BARBERVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2016) – It was the final night of World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car competition at the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park and the final night of racing for Dave Blaney and the Motter Equipment Mohawk Northeast Beltline Body Shop team until their next scheduled outing April 22.
The team started the evening out strong, qualifying fifth in a field of 30 cars with a 13.065-second lap.
Next up: heat races. A pair of Bullets occupied the front row of the second heat: Joey Saldana, the Brownsburg Bullet on the pole and the Buckeye Bullet, Dave Blaney, alongside. When the green flag flew, Saldana took the lead followed by Blaney. The two maintained their positions to the checkered flag and both transferred to the dash.
“We got started late, just a couple of weeks ago, putting the team together so we wanted to come down and get some nights in with me and everybody,” said Blaney in a pre dash interview. “We’ve been pretty pleased. We’ve had a couple of bad nights, but also a couple of good nights. We are just trying to get some races under our belt.
“The race track changes all the time,” said Blaney when describing tonight’s track condition, which held more moisture than the last couple of nights. “It depends where everybody else is running and how good your car is compared to everybody else and what you need to do. It’s a moving target for sure on conditions and what to do with your race car.”
The zero pill was pulled in the dash inversion draw signifying a straight up start with Blaney rolling off in the fifth position.
When the dash drivers took the green it was Saldana on point and Blaney sixth, and at the checkered flag it was identical. Blaney’s dash finish was the way he lined up for the start of the A Main.
Another packed house of spectators tonight at Volusia Speedway cheered for their favorite drivers as the green flew. But it took three attempts to get a green that didn’t turn to yellow or red due to front stretch accidents. No drivers were injured.
When the green finally flew and stayed green, Saldana was the leader of the pack followed by Brad Sweet. Dave Blaney was sixth. On lap nine the caution slowed racing and bunched the field. On the restart Sweet drove around Saldana and commandeered the field.
At about the halfway point, mechanical gremlins began to plague Blaney and he shuffled to eighth, holding off a hard charging Donny Schatz until lap 27 when Schatz was able to maneuver past him.
At the checkered flag it was Sweet with the victory, Lucas Wolfe second and Saldana third. Blaney finished ninth.
“Actually we’re pretty happy with our performance here at Volusia,” said team owner Dan Motter. In three of five events we qualified in the top 10 three times, and finished in the top 10 three times. We scored a victory and notched a quick time.”
“We leave here with confidence that we can be pretty competitive,” said Blaney.
The team will head back to Charlotte. Blaney will be at the NASCAR Daytona 500 to watch son Ryan wheel the Wood Brothers Ford.
With a hand -crafted competition schedule, the Motter Equipment Mohawk Northeast Beltline Body Shop team is scheduled to race next at Williams Grove Speedway on April 22 to try their luck against the Pennsylvania Posse.
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