TOWER CITY, Pa. — After narrowly missing out on a seventh Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions title and then losing his ride with CH Motorsports when sponsor Big Game Motorsports pulled out from the team, Dale Blaney has found a new home.
The 52-year-old and all-time All Stars wins leader with 134 feature victories confirmed via Twitter on Monday night that he will drive the John Zemaitis-owned Zemco Motorsports No. 1Z sprint car next season.
— Dale Blaney (@DaleBlaney) November 29, 2016
The news was later confirmed via the team’s official website and Twitter account, which have both been updated to show Blaney as the driver for the 2017 racing season.
Blaney’s 2016 season featured seven victories in All Star competition, which carried him to second in the championship standings behind eventual and now-five-time titlist Chad Kemenah. In all, he captured eight wins, 36 top-fives and 51 top-10s in 69 sprint car starts across multiple series and tracks.
Now, the long-time veteran suits up for a new challenge in a new location as he prepares for next year.
“I’m excited, and I’m looking forward to it,” Blaney told PennLive. “I think, right now in my life, I need a new challenge. I need some new scenery with what has gone on over the last two months. Sometimes, you need a change of pace.”
“John Zemaitis is one of the most respected guys in the business, and I’ve known him for years. That car has a ton of history, and I’m looking forward to jumping in it.”
That history includes an extensive list of drivers who have piloted cars for the Central Pennsylvania-based operation, including Billy Pauch, Sean Michael, Stevie Smith and Lucas Wolfe, who drove for Zemco this past season with Tommy Carl serving as his crew chief.
Multiple published reports say that Blaney and the Zemco team will drive in 50-60 races next year across Central Pennsylvania, but that the six-time All Stars champion is still seeking a ride for additional races in his home state of Ohio next season when he is not driving Zemaitis’ car.
Race Chaser Online will have more on this story in the coming days.
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Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
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