ATTICA, Ohio – Ryan Smith of Kunkletown, Pennsylvania set out to experience different tracks in 2015. Well it paid off in a big way Saturday as the “Kunkletown Kid” led all 40 laps to record his first University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions victory during the 24th Annual HD Supply/Construction Equipment and Supply Spring Nationals at Attica Raceway Park.
The win not only opened the season for Attica but was also the first point race for Tony Stewart’s new UNOH All Stars who were making their 105th appearance at the track. It was Smith’s first career win at “Ohio’s Finest Racing” venue as well.
The cautions fell just when Smith needed them, keeping him out of heavy lapped traffic. He also made a spectacular move to get past a lapped car with eight laps to go to keep Andrew Palker from getting by.
“I wish we had something like this in Pennsylvania…this was great racing. Small track, elbows up, gas it up. It helped drawing a good number tonight. Laid down a good time and started up front but we were good enough to stay there,” said Smith of his Warko Group/S&S Speedways/Quality Roofing Supply/CnB Chubby/GLT Electrical/Armbruster Racing Photos/HP Engines backed #94.
“I was falling out of the seat there…I was hanging on. I was trying to save myself there for a little bit in case someone was coming up on me. I was glad to see that yellow there with three to go…that was a savior. It’s awesome to be here and I’m glad to represent Pennsylvania and all my sponsors. My family is here…it’s pretty cool,” added Smith.
Lodi, Ohio’s Andrew Palker would stay close to Smith the entire distance and would hold off Greg Wilson to score the runner-up finish aboard his Seneca Energy/King Inspections/J&J Auto Racing/Albreight Trucking backed #57x.
“A great way to start the year. On that last caution I really think I had something for him (Smith). Lapped traffic was holding him up in the middle and we were starting to roll the top pretty good. I hated to see that yellow come out but what are you going to do. First night out this year…sort of same team with some new people on board…what more could we ask for. All the cars are fresh cars…haven’t run them before. We can’t wait to get back home to Wayne County for the next one…we’ll be ready,” said Palker.
Greg Wilson would bring his HerculesTires/Ohio Logistics/DNC Hydraulics backed #W20 home in third.
“We had a great race car. I want to thank all the fans for coming out in this cold weather. I’m a blessed dude. My wife and kids are with me all the time and to come out and start the year like this with all the people that are helping…we’re pumped,” said Wilson. “Paul Kistler and Kistler Engines have been helping get our program straightened around and we’re going to be ready for the. You guys are in for something with Tony Stewart taking this thing over. You guys are going to see some awesome racing with the All Stars.”
Gary Taylor and Palker would bring the field of 26 to green for the 40-lap feature. But Taylor would clip an infield tractor tire on the opening lap and spin, collecting Byron Reed, Travis Philo, Chad Kemenah, Jac Haudenschild, Christopher Bell, and Kyle Patrick with Philo ending up on his side. Taylor, Patrick and Philo would be unable to restart the main.
On the second attempt, new pole-sitter Smith would jump into the lead with Palker, Cody Darrah, Wilson and Tim Shaffer giving chase. Wilson would take third on lap four with Dale Blaney also moving into the top five. With eight laps scored the leaders were getting ready to encounter heavy lapped traffic with Smith leading Palker, Wilson, Darrah and Blaney.
Smith would get a break on lap 11 when Caleb Helms spun, giving the leader a clear track. The caution would fly again on lap 12 when Paige Polyak coasted to a stop in turn four.
Again with a clear track Smith pulled away from Palker with Wilson, Darrah, Blaney, Danny Holtgraver, Shaffer, Sheldon Haudenschild and D.J. Foos in tow. Helms would spin again in turn two on lap 16 to keep the field close.
On the restart Smith again pulled away slightly from Palker who was receiving pressure from Wilson. The car on the move was Cap Henry who started 20th and had worked his way to seventh.
Smith avoided near disaster at the halfway point when he jumped the cushion in turn three but was able to maintain the lead over Palker, Wilson, Blaney, Darrah, Holtgraver and Henry. With 15 laps to go Smith has raced into heavy lapped traffic again allowing Palker and Wilson to close. Palker was right on Smith’s rear bumper as they tried to put T.J. Michael a lapped down. Smith would muscle his way under Michael on lap 32 and was then able to pull away slightly.
The final caution flew on lap 37 with Smith leading Palker, Wilson, Blaney and Henry. That’s how they would run the final three circuits with Smith getting the win over Palker, Wilson, Blaney and Henry rounding out the top five. Darrah, Holtgraver, Shaffer, Foos and Byron Reed would round out the top 10.
The UNOH All Stars will be back in action Saturday, April 18th at the Wayne County Speedway in Orville, Ohio.
The UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series is the original winged sprint car tour. Follow the All Stars during their 50 plus race season on Twitter.com/@ASCoC, www.facebook.com/AllStarCircuitofChampions and www.Instagram.com/AllStarSprints using the hashtag #TheNewAllStars. An all new website has been launched at www.AllStarSprint.com
-All Star Circuit of Champions Press Release & Photo
ASCoC Results – Attica Raceway Park
April 4, 2015
|1||3||Ryan Smith||Kunkletown, PA||94|
|2||2||Andrew Palker||Lodi, OH||57X|
|3||7||Greg Wilson||Benton Ridge, OH||W20|
|4||9||Dale Blaney||Fowler, OH||1|
|5||20||Cap Henry||Bellevue, OH||53|
|6||4||Cody Darrah||Red Lion, PA||89|
|7||12||Danny Holtgraver||Pittsburgh, PA||59|
|8||6||Tim Shaffer||Aliquippa, PA||45|
|9||13||D.J. Foos||Fremont, OH||21|
|10||10||Byron Reed||Monclova, OH||5|
|11||22||Danny Smith||Chillicothe, OH||4|
|12||8||Christopher Bell||Norman, OK||67|
|13||21||Parker Price-Miller||Kokomo, IN||9P|
|14||5||Chad Kemenah||Findlay, OH||10H|
|15||26||Randy Hannagan||San Jose, CA||33M|
|16||17||Sheldon Haudenschild||Wooster, OH||93|
|17||18||TJ Michael||Plano, TX||8M|
|18||11||Caleb Helms||Findlay, OH||40|
|19||15||Paige Polyak||Tiffin, OH||19P|
|20||19||Lee Jacobs||Dalton, OH||81|
|21||25||Steve Kinser||Bloomington, IN||11|
|22||24||Stuart Brubaker||Fremont, OH||16|
|23||23||Jac Haudenschild||Wooster, OH||9|
|24||1||Gary Taylor||Snohomish, WA||1ST|
|25||14||Kyle Patrick||Tilbury, ON||33K|
|26||16||Travis Philo||Waterville, OH||5T|