FREMONT , Ohio (Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014) – The numbers just keep piling up for Dale Blaney. The four time University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions titlist would drive to the $10,000 payday on JLH General Contractor Night for the 7th Annual Jim Ford Classic at Fremont Speedway Saturday.
Blaney would sweep the two-day event at “The Track That Action Built.” It was his 15th UNOH All Star win of the season and runs his career total to 114. Blaney has five wins in 2014 at Fremont to take his career total at the track to 24, moving him into a tie with John Beaber for 19th on the track’s all-time win list. It was the 116th appearance of the UNOH All Stars at Fremont and Blaney leads all drivers in career series wins at the track with 18.
“Chris (Andrews) was really good in the dash. I really thought he was going to be the guy to beat. But we got rolling really good around the top and he was struggling through the middle a little bit and I was gaining some ground on him. Man this car just got better and better and I could put it anywhere I wanted,” said Blaney beside his Kennedy Cattle/Ti22 Performance/Penske Shocks/Gf1 Chassis backed machine.
“George Fisher (crew chief) is unbelievable. I’ve worked with him for 12 years now and we’re going good and I’m proud of everybody. Skippy and Donnie and Ricky Jr….we have a lot of guys that put in a great effort and it shows,” added Blaney.
Castalia , Ohio ’s Jordan Ryan, who recently earned the 2014 track championship at Attica Raceway Park , is looking to do the same at Fremont Speedway. Ryan held off a charging Jamie Miller and made some daring moves in lapped traffic to score his fourth win of the season in the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprints. It was Ryan’s 5th career win at Fremont Speedway.
“I knew someone (Miller) was outside of me…I just couldn’t get past the 2 car (Ricky Peterson). He kept going to the bottom and it was a little slimy down there and it was hard to pass him,” said Ryan beside his J&J Automotive/Griff’s Engines/Frost Frog/Kistler Racing Products/Village Pizza House/backed #5.
At one point Ryan had built a five second lead but it was wiped out by a caution on lap 11.
“I didn’t realize I had that big of a lead. My dad kept giving me the middle sign…but I looked up on the sign and saw the 6 (Dustin Dinan) there and I knew I had to keep my momentum up. I watched Dale Blaney all night and how he ran the middle and I tried to mimic him…it worked out,” added Ryan.
Shawn Valenti has been unstoppable at Fremont in 2014 in the AAA Ohio Auto Club Dirt Trucks. The Risingsun, Ohio driver took the lead on lap five and dominated the rest of the feature for his third consecutive win. The victory is the 13th of the season at Fremont for Valenti and gives him 22 for his career and moving him into a tie for 24th on the track’s all-time win list.
“It’s just been one of those dream years. I didn’t want to let Dale (Blaney) be the only one to sweep the Jim Ford weekend. I know this thing was hooked up tonight. Awesome job by Rich Farmer and the crew on the track. I want to thank the fans for sticking around to watch us tonight,” said Valenti of his Craig Miller Trucking/KS Sales and Service/Day Dream and Memories Crafts and Antiques/Gressman Powersports/Dave Story Equipment Repair/Conrad Transportation backed #7B.
Andrews and Rob Chaney would bring the field to green for the 50-lap feature which honored the late Jim Ford who re-opened Fremont Speedway in 2000, saving it from closing. Andrews would gain the advantage as Blaney would move from third to second. As Andrews and Blaney pulled away, Andrew Palker and Chaney would battle for third with Lee Jacobs, Bryan Sebetto, Tim Shaffer and Caleb Griffith in pursuit.
Lee Jacobs would blast into third on lap three just before the caution flew on lap four for a Cap Henry spin. On the restart Andrews and Blaney again pulled away with Jacobs, Palker, Chaney, Shaffer, Sebetto and Griffith giving chase.
With six laps in the books, Blaney began to pressure Andrews. On lap eight Blaney would shoot around Andrews going down the back stretch but the caution would fly when Craig Mintz suffered front end damage and stopped on the front stretch.
On the restart Andrews and Blaney picked right back up on their battle with Lee Jacobs, Palker, Chaney and Sebetto in tow. Cale Thomas would stop on lap 10 for another caution. And again when the green flew Andrews and Blaney battled for the lead. That duo would wage war over the next seven laps before hitting heavy lapped traffic on lap 16.
Blaney would rocket off the bottom of turn three on lap 18 to steal the lead from Andrews with Lee Jacobs, Chaney and Sebetto the running order. Palker’s great run would end on lap 24 when he spun in turn two and that would bring out a red flag fuel stop.
When the green flew Blaney had a couple of lapped cars separating him from Andrews while Lee Jacobs, Chaney, Sebetto, Griffith and 17th starter Greg Wilson in pursuit. The caution flew again on lap 28 for a Brian Lay spin. On the restart Henry would tumble on the front stretch; he was uninjured.
