CONCORD, N.C. (Oct 29, 2016) – The competition for Saturday’s World of Outlaws season finale at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the toughest you would see anywhere with the possible exception of the Knoxville Nationals.
Sprint Car qualifying was completed Thursday night for Friday and Saturday’s events. Dave Blaney drove the Motter Equipment Mohawk Northeast Beltline Body Shop 71M to the 10th position in Flight 2 qualifying for Saturday’s race.
Blaney started seventh in the fourth and final heat which was packed with many of the marquee drivers in the sport. The top five finishers transferred to the A Main.
After eight laps of tough competition, Blaney finished ninth.
His path to the A Main had to come through a top-four finish in the Last Chance Showdown.
Track conditions had improved greatly since the heat races as a stellar field of drivers lined up for the start of the Last Chance Showdown. Blaney started on the outside of the second row and when the track went green, Blaney was third locked in a battle with Trey Starks. Starks moved around Blaney to steal third but with three to go, Blaney executed a well-timed slide job to pass Starks. On the white flag lap, Blaney gained one more position, passing second place Lucas Wolfe to ensure a starting position in the season-ending A Main.
Blaney took the green flag for the last race of the season from the 22nd starting position. David Gravel assumed the early lead and paced the field for the first 14 laps before Donny Schatz thundered to the head of the pack.
Blaney and Trey Starks made contact while battling for position on lap 13 and Blaney spun, bringing out the caution. He was able to continue and rejoined the back of the field.
Schatz ended his championship season with a victory, Gravel was second and Greg Hodnett was third.
Blaney finished 21st.
“I am excited to race with Dave again next year,” said Dan Motter, team owner.
“Dave and I will work this winter to prepare for next year’s events. We will pick and choose as we did this year and probably race between 50-60 events.
“We will have new chassis and new parts and pieces and will be better prepared to hit the ground running.”
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