Dale Blaney excites hometown fans at Sharon with Ohio All Star Sprint Speedweek win; Butler wins Mini Stock special in his 1st ever appearance
by Mike Leone
June 23, 2015
(Hartford, OH)…After losing the last two years’ Ohio Speedweek events to rain, Mother Nature threw her best at Sharon Speedway again dumping heavy rain and storms over the Hartford, Ohio oval throughout the morning hours leaving the facility water logged. Track officials though went to work and went on with the show as Dale Blaney picked up the Ohio Speedweek win for Tony Stewart’s new All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars and Casey Butler captured the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stock undercard event.
Dale Blaney moved one step closer to the $25,000 Cometic Gaskets bonus for winning at least five of the nine Ohio Speedweek events by capturing his second win of the week matching Sheldon Haudenschild as Speedweek repeat winners. Blaney made a bold pass of Ryan Smith in the dash to earn the pole position starting spot, and then went on to lead all 30 laps of the feature holding off Australians James McFadden and Jamie Veal for the victory. The $5,000 win was Blaney’s fifth All Star score of 2015, and all-time leading 120th of his storied career.
“It’s been awhile, but I always enjoy coming back here,” expressed the 51-year-old Hartford, Ohio native. “There’s a lot of tradition. My dad, brother, and uncle have won a lot of races here. It’s a great place- four miles up the road. If I had to pick a race to win this week it’d be here. Hopefully we can come back in a couple weeks and see if we can get a second one at dad’s memorial. We’ve had bad dash draws the last two nights drawing a 10 and an 11. I wasn’t good enough to make up any ground, but tonight we had a great dash draw. Getting out in clean air was good- we’ll take it!”
Blaney took off in the lead with Smith and McFadden in tow. Haudenschild’s bid for three straight Ohio Speedweek wins came to a screeching half when he took a hard flip in turn four after jumping another competitors wheel. Haudenschild was okay. Green flag action resumed on lap four. The top three of Blaney, Smith, and McFadden began to distance themselves from the field by lap seven.
McFadden, who was making his first ever Sharon start, looked strong as drove around Smith for runner-up racing off turn four on lap eight. Three-time Sharon winner, Danny Holtgraver, turned heads as he was on the move from seventh. Holtgraver had the Phoenix Motorsports #59 rolling as he stole fifth from Saturday’s Eldora Speedway Speedweek winner, Greg Wilson, on lap 13. Holtgraver then inherited fourth when Smith came to a stop with a flat tire at the halfway point.
When racing resumed, Holtgraver appeared like he may have be player at the finish as he blasted by Veal off turn four on lap 17 for third. Holtgraver then began to set his sights on McFadden when something broke on his ride sending him hard into the turn two fence and upside down. It was a bitter end for the nine-time All Star winner with 19 laps in the record books.
While his brother set the pace out front, all eyes focused on Dave Blaney over the closing laps. Last year’s “Lou Blaney Memorial” winner, started ninth and cracked the top five on lap 20 displacing Tim Shaffer. The elder Blaney was running the fastest laps of any other competitor as he ran down and passed Wilson for fourth on lap 25. “The Buckeye Bullet” though would run out of laps even though he closed in late.
Up front, it was Dale Blaney racing on to the victory despite losing some of his lead on lap 29 trying to lap outside pole-sitter, Ryan Smith. Blaney took the checkered flag first for the 14th time of his career at Sharon in the CH Motorsports, GoMuddy.com, Big Game Treestands-sponsored #1. The victory moves Blaney into a tie for 12th on the all-time win list with Bob Felmlee.
It was a great Sharon debut for McFadden in runner-up as he recorded his third straight Ohio Speedweek podium finish. “It was a good night for us to come here for our first time and run second to Dale is pretty cool,” expressed McFadden. “I thought we had something for him in lapped traffic there, but we kept getting the yellows. Full credit to the team- it was a real nice race car to drive tonight, but we were one spot shy so hopefully tomorrow night we can get up on the top step. Hopefully we can keep this momentum rolling.”
Veal’s third place was his best Ohio Speedweek effort. “The team did a great job tonight,” stated Veal. “We weren’t that good last night, but to come here tonight and get a podium is great. We’re trying a few different things to keep things rolling, and to run third to Dale and James McFadden who are two of the best in the world is pretty cool.”
