ROSSBURG, Ohio – Thursday’s Super DIRTcar Series All-Star Invitational at Eldora Speedway may have been thinner on top talent than in years past, but it was in no way short on star power in victory lane.
Home-state favorite Dave Blaney, a past World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and USAC Silver Crown Series titlist and former NASCAR regular, dominated the night at the half-mile Ohio dirt track.
Blaney led all 20 laps of the non-points event from the outside pole, surging past pacesetter and Heinke-Baldwin Racing teammate Jimmy Phelps on the initial start and never looking back en route to victory.
The Hartford, Ohio native pulled away on two separate restarts – one at lap two after a Jeremiah Shingledecker spin and another at lap nine after the Chris Grbac machine slowed – and beat Phelps to the checkered flag by two seconds in the end with his No. 10h modified.
Though he had won sprint car races in the mid-1990s at Eldora, Thursday night’s rout marked Blaney’s first big-block modified victory of any kind at the Tony Stewart-owned facility.
“It’s cool to win any time at this place; it doesn’t matter what you’re driving,” Blaney said in victory lane. “We had some good days way back in the 90s in the sprint car, but it’s fun to come race here in the modified and fun to come and win one in front of my home fans here tonight.
“We had a good car all race long and proved it down the stretch.”
Phelps had nothing for his teammate and settled for second, with Josh Hohenforst completing the podium. Ryan Godown finished fourth and Chris Hile was fifth.
Demetrios Drellos, Danny Johnson, Matt Farnham, Ryan Watt and Rick Regalski made up the balance of the top 10.
Eight-time Super DIRTcar Series champion Brett Hearn had an engine expire in hot laps and did not start the Thursday feature.
Dave Blaney, Jimmy Phelps, Josh Hohenforst, Ryan Godown, Chris Hile, Demetrios Drellos, Danny Johnson, Matt Farnham, Ryan Watt, Rick Regalski, Jack Lehner, Paul St. Sauveur, Marcus Dinkins, Chris Grbac, Rusty Smith, Jeremiah Shingledecker, Brett Hearn.