OCALA, Fla. — Tim Shaffer scored for the Pennsylvania Posse in Florida on Friday night, wiring the second race of the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions tripleheader at Bubba Raceway Park for his first win of the season.
Shaffer made the most of his front row starting position, leading all 30 circuits behind the wheel of the Rudzik Excavating No. 49X and earning $5,000 for his efforts. He edged out Kerry Madsen for the 61st victory of his career against the All Stars.
“This is great for the Rudzik team,” Shaffer said, a four-time All Star champion from 2009 to 2012. “Everyone works so hard back at the shop. That hard work makes all of this happen. This is what makes all of their hard work fun.”
Shaffer started from the outside-pole position and earned the early advantage, racing by the flagstand for the first time with Tyler Clem and Sheldon Haudenschild in tow. The Aliquippa, Pa., native maintained a quick pace at the front of the running order until caution flags appeared for the first time on lap nine.
Unfortunately for Clem and Haudenschild, the caution flag was the result of their misfortune, each collected by a stopped lapped car.
Green flag conditions soon returned, with Shaffer resuming his campaign at the front of the running order. With Clem and Haudenschild out, it was Mark Smith inheriting the runner-up position, followed closely by Coleman Gulick and Kerry Madsen.
While Shaffer controlled the point, pushing his advantage to nearly two seconds even with traffic coming back into play as early as lap 14, it was Madsen who was attracting the attention, driving by Gulick on lap 11 and eventually squeezing under Mark Smith on lap 20.
On lap 21, caution flags appeared for the second and final time, once again erasing Shaffer’s advantage.
With rubber starting to come into play around the bottom of the speedway, it was obvious that Shaffer had the edge despite Madsen’s speed. Madsen followed Shaffer back to green on lap 21 and raced on the tail tank of the familiar No. 49X for the next nine circuits.
Once again, traffic came into the picture, but this time acting as a roadblock around the thin lane of rubbered-up racing surface. Madsen made a few attempts to squeeze under Shaffer, but the attempts ultimately failed.
“I tried to get out of line and get around the lapped car on the front stretch, but I had to duck back in line,” Shaffer said. “You just have to be patient. Last night I wasn’t patient and it cost us. To come back tonight and win is just awesome for this team. This is a Rider Engine and it is running great. The first win is always the hardest to get. To get a win this early will really help us the rest of the year. It is a building tool for the team.”
Madsen chased Shaffer to the line, followed by Smith, Gulick and Paul McMahan.
“I did think about trying to squeeze under [Tim Shaffer] a few times, but I thought I better get on the brakes because I didn’t want to take him out,” Madsen said. “I tried to keep him honest right there at the end and be right up his bum. If he had a slip, I was going to get right in there.”
“We had a good run. I’m happy for this team. Second run of the year and we got a top-two. I’m happy with that.”
RESULTS: Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions; Bubba Raceway Park; Feb. 2, 2018
A-Main (30 laps): 1. 49X-Tim Shaffer ; 2. 2M-Kerry Madsen ; 3. M1-Mark Smith ; 4. 14G-Coleman Gulick ; 5. 13-Paul McMahan ; 6. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 7. 27-Greg Hodnett ; 8. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 9. 14-Tony Stewart ; 10. 4-Parker Price-Miller ; 11. 24-Rico Abreu ; 12. 7K-Cale Conley ; 13. 5W-Lucas Wolfe ; 14. 17B-Steve Buckwalter ; 15. 14T-Tyler Clem ; 16. 91-Anthony Fiore ; 17. 5M-Max Stambaugh ; 18. 70-Dave Blaney ; 19. 21-Carson Short ; 20. 44-Trey Starks ; 21. 17S-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 22. 51-John Garvin ; 23. 45-Trevor Baker ; 24. 4X-Danny Smith 
Lap Leader(s): Shaffer (1-30).
CREDIT: All Star Communications