BARBERVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2016) – Dave Blaney’s debut in the Motter Equipment Mohawk Northeast Beltline Body Shop 71M in the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions at Volusia Speedway Park. was a racer’s dream and the stuff of Hollywood scripts. Blaney and the Motter team dominated Wednesday’s Sprint Car competition, bringing home a rousing victory, Blaney’s 47th career All Star Circuit of Champions victory.
Blaney, known as The Buckeye Bullet, showed the way in preliminary racing action, logging the quickest times in both hot lap sessions and scoring his first quick time of the season, ripping around the Volusia Speedway half-mile oval, wheeling the Motter Equipment Mohawk Northeast Beltline Body Shop 71M to a 12.831-second lap, the only sub-13-second time recorded during qualifying.
In heat racing action, the Blaney brothers occupied the second row of heat three with Dave rolling off from the fourth position next to third place starter Dale. When the green flag waved, Donny Schatz assumed the lead followed by Chad Kemenah, Dave Blaney and Dale Blaney. The top four did not change position during the eight-lap heat and the third place 71M driver transferred to the A Main.
Tonight the dash was comprised of eight drivers who accumulated the most points during qualifying and heat race activity. Dave Blaney started on the pole of the dash, with Joey Saldana on the outside of the front row. Dale Blaney fired from the third position. Dave Blaney led the first green flag lap, racing wing to wing with Joey Saldana. On the second lap, Saldana crossed over in front of Blaney to seize the lead. At the checkered flag it was Saldana with the victory and Dave Blaney second. The two Bullets earned A Main front row starting positions: the Brownsburg Bullet started on the pole, and the Buckeye Bullet lined up next to him.
After the four-wide salute to the fans, the drivers assembled in their starting positions. When the field was unleashed, Saldana vaulted to the lead followed by Greg Hodnett and Dave Blaney. On lap eight, Blaney rocketed around Hodnett to advance to second and then set sail for Saldana. When the Brownsburg Bullet missed a slide, Blaney claimed the lead on lap 15. On lap 19, Schatz took the lead in turn two but before he could get back to the finish line, the yellow flag was displayed. Blaney was back on point for the restart and was able to protect his position from a hard-charging Schatz.
There was another yellow on lap 20, but again Blaney had the eye of the tiger and maintained the lead to the checkered flag. Schatz finished second and Saldana third.
Blaney and the Motter team won the Wednesday jackpot in their first outing!
“I can’t believe we won this race,” said Blaney from victory circle. “I’m thrilled to be driving for Dan Motter. I was really glad we were out here competitive tonight and in the hunt and then to win it is awesome. I can’t think my guys enough and Dan for putting this together.
“I didn’t know where Donny (Schatz) was. I was going as hard as I could go before I got to lapped traffic and hoped I could get a gap when I got to lapped traffic at the end. But I just didn’t want to make any mistakes. I made a big mistake earlier and he drove right by me. I felt like if I did not make a mistake I had a fair chance (to win).”
“This is a special night for us,” said team owner Dan Motter. “We are so excited to win right out of the box. We are just tickled for the team and want to thank Al Heinke and Lonnie Olson for helping us get in a position to campaign the Sprint Car circuit this year. We are missing them in victory circle.
“Dave did a fantastic job of driving and we are having fun!
“We book-ended the races. Joey Saldana won the season-ending World of Outlaws event at Charlotte in November and Dave won the first race out of the box this year.It doesn’t get any better than that for the Motter team.”
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