neitzel; 19. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski; 20. 43-Jereme Schroeder; 21. 83D-Tommy Sexton; 22. 8A-Nick Alden; 23. 50-Rusty Egan; 24. 3-Scott Young
Hard Charger: 17B-Bill Balog[+5]