OCALA, Fla. (January 31, 2019) – Tim Shaffer’s effort on Thursday evening was relentless. Not only did the ‘Steel City Outlaw’ open the 2019 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 season by scoring the Winter Nationals opener at Bubba Raceway Park, he was forced to battle, and hold back, three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Bixby, Oklahoma’s Shane Stewart in the process.
Shaffer, pilot of the Demyan-Rudzik Racing/Smith Titanium/Southern Pacific Farms/No. 49X sprint car, earned his $5,000 top prize from the inside of row two, taking control over the field for the first time on lap 28. Despite not earning the lead, officially, until the latter stages the 30-lap program, Shaffer was in the hunt the entire distance, actually taking command on lap 19 before it was negated due to the evening’s first and only caution.
The All Star Circuit of Champions victory bumped Shaffer’s all-time win total to 65 with the Series, now with four at Ocala, Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park.
“Racing in second was definitely the ideal place to be tonight,” Tim Shaffer explained. “My guys gave me a great race car. This whole team works so hard and it really pays off. The track was a little tricky tonight, some dry-slick spots and some spots with moisture. I just tried to find as much moisture as I could find. We are all standing here in victory lane and that’s all that matters today.”
Despite slipping back as far as fifth after the initial start, Shaffer recovered in a hurry and battled his way into second around Chad Kemenah and Sheldon Haudenschild by the completion of lap four. With slower cars coming into play by lap six, the transition from clean air to dirty air acted as an advantage for the Aliquippa-native, actually allowing Shaffer to reel in race leader, Tony Stewart, to less than a car length by lap nine.
The top two cars raced nearly nose to tail until the main event’s first and only caution appeared on lap 19. During that period before the yellow flags flew, Shaffer made countless attempts to work around Stewart in traffic, actually poking his nose ahead and racing his way alongside the familiar Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing entry.
Despite getting the opportunity to start on the tail tank of Stewart’s No. 14, the lap 19 restart paid no favors to the four-time All Star Circuit of Champions title holder, actually losing one position to the CJB Motorsports machine driven by Shane Stewart. Five circuits later, Stewart advanced in the running order yet again, this time driving around Tony Stewart to take command for the first time on lap 24. Although dominant during his short tenure on top, Tony Stewart was able to battle back and regain the lead on lap 25, slipping up in front of Shane Stewart as the pair exited turn four.
Meanwhile, Shaffer, who was directly behind the lead pair as they weaved through traffic, garnered enough momentum to advance back into the runner-spot on lap 26. Just two circuits later, Shaffer was again in contention for the top spot, eventually beating Tony Stewart in drag race back to the flagstand to put lap 28 in the books. From that point forward, it was all Tim Shaffer, pulling ahead to just over one second by the time the final checkers flew.
“There is nothing wrong with finishing third to guys like Shane Stewart and Tim Shaffer,” Tony Stewart said, who started second on the feature grid. “I think I may have sealed over my tires during that restart. I probably spun the tires more than I needed to. It doesn’t actually wear down the tire, I just wasn’t getting any bite. Making little mistakes like that shows you what kind of pressure you are under as a driver racing with this level of competition.”
“That was a fun race,” Shane Stewart said. “I thought I was going to have something for [Tony Stewart] and [Tim Shaffer]. Regardless, I couldn’t be more pleased. My team works really hard and I appreciate what they’ve done. Everyone knows this team has been very fast the last few seasons. Hopefully I can continue that streak.”
Drivers and teams should note that Bubba Raceway Park will open pit gates at 9 a.m. during the entire weekend program. A mandatory All Star Circuit of Champions drivers meeting will be conducted at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, but pushed ahead to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Hot laps are slated to begin at 6:45 p.m. each night. For those seeking more information, please visit Bubba Raceway Park live on the Web at www.bubbaracewaypark.com.
Contingency Awards/Results: Bubba Raceway Park – January 31, 2019:
Event: Bubba Army Winter Nationals
C&R Racing All Star Warm-Ups: Cory Eliason – 13.166 seconds
Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: Carson Short – 11.484 seconds
Ford Performance Heat #1: Tim Shaffer
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2: Josh Baughman
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3: Brock Zearfoss
Mobil 1 Heat #4: Carson Macedo
JE Pistons Dash #1: Carson Macedo
Fatheadz Eyewear Filters Dash #2: Tony Stewart
Classic Ink USA B-Main: Danny Dietrich
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet A-Main Winner: Tim Shaffer
MSD Performance Hard Charger Award: Logan Schuchart (+6)
(Lincoln Electric & MSD Performance: Need decal to qualify for contingency award)
1. 49x-Tim Shaffer, 11.964; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 12.108; 3. 5-Shane Stewart, 12.343; 4. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 12.499; 5. 49-Mallie Shuster, 12.732; 6. 33-Max Stambaugh, 12.831; 7. 40-George Hobaugh, 13.160; 8. 13M-Brandon Matus, 13.323; 9. 14H-Jeremy Hill, 99.910
