Blaney Makes Port Royal History

Dale Blaney (2) passes Tommy Sexton Saturday at Wilmot (Wis.) Raceway. (Mark Funderburk Photo)

PORT ROYAL, Pa. – Dale Blaney became the first bona-fide All Star in history to conquer the challenges of Port Royal Speedway on Friday night in the Night Before The 50 for sprint cars sanctioned by the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions.

Blaney’’s historic win at Port Royal for the All Stars comes after the circuit made its first-ever visit to the track back in 1981.

The flag-to-flag, 30-lap victory was worth $5,000 for Blaney’’s TI22 Performance No. 2 sprint car.

Blaney earned the pole for The Night Before The 50 feature by winning the six-lap dash and when the green flag waved over the feature, Blaney was off and running far ahead of second starter Stevie Smith.

Eighth starter Danny Dietrich was on the move during the early going, driving up to fourth by the sixth lap before stabilizing while Blaney began entering the backmarkers.

Smith could only try to keep pace with the fleet-running Buckeye driver as the leaders worked through traffic during the non-stop event.

Dietrich advanced to third behind Blaney and Smith with 12 down before sixth starter Lance Dewease started motoring toward the front trio.

With 10 laps to go, it appeared as Blaney may again come up short at the track for both himself and the All Stars as smoke began heavily spewing from his black and blue racer. But even with smoke billowing from his machine, Blaney never slowed down as he threaded his way through lapped traffic to perfection, keeping Smith at bay.

Dewease took third from Dietrich with four laps to go and applied heavy pressure to Smith for second all the way to the finish but to no avail.

As it rolled into victory lane, Blaney’’s right rear tire was flatter than the proverbial pancake but all that mattered on this night was that the tire made it to the checkers.

The win was Blaney’’s ninth of the All Star season overall and first with the circuit since taking a win at Hibbing, Minn., in late July.

It was the 93rd All Star win of Blaney’’s career.

Smith crossed the line second followed by Dewease, Dietrich and third starter Fred Rahmer.