By Brian Liskai
(Attica, OH) It has become one of the most anticipated events in sprint car racing – the Spring Nationals at Attica Raceway Park.
The University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions will kick off the Ohio Region point battle at “Ohio’s Finest Racing” venue on Friday and Saturday, April 4 and 5 with the HD Supply/Construction Equipment and Supply Spring Nationals. The event has been held at Attica since 1992. This year’s Spring Nationals will mark the 102nd and 103rd visit to Attica by the UNOH All Stars.
Gates will open Friday for the $3,000-to-win event at 4 p.m. Gates will open for Saturday’s $10,000-to-win affair at 3:30 p.m.
Last year’s Spring Nationals saw the opening night lost to rain but the finale found Dale Blaney in victory lane. Blaney’s 13 All Star wins at Attica are the most by any driver since the first All Star show was held at Ohio ’s Finest Racing speedplant in 1989. The winners of UNOH All Star events at Attica in 2013 were Blaney, Chris Andrews (Ohio Sprint Speedweek) and a sweep of the season-ending August events by Tim Shaffer.
The UNOH All Stars have held three events in 2014 with Dave Blaney, Kerry Madsen and Joey Saldana taking wins. Again the UNOH All Stars will incorporate a regional point system in 2014 – the Ohio Region, Eastern Region, Great Plains Region and over-all championship. So far the 2013 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year David Gravel leads the Eastern Region and National points for the UNOH All Stars.
Hartford , Ohio ’s Dale Blaney picked up his fourth series title in 2013 and also claimed the Ohio Region championship. Blaney also became the UNOH All Stars’ most prolific winner in 2013, surpassing hall-of-famer Kenny Jacobs in career series wins with 99 total.
Blaney will have his hands full in trying to defend his title in 2014. Besides four time champion Tim Shaffer, who currently sits second in All Star National and Eastern Region points, former four time champion Chad Kemenah is gunning for his fifth title and sits third in the 2014 points.
Danny Holtgraver, who had a break-out year in 2013 with the All Stars, is riding in the fourth place in points followed by Greg Hodnett, Dale Blaney, Jac Haudenschild, Danny Dietrich, Dave Blaney and Caleb Helms.
Others expected to battle for the UNOH All Star championships in 2014 include former national 360 sprint champion Wayne Johnson, two-time Napa Wayne County ( Ohio ) Speedway champion Andrew Palker, and more.
As always, when the UNOH All Stars come to Attica, they will have to battle the tough weekly competition like 2013 champion Craig Mintz, who has 9 career wins at the track; six time track champion Byron Reed who has 29 career Attica wins; former track champion Andrews (4 career wins), Bryan Sebetto (8 career wins), former track champion Dean Jacobs (10 career wins), Lee Jacobs (4 career wins), Brandon Martin (3 career wins), Brian Lay (2 career wins), Brian Smith (2 career wins), Travis Philo (2 career wins) and more.
Throw in two-time All Star champion Greg Wilson, who has 19 career Attica wins, Stevie Smith, who is expected behind the wheel of the Aaron Call/Janet Holbrook #83 machine – Smith has 4 career Attica wins – and the possibility of some of the Pennsylvania Posse teams making the trek to Attica and it could be another exciting weekend.
Of the UNOH All Star contingent of drivers, Kemenah sits third on Attica’s all-time win list with 20 victories followed by Blaney with 17 (5th on the track’s all-time win list); Shaffer with 12 (9th on the track’s all-time win list); and Holtgraver with 2 wins.
The Summit Racing Equipment UMP DIRTcar Late Models and Foster Auto Body 305 Sprints will also be in action both nights of the Attica Spring Nationals.
For more information go to www.atticaracewaypark.com or www.allstarsprint.com.