Dave Blaney was fourth in his 2015 Ohio Speedweek debut over Wilson. Completing the top 10 were Shaffer, Stuart Brubaker, Bryan Clauson, Brady Bacon, and Caleb Helms. Brubaker, Shaffer, Danny Smith, Ryan Smith, and Logan Forler won the heat races. Haudenschild won the B main, while Dale Blaney won the dash. Dave Blaney set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 13.135.
For the third straight Mini Stock event, a newcomer invaded by making an approximate 100-mile tow and took the top honors in the Deforest Used Parts-sponsored division. This time it was Casey Butler leading all 15 laps for the special $300 to-win payday.
“We usually drive to Marietta every Friday night and race down there so we thought we ought to come up here and try it out,” explained the Millersburg, Ohio racer. “My cousin has raced here a few times and had fun and told us it’s a nice race track. We figured we’d come up and watch the Sprint Cars as well.”
A trio of cautions were all that slowed Butler’s run to the checkered flag in his #4; however, he did have some challenges by Saturday’s winner Andy Proper and another newcomer in Jason Shaw. Proper was taken out on the final lap by Adam Reseigh battling for second with Shaw and Reseigh. Shaw was credited with runner-up over two-time champion, Bill Fuchs, Jordan Ehrenberg, and Tim McAninch. Proper, Fuchs, and Butler won the heat races over the season high 20-car field.
All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars (30 laps, $5,000 to-win): 1. DALE BLANEY (1) 2. James McFadden (Gaerte/Norman 3G) 3. Jamie Veal (35AU) 4. Dave Blaney (98H) 5. Greg Wilson (W20) 6. Tim Shaffer (Grove 45) 7. Stuart Brubaker (Burmeister 16) 8. Bryan Clauson (Wood 17w) 9. Brady Bacon (99) 10. Caleb Helms (40) 11. Logan Forler (2) 12. Cole Duncan (Demyan/Rudzik 49) 13. Chad Kemenah (Hunter 10H) 14. Cody Darrah (89) 15. Lee Jacobs (Lewis 81) 16. Ryan Smith (Warko 94) 17. Eric Williams (7) 18. Danny Holtgraver (Leidig 59) 19. Cap Henry (Genzman 53) 20. Danny Smith (4) 21. Jack Sodeman, Jr. (Seger 25) 22. Roger Crockett (Grove 70) 23. Danny Dietrich (Kauffman 48) 24. Sheldon Haudenschild (93) 25. Parker Price-Miller (9P)
DNQ from the B main: D.J. Foos (Coomer 21), Carl Bowser (10), Travis Philo (5T), T.J. Michael (8M), Josh Baughman (17), Danny Reidy (5AU), Jody Keegan (60), Brandon Matus (13), Scott Priester (Dionise 15), A.J. Flick (2), Adam Kekich (5K), Brandon Spithaler (22), Jimmy Morris (16), Brent Matus (33), Paul May (71M), Jac Haudenschild (Armbruster 73), Sean Zemunik (27z).
Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks (15 laps, $300 to-win): 1. CASEY BUTLER (4) 2. Jason Shaw (1) 3. Bill Fuchs (10) 4. Jordan Ehrenberg (JD57) 5. Tim McAninch (43) 6. Jim Haefke, Jr. (421) 7. Pat Hanlon (7H) 8. Andy Proper (17) 9. Dan Nagy (17B) 10. Mitch Stokes (1) 11. Matt Rubright (X) 12. Jason Pavlick (00) 13. Tommy Joyce (25) 14. Michael DelliQuadri (77D) 15. Jamie Maxwell (6) 16. Ken Lawson (10) 17. Logan Keney (16) 18. Adam Reseigh (2) 19. Joe Keney (15K)-DNS 20. Jeff Little (42)-DNS.
Coming up this weekend is a doubleheader of events. Friday is the second “Summer Jam & BBQ Series” featuring the band “Testify”- a Stevie Ray Vaughn Tribute band. Gates open at 6 p.m. with entertainment at 9. Admission is $5. Bring your band on Saturday night and receive $2 off to “Steel Valley Thunder” featuring the weekly six divisions plus the RUSH Late Models. Gates open at 5 p.m. with racing at 7.
Sharon Speedway is owned by the Blaney, Weller, and Kirila Families and is a 3/8-mile dirt track located on Custer-Orangeville Road in Hartford, Ohio near the intersection of Routes 7 & 305. For more information, check out the website at www.sharonspeedway.com or call 330-772-5481. Become a fan of Sharon Speedway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sharonspeedway and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sharonspdwy.