ATTICA, Ohio — official series release — ASCoC photo —
Defending UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions champion Dale Blaney kicked off the 33rd Annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket with a victory at the Attica Raceway Park on Friday night.
For Blaney, it was his fourth UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions victory of the 2015 season, and he now leads both the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions national standings and the Ohio Sprint Speedweek standings.
Blaney’s familiar CH Motorsports/GoMuddy.com/Big Game Treestands No. 1 set the tone early, and the veteran used his qualifying position as an advantage.
“We really set ourselves up after qualifying,” said Blaney, “We went out late but qualified well enough to put ourselves on the front row of a heat race. We were fortunate enough to win our heat and make the dash, and that really paid dividends for us.”
“I’ve ran so many races at Attica — we have a great baseline and we can use that no matter what kind of surface we race on.”
Blaney started his winning performance from the very beginning of the 40-lap main event; taking command of the 26-car starting field on the opening lap over pole-sitter Parker Price-Miller.
Blaney survived four cautions during the feature program; and despite an early charge by Price-Miller with just seven laps in the books, as well as periods of tricky lapped traffic, the Hartford, Ohio native stayed in control of the $5,000-to-win main event and went on to secure his 119th career UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions victory.
Blaney started the main event on the outside of the front row.
“Traffic was pretty tough when we were in it,” said Blaney, “It doesn’t feel like we were ever in traffic for very long — by the time we would reach the back of the field, a caution would come out. The yellow flags were pretty beneficial [for us], and they kept us in clean air.”
“Regardless, we ran a pretty good race. I knew I was pretty good in turns one and two, but wasn’t all that great in three and four — and it still worked out for us.”
With one victory already locked up, Blaney will continue his Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket campaign in search of four more victories during the next eight consecutive nights of competition; attempting to earn the $25,000 bonus.
“We’ll see” said Blaney, “We definitely want to put ourselves in position. Right now, we are the only ones in a position to win it. We’ll see how the rest of Speedweek unfolds.”
Byron Reed, the 2014 Fremont/Attica Sprint Title champion, finished second to Blaney at the checkered flag. The Monclova, Ohio native was a top-five contender the entire distance, but settled into the runner-up position with less than five laps remaining.
The new UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions format proved to be beneficial for the six-time Attica Raceway Park track champion, as Reed charged from fifth to a dash position during heat race competition, and eventually rallied from fourth to second during the main event; all after qualifying 27th overall.
“This is a great run tonight,” said Reed. “Standing here in second with all of these guys is great. I kind of wish we’d had something more for Blaney — it felt like we were as good as him when we got going — but the restarts didn’t help me. It felt like it took us five or six laps to get going … but overall, it was a good run.”
Sheldon Haudenschild started on the outside of row ten during the 40-lap main event and rallied 17 positions to put himself on the podium at Attica Raceway Park. The Wooster, Ohio native utilized the all too familiar ‘Haudenschild line’ and relied on the Attica berm to solidify his third place finish.
Haudenschild was also the evening’s ‘Hard Charger.’
“We started way back there and got through the first five laps,” Haudenschild explained. “We kept our nose clean. Starting that far back, you have to make your moves quick. I saw the top was really nice so I kinda committed myself up there, told myself ‘I’m going to run 40 laps up here and see what happens.’
“We had a spark plug wire come off about halfway and ran around the bottom there for about five or six laps, but on that last restart I just went for it to try and get a top-three.”
Seventeen-year-old Price-Miller held on to finish fourth after starting from the pole. Price-Miller was a threat early; challenging Dale Blaney for the top spot with less than ten laps recorded, but faded late in the going. The Kokomo, Ind. native was followed by NASCAR star and World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series team owner Kasey Kahne at the checkers.
Up next on the schedule for the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions is Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, as the series begins round two of Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket. Danny Holtgraver is the defending winner of the event.
RESULTS: UNOH All-Star Circuit of Champions; Ohio Sprint Speedweek Round One; Attica Raceway Park; June 19, 2015
A-Main (40 Laps): 1. 1-Dale Blaney ; 2. 5-Byron Reed ; 3. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 4. 9P-Parker Price-Miller ; 5. 49-Kasey Kahne ; 6. 53-Cap Henry ; 7. 35AU-Jamie Veal ; 8. 99-Brady Bacon ; 9. W20-Greg Wilson ; 10. 40-Caleb Helms ; 11. 5T-Travis Philo ; 12. 1st-Gary Taylor ; 13. 89-Cody Darrah ; 14. 6H-Kenny Jacobs ; 15. 16-Stuart Brubaker ; 16. 21-DJ Foos ; 17. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 18. 94-Ryan Smith ; 19. 17-Josh Baughman ; 20. 91-Cale Thomas ; 21. 60-Jody Keegan ; 22. 22-Cole Duncan ; 23. 33M-Caleb Griffith ; 24. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 25. 9x-Rob Chaney ; 26. 19-Chris Andrews
CREDIT: UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions