From Tyler Altmeyer
INDIANAPOLIS (October 19, 2016) – Entering the final weekend of competition as one of the closest point battles in Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions history, “America’s Series” will determine a 2016 champion on Saturday evening, October 22, at Atomic Speedway, concluding a near-50 race campaign through much of the Northeast and Midwest that welcomed nearly 300 different sprint car competitors to the dirt in 2016. Thirteen drivers from four different states committed themselves to the entire championship campaign this season; one of the most competitive and diverse rosters in All Star history.
“I want to congratulate all of the drivers and teams for another successful All Star season. The schedule, the miles, the preparation, the maintenance; it takes an indescribable amount of work and dedication to complete a season like we had in 2016. I’m sure the effort will be more than rewarding,” Tony Stewart said, All Star Circuit of Champions owner. “Although we’ve reached the end, we still have a championship to determine. It’s exciting to witness one of the closest battles in this series’ history. We are all excited to see how things unfold.”
The 2016 Arctic Cat All Star championship finale at Atomic Speedway is set for Friday and Saturday, October 21-22, and will feature a two-day program complete with qualifying and heat race competition on Friday, followed by consolation and feature competition on Saturday. Saturday night’s main event will award a $20,000 winner’s share, as well as officially determine the 2016 Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions titlist.
Despite being plagued with issues resulting from Mother Nature during early season attempts, the championship finale will feature the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions at Atomic Speedway for a second time in 2016; a first since Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket in late June when recent NASCAR Sprint Cup winner Kyle Larson earned the $5,000 victory. It was his second of two victories during Ohio Sprint Speedweek.
With a combined total of 10 Arctic Cat All Star championships to their credit, Alvada, Ohio’s Chad Kemenah and Hartford, Ohio’s Dale Blaney will enter the 2016 Arctic Cat All Star finale separated by a mere 18 markers; one of the closest championship margins in the 46-year history of “America’s Series,” closely equaling the excitement of outcomes that occurred in 1992, 1993 and 2007.
“Our game plan for much of the season has been to focus on each individual race. We’ve been able to stay consistent and race our way toward the front. Because of that, we are now in the position that we are in,” Chad Kemenah explained, driver of the Hunter Racing/Seneca Energy/Bonnell’s Rod Shop/DKW Transport/No. 10H. “Our game plan will remain that way even entering the last race of the season. Earning a win on Saturday is what we are working for. I can’t thank Rob Hunter and the entire team enough for this opportunity. Rob gives us the equipment necessary to be in this position. I would love to earn him a championship.”
In 1992 and 1993, All Star legends Frankie Kerr and Kevin Huntley settled All Star championship battles by less than five points; Huntley earned the championship in 1992 by four points, followed by a precedent-setting tie between Kerr and Huntley in 1993. In 2007, the All Star championship was once again settled by single-digits with Greg Wilson edging out Danny Smith by two markers for a second consecutive title.
“It’s a close battle, but my only concern, and my team’s only concern, is that Atomic Speedway is paying $20,000 this weekend,” Dale Blaney explained, pilot of the Big Game Treestands/GoMuddy.com/CH Motorsports/No. 1. “I have no control of the point situation. Right now, our only game plan is to win that $20,000. At the end of the night, we’ll look back and see where we finished in relation to Chad (Kemenah), and if things go our way, we may be in a position to win the title. My only advantage right now is that there is going to be a good field of cars there this weekend. That’s my only bonus right now.”
In addition to the two-day Arctic Cat All Star program, a “Race of Champions” will also be contested, highlighting the Friday night portion of the weekend schedule. The event, hosted by Atomic Speedway officials to honor all current and former 410 sprint car track champions and series champions throughout the country, will award a $2,000 top prize after 20 laps of green flag competition. Nearly 15 drivers from 11 different series and tracks are committed to participating in the “Race of Champions” on Friday, October 21. The committed roster includes, but is not limited to, Ohio Sprint Car Series champion Cole Duncan, Knoxville Raceway and National Sprint League champion Danny Lasoski, Fremont Speedway champion Broc Martin, FAST Series champion Byron Reed, IRA champion Jeremy Schultz, and Ohio Valley Sprint Car Association champion Dave Dickson.
Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, Ohio, will open pit gates at 2:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, October 21-22. Spectator gates are scheduled to swing open at 4:00 pm on Friday, October 21. A mandatory Arctic Cat All Star drivers meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:15, followed by hot laps at 6.
Front gates will open for spectators at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 22. The drivers meeting will be conducted at 4:15, followed by hot laps at 5. Those seeking additional information should visit Atomic Speedway live on the Web at www.atomicspeedway.net.
Current Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Standings (October 18, 2016):
1. Chad Kemenah: 5104
2. Dale Blaney: 5086
3. Sheldon Haudenschild: 5028
4. Cap Henry: 4788
5. Kraig Kinser: 4718
6. Danny Holtgraver: 4578
7. T.J. Michael: 4476
8. Caleb Helms: 4270
9. Andrew Palker: 4060
10. Lee Jacobs: 4046
Additional Arctic Cat All Star Series Info:
Those seeking additional information regarding the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions should visit their official online home at www.allstarsprint.com. Series updates and breaking news will be posted regularly on the official Twitter account of the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions: https://twitter.com/ASCoC. Find