Mntz opens Attica Raceway season with last lap All Star win

Brian Liskai

Gibsonburg’s Craig Mintz executed a last lap, last corner pass to score his second career Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions victory to open the 2023 season at Attica Raceway Park in Attica, Seneca County.
The win came during the Core and Main Spring Nationals and was the 137th appearance of Tony Stewart’s All Stars at “Ohio’s Finest Racing” track.
Mintz was running fourth when the caution flag flew with 10 laps to go. The former Attica track champion used the yellow to cool his tires -- and it paid off. He moved into third on lap 28, and with six laps to go quickly closed into second behind leader Zeb Wise. Entering the final two turns, Mintz drove to the outside of Wise and the drag race to the checkers saw Mintz win by .074 seconds. It was his 16th career win at Attica and his first All Star win since April of 2012.
“We’ve been struggling with bleeders all night. Just couldn’t get going on those long runs. During that caution I was actually trying to cool my tires down. I knew we had a great car, and I probably showed my hand a little early. It’s fun to race with Zeb (Wise). We were both really going for it…you could probably measure that win in millimeters,” Mintz said standing beside his Real Geese Decoys, Modern Woodman of America, KS Sales and Service and NAPA of Fremont backed #09.
“This means so much. My dad, the guys behind me, my wife, my kids…they all bust their butts to give me the chance to race. We’re out here doing it for fun,” Mintz said.
“That was frustrating,” said Wise beside his Rayce Rudeen Foundation, Sundollar Restoration, Hager Realty backed #26. “Hats off to Craig. He drove one heck of a race. I feel like I let my team down there. I really didn’t know where to go in turns one and two.
“Last week we won with a last lap pass (at Williams Grove Speedway) and tonight we got beat by one. Hopefully tomorrow we can finish it with a win,” said Wise, who led laps 28 through 34.
Hunter Schuerenberg, of Sikeston, Missouri, led the first 27 laps and held on to finish third, followed by Brent Marks and Parker Price-Miller.
“You are almost a sitting duck on a restart like that. You don’t know if you should stay where you have been running or try a different line and you don’t know what line the guys behind you are running. It didn’t work out for us tonight, but we finally put a whole night together. We’ve been fast all year but just haven’t had the results, so this is a big step forward,” Schuerenberg said.
Despite losing his brakes halfway through the Dirt Nerds Podcast, UMP Late Model A-main, Rusty Schlenk, of McClure, Ohio took the lead from Ryan Missler on lap 18 and drove to his 36th career victory at Attica.
“Normally I run the cushion, but it wasn’t there tonight, so I had to go to the bottom. I almost forgot how to run down there. After the start of the season we’ve had from engine and transmission issues to problems with the truck and trailer…this is a huge shot in the arm,” said Schlenk of his #91.
Missler jumped out to the early lead in the late model feature as Schlenk, Nathan Loney, Doug Drown and Eric Spangler battled for second. Schlenk drove from third to the lead on lap 18, and after a spirited battle with Missler, pulled away for the win. Spangler, Drown, Loney and Missler rounded out the top five.
For more information go to or follow the track on Twitter @atticaracewyprk or on Facebook at and Instagram at attica_raceway_park.


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