SELINSGROVE, Pa. (April 24, 2016) – The Arctic Cat All Stars returned to Selinsgrove Speedway tonight for the first time in 16 years. The half-mile track, dubbed ‘the superspeedway of dirt track racing’ promised to provide a night of fast-paced action for the fans.
For the most part tonight Dave Blaney and the Motter team were lightning in a bottle, showing the way in their heat, the dash and for 28 laps of the 30-lap A Main. Though it was a heartbreak ending, the team definitely gave the Pennsylvania Posse drivers a run for the trophy.
In preliminary action, Dave Blaney lapped the Selinsgrove Speedway in the Motter Equipment Mohawk Northeast Beltline Body Shop 71M in 17.112 seconds, placing him eleventh in the qualifying order.
In heat three, Dave Blaney started on the outside front row, directly in front of his brother, Dale. When the green flag dropped, Dave Blaney commanded the field. Brother Dale was following close behind through turns one and two, but Kraig Kinser got past Dale on the backstretch. The running order for the top three from lap one to the checkered flag didn’t change: Dave Blaney, Kinser, Dale Blaney. The victory earned the 71M team a position in the dash.
After the redraw, Dave Blaney was awarded the No. 2 starting position for the dash.
Prior to the dash, the racetrack was watered and groomed. When the green flag waved, Dave Blaney vaulted to the dash lead. Driving around the top of the track he was able to score a wire to wire victory. The signature 71M Motter Equipment Mohawk Northeast Beltline Body Shop sprint car would lead the field to the green flag for the 30-lap Ray Tilley Classic.
When the field was unleashed for the A Main, the Buckeye Bullet vaulted to the lead but racing was short lived. Two drivers tangled, bringing out the red flag. The drivers were okay.
All Star officials called for a complete restart. Back to green. Dave Blaney back to the lead followed by Chad Kemenah, and Danny Dietrich. Racing is short lived once again when Kemenah broke running second.
Back to green. Dave was back in command of the field and quickly stretched away from the rest of the field. Kraig Kinser was second but was passed by Danny Dietrich before the yellow came out with 12 laps complete. The caution was out for a car with a tire down. All Star officials decided to stop the race for a fuel stop.
The lead that Dave had built was erased with another restart. Twelve laps down, 18 to go.
Back to green and Dave was out in front once again. Dietrich was second and Mark Smith third.
With 24 laps complete, the yellow was displayed again. When racing resumed Dave continued to lead the field and appeared to be the clear cut winner as he outdistanced the field. But Dietrich, sitting in second place was searching for a way to pass Blaney who was running the top by the fence. Though further around the track, Blaney was lapping cars running that line. The top was starting to go away, and Dietrich went low and was able to make the bottom work. With two to go, Dietrich stole the lead, but the Buckeye Bullet passed him again and led through turns one and two. Blaney drove so hard that the car got loose coming out of turn two and Dietrich seized the moment - and the victory – from the Buckeye Bullet. That was a dagger to the heart.
But all in all, it was still a great night for the Motter Motorsports team. There are few teams who could be dormant and not race for two months and then come back with a fourth place finish last night and a heat and dash win plus a runner-up finish in the A Main tonight against the Pennsylvania Posse.
As All Star owner Tony Stewart told the crowd tonight, “If you can win in Pennsylvania you can go anywhere in the country and win. This is the toughest area to come to.”
The Buckeye Bullet almost had the job done.
Coming home third tonight was Mark Smith.
Next on the schedule for the 71M team is a doubleheader weekend at the famed Eldora Speedway, May 6-7.
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