On the restart Blaney again pulled away from Andrews as Chaney drove around Jacobs for third with Wilson moving into the top five. That top five would not change as they again raced into lapped traffic on lap 37. With 10 laps to go Jacobs began pressuring Chaney for the third spot when he would suffer front end damage on lap 41, ending his run.
On the restart Blaney had a two lapped car cushion over Andrews, Chaney and Wilson. Chaney would drive into second on lap 43 but Andrews challenged back with five laps to go. Chaney would finally pull away from Andrews and began closing on Blaney.
But, Blaney’s lead was insurmountable and he drove to the victory over Chaney, Andrews, Wilson and Sebetto.
“I think there’s a lot of credibility to running second to him. I stayed with Dale last night and I used his car today and I put gas in it and now I wish I wouldn’t have,” joked Chaney beside his Stan Cortad Racing #9x.
After leading the first 17 laps and having a bad couple of weeks that saw him miss out on a track title at Attica and the Kistler Racing Products FAST championship, Andrews was happy to finish third.
“I tried to take Dale’s advice. I didn’t want to go too hard and then he showed his nose past me and I kind of just followed him and learned a little bit. I got to racing with lapped cars that should have probably just pulled out of the way and let the leaders run a little bit. Seems like we run pretty good at the Jim Ford Classic every year. It makes up for a lot of bad runs here recently and I’m pretty excited,” said Andrews beside his Burmeister Racing/Lucas Oil/K&N Filters/Goofy Golf/Re-elect Judge Anstead/Tender Touch Car Wash/Schiets Motorsports/Kistler Engines/Adkins Sanitation/Applebees Restaurant backed #16.
Rookie Luke Griffith and Ryan would pace the field for the 25 lap feature for the 305 sprints with Ryan taking the lead over Griffith , Miller, Dinan, Nate Dussel, Bobby Clark, Josh Harrison, Jason Keckler and Trey Jacobs.
Ryan would steadily pull away from Griffith who had his hands full with Miller and Dinan as they raced into lapped traffic by the 7th circuit. Dinan would move into third and steal second on lap eight. With 10 laps in Ryan had built a 10 second lad over Dinan with Griffith, Miller, Dussel, Clark, Jacobs and Harrison in pursuit.
A spin by Clay Riney would bring out the caution and wipe out that huge lead. When the green flew Ryan pulled away slightly from Dinan with Miller, Griffith, Dussel, Clark, Jacobs, Steve Rando and 19th starter Alvin Roepke giving chase.
Miller would drive into second on lap 13 and slowly ate into Ryan’s lead with Dinan, Dussel, Griffith , Clark , Rando and Roepke in pursuit. With five laps to go the leaders hit heavy lapped traffic and Miller closed to within two car lengths. Ryan made a fantastic move in turns three and four on lap 20, splitting two lapped cars. But, Miller would execute the same move in turns one and two to stay close.
As the white flag flew, Ryan was hung up on the bottom by a lapped car and Miller raced to his outside with Dussel, Dinan, Clark and Roepke closing.
Ryan was able to hold off Miller for the win with Dussel, Dinan and Clark rounding out the top five.
Kyle Cline and Dana Frey brought the field to green for the 20 lap dirt truck feature with Fry leading the first lap over Cline, Cory McCaughey, Gene Potridge, Jeff Ward and Ben Good. Fry and Cline tangled in turn two ending their night after the first lap was completed.
On the restart McCaughey led Potridge, Ward, 11th starter Valenti, Good and Kent Brewer. But the caution would fly for an Art Ball and Eric Devanna spin. The green flew for lap three followed by a quick caution for Randy Ryan.
On the restart McCaughey led Potridge, Valenti, Ward, Brewer and Good. Valenti drove into second on lap four and drove around McCaughey for the lead a circuit later. Brewer would take third on lap seven and drive into second by lap 10.
Valenti had built an eight second lead – half a lap – when the caution flew for Andy Earnhart who stopped on the track with four laps to go. That was the only thing to slow Valenti as he drove off the final four laps for the win over Brewer, a charging Matt Foos, McCaughey and Jimmy McGrath Jr.
The UNOH All Stars and Fremont Speedway announced the series would return to Fremont Speedway for several big shows in 2015.
Also, earlier in the day the Third Annual Fremont Speedway Kick-It Kickball Fundraiser was held. Along with raffles, a Kick-Bald event earlier in the year and other fund-raisers, over $50,000 was raised to fight childhood cancer. The Jeff Gordon Foundation will match that amount for a total over $100,000!
Fremont Speedway will return to action Saturday, Sept. 27 for Kistler Racing Products Season Championship Night for the 410 and 305 sprints and dirt trucks.
For more information go to www.fremontohspeedway.com