BARBERVILLE, Florida -- The “Buckeye Bullet” Dave Blaney capitalized on his outside front row starting position on Wednesday evening and scored the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions victory at Volusia Speedway Park. The pilot of the Motter Equipment, Motter Motorsports, No. 71M took command of the 30-lap, DIRTcar Nationals main event at the halfway signal and never looked back, surviving two cautions and periods of late-race traffic to score his 47th career Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions victory. Defending World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz finished second, followed by Brownsburg, Indiana, native Joey Saldana.
“I’m thrilled to be driving for Dan Motter” Dave Blaney said, “We wanted to come here and be competitive, and we ended up winning it. Can’t thank my guys enough. They did a great job tonight and really helped put this entire deal together.”
After utilizing a unique format, combining qualifying points, heat race finishing points and an eight-car dash, the evening’s starting grid was set. Joey Saldana and Dave Blaney led the 24 starters to green at Volusia Speedway Park. The “Brownsburg Bullet” Joey Saldana took command on the opening lap, setting a torrid pace during the first nineteen, caution-free circuits. After falling to third at the opening green, Blaney worked his way forward; recapturing the runner-up spot from second row starter Greg Hodnett on lap eight. Less than ten laps later, Blaney charged under Joey Saldana at the flag stand, taking control of the field for the first and last time. The main event’s only two cautions, waving on lap 20 and lap 21, would prove to be a benefit for Dave Blaney; utilizing clean air and a very fast, bottom grooved race track to hold off a sixth starting Donny Schatz.
“I didn’t know Donny (Schatz) was behind me...I really didn’t know if anyone was behind me” explained Dave Blaney, “I was just going as hard as I could go before I got to lapped traffic. I didn’t want to make any mistakes in case there was someone close behind me. Glad we could get it done.”
After starting on the outside of row three, Fargo, North Dakota, native Donny Schatz made his first appearance inside the top-three on lap 16, taking the third position away from Spring Grove, Pennsylvania’s Greg Hodnett. A lap later, Schatz drove by Joey Saldana for second, resetting his targets to Dave Blaney. After attempting to utilize back-to-back restarts on lap 20 and lap 21, Schatz would have to settle for second, unable to get by the “Buckeye Bullet” during the remaining nine green flag circuits.
“Dave (Blaney) did an awesome job out front.” Donny Schatz explained, “He set a fast pace and made it tough for us to set ourselves up to get by. Sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don’t. I just can’t say enough about this race team. The effort they put in is just incredible. They put us in a position to do this every night.”
Joey Saldana would round out the podium finishers after starting third. Greg Hodnett would settle for fourth, followed by a seventh starting Sammy Swindell.
The Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions will conclude their 2016 Florida campaign tomorrow evening, February 11, with another round of DIRTcar Nationals action at Volusia Speedway Park. A full Arctic Cat All Star program will be featured on the Thursday evening card, awarding another $5,000 top prize. Pit gates are scheduled to open at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning, with main grandstands to follow at 5 p.m. Hot laps will hit the clay at 6 p.m., followed by racing at 7:30 p.m. sharp. For more information, such as ticket prices and a complete schedule of DIRTcar Nationals events, please visit Volusia Speedway Park live on the Web at www.dirtcarnationals.com.
