OCALA, FL. – Australian Kerry Madsen opened the new era for the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions with an exciting last lap pass of Aaron Reutzel to score the season opening victory at Bubba Raceway Park Friday night.
“The Mad Man” actually recorded the fastest lap of the entire race on that last lap. But it was a caution flag with three laps to go that gave him the opportunity as Reutzel’s motor began to sour. Madsen now has four career All Star wins.
“On that last lap I saw him (Reutzel) go to the bottom in one. I said a Hail Mary and went for it to the outside and it stuck. That was insane!” said Madsen who opened the All Star season in 2014 with a win at Bubba as well.
“I have to thank Tony (Stewart) and Bubba (Clem) for deciding to rework the track after qualifying. It made for a great feature. I have to thank my guys in the shop. They worked hard all winter and it showed tonight. Bob and Peter Gavranich (team owners) hopefully got to watch this on TV,” added Madsen beside his American Racing Custom Wheels, Earthex Logistics, Keneric Racing backed #29.
Reutzel, who already has a 410 win in 2015, looked to be on his way to his first All Star victory. The 24-year-old racer from Texas took the lead on lap two when Caleb Armstrong made contact with the turn four guard rail and threaded his way through lapped traffic like a surgeon.
But, with three laps to go Danny Smith, who was battling with Madsen for second, slipped off the racing groove in turn four and made contact with the front stretch wall to bring out the caution.
While under yellow, Reutzel actually developed a small oil fire. When the green flew on the restart Reutzel’s motor began to sound sour. As they raced to the white flag Madsen was right on Reutzel’s rear bumper and when Reutzel went to the bottom of turn one, Madsen shot around on the high side and drove to the win.
“I knew my motor was laying down…I was just trying to block those last couple of laps. I hate this for all the people who have helped me and supported me but we’ll be back tomorrow,” said Reutzel beside his BC Fundz/Basic One Services/Lone Star Hydro and Maintenance backed #87.
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania’s Tim Shaffer, a four time All Star champion, would drive a solid race to finish third.
“I have Ripper (Kyle) who came down with me to help work on the car. That allows me to watch the track and the competition and that is huge. I have to thank Bryan Grove for the opportunity and Gressman Powersports…they build a great engine for small tracks and big tracks,” said Shaffer of his Canton Erectors/Brilex LLC/Helms and Son Excavating backed #45.
Reutzel and Armstrong would bring the field to green for their 30-lap feature with Armstrong gaining the advantage. However, after leading the first lap, as he rocketed through turns three and four to complete lap 2, Armstrong slipped up the track and made contact with the outside fence, bringing out the caution.
On the restart Reutzel now led Smith, Madsen, Shaffer and Steve Kinser. But, the racing would grind to a halt shortly after as the team cars of Bradley Howard and Jordan Givler tangled in turn three with Howard getting upside down. Howard was uninjured but done for the night.
When the green flew again so did Reutzel as he pulled away from Smith. The leaders found lapped traffic by lap 9 and Reutzel’s lead began to evaporate. At the halfway point the running order was Reutzel, Smith, Shaffer, Madsen, Kinser and Chad Kemenah.
Reutzel, a rookie to 410 sprint car racing, sliced and dices his way through traffic and with five laps to go held a 6 car length lead over Smith who now had his hands full with Madsen. With three to go, Smith slipped up high in turn four and made contact with the turn four fence, ending his night and setting up the fantastic finish.
The UNOH All Stars will be back in action Saturday, Feb. 7 and Sunday, Feb. 8 at Bubba Raceway Park. Bubba Raceway Park is located at 9050 NW Gainesville Rd in Ocala, Fla. Ticket and event information is available by calling (352) 622-9400, visiting www.BubbaRacewayPark.com or Facebook.com/BubbaRacewayPark.
The UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series is the original winged sprint car touring organization. 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
-UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series Press Release & Photo
UNOH All Stars Circuit of Champions Unofficial Results
Bubba Raceway Park (FL) – February 6, 2015
|1||3||Kerry Madsen||Knoxville, IA||29|
|2||1||Aaron Reutzel||Clute, TX||87|
|3||5||Tim Shaffer||Aliquippa, PA||45|
|4||8||Steve Kinser||Bloomington, IN||11|
|5||9||Chad Kemenah||Findlay, OH||10H|
|6||16||Wayne Johnson||Knoxville, IA||77X|
|7||14||Danny Holtgraver||Pittsburgh, PA||59|
|8||6||Taylor Ferns||Shelby Township, MI||55F|
|9||13||Brandon Matus||Wampum, PA||13|
|10||7||Steve Buckwalter||Royersford, PA||I07|
|11||17||Paul May||Terre Haute, IN||71M|
|12||10||Parker Price-Miller||Kokomo, IN||9P|
|13||19||Terry Gray||Bartlett, TN||10|
|14||15||Tyler Clem||St. Petersburg, FL||14|
|15||2||Caleb Armstrong||New Castle, IN||7C|
|16||20||Mark Imler||Chillicothe, OH||40|
|17||22||Brent Matus||Wampum, PA||33|
|18||4||Danny Smith||Chillicothe, OH||4|
|19||11||Dale Blaney||Fowler, OH||14K|
|20||21||Jordan Givler||Etters, PA||49|
|22||12||Mark Coldren||Lewisberry, PA||O7|