Tim Allison captures 100th Career Sprint Car Feature Win
(8/3/12) – On the evening track officials at Limaland Motorsports Park designated as the Night of Champions, it proved to be fitting that the track’s all-time leading winner in the ever-popular Sprint Car division, Tim Allison, posted the 100th feature win of his more than thirty year career. It was Allison’s first triumph of the 2012 season and 30th in the fifteen years of University of Northwestern Ohio ownership and operation of the track.
The Elwer Fence Sprints 25-lap feature saw last week’s first time winner Hud Horton start from the pole with Allison on the coveted outside front row starting position. Horton led for the opening two circuits on the high-banked ¼-mile oval before Allison executed a slide job for the pass and lead he would hold for the duration.
The veteran Allison worked the top side racing groove through most of the race although he did move toward the middle to lower portion of the track when storming through slower traffic. A pair of caution periods allowed Kyle Sauder and Jared Horstman to move closer to Allison, but neither were able to genuinely threaten for the lead. Horstman made the biggest move of the event, coming from the inside of row number four to finish as runner-up with Sauder taking third.
“I started racing many years ago hoping I could win just one race,” recalled an emotional Allison in the winner’s circle. “To make it to 100 is unbelievable for me. So many people have helped me along the way to make this possible. I thank Allan Nott,Steve Mox,Dick Jenkins and so many other people and sponsors. The work that it takes to do this is hard to imagine but what a dream come true.”
A milestone win was also posted in the K&N UMP Modified division as Jeff Babcock won the 50th feature of his Limaland Motorsports Park career. It was the eighth of his Modified career, coupled with 41 stock car wins.
Babcock may have benefitted when Todd Sherman, winner of the past three Modified features, suffered mild car damage and was forced to the tail of the field after being part of an opening lap caution. Pole starter Andy Bibler stormed to the front and rode the cushion for the first 13 tours around during the 20-lap feature.
Jeff Babcock tried to gain the advantage on Bibler by working to the inside. On lap number eight he decided to follow Bibler on the higher line around the track. Finally on lap 13, Andy Bibler hesitated and dropped to the bottom through turn two. It allowed Babcock an opening to Bibler’s outside and the race-winning pass was cleanly executed. From that point, Jeff Babcock was unthreatened and went on to post his first feature win of the season at the track.
“It’s definitely exciting to come back here and get the 50th win,” said Babcock. “I took the night off from Late Model racing and decided to shake down this car before an Eldora (Speedway) run coming up. It’s great to get back here in victory lane.”
Point’s leader Shawn Valenti continued his domination of the Budweiser Thunderstocks division, along with Jeff Koz, as the Fostoria, Ohio driver posted his sixth win of the season. Valenti started on the outside of row two in the 15-lap feature. He never ran lower than third position before passing Lima’s Chris Douglas to the outside on lap number eight. The only drama left was a white flag restart that saw Valenti hold off Barney Craig and Douglas for the win.
“I was finally able to get to the top and once we got there this thing was rolling,” said Valenti. “We are always searching for the best way to set up our car.”