-DIRTcar Nationals Press Release. Photo credit: Paul Arch
Contingency Awards/Results - Volusia Speedway Park - Wednesday, February 10, 2016
DIRTcar Nationals (Non-Point Event)
State Water Heaters Warm-Ups: Dave Blaney 13.402
Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: Dave Blaney 12.831
Kistler Racing Products Heat #1: Sammy Swindell
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2: Joey Saldana
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3: Donny Schatz
JE Pistons Dash: Joey Saldana
Daido Engine Bearings Main Event Winner: Greg Hodnett (4th)
Outback Steakhouse A-Main 5th Place Finisher: Dale Blaney (6th)
Outback Steakhouse A-Main 10th Place Finisher: Bryan Clauson
Outback Steakhouse A-Main 15th Place Finisher: Kerry Madsen (16th)
1.71m-Dave Blaney, 12.831; 2.1-Dale Blaney, 13.013; 3.27-Greg Hodnett, 13.044; 4.7S-Jason Sides, 13.047; 5.15-Donny Schatz, 13.049; 6.10H-Chad Kemenah, 13.050; 7.1Z-Lucas Wolfe, 13.058; 8.49-Brad Sweet, 13.090; 9.29-Kerry Madsen, 13.094; 10.83-Joey Saldana, 13.096; 11.17W-Bryan Clauson, 13.134; 12.11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.168; 13.41-Jason Johnson, 13.180; 14.1s-Sammy Swindell, 13.208; 15.7-Paul McMahan, 13.216; 16.5-David Gravel, 13.217; 17.2L-Danny Lasoski, 13.237; 18.2-Shane Stewart, 13.241; 19.07-Doug Esh, 13.242; 20.70-Danny Holtgraver, 13.278; 21.7C-Caleb Armstrong, 13.282; 22.9-Daryn Pittman, 13.297; 23.71mx-Paul May, 13.376; 24.59-Austin McCarl, 13.405; 25.71A-RJ Johnson, 13.568; 26.4-Danny Smith, 13.620; 27.8M-TJ Michael, 13.758; 28.22-Brandon Spithaler, 99.000;
Heat 1, Group A - (8 Laps)
1. 1s-Sammy Swindell ; 2. 27-Greg Hodnett ; 3. 5-David Gravel ; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 5. 59-Austin McCarl ; 6. 4-Danny Smith ; 7. 8M-TJ Michael ; 8. 71A-RJ Johnson ; 9. 2L-Danny Lasoski
Heat 2, Group B - (8 Laps)
1. 83-Joey Saldana ; 2. 7S-Jason Sides ; 3. 7-Paul McMahan ; 4. 41-Jason Johnson ; 5. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe ; 6. 70-Danny Holtgraver ; 7. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 8. 71mx-Paul May ; 9. 49-Brad Sweet
Heat 3, Group C - (8 Laps)
1. 15-Donny Schatz ; 2. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 3. 71m-Dave Blaney ; 4. 1-Dale Blaney ; 5. 17W-Bryan Clauson ; 6. 2-Shane Stewart ; 7. 29-Kerry Madsen ; 8. 07-Doug Esh ; 9. 7C-Caleb Armstrong
Dash 1 - (6 Laps)
1. 83-Joey Saldana ; 2. 71m-Dave Blaney ; 3. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 4. 27-Greg Hodnett ; 5. 1-Dale Blaney ; 6. 15-Donny Schatz ; 7. 1s-Sammy Swindell ; 8. 7S-Jason Sides
B-Main 1 - (12 Laps)
1. 49-Brad Sweet ; 2. 29-Kerry Madsen ; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 4. 07-Doug Esh ; 5. 71A-RJ Johnson ; 6. 8M-TJ Michael ; 7. 7C-Caleb Armstrong ; 8. 71mx-Paul May ; 9. 2L-Danny Lasoski
A-Main 1 - (30 Laps)
1. 71m-Dave Blaney ; 2. 15-Donny Schatz ; 3. 83-Joey Saldana ; 4. 27-Greg Hodnett ; 5. 1s-Sammy Swindell ; 6. 1-Dale Blaney ; 7. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe ; 8. 2-Shane Stewart ; 9. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 10. 17W-Bryan Clauson ; 11. 41-Jason Johnson ; 12. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 13. 70-Danny Holtgraver ; 14. 7-Paul McMahan ; 15. 5-David Gravel ; 16. 29-Kerry Madsen ; 17. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 18. 59-Austin McCarl ; 19. 8M-TJ Michael ; 20. 07-Doug Esh ; 21. 7S-Jason Sides ; 22. 4-Danny Smith ; 23. 71A-RJ Johnson ; 24. 49-Brad Sweet
Those seeking additional information regarding the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions should visit their official online home at www.allstarsprint.com. Series updates and breaking news will be posted regularly on the official Twitter account of the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions: https://twitter.com/ASCoC. Find full text results from each and every event here: www.allstarsprint.com/schedule/. Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions apparel will be available at all series events in 2016, as well as available online at www.classicinkusa.com and www.fullyinjected.com.