Dale Blaney Battles to Win the Kistler Engines Classic at Attica Raceway Park
Blaney’s win makes him the 15th different World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars winner this season
ATTICA, OHIO — May 30, 2014 — In front of a full house at Attica Raceway Park Friday night, Dale Blaney battled from a fifth place starting position to capture the Kistler Engines Classic and lead an all Ohio podium.
“It’s special to win here, especially being an Outlaw race,” said Blaney, a Hartford, Ohio native. “I’ve won an all-star race here, and a regular show here and now an Outlaw race here. We’ve always run good here… It’s funny, I won this race in 2009 and I started in the fifth spot and I started fifth tonight – I told the guys back there fifth was a good spot for us.”
“I’ve been looking forward to this race for two years now,” Blaney said. “It was a beautiful day, and as I said we just put ourselves in position and that’s all I wanted to do coming in.”
Blaney credited a good draw earlier in the day that allowed him to qualify 13th out of 46 cars. He said that early time helped him eventually come out on top of qualifying.
A little good luck helped him along the way too, Blaney said. Early on in the race he had fallen back and was battling Daryn Pittman for sixth. Pittman got around Blaney, but immediately afterward the caution flew and Blaney was moved back into the sixth position. Blaney said that restarting on the third row gave him the opportunity he needed to start the charge to the front.
“If we had restarted seventh who knows where I could have ended up,” Blaney said. “So actually that yellow coming out at that time probably won me that race even though it was on lap six.”
Blaney, the 1998 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars Rookie of the Year, became the 15th different winner of the season. This is the ninth Outlaws win of his career.
Dean Jacobs, a native of Wooster, Ohio, led the field to the start in his Northwest Ohio Towing car with Joey Saldana, Cody Darrah and Brad Sweet following.
The caution flew before the first lap could be put into the books. A four car wreck out of turn three ended the nights of Travis Philo and Cap Henry.
The early battle for the lead had Joey Saldana trying different lines through turns one and two and three and four, attempting to reel in Jacobs.
Another caution flag on lap six for James McFadden gave Blaney the chance he needed. When the green flag flew again he took fifth and set his sights on Darrah in fourth. By lap nine, Blaney found his way around Darrah and began making moves forward.
He battled Kerry Madsen and then Madsen and Saldana, who were running third and second at the time. On lap 24, as Madsen found his way around Saldana, Blaney found an opening and got around both drivers on the front stretch to take over the second position.
On lap 29, as lapped traffic came into play, Blaney got the opportunity he needed to get around leader Jacobs.
Three more cautions and a late surging Mintz were not enough to stop Blaney. He took the checkered flag with Mintz in second and Jacobs in third.
Mintz, a native of Gibsonburg, Ohio, who started 13th in his Ti22/Real-Geese car, said staying out of the wrecks and balancing the demands of a longer race helped him advance forward.
“You know it got to the point where I just tried to be patient as much as I could,” Mintz said. “Forty laps is a long time around this place. But with the quality of the cars we’re racing against, you’ve got to get going.”
“We started passing racecars, we got into some clean air, got into sixth, seventh and I could feel we were pretty good – and then the cautions late helped out too,” Mintz said. “We just try to pick them off one by one and we missed it by one.”
Jacobs, who led laps one through 29, complimented his competition.
“It’s nice to know who’s behind you because the guys I race with, I usually know what they’re going to do,” Jacobs said. “I was really shocked to see Craig [Mintz] pass me on the outside. That’s not him. He did a good job. Dale went in there and I’m trying to protect the bottom and Dale was running that thing in the middle and go by me like I wasn’t there. I’m OK – I’d been able to run second and then someone spun down here and I ended up third. That ain’t bad.”