PORT ROYAL, Pa. (April 23, 2016) – The weekend of sprint car racing continued for Dave Blaney and the Motter Equipment Mohawk Northeast Beltline Body Shop team tonight at the Arctic Cat All Stars Keith Kauffman Classic at Port Royal Speedway.
In qualifying, Blaney was the 27th car out for time trials. On a very slick track, Blaney could only coax an 18.341-second lap out of the 71M, placing him 29th on the qualifying ladder.
Blaney pushed off from the seventh position in the third heat race. Brother Dale won the heat while the Buckeye Bullet improved one position, finishing sixth, just one spot away from making the transfer to the A Main. Now he would have to come up through the B.
Dave Blaney took the green flag in the B Main from the 10th starting spot. An early charge moved him to eighth by the end of the first lap and then the caution came out for contact between two drivers. On the restart, Blaney was seventh and continued to forge ahead moving to fifth. A spectacular last lap pass put him in fourth place at the checkered flag, earning the final transfer spot for the feature.
The 71M driver lined up 24th in a field of 26 (two provisional positions were added) for the start of the 30-lap Keith Kauffman Classic. The green flew but before one lap could be completed there was a three-car pile-up with no driver injuries. On the restart, the Buckeye Bullet was 21st. Back to green and Dale Blaney led the pack. Dave Blaney was on a tear and advanced to 15th before the caution came out again on lap three. And before the restart there was another incident involving three more drivers. At this point, All Star officials opted to throw a red flag for a fuel stop.
If there was ever a song that fit Dave Blaney on the next restart, it would certainly be “Eye of the Tiger” because when the field was unleashed, the Buckeye Bullet was running on mean, picking off one driver after another, ultimately crossing the finish line in fourth place. Ironically, on the restart after the fuel stop, the race went 27 laps to finish without interruptions.
Meanwhile brother Dale scored a wire-to-wire victory. Chad Kemenah followed Dale Blaney across the finish stripe and Greg Hodnett was third.
“We missed the setup in qualifying,” said team owner Dan Motter. “So we had a lot of ground to make up. Dave never got rattled, he just settled in and got after the program.
“We kept making changes on the car all night. In the B Main it looked as if there was no way that Dave could get from fifth to fourth for the transfer, but he did it.
“The team made a lot of changes before the A Main and they got it right. Dave was the only driver that could run all the way to the wall. It was awesome to watch and the fans really got into it.
“One more lap tonight in the feature and we would have had third. What a fantastic drive by Dave. That was a blast to watch! (said with multiple exclamation marks). I was on the edge of my seat!
“I can’t quit smiling. What a great performance by Dave and this whole race team!”
Odds are the team will still be smiling when they pull into the pit area tomorrow at Selinsgrove, Pa.
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