BARBERVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 13, 2016) – Racing can be fickle. A case in point is the Motter Equipment Mohawk Northeast Beltline Body Shop 71M team that capped off their first night of racing at Volusia Speedway Park on Wednesday with a victory. Two days later they were caught up in an accident beyond their control and the team worked into the wee hours of Saturday morning prepping a new car to campaign Saturday night. The latest rendition of the 71M sported an eye-catching fluorescent orange frame.
The theme in the Motter camp last night was “Shake It Off”. Saturday was a new day and another opportunity to do well on day two of the World of Outlaws season.
Veteran shoe Dale Blaney drove the 71M to the No. 17 qualifying position with a 13.550-second lap.
In the World of Outlaws format, Blaney’s qualifying position equated to a sixth starting position in the second heat. There were 10 drivers in the heat vying for six A Main transfer positions. When the green flag flew, the front row starters remained at the head of the class: Brad Sweet had the lead, Donny Schatz second. Blaney spent the majority of the eight laps in a three-car battle for fourth place. At the checkered flag, Sweet was first across the finish line and the 71M pilot was fifth, earning a spot in the A Main.
A full house of spectators sent the field of 24 on their 30-lap race to the checkered flag and the winner’s bounty. Polesitter Chad Kemenah took the initial lead and on lap five, Brad Sweet surged to the front, leading to lap 21 when a yellow flag bunched the field.
On the restart Donny Schatz commandeered the field and led to the checkered flag.
Through the feature the top five that shuffled position were Schatz, Sweet, Daryn Pittman, Dale Blaney and Chad Kemenah. The victory podium consisted of Schatz with the win, Brad Sweet second and Dale Blaney third.
The Buckeye Bullet started 14th and struggled on a slick track trying to get traction. The start and restarts were difficult and it seemed as if it took three to four laps for the tires to warm up before the Bullet could start marching his way forward to make up for lost positions on restarts. He finished 15th.
“We made wholesale changes to our setup prior to the A Main,” said team owner Dan Motter. “We are still trying to figure out how to make the car happy and fit Dave’s driving style on a slick track.
“Every lap on the track is a learning experience. We will get this. We are looking forward to the final night of Outlaws competition here at Volusia tomorrow.”
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