WAYNESFIELD, Ohio — Dale Blaney took advantage of other drivers’ miscues and bad luck Sunday to earn his 101st University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions victory on night two of the 32nd annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek.
The 40-lap feature was filled with excitement, drama and plenty of racing mishaps.
Danny Dietrich seemed headed to his first Ohio Speedweek win. But then Byron Reed looked like he would steal the victory. When a lapped car spun in front of Reed it ended his chances and gave Dietrich another shot. But late in the race Blaney began to pressure Dietrich, who spun with six laps to go while trying to fend off Blaney while working lapped traffic.
Blaney pulled away the final hand full of laps for his second UNOH All Star triumph of the year.
“Battle of survival I guess. Byron and Danny had a really good race going on there and I was just watching it. I knew when we got to traffic I’d probably be a little bit better. Out in the open I really wasn’t that great,” Blaney said. “I feel bad for Byron. He got the lead and was rolling good and got caught up. And Danny sees me up of four and runs down there and parks it and turns himself around. I know the 35AU (15th starter Jamie Veal) was good in his heat race up on the top. That kid gasses it up. I knew his number was way up there on the board on that red. I was glad to see the checkered.”
For Veal, the little bullring of Waynesfield reminded him of the tracks in his native Australia. And he would use that knowledge to charge to a second-place finish.
“This is pretty close to what we race on at home,” Veal said. “The team did a great job with the car. The Maxim was good and hopefully this gives us some momentum for the rest of the week.”
Jac Haudenschild displayed some of that energy in his heat race that has the fans on their feet. The Wild Child didn’t disappoint in the feature either, rim-riding his way to a third-place finish.
“It was a really good night. The Rick Rogers car was good and Scotty (Benic) had it nice,” Haudenschild said. “We were right there tonight but Blaney is so good at these tracks…heck all the tracks. He’s the guy to beat.”
Blaney was fast qualifier with a 10.593-second lap. Forty-five cars were on hand.
Dale Blaney, Jamie Veal, Jac Haudenschild, Shane Stewart, Travis Philo, Sheldon Haudenschild, Greg Wilson, Cole Duncan, Caleb Helms, Christopher Bell, Gary Taylor, Byron Reed, Tim Shaffer, Danny Dietrich, Derek Hagar, Chad Kemenah, Darren Mollenoyux, Lee Jacobs, Stevie Smith, Cap Henry, Stuart Brubaker, Danny Holtgraver, Brandon Wimmer, Ronnie Blair.