Mintz gets last corner, last lap pass for 1st All Star win at Attica

Craig Mintz in Victory Lane at Attica Raceway Park. - Mike Campbell Photo

By Brian Liskai

Attica,OH (4-7-12) – In one of the most exciting finishes in
the history of Attica Raceway Park, Craig Mintz passed Stevie Smith coming
down to the checkered to record his first ever University of Northwestern
Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions victory Saturday for the second night of
the HD Supply Spring Nationals.
Mintz, who was passed on the last lap the previous night by Dale Blaney for
the victory, took the checkered flag .146 seconds ahead of Smith much to
the delight of the capacity crowd.

“Stevie took one away from me about eight years ago and it was great racing
with him…he raced me clean. I just tried to save my tires as much as I
could and try to run through the middle. He was really good on the bottom
and I was waiting for just one minor mistake and he really didn’t make any.
I just got a really good run coming out of four and it was wreckers or
checkers…I wasn’t lifting on that one,” said Mintz beside his Ti22
Performance, Real Geese Decoys, R2C Filters, Erie Shore Propane, Kistler
Engines backed machine.
For Mintz, from Gibsonburg, Ohio, it was his sixth career win at Attica and
he became the 176th different driver to win an All Star event.

“My dad (Les), Brad, Kevin, Kent…these guys behind me put a heck of a race
car together. I have to thank my fiancée for doing everything she can for
me. We worked well together this week,” added Mintz.
For Smith, a former Spring Nationals winner, a lot of progress was made
over the weekend with the new CL Motorsports Black Bandit #19.

“I kept hearing and seeing him…I knew he was good. I was trying to use the
whole race track up…he just got beside me and it was over. He did a great
job,” said Smith beside his DDNI, GLR Investments backed #19. “I felt like
we really gained here tonight. Last night we kind of went the wrong way.
I’m proud of my guys…they are doing a great job and this is a great
organization and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Two-time All Star champion Greg Wilson was also excited by the improvement
for his All Star Plumbing & Heating, Hercules Tires, Ohio Logistics, DNC
Hydraulics backed car.

“I was patient…Brian (Kemenah, crew chief) about being easy on the tires. I
road around there for awhile creeping on the bottom and jumped up there
pretty good but I really wasn’t hustling. When I saw the five to go I got
after it a little bit. I don’t know if the best car won tonight but it was
a heck of a race ahead of me,” said Wilson beside his Veryl Warnimont owned
machine. “I want to thank all the fans for coming out on Easter weekend…it
was a little chilly. Whether you’re a Greg Wilson fan or not, we need all
you fans and we well appreciate it.”

The 40-lap All Star feature had the fans on the edge of their seats the
entire distance. Mintz would bolt into the lead at the drop of the green
with Tim Shaffer, Wilson, Smith and Dustin Daggett in tow. Mintz would pull
away slightly with Shaffer, Wilson and Smith waging a tremendous battle for
second until the first caution flew on lap 10. When the green came back
out, Mintz had his hands full with a high flying Smith while Wilson tried
to hold of Shaffer for third with Friday night’s winner Dale Blaney

Mintz and Smith raced side-by-side from lap 10-15 before Smith shot around
for the lead, with Mintz glued to his rear bumper. Lap 17 was nearly
catastrophic for Smith, as he bounced hard into the cushion in turns three
and four, but he gathered his Black Bandit car back up and continued to
lead over Mintz, a closing Wilson, Shaffer, Blaney, Chad Kemenah and Randy
Hanagan up from his 13th starting spot. Smith and Mintz would run nose to
tail and at times side by side through lap 24 when they encountered lapped
traffic. Mintz began searching for the right spot to make his move and on
lap 28, raced to Smith’s inside in turns three and four, bring Wilson along
for a tremendous three car battle.

