LIMA, Ohio – When you’re hot you’re hot, and veteran sprint car racer Shawn Dancer is in the midst of the finest streak of success in his motorsports career.
Dancer made it two wins in a row with the NRA Sprint Invaders feature at Limaland Motorsports Park and again did it by leading the field flag-to-flag through the 25-lap event.
Starting from the pole position was an advantage for Dancer and he proceeded to fully capitalize.
At the race midpoint, Kody Swanson, a 2014 part-time newcomer at the track, decided to follow Dancer around the top side line. Swanson stayed close to Dancer.
A pair of late race restarts made for even more drama, but may have slowed the momentum of the group of challengers to Shawn Dancer. He stayed strong with his machine on the high side of the track and made it stick during a three-lap dash to the checkered flag.
“This one wore me out a little bit,” said a relieved Shawn Dancer. “I saw J.R. underneath me and on the last restart I was thinking about going to the bottom, but I had good momentum and was doing well so I just stayed there and ran it even harder.”
The Reineke Modified division has been quite a playground for Indiana ace Todd Sherman as he has captured the past four season titles.
Sherman had virtually checked out on the field with the exception of Jerry Bowersock, while Brandon Vaughan, Casey Luedeke and Matt Westfall engaged in some competitive pack racing. Unfortunately for everyone but Sherman it was for the consolation of a high finish, but not a coveted checkered flag. Sherman easily posted a fourth win of 2014 and a record extending 40th of his career at the track.
“The track was fast as they watered it just before this race,” said Sherman. “My signal guy (his son) said stay up high. It worked and when I got into lapped traffic I just tried to be careful. Next week with the King of the Quarters is gonna be really something!”
The most emotional racing of the evening proved to be the 15-lap Budweiser Thunderstocks main event as it produced a first-time feature winner. Lima’s Frank Paladino gave himself a night to remember with a hard earned triumph. It left the usual large crowd of race fans roaring their approval. Although Paladino was afforded the pole starting position after the heat racing and inversion, the race itself left everyone on the edge of their seats.
A restart with six laps remaining allowed ample time for Koz, Anderson and Shawn Valenti to make their case and possibly overtake Paladino.With the crowd sensing that they might be witnessing a first-time winner for the second week in a row, Paladino did his part by maintaining composure and hanging on for the popular win.
Shawn Dancer, Jr Stewart, Kody Swanson, Dustin Stroup, Max Stambaugh, Butch Schroeder, Tim Allison, Jared Horstman, Beau Stewart, Hud Horton, Devon Dobie, Ron Blair, Kevin Roberts, Tyler Moore, Brandon Ferguson, Paul Dues, Tim Hunter, Nick Roberts, Scott Curren