ATTICA, Ohio — Adding to an illustrious career resume that now includes 63 Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victories, the ‘Steel City Outlaw’ Tim Shaffer opened the 2018 Dirt Classic Ohio at Attica Raceway Park with a victory, this time holding off Lemoore, California’s Carson Macedo and Republic, Ohio’s Cap Henry to do so. The $5,000 victory was Shaffer’s seventh at the Attica highbanks during All Star competition, taking the lead officially on lap nine with a bold move in traffic.
“This is awesome. I hope I have a lot more years left in me,” an elated Tim Shaffer said in Attica Raceway Park victory lane, driver of the Rudzik Excavating No. 49X. “This team is really working together and this new RPM car is awesome. Cody [Jacobs] is doing an awesome job. The whole Rudzik gang is here tonight. They are just a great group of guys to be with. We started the year off high, but kinda leveled off through the middle of the year. Now we are starting to get back rolling again. It feels great.”
After a caution during the initial start that included Lee Jacobs and Dave Blaney, the Dirt Classic Ohio opener at Attica Raceway Park was officially underway with Carson Macedo earning the early jump over pole-sitter Tim Shaffer and Travis Philo. Macedo drove away in clean air for the first five circuits, quickly catching the tail-end of the field as the leaders approached the flagstand to complete lap six.
By lap seven, Shaffer was clearly on the move and powered forward to pull even with Macedo to create a side-by-side battle for the top spot. The top two battled wheel-to-wheel for the next two circuits until Shaffer made a bid for the top spot on lap nine, using Attica’s infamous cushion to slingshot around Macedo at the exit of turn four to complete the circuit. Although traffic created an instant roadblock for the four-time All Star champion, the chaos quickly came to a close as caution flags appeared once again on lap 11.
Green flag action soon returned with Shaffer navigating an open track and clean air. It was not until lap 16 when traffic came back into the picture, and even then, Shaffer’s pace at the front of the field was uninterrupted. Although Shaffer raced in cruise control, it was the action behind him that was beginning to heat up which included Macedo, fifth-starting Cap Henry, fourth-starting Travis Philo, and third-starting Brock Zearfoss, all battling and exchanging positions inside the top five.
Cap Henry, who undoubtedly was working the hardest to get near the front, utilized the lap 11 restart to move into fourth around Zearfoss, eventually working by Philo to take the third spot on lap 14. Soon thereafter, Zearfoss, the newly hired gun for Destiny Motorsports, also worked around the familiar No. 5T of Travis Philo to lock down the fourth spot on lap 23.
Continuing his shuffle toward the front, Henry pounced once again, this time using a gnarly slide job in traffic to get by Macedo to take the runner-up spot on lap 29. Unfortunately for Henry, a momentum shift in the form of a caution on lap 31 erased all possibility of hunting down Tim Shaffer in traffic. The caution was soon followed by red flag conditions on the ensuing restart, this time for Broc Martin, who was also the culprit in the earlier caution. Despite taking a wicked tumble outside of turns one and two, Martin walked away unharmed.
The green flag waved once again giving Tim Shaffer clean air and an open track to work with. As Shaffer resumed his commanding lead, it was Macedo who took advantage of the restart, ultimately working by Henry to regain the runner-up spot. As the laps clicked up to 40, the top three remained the same with Shaffer holding on to earn the Dirt Classic Ohio opening night victory, followed by Macedo and Henry at the final checkers.
“The yellow flags actually played in our favor, but I really didn’t mind the traffic,” Shaffer continued. “Cody gave me a car that was able to move all around the race track so the traffic wasn’t an issue. I actually put my wing a little too far back there toward the end and I thought maybe I was going to give it up, but it all worked out. You could really move all around tonight; top, bottom, through the middle. Hats off the track crew here tonight. They did an awesome job. Tomorrow is a whole new night. We’ll have to put ourselves in position, but we are going to try and do it again.”
Dirt Classic Ohio action at Attica Raceway Park will continue tomorrow – Saturday, September 1 – with another $5,000-to-win program featuring the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1. The All Stars will conclude their long, holiday weekend on Sunday, September 2, with the $10,000-to-win Pete Jacobs Memorial at Wayne County Speedway.
Attica Raceway Park in Attica, Ohio, will open pit gates at 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 1. The All Star Circuit of Champions drivers meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. followed by hot laps 5 p.m. Those seeking additional news and notes should visit Attica Raceway Park live on the Web at www.atticaracewaypark.com.
Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio, will open pit gates at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 2. The mandatory All Star drivers meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by hot laps at 6 p.m. Those seeking more news regarding the $10,000-to-win Pete Jacobs Memorial should visit Wayne County Speedway live on the Web at www.waynecountyspeedway.com.
-All Star Circuit of Champions Press Release
-Photo credit: Paul Arch