That trio would keep the crowd on their feet as they came to the flag stand
for the five to go signal. Now with a little bit of clear track in front of
them, Smith and Mintz pulled away slightly and continued their side-by-side
duel with Wilson comfortably in third while Blaney and Hannagan rounded out
the top five. As Smith and Mintz took the white – Smith on the top of turns
one and two and Mintz in the middle, Mintz would get a good run down the
back stretch. Smith would go to the cushion in three and four while Mintz
ran the middle and as Smith tried to break his momentum, Mintz drove to the
outside and it was a drag race to the checkered where Mintz won by a nose.

Attica Raceway Park – 4/7/2012
UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions 410 Sprints (44 Cars)
[#]-Starting Position
Qualifying – Kistler Engines
1. O9-Craig Mintz, 12.514; 2. 54-Cap Henry, 12.516; 3. W20-Greg Wilson,
12.517; 4. 19-Stevie Smith, 12.521; 5. 83-Tim Shaffer, 12.523; 6. 5-Kasey
Kahne, 12.528; 7. 3-Pete Miller III, 12.537; 8. 1X-Randy Hannagan, 12.557;
9. 60K-Jody Keegan, 12.561; 10. 2M-Dustin Daggett, 12.579; 11. 2-Dale
Blaney, 12.581; 12. D4-Danny Holtgraver, 12.585; 13. 9X-Brandon Martin,
12.640; 14. 63-Chad Kemanah, 12.641; 15. 9-Joey Saldana, 12.667; 16.
5R-Byron Reed, 12.674; 17. 49-Brad Sweet, 12.707; 18. 24H-Bryan Sebetto,
12.745; 19. 16-Chris Andrews, 12.789; 20. 53-Phil Gressman, 12.790; 21.
12-Jared Ridge, 12.832; 22. 7X-Jamie Collard, 12.876; 23. 70-Brad
Haudenschild, 12.897; 24. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild, 12.907; 25. 89G-David
Gravel, 12.917; 26. 3L-Mike Linder, 12.950; 27. 14H-Todd Heller, 12.963;
28. 5T-Travis Philo, 12.964; 29. 60-Kory Crabtree, 12.988; 30. 44W-Austin
Wheatley, 13.017; 31. 14W-Chad Wilson, 13.019; 32. 55-Brad Bowman, 13.035;
33. 14-Tony Stewart, 13.057; 34. 45-Paul McMahan, 13.058; 35. 9Z-Duane
Zablocki, 13.076; 36. O-Lee Jacobs, 13.087; 37. 22-Cole Duncan, 13.096; 38.
4-Danny Smith, 13.121; 39. 2MH-Dalas Hewitt, 13.216; 40. 2+-Brian Smith,
13.262; 41. 35-Stuart Brubaker, 13.272; 42. Os-Glenn Styres, 13.461; 43.
83M-Broc Martin, 13.574; 44. 7K-Kyle Sauder, 18.938

Heat 1 – Kear’s Speed Shop (10 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the
1. 49-Brad Sweet[2] ; 2. 9X-Brandon Martin[3] ; 3. 83-Tim Shaffer[5] ; 4.
O9-Craig Mintz[6] ; 5. 14-Tony Stewart[9] ; 6. 35-Stuart Brubaker[11] ; 7.
22-Cole Duncan[10] ; 8. 12-Jared Ridge[1] ; 9. 89G-David Gravel[7] ; 10.
60-Kory Crabtree[8] ; 11. 60K-Jody Keegan[4]

Heat 2 – All Pro Aluminum Heads (10 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the
1. 2M-Dustin Daggett[4] ; 2. 24H-Bryan Sebetto[2] ; 3. 63-Chad Kemanah[3] ;
4. 54-Cap Henry[6] ; 5. 44W-Austin Wheatley[8] ; 6. 5-Kasey Kahne[5] ; 7.
45-Paul McMahan[9] ; 8. 4-Danny Smith[10] ; 9. 7X-Jamie Collard[1] ; 10.
3L-Mike Linder[7] ; 11. Os-Glenn Styres[11]

