By Shawn Brouse
Port Royal – Hartford, Ohio’s Dale Blaney became the first bona-fide All Star in history to conquer the challenges of Port Royal Speedway on Friday night in the Night Before The 50 for sprint cars sanctioned by the All Star Circuit of Champions sprints.
Blaney’s historic win at the oval for the All Stars comes after the circuit made its first-ever visit to the track back in 1981.
The flag to flag, 30-lap victory was worth $5,000 for Blaney’s TI22 Performance No. 2 sprint car.
In the 20-lap late model main, Herndon’s Brett Schadel wired the field for his third win of the season at the track while McClure’s Tim Wilson unofficially claimed the 2012 track title by a scant five points.
Blaney earned the pole for The Night Before The 50 feature by winning the six-lap dash and when the green flag dropped on the feature, Blaney was off and running far ahead of second starter Stevie Smith.
Eighth starter Danny Dietrich was on the move during the early going, driving up to fourth by the sixth lap before stabilizing while Blaney began entering the backmarkers.
Smith could only try to keep pace with the fleet-running Buckeye driver as the leaders worked through traffic during the non-stop event.
Dietrich advanced to third behind Blaney and Smith with 12 down before sixth starter Lance Dewease started motoring toward the front trio.
With 10 laps to go, it appeared as Blaney may again come up short at the track for both himself and the All Stars as smoke began heavily spewing from his black and blue racer.
But even with smoke billowing from his machine, Blaney never slowed down as he threaded his way through lapped traffic to perfection, keeping Smith at bay.
Dewease took third from Dietrich with four laps to go and applied heavy pressure to Smith for second all the way to the finish but to no avail.
As it rolled into victory lane, Blaney’s right rear tire was flatter than the proverbial pancake but all that mattered on this night was that the tire made it to the checkers.
The win was Blaney’s ninth of the All Star season overall and first with the circuit since taking a win at Hibbing, Minn., in late July.
It was the 93rd All Star win of Blaney’s career.
Smith crossed the line second followed by Dewease, Dietrich and third starter Fred Rahmer.
Sixth through 10th went to David Gravel, Tim Shaffer, Danny Holtgraver, Chad Layton and Paul McMahan.
In total, six of the top 10 finishers crossed the stripe as All Stars, also making history with an impressive showing for the traveling band.
Heats for the whopping 46-car field in attendance went to Doug Esh, Ryan Taylor, Cap Henry and Dewease.
Blaney won the dash and Daryn Pitttman scored the B Main.
Gravel set fast time with a lap of 16.080 seconds.
Schadel’s win came as he raced for the track title along with Mike Lupfer and point leader Wilson as the night began.
The Northumberland County driver was never heeded during his run to the win despite a pair of cautions that regrouped the field.
Chad Hollenbeck started third in the race and raced into second on the opening lap but would advance no further.
A two-time winner at the track in 2012, Coleby Frye started fifth in the race and became the late challenger after taking over second spot in the late going.
Frye drove onto Schadel’s rear bumper during the last circuit but fell short of time to make a stab at stealing the win.
Hollenbeck finished third followed by Lupfer and Jeff Rine.
Dylan Yoder finished fifth followed by Mitch Hack, Wilson, Scott Haus and Jeff Miller.
Wilson’s finish of eighth allowed him to remain the point leader at the end of the race by just five markers over Schadel with Lupfer ending the season third in the standings.
Heats for the 32-car late model field went to Dylan Yoder, Schadel, Scott Haus and Lupfer with the consolation going to Bob Dunn.
Port Royal Speedway will present the 45th annual AB Auto Glass Tuscarora 50 for the All Stars Saturday night at 7 pm along with pro stocks.
September 7, 2012 Feature Finishes:
410 sprints, 25 laps: 1. Dale Blaney, 2. Stevie Smith, 3. Lance Dewease, 4. Danny Dietrich, 5. Fred Rahmer, 6. David Gravel, 7. Tim Shaffer, 8. Danny Holtgraver, 9. Chad Layton, 10. Paul McMahan, 11. Doug Esh, 12. Logan Schuchart, 13. Daryn Pittman, 14. Mike Wagner, 15. Keith Kauffman, 16. Greg Hodnett, 17. Brian Montieth, 18. Ryan Taylor, 19. Cap Henry, 20. Derek Sell, 21. Curt Stroup, 22. Dylan Cisney, 23. Mark Coldren, 24. Danny Lasoksi
DNQ: Mike Erdley, Blane Heimbach, Ryan Smith, Brent Marks, Trevor Utt, Alan Krimes, Davey Sammons, Mike Ruttkamp, Dan Shetler, Joey Hershey, Frank Cozze, Bob Bennett, Trenton Sheaffer, Steve Buckwalter, Jimmy Seger, Jordan Frontz, Rick Lafferty, Aaron Ott, Rod Stroup, Vince Snyder, Cliff Brian, Adam Wilt
Late Models, 33 laps: 1. Brett Schadel, 2. Coleby Frye, 3. Chad Hollenbeck, 4. Mike Lupfer, 5. Jeff Rine, 6. Dylan Yoder, 7. Mitch Hack, 8. Tim Wilson, 9. Scott Haus, 10. Jeff Miller, 11. Marvin Winters, 12. Derek Byler, 13. Jim Yoder, 14. Chris Casner, 15. Dave Zona, 16. Scott Flickinger, 17. Waylon Wagner, 18. Bob Dunn, 19. Donnie Schick, 20. Terry Naugle, 21. AJ Hoffman, 22. Steve Stitt, 23. Steve Campbell, 24. Tim Fedder
DNQ: Trent Brenneman, Mike Mort, Harold Ranck Jr., Lindsay Barton, Brian Hack, Patrick Bryner, Kyle Rhodes, Jim McBee