It was like dangling a carrot…put $10,000 out in front of Dale Blaney and he goes after it.
The “Low Rider” did just that at Fremont Speedway Saturday for the finale of the 30th Annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek. The Hartford, Ohio native chased down race-long leader Bryan Sebetto and passed him with seven laps to go in the 50-lap affair and went on to claim the finale on Fort Ball Pizza Palace Night.
For Blaney, it was his sixth University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions win of 2012. It was also his 90th career series victory, moving him to within eight of tying hall-of-famer Kenny Jacobs for the All Stars all-time win lead. Blaney has swept the four UNOH All Star shows at Fremont in 2012 and now leads the series’ all-time win list at “The Track That Action Built” with 11 wins. It was also Blaney’s 16th career win at Fremont.
“Shaff’s kind of owned this place the last couple of years and he still runs really, really good here and to beat him and sweep both of them here for Speedweek and add the Memorial Day weekend sweep…we kind of finally found Fremont again. The track was awesome…you could run anywhere you wanted to. My car was really good when it gets like this and George and Troy and Bobby, Rick and Junior and all the guys they put it together and I just drove it,” said Blaney beside his Ti22 Performance backed machine.
Blaney, who started 10th in the 50-lap feature, used lapped traffic to catch and pass Sebetto.
“I kind of found a little different line in four there…I was kind of hurting a little bit and I finally started to get patient and running it down off the middle and run down off the hill. In one and two I was a little bit better than he (Sebetto) was and in three and four he was better than me. I kind of had to run the top behind him for a little bit but then I got to running different lanes. You can do that when you are behind guys. It works out. If I was leading at that point…there’s a good chance I could have gotten taken advantage of,” added Blaney, a four time Ohio Sprint Speedweek champion and three-time UNOH All Star Champion.
Blaney would finish third in the Ohio Sprint Speedweek points and continues to lead the Ohio Region points of the UNOH All Stars while holding second in the series’ national points.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Stevie Smith would finish fifth and earn his second Ohio Sprint Speedweek championship, having won the title in 2009.
“I owe it to my guys. They’ve had me a consistent, good race car. This is great for the team. I wish this was a 100 lapper…I wish we were a little bit better and we could have gotten up there and raced with them. We tried our best and we did our best and it just wasn’t good enough,” said Smith beside his CL Motorsports/DDNI/CJB Motorsports No.19.
Defending Ohio Speedweek champion and three time UNOH All Star Champion Tim Shaffer would race from his 11th starting spot to edge Sebetto at the checkered for a second place finish. Shaffer, who leads the national UNOH All Star points, would come home second in the speedweek points and trails Blaney in the Ohio region points battle.
“The car really came on those last 20 laps. The guys are doing just a great job…Aaron Call and Janet Holbrook, the Kistler Engines, VRP Shocks, J&J Chassis…it’s a package deal and it’s really coming together and it really feels fun again,” said Shaffer. “Me and Bryan (Sebetto) got to racing each other so hard there at the end Blaney got away from us. That had to be a hell of a race to watch…it was a lot of fun where I was sitting.”
Sebetto, who embarked on his first ever complete Ohio Sprint Speedweek event, lead from laps 1-42.
“Lapped traffic was a pain tonight. They were all over the place. There at the end them guys…they wouldn’t run in the same place any two laps. It was frustrating, but Dale got through it the best. I’m glad to bring it home in one piece and put on a heck of a show for the fans,” said Sebetto beside his Hammer Pallets, Crown Battery, R3 Nutrition, Crown Batter, Gressman Powersports backed machine.
“To end up fourth in the speedweek points…to go to tracks I’ve never raced on and never having to run a B-main…it’s says a lot about this team. We were fast all week…sometimes our finish didn’t show how good we were. I’m proud of this team and all the guys who work their butts off and Randy and Lisa Hammer for believing in me and spending the money to take me on the road,” added Sebetto, the defending Fremont Speedway champion.