Millersburg, OH — (Thursday, June 28, 2012) — Shane Stewart took a new team to victory lane Thursday at Hilltop Speedway on Night #8 of the 30th Annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of champions.
Stewart, who joined the Fremont, Ohio based team on Sunday and promptly recorded a pair of third place finishes, drove the Level Performance, Kear’s Speed Shop, Hoy’s Bar, CA Kustoms backed Maxim, past Tim Shaffer on lap 12, and then benefitted from several cautions to keep him out of traffic on the small bullring, to score his seventh career UNOH All Star victory.
“This car has been fast since I’ve been in it and everything I’ve complained about Rich (Farmer) has gone to Shirley Kear’s or Kistler’s and bought it so I didn’t have any more excuses. I just can’t thank Daniel (Smith) and all the guys that work hard on this car,” said Stewart.
“It’ just got so dusty I couldn’t see the curb and actually jumped over it one time going into one. The curb got pretty nasty exiting turn four and I hit it a couple of times. Every time the yellow came out I was thanking the Lord. I have to thank Rich Farmer for putting me in this car this week and we have two more races to try and go and win. I want to thank Level Performance…they put a new motor in this thing two nights ago and it’s been fantastic. ProShocks and everyone that works hard there,” added Stewart.
It wasn’t easy for Stewart, as he first battled hard with three time and defending UNOH All Star champion Tim Shaffer, and then he battled the fast track as he escaped disaster on Lap 23 when he jumped the cushion in turns one and two and nearly smashed into the guardrail.
“Actually, after I got out of the fence I figured I must have a sizeable lead because I didn’t see that #83 (Shaffer) come zooming by me. It was just our night to win honestly…you just can’t make mistakes like that with those guys behind you and win every night,” added Stewart.
Shaffer would come home with his second consecutive runner-up finish.
“He did a great job and his guys did a great job and they deserve that win. We were just off a little bit and that’s all it takes. I didn’t like that yellow (on lap 23 that put four lapped cars between Shaffer and Stewart), but I was glad to see the red open up though that allowed us to make a few changes that helped us hang on to second,” said Shaffer beside his Aaron Call/Janet Holbrook Motorsports, VRP Shocks, Kistler Engines backed machine. “But by then I had the right rear over heated and the party was over.”
The previous night’s winner, Dale Blaney, would bring the Ti22 Performance machine home in third after a spirited battle with Shaffer and Stevie Smith throughout the 30-lap affair.
“I’ve been on the front stretch here before…it’s not my best track…I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite. I enjoy coming here…it’s a challenge for us every time we come here. It seems like I don’t run my best here…it doesn’t suit my style. We ran alright tonight though. Our car has been good all week. We had one problem this week and got turned over at Waynesfield, but other than that we’ve been really good,” said Blaney.
Shaffer and Stewart would bring the field to the green, but before a lap could be completed, Paul McMahan and Mike Linder would get together with McMahan’s night finished. On the restart, Shaffer would slide into the lead with Stewart, Blaney, Stevie Smith and Cap Henry in pursuit. Shaffer could not shake Stewart as Blaney, Henry and Smith waged a terrific battle for third.
As Shaffer hit lapped traffic by the seventh circuit, Stewart and Henry closed, but the race would grind to a halt when Lee Jacobs got upside down in turn two. On the restart, Shaffer, Stewart and Henry battled for the lead while Blaney, Smith and Sam Hafertepe gave chase. Shaffer and Stewart raced side by side over the next four circuits before Stewart drove around Shaffer for the lead on lap 12 as they raced back into lapped traffic.
The caution would fly on lap 14 when Hafertepe slowed on the track with engine woes. The running order was Stewart, Shaffer, Henry, Blaney and Smith.
With a clear track ahead of him, Stewart blasted to a big lead as Shaffer, Blaney and Smith raced hard for second while Bryan Sebetto and Andrew Palker gave chase. But, Jason Dolick would tip over in turn four with Danny Mumaw spinning to avoid the crash a lap later. Henry would go pit side for work and would rejoin the field at the tail.
Again with a clear track, Stewart disappeared on the restart with Shaffer trying to hold off Blaney, Smith and Sebetto. Stewart would race into lapped traffic on lap 21 with Shaffer still trying to hold off Blaney andSmith. Stewart avoided disaster on lap 23, as he jumped the cushion inurns one and two and scraped the outside retaining wall. But, the leader was able to gather up his machine and continue to lead over Shaffer and Smith. The final caution would fly on lap 23 when Caleb Helms stopped off turn three.