1. 21-Carson Short, 11.484; 2. 14-Tony Stewart, 12.030; 3. 17-Josh Baughman, 12.052; 4. J4-John Garvin, 12.059; 5. 49H-Bradley Howard, 12.062; 6. 13-Paul McMahan, 12.120; 7. 11S-Jim Shuster, 12.249; 8. 4-Danny Smith, 12.461
1. 26-Cory Eliason, 11.575; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 11.618; 3. K4-Chad Kemenah, 11.627; 4. 70-Brock Zearfoss, 11.647; 5. 48-Danny Dietrich, 11.843; 6. M1-Mark Smith, 11.894; 7. 17W-Shane Golobic, 12.097; 8. 91S-Colby Womer, 13.069
1. 7K-Cale Conley, 11.615; 2. 17S-Sheldon Haudenschild, 11.772; 3. 70X-Spencer Bayston, 11.794; 4. 2-Carson Macedo, 12.024; 5. 91-Anthony Fiore, 12.287; 6. 33M-Mason Daniel, 12.507; 7. 55-Gary Kriess, 12.762; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen, NT
Heat #1 – Group (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 49X-Tim Shaffer ; 2. 5-Shane Stewart ; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 4. 5W-Lucas Wolfe ; 5. 33-Max Stambaugh ; 6. 49-Mallie Shuster ; 7. 40-George Hobaugh ; 8. 13M-Brandon Matus ; 9. 14H-Jeremy Hill 
Heat #2 – Group (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 17-Josh Baughman ; 2. 14-Tony Stewart ; 3. 21-Carson Short ; 4. 13-Paul McMahan ; 5. J4-John Garvin ; 6. 49H-Bradley Howard ; 7. 11S-Jim Shuster ; 8. 4-Danny Smith 
Heat #3 – Group (C) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 70-Brock Zearfoss ; 2. K4-Chad Kemenah ; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel ; 4. M1-Mark Smith ; 5. 26-Cory Eliason ; 6. 17W-Shane Golobic ; 7. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 8. 91S-Colby Womer 
Heat #4 – Group (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 2-Carson Macedo ; 2. 17S-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 3. 7K-Cale Conley ; 4. 70X-Spencer Bayston ; 5. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 6. 33M-Mason Daniel ; 7. 91-Anthony Fiore ; 8. 55-Gary Kriess 
Dash #1 (4 Laps)
1. 2-Carson Macedo ; 2. 49X-Tim Shaffer ; 3. K4-Chad Kemenah ; 4. 70-Brock Zearfoss ; 5. 17-Josh Baughman 
Dash #2 (4 Laps)
1. 14-Tony Stewart ; 2. 17S-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 3. 5-Shane Stewart ; 4. 21-Carson Short ; 5. 26-Cory Eliason 
B-Main (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 2. 17W-Shane Golobic ; 3. 40-George Hobaugh ; 4. 4-Danny Smith ; 5. 13M-Brandon Matus ; 6. 33M-Mason Daniel ; 7. 91-Anthony Fiore ; 8. 91S-Colby Womer ; 9. 55-Gary Kriess ; 10. 14H-Jeremy Hill ; 11. 49-Mallie Shuster ; 12. 49H-Bradley Howard 
A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 49X-Tim Shaffer ; 2. 5-Shane Stewart ; 3. 14-Tony Stewart ; 4. 21-Carson Short ; 5. 17S-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 6. K4-Chad Kemenah ; 7. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 8. 70-Brock Zearfoss ; 9. 26-Cory Eliason ; 10. 87-Aaron Reutzel ; 11. M1-Mark Smith ; 12. 70X-Spencer Bayston ; 13. 7K-Cale Conley ; 14. 13-Paul McMahan ; 15. 17-Josh Baughman ; 16. 17W-Shane Golobic ; 17. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 18. 5W-Lucas Wolfe ; 19. J4-John Garvin ; 20. 40-George Hobaugh ; 21. 2-Carson Macedo ; 22. 4-Danny Smith ; 23. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 24. 33-Max Stambaugh  Lap Leaders: Tony Stewart (1-23), Shane Stewart (24), Tony Stewart (25-27), Tim Shaffer (28-30)
About the All Star Circuit of Champions:
All Star Enterprises, LLC, wholly owned by Tony Stewart, d/b/a the All Star Circuit of Champions, is a winged sprint car series. The All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series is one of the oldest traveling 410 sprint car organizations and is a staple of grassroots, open-wheel racing. Formed in 1970 by Bud Miller, the series has largely been considered the first ‘outlaw’ Sprint Car organization of the modern era. Motorsports entrepreneur Tony Stewart agreed to terms with Guy Webb to become the sole owner of the original winged sprint car tour in January of 2015. In 2019, MAVTV Motorsports Network will continue to be the official television home of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 and will broadcast ten high-profile events.
About Ollie’s Bargain Outlet:
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Inc., founded in 1982, is one of America’s largest retailers of closeouts and excess inventory, offering real brands at real bargain prices. Famous for its signature catch-phrase Good Stuff Cheap, Ollie’s has a huge variety of famous brand-name merchandise in every department – food, books, housewares, toys, electronics, domestics, clothing, furniture, health and beauty, flooring, seasonal items and so much more – at up to 70 percent off the fancy stores’ prices. You never know what you’ll find at one of Ollie’s 303 “semi-lovely” stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. For more information, visit www.ollies.us. Like us on Facebook or find us on Twitter at @OlliesOutlet. Ollie’s is a publicly-traded company on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol OLLI.
About Mobil 1:
The world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, Mobil 1™ features anti-wear technology that provides performance beyond our conventional motor oils. This technology allows Mobil 1 to meet or exceed the toughest standards of car builders and to provide exceptional protection against engine wear, under normal or even some of the most extreme conditions. Mobil 1 flows quickly in extreme temperatures to protect critical engine parts and is designed to maximize engine performance and help extend engine life.
Mobil, Mobil 1 and Mobil 1 Racing are registered trademarks of Exxon Mobil Corporation or one of its subsidiaries.
-All Star Circuit of Champions Press Release
-Photo credit: Paul Arch