INDIANAPOLIS – official series release — CampbellPhoto.com photo —
After nearly nine months of criss-crossing the northeast, contesting close to 50 events in seven different states, the 2015 UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions campaign has finally reached its conclusion.
Tony Stewart’s “New” UNOH All Star organization will award more than $120,000 in prize money during the championship ceremony in early December. The top-eleven teams in the final UNOH All Star standings are eligible for championship purse money, with Hartford, Ohio’s Dale Blaney earning top spoils equaling $35,000.
“First off , congratulations to CH Motorsports and Dale Blaney on their well earned 2015 championship,” said Stewart, owner of the All Star Circuit of Champions. “Further, I want to personally thank each and every team owner, driver, crew member, sponsor, track owner, promoter and most importantly the fans for supporting the All Stars this year. Early 2015 was a time of uncertainty for all constituents and we were able to get the ship turned around. We very much look forward to building upon this year’s developments and getting back to racing in early February next year.”
For the sixth time in his illustrious career, Blaney will conclude his UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions campaign as a series titlist. Blaney, driver of the GoMuddy.com/Big Game Treestands/CH Motorsports No. 1, earned his sixth series championship on the strength of 12 UNOH All Star series victories, along with 28 top-five and 39 top-ten finishes during 45 contested events. Included among his 12 victories was an impressive stretch of five consecutive, extending from July 24 until Aug. 2. The 127-time feature winner with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions, leading the series all-time, ended his 2015 title chase with a runner-up finish during Eldora Speedway’s UNOH Sprintacular on Saturday, Oct. 10.
Cody Darrah ended his rookie campaign with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions as a runner-up in the final standings and will be awarded $20,000 in point fund earnings for his efforts. Darrah, who also captured Rookie of the Year honors with the UNOH All Stars, ended his 2015 campaign with three victories, as well as 18 top-five and 27 top-ten finishes. The pilot of the J&K Salvage/Factory Kahne/U Pull It No. 89 will receive a free chassis kit from the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions as reward for securing Rookie of the Year honors.
Former multi-time series champion Chad Kemenah concluded his UNOH All Star trek third in the final championship hunt. Kemenah, driver of the Hunter Racing/Seneca Energy/Brilex No. 10H, earned two victories during series competition, including the UNOH All Star finale at Eldora Speedway on October 10. In dramatic fashion, Kemenah secured his position on the championship podium by a mere three points over fellow former series champion Greg Wilson. Hunter Racing will be awarded $15,000 in point fund earnings for their championship performance.
A pair of veterans rounded out the top-five in the final UNOH All Star championship standings.
Wilson, the 2015 Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket champion, ended his 2015 campaign fourth in the championship chase, winning three main events in the process, and will collect $10,000 in point fund earnings. Tim Shaffer, a two-time UNOH All Star main event winner in 2015, finished fifth in the championship hunt. The Aliquippa, Pa. native will receive $8,000 for his efforts on the UNOH All Star trail.
Sheldon Haudenschild’s breakout year in 2015 landed the Wooster, Ohio native sixth in the UNOH All Star standings. Haudenschild earned five feature victories during his campaign across the northeast while also capturing an impressive 15 top-five finishes. Haudenschild’s list of victories include a stretch of two consecutive during Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket on June 21-22, as well as a second stretch of two consecutive on Sept. 5-6.
After spending time in central Pennsylvania competing against the Pennsylvania Posse, Ryan Smith hit the road in 2015 and joined the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions as a full-time competitor. The UNOH All Star Rookie of the Year candidate earned three victory lane appearances during his travels, visiting many of the facilities for the first time in his career. Despite Kerry Madsen earning the year’s first official UNOH All Star win at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., on Feb. 6, it was Smith who took the first point-earning victory on the 2015 circuit; dominating the Attica Raceway Park Spring Nationals program on Saturday, April 4.
Danny Holtgraver, Danny Smith, Travis Philo and Andrew Palker will also receive point fund awards in 2015. Teams that participated in at least 80 percent of the completed events are eligible for championship prize money.
“We are putting the puzzle pieces together as it relates to the 2016 schedule and received some great feedback from our drivers and owners meeting last weekend at Eldora that will improve our product next year,” said Stewart. “We plan on evaluating our format and possibly use our Florida events in February to see how these format tweaks pan out with the drivers, tracks and fans. We also hope to see a few more teams and drivers make the full time commitment to the 2016 Series; we are definitely seeing increased interest.”
CREDIT: UNOH All-Star Circuit of Champions