Finally etching his name is in the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions history books, Findlay, Ohio’s Caleb Helms is an Arctic Cat All Star main event winner, earning $10,000 during the annual Pete Jacobs Memorial at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio. The victory, undoubtedly the largest payday of his young career, was a first-ever during Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions competition.
The pilot of the Big Jerk Premium Jerky/Helms and Sons Excavating/Ferguson/Tommy Tire Sales/No. 17 charged from the inside of row five to claim his spot on top of the feature podium, withstanding multiple charges from former Arctic Cat All Star champion, Tim Shaffer, and Lockbourne, Ohio’s Cole Duncan during the closing circuits.
“Man...I’m really happy to be here,” Caleb Helms said with relief in victory lane. “I couldn’t have done it without my family; my dad, my grandpa, my wife, my boys. I’ve been believing I could be here. It has been a long time coming it feels like, but I’m so happy we are finally here.”
Joey Saldana and Chad Kemenah led the feature field to green on Sunday night at Wayne County Speedway. Saldana earned the early advantage, leading Kemenah and Danny Mumaw by the flag stand for the first time. Five cautions interrupted the first eight circuits of the 35-lap main event. During that time, Saldana remained in control, keeping the tight battle for second through fourth between Caleb Helms, Danny Mumaw and Chad Kemenah in his rear-view mirror.
During the lap eight restart, Mumaw, who worked by Helms the circuit prior, drove under Saldana for the lead in turn one. Despite Saldana’s attempt to retake the top spot in turns three and four with a slidejob, Mumaw maintained in command. All momentum would soon be lost once again as caution flags reappeared on lap nine.
Mumaw led the feature field back to green with Joey Saldana right on his tail tank. The nearby Wooster, Ohio, native attempted to run away from the field, but Saldana never allowed it, keeping just a few car lengths between himself and Mumaw. As the pair reached the back of the field, Mumaw’s lead diminished completely, soon finding himself on the back bumper of lapped traffic with Saldana on his heels. Unfortunately for Mumaw, his lead would end in traffic as contact with a lapped car sent him skating into the the infield, also collecting Joey Saldana. Helms, who battled his way into third just before the incident, inherited the top spot.
Green flag conditions returned with Helms now in control over Tim Shaffer and Cole Duncan. Utilizing the very topside of the speedway, Helms was able to maintain momentum over the other front-runners, but not without some added pressure from the “Steel City Outlaw” Tim Shaffer. When Helms and Shaffer entered traffic on lap 25, the gap between the two disappeared completely, battling nearly side-by-side for four circuits from laps 26 to 29. Luckily for Helms, caution flags flew once again, ultimately setting up a clear track and clean air the remaining distance.
“That late caution definitely helped us,” Caleb Helms explained. “I felt like we were finally starting to hit stride. I was able to get my wing back a little bit further and figure out where I needed to enter the corners. Andy Potter did a great job with this car. We keep learning night in and night out.”
“He did a really good job tonight. Caleb ran a really good race,” said Tim Shaffer. “Caleb did everything he needed to do. Those guys work really hard and deserved this one.”
With their Labor Day weekend swing through the Buckeye State officially in the books, the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions will now trek back across state lines, this time setting the compass toward Central Pennsylvania where “America’s Series” will challenge the notorious Pennsylvania Posse for two consecutive nights of competition at the Port Royal Speedway “Speed Palace.”
In conjunction with the 163rd Juniata County Fair, the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions will invade Port Royal Speedway in Port Royal, Pennsylvania, for back-to-back events on Friday and Saturday, September 8-9. The 50th Annual Tuscarora 50 will be the main attraction, awarding $50,000 on Saturday, September 9. The Night Before The 50 preliminary program, awarding $5,000, will kick start the historic weekend on Friday, September 8.
Those seeking additional news and notes pertaining to Port Royal Speedway should visit the “Speed Palace” live on the Web at www.portroyalspeedway.com.
All Star Circuit of Champions
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