FREMONT, Ohio – Dale Blaney has turned Fremont Speedway into his personal bank.
The Hartford, Ohio driver took his third $10,000-to-win victory of the season Saturday to wrap up the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions 110th visit to “The Track That Action Built.”
Blaney led all 50 laps of the Sixth Annual Jim Ford Classic on JLH General Contractors Night, but Tim Shaffer didn’t make it an easy payday. Shaffer, who started 16th in the field, caught Blaney with six laps to go but a slight bobble in turn two on the white flag lap cost him a shot at “The Low Rider.”
For Blaney it was his sixth UNOH All Star win of the season and the 99th of his career to move him into first place in all-time series wins. It was Blaney’s 14th career All Star win at Fremont and the 19th overall at the track moving him into a tie for 28th on Fremont’s all-time win list.
Blaney had suffered mechanical issues the previous couple of weeks and was looking forward to the two-day Jim Ford Classic at Fremont.
“Fremont is like my second home. You guys have treated me great here and we always really good here. Rich Farmer (promoter) does a fantastic job with this place. People of Fremont are lucky to have him. The track was awesome and you could run any where. The top was prevalent but traffic was fun. I wish we could have stayed in traffic the whole race it was fun working through there. To get 99 here with the $10,000…it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Blaney.
“I always say I hate to lead early here but our car was really good. I knew he (Shaffer) was coming because when I got to the back of the pack I never ever saw him. I could see his crew guy on the yellows looking like he wasn’t far behind me. We are buddies and he races me clean. He probably could have slid me. I was just hanging on the last seven and getting really, really free. I was just trying to stay smooth and not spin,” added Blaney.
With one more UNOH All Star race remaining next month at Eldora Speedway, Blaney could wrap up his fourth career series championship to move into elite company with Shaffer, Chad Kemenah and Frank Kerr.
“We run good at Eldora. We just have to go over there and do the best we can and not have any problems and qualify well and have a good night. We have a couple of three weeks to prepare and we’ll be over to Eldora this Friday (for World of Outlaws show) to test a little bit,” said Blaney.
Who knows what the outcome of Saturday’s race would have been had Shaffer not jumped the cushion in turn two on the white flag lap. He would bring the Aaron Call/Janet Holbrook owned #83 home in second.
“It was like a storybook…everything was working just right…be aggressive and be patient, don’t get the tires sealed up. I was running Dale down there at the end and it was going to be perfect and I just entered too hard and tripped over the cushion and there went our momentum,” said Shaffer.
“My team has been doing a great job. Those guys have been sticking with me and it’s been great. At the beginning the car was sticking pretty good and I could be aggressive and not kill the tires. If I could just sneak on up there little by little and be patient and it would really drive forward,” added Shaffer.