LIMA – Dale Blaney won his 100th career University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions feature in April.
He was held winless until the 32nd annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek. On Friday, “The Low Rider” recorded his third win out of the five speedweek events, including Friday’s stop at Limaland Motorsports Park.
Blaney inherited the lead when Jamie Veal smacked the front stretch wall on lap 27 and went on to record his 103rd career UNOH All Star victory. It was Blaney’s fourth series win of 2014 and he now has five All Star wins at Limaland.
“We had a good car. It didn’t take off the best but I knew we were going to have a good car by 40 laps. We kind of picked our way and I saw where they were running and the car got better and better. I can’t say enough about Tony (Kennedy, car owner). He’s put together a great team and we’re having some fun. George (Fisher, crew chief) is as focused as I’ve ever seen him,” said Blaney beside his Kennedy Cattle/Ti22 Performance/GF1 Chassis/Penske Shocks/Tom’s Sewer and Septic Service backed machine.
“I’ve made so many laps around here and I know the track’s going to move. I knew when I had to get up on the track and to the middle. The guys give me a great car and it’s second nature for me to go do those spots.”
Byron Reed would finish third and considering how up and down his year has been, this may be the shot in the arm his team needed.
Friday’s Ohio Sprint Speedweek visit was the 29th appearance at Limaland for the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions. The field of 45 cars was narrowed to the 24-car starting field for the 40-lap feature with Duane Zablocki and Stevie Smith comprising the front row.
When the green flew Zablocki would jump to the lead over Smith, Jamie Veal, Rob Chaney, Travis Philo, Reed and Blaney. Veal would grab second on lap 2 and immediately pressured Zablocki for the top spot. Veal would slide in front of Zablocki on lap five before the caution flew for Paul May.
On the ensuing restart, Veal led Zablocki, Chaney, Reed, Philo, Smith and Blaney. After a lap was completed Ronnie Blair would stop with suspension damage. On the restart, Sheldon Haudenschild and Derek Hagar would get together for another caution. When the green flew so did Veal as he pulled away from a tremendous battle for second between Zablocki, Reed, Chaney and Philo with Blaney staying close. Reed would take second on lap 10 with Chaney and Philo also getting around Zablocki.
Blaney would move into fifth by lap 11 with Veal pulling away from Reed with Chaney and Philo having a great battle for third. Philo would gain the position on lap 14.
By lap 15 the leaders were approaching heavy lapped traffic and Reed closed quickly on Veal with Philo third and Blaney in fourth. At the half-way point, lapped cars were really coming into play with Veal leading Reed, Philo, Blaney, James McFadden, Wilson, Chaney and Smith.
Before Reed could try to get to Veal, Philo would challenge him for second and with 15 laps to go it was a tremendous 3-car battle for second with Blaney joining in. McFadden and Wilson would also close on the leaders. Blaney would drive by Phil for third on lap 26 and ran beside Reed for second. As the leaders came off turn four to complete lap 27, Veal bounced off the outside retaining wall as Blaney shot below to steal the lead.