BARBERVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2016) – Dave Blaney and the Motter Equipment Mohawk Northeast Beltline Body Shop team were still riding the wave from last night’s victory as they prepared for tonight’s final Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions event at Volusia Speedway Park.
In preliminary action, Blaney secured the No. 8 qualifying position clicking off a best lap of 13.542 seconds on a track that was much slower than last night.
In tonight’s format, the top two from each heat were slated to transfer to the all-important dash along with the two fastest qualifiers.
The Buckeye Bullet rolled off from the third position in the second heat chock full of A list drivers. When the field came down for the green flag, pole sitter Caleb Armstrong took the lead followed by Dale Blaney, Dave Blaney and Donny Schatz. On the second lap, Dale Blaney took control of the field, Armstrong was second and Dave Blaney was third. On the next lap, 71M driver Dave Blaney moved to second and was in pursuit of his brother. With two to go the running order was Dale Blaney, Dave Blaney and Schatz. The top three maintained position for the final two laps and the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Blaney brothers earned the two transfer spots to the dash.
The eight dash competitors drew for starting position and the Buckeye Bullet pulled the No. 4.
Front row starter Danny Lasoski topped the leaderboard when the green flew on the six-lap dash. Second was polesitter Jason Johnson. The signature yellow sprint car driven by Dave Blaney was third with brother Dale right behind. The top four protected their positions and crossed the finish line in that order. The way the drivers finished the dash was the way they started the A Main.
The fans stood and cheered during the racers’ four-wide salute. The drivers assembled two abreast and then the green flag waved to unleash the field. Polesitter Danny Lasoski vaulted to the lead followed by Jason Johnson, Dale Blaney, Brad Sweet and 71M pilot Dave Blaney. Johnson had wrestled the lead by the second lap. As the laps ticked by, Dave Blaney dropped positions and was riding in eighth position and briefly in ninth.
The red flag stopped action on lap 9 when Paul McMahan’s car sustained heavy front end damage. McMahan climbed out of the car quickly.
Johnson continued to lead the pack on the restart, but Schatz was on the move. On lap 20 it was Schatz who took command. Johnson was second, Dale Blaney third. With five laps to go, Dale Blaney moved to second behind Schatz and 71M driver Dave Blaney gained a position and was seventh.
Persistent Dave Blaney grabbed one more position with three laps remaining and finished sixth.
Schatz won, Dale Blaney was second and Jason Johnson took the final spot on the podium.
“We learned something about a slick track and what this chassis needs,” said team owner Dan Motter. “Early in the race we were too loose. The option was to run all the way to the top which allowed traffic to pass underneath. We got better at the end and the track sort of came to us and Dave was able to move around to get better traction.
“We are looking forward to coming back tomorrow to implement some of the things we learned tonight.”
Friday marks the opening day of World of Outlaws competition at Volusia Speedway Park.
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