Fremont Is Blaney’s Playground

Dale Blaney battles James McFadden (3) Thursday night at Fremont Speedway. (Mike Campbell photo)
Dale Blaney battles James McFadden (3) Thursday night at Fremont Speedway. (Mike Campbell photo)
Dale Blaney battles James McFadden (3) Thursday night at Fremont Speedway. (Mike Campbell photo)

FREMONT, Ohio — Fremont Speedway was Dale Blaney’s personal ATM in 2013. But after opening the track’s season with a win in April, “The Low Rider” has been held winless at “The Track That Action Built.”

That all changed Thursday during night four of the 32nd annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek with the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions.

The four-time and defending UNOH All Star champion took a major step to claiming an unprecedented fifth series title by blasting past James McFadden on a restart at the halfway point of the feature and driving to his second Ohio Sprint Speedweek win.

The victory is Blaney’s 102nd career UNOH All Star win and the third series victory of 2014. He now has 21 career victories at Fremont, of which, 15 have been All Star triumphs.

Blaney holds a commanding lead in the Ohio Sprint Speedweek standings as he looks to claim that title for the fifth time in his career. In fact, he has not finished out of the top three in any of the four speedweek events. He also pads his point lead in the UNOH All Star’s national and Ohio region points.

“I was really really tight entering the corners,” Blaney said. “Him (McFadden) in front of me…it had me all balled up. I was able to get a good run on him in one and two and in three he saw me and he had been running down and he caught it and I got around him and moved to the top. The car got really good the last 12 laps. I was able to get off two really well.”

For McFadden, Fremont Speedway has been fantastic to the Australian driver as he scored a $10,000-to-win victory back in May at the track and followed with a second-place run Thursday. The battle he had with Jac Haudenschild for second the last hand full of laps kept the big crowd entertained to say the least.

“I really like this track…it’s a lot like home. The track’s a little bit flatter but slicker than I’m used to. The team gave me an awesome car and it’s a pleasure to drive and it’s easy to get around here,” said McFadden. “It is always fun racing with someone like Jac. I probably used him up a little too much coming into three…didn’t expect to move up as much as I did…it kind of got away from me and I’m sorry about that. But, this gives us a lot of momentum going into the last two races.”

Haudenschild, who won the speedweek event the previous night at Atomic Speedway, is happy with the direction of his Rick Rodgers-backed team.

“James and I had a real good race there…we slid back and forth a couple of times. That was fun. We’re getting better here and I’m looking forward to coming back here in a couple of days. I said it about a month ago…this team is starting to gel,” said Haudenschild.

Gary Taylor was fast qualifier for the 52-car field with a 12.234-second lap.

In a crash marred Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprint feature, Fremont’s Paul Weaver held off Steve Rando for his first win of the season. The victory is Weaver’s 34th career win at the track and ties him with Al Franks for 10th on the track’s all-time win list.

Shawn Valenti won the dirt truck feature.

The finish:

Dale Blaney, James McFadden, Jac Haudenschild, Chris Andrews, Chad Kemenah, Randy Hannagan, Christopher Bell, Jamie Veal, Brian Lay, Caleb Griffith, Cap Henry, Shane Stewart, Derek Hagar, Gary Taylor, Brady Bacon, Danny Dietrich, Travis Philo, Brandon Wimmer, Brian Smith, Broc Martin, Stuart Brubaker, Lee Jacobs, Jack Sodeman Jr., Tim Shaffer.