Because of the number of laps run, the race was red flagged for a fuel stop. On the restart, Stewart had four lapped cars separating him and Shaffer. When the green reappeared, Stewart drove away as Shaffer, Blaney, Smith and Sebetto had to work through the lapped traffic.
Stewart would easily drive to the victory over Shaffer, Blaney, Sebetto and Smith.
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Hilltop Speedway – 6/28/2012
All Star Circuit of Champions (28 Cars)
Qualifying – Kistler Engines
1. 89G-David Gravel, 12.225; 2. 19-Stevie Smith, 12.304; 3. 83-Tim Shaffer, 12.321; 4. 29-Shane Stewart, 12.396; 5. 54-Cap Henry, 12.398; 6. 2-Dale Blaney, 12.493; 7. 35-Stuart Brubaker, 12.504; 8. 24H-Bryan Sebetto, 12.535; 9. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr., 12.556; 10. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 12.559; 11. 57X-Andrew Palker, 12.567; 12. 45-Paul McMahan, 12.568; 13. 22-Cole Duncan, 12.572; 14. O-Lee Jacobs, 12.603; 15. D4-Danny Holtgraver, 12.605; 16. 3L-Mike Linder, 12.619; 17. 4-Danny Smith, 12.637; 18. 40-Caleb Helms, 12.649; 19. 3-Pete Miller III, 12.660; 20. 55-Brad Bowman, 12.664; 21. W20-Greg Wilson, 12.716; 22. 17-Marty Perovich, 12.743; 23. 12-Jared Ridge, 12.753; 24. 16-Danny Mumaw, 12.756; 25. 4K-Kody Kinser, 12.766; 26. 91-Aaron Middaugh, 12.774; 27. D12-Jason Dolick, 12.972; 28. 80-Trey Gustin, 13.045
Heat 1 – Kears Speed Shop (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) 1. 22-Cole Duncan ; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 3. 29-Shane Stewart ; 4. 3L-Mike Linder ; 5. 35-Stuart Brubaker ; 6. 89G-David Gravel ; 7. 3-Pete Miller III ; 8. 17-Marty Perovich ; 9. 4K-Kody Kinser ; 10. 80-Trey Gustin
Heat 2 – All Pro Aluminum Heads (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) 1. O-Lee Jacobs ; 2. 4-Danny Smith ; 3. 54-Cap Henry ; 4. 24H-Bryan Sebetto ; 5. 19-Stevie Smith ; 6. 57X-Andrew Palker ; 7. 91-Aaron Middaugh ; 8. 12-Jared Ridge ; 9. 55-Brad Bowman
Heat 3 – Dragon Race Fuel (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) 1. 40-Caleb Helms ; 2. D4-Danny Holtgraver ; 3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. ; 4. 83-Tim Shaffer ; 5. 2-Dale Blaney ; 6. 45-Paul McMahan ; 7. W20-Greg Wilson ; 8. 16-Danny Mumaw ; 9. D12-Jason Dolick
Dash – Outerwears Performance Products (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 6 starting positions of A-feature 1. 83-Tim Shaffer ; 2. 29-Shane Stewart ; 3. 19-Stevie Smith ; 4. 2-Dale Blaney ; 5. 89G-David Gravel ; 6. 54-Cap Henry
B-Main – MSD Ignition (12 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) 1. 55-Brad Bowman ; 2. 3-Pete Miller III ; 3. 16-Danny Mumaw ; 4. W20-Greg Wilson ; 5. 4K-Kody Kinser ; 6. D12-Jason Dolick ; 7. 12-Jared Ridge ; 8. 80-Trey Gustin ; 9. 91-Aaron Middaugh ; 10. 17-Marty Perovich
A-Main – University of Northwestern Ohio (30 Laps) 1. 29-Shane Stewart; 2. 83-Tim Shaffer; 3. 2-Dale Blaney; 4. 24H-Bryan Sebetto; 5. 19-Stevie Smith; 6. 57X-Andrew Palker; 7. 22-Cole Duncan; 8. 89G-David Gravel; 9. 54-Cap Henry; 10. 1S-Logan Schuchart; 11. 4-Danny Smith; 12. 40-Caleb Helms; 13. W20-Greg Wilson; 14. 3-Pete Miller III; 15. 3L-Mike Linder; 16. 4K-Kody Kinser; 17. 16-Danny Mumaw; 18. D4-Danny Holtgraver; 19. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.; 20. D12-Jason Dolick; 21. 55-Brad Bowman; 22. O-Lee Jacobs; 23. 35-Stuart Brubaker; 24. 45-Paul McMahan
Hard Charger: W20-Greg Wilson[+8]