Heat 3 – Dragon Race Fuels (10 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the
1. 70-Brad Haudenschild[1] ; 2. 2-Dale Blaney[4] ; 3. 9-Joey Saldana[3] ;
4. W20-Greg Wilson[6] ; 5. 16-Chris Andrews[2] ; 6. 3-Pete Miller III[5] ;
7. 14W-Chad Wilson[8] ; 8. 2MH-Dalas Hewitt[10] ; 9. 9Z-Duane Zablocki[9] ;
10. 83M-Broc Martin[11] ; 11. 14H-Todd Heller[7]

Heat 4 – Kinsler Fuel Injection (10 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the
1. 19-Stevie Smith[6] ; 2. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild[1] ; 3. D4-Danny
Holtgraver[4] ; 4. 53-Phil Gressman[2] ; 5. 5R-Byron Reed[3] ; 6. 1X-Randy
Hannagan[5] ; 7. 55-Brad Bowman[8] ; 8. 5T-Travis Philo[7] ; 9. O-Lee
Jacobs[9] ; 10. 7K-Kyle Sauder[11] ; 11. 2+-Brian Smith[10]

Dash –Outerwear’s Performance Products (10 Laps, finishing order
determined first 6 starting positions of A-feature
1. 83-Tim Shaffer[1] ; 2. O9-Craig Mintz[2] ; 3. W20-Greg Wilson[3] ; 4.
2M-Dustin Daggett[4] ; 5. 19-Stevie Smith[5] ; 6. 54-Cap Henry[6]

C-Main – (10 Laps – Top 2 finishers transfer to the B-feature)
1. 7K-Kyle Sauder[6] ; 2. 35-Stuart Brubaker[3] ; 3. 83M-Broc Martin[5] ;
4. 2MH-Dalas Hewitt[1] ; 5. 2+-Brian Smith[2]

B-Main – MSD Ignition (12 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 1X-Randy Hannagan[3] ; 2. 5-Kasey Kahne[1] ; 3. 3-Pete Miller III[2] ;
4. 60K-Jody Keegan[4] ; 5. 3L-Mike Linder[8] ; 6. 14H-Todd Heller[9] ; 7.
89G-David Gravel[7] ; 8. 45-Paul McMahan[14] ; 9. 7X-Jamie Collard[6] ; 10.
12-Jared Ridge[5] ; 11. O-Lee Jacobs[16] ; 12. 4-Danny Smith[18] ; 13.
14W-Chad Wilson[12] ; 14. 5T-Travis Philo[10] ; 15. 7K-Kyle Sauder[19] ;
16. 55-Brad Bowman[13] ; 17. 9Z-Duane Zablocki[15] ; 18. 35-Stuart
Brubaker[20] ; 19. 60-Kory Crabtree[11] ; 20. 22-Cole Duncan[17]

UNOH A-Main – (40 Laps)
1. O9-Craig Mintz[2]; 2. 19-Stevie Smith[5]; 3. W20-Greg Wilson[3]; 4.
2-Dale Blaney[7]; 5. 1X-Randy Hannagan[13]; 6. 83-Tim Shaffer[1]; 7.
63-Chad Kemanah[10]; 8. 24H-Bryan Sebetto[18]; 9. 16-Chris Andrews[19]; 10.
D4-Danny Holtgraver[8]; 11. 54-Cap Henry[6]; 12. 9X-Brandon Martin[9]; 13.
5-Kasey Kahne[11]; 14. 9-Joey Saldana[15]; 15. 49-Brad Sweet[17]; 16.
14-Tony Stewart[24]; 17. 3-Pete Miller III[12]; 18. 2M-Dustin Daggett[4];
19. 44W-Austin Wheatley[23]; 20. 60K-Jody Keegan[14]; 21. 70-Brad
Haudenschild[21]; 22. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild[22]; 23. 53-Phil
Gressman[20]; 24. 5R-Byron Reed[16]
Hard Charger: 24H-Bryan Sebetto[+10]

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