CHILLICOTHE, OH (August 27, 2017) - Utilizing a last corner pass to secure his place in Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Victory Lane, the “Buckeye Bullet” Dave Blaney scored the Open Wheel Championships finale victory on Saturday night at the Atomic (OH) Speedway high banks, driving under race leader, Chad Kemenah, at the exit of turn four for a $10,000 payday.
Blaney, pilot of the familiar Mohawk Northeast/Motter Equipment/Beltline Body Shop/No. 71M, started from outside-pole position and raced within the top-three the entire distance. After swapping positions with Lee Jacobs to re-secure second after a lap 18 caution, Blaney’s focus was solely on Kemenah, soon chasing down the defending Arctic Cat All Star champion in traffic, ultimately setting up his last corner pass for the five-figure pay check. Kemenah led the first 29 and 3/4 circuits before losing the top spot to Blaney.
“I think his car was definitely better,” Dave Blaney said about Chad Kemenah. “He got hung up in traffic and I was able to get a lucky break. I feel bad for Chad. I’ve lost some races that way and it really sucks. Regardless, I’m really excited for my guys. We don’t get to race a whole lot, so to come out here and win is big for us; this is a big night.”
Despite starting from the front row, Blaney’s trip to victory lane was not conducted flawlessly. The Ohio native, who now calls North Carolina home, battled early with Lee Jacobs, actually losing the runner-up position to the 1881 Racing entry on lap 10 just as the leaders entered traffic for the first time. A pair of cautions on lap 18 and lap 19 bundled the field back together allowing Blaney to return the favor and slip back by Jacobs during the lap 18 restart.
By lap 26, Blaney worked his way to the rear bumper of Kemenah, closing a near-straightaway advantage. The pair raced nose-to-tail for the final five circuits, all before Blaney was able to poke his nose and drive under the Hunter Racing/Seneca Energy/DKW Transport/No. 10H.
“This is hard to do,” Blaney said. “These guys are good and they are racing from top to bottom. To end up standing here is pretty surprising and pretty awesome.”
Kicking off a holiday weekend that will feature back-to-back $10,000-to-win programs in the Buckeye State, the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions will return to competition on Saturday evening, September 2, at Attica Raceway Park in Attica, Ohio. Complete with a unique format that will utilize two rounds of heat race competition, the annual Dirt Classic Ohio will headline action at the Attica high banks during Labor Day weekend, highlighted with a 40-lap main event will award a $10,000 top prize; the peak of a purse exceeding $32,000.
In addition to the Dirt Classic Ohio main event, the evening schedule will also include the Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket make-up feature that was initially scheduled for June 16. The starting lineup is already set, Travis Philo and Cale Conley on the front row, and will award a $5,000 top prize.
Attica Raceway Park will open gates at 3:00pm on Saturday, September 2, with racing to follow at 6:00pm, sharp. Those seeking additional news and notes should visit Attica Raceway Park live the Web at www.atticaracewaypark.com.
All Star Circuit of Champions, Dave Blaney
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