Blair Wins Run for the Rabbit

Ron Blair in victory lane after winning the NRA Sprint Invader 'Run For the Rabbit' Memorial Race. Mike Campbell Photo

Ron Blair in victory lane after winning the NRA Sprint Invader 'Run For the Rabbit' Memorial Race. Mike Campbell Photo
From Mike Campbell

Lima, OH — (June 22, 2012) — The annual Run for the Rabbit honors the memory of Travis “The Rabbit” Miller and has become one of the most coveted titles for sprint car drivers to win during the season. Ron Blair of Troy, Ohio, was able to both capture the Run for the Rabbit event and post his first career Limaland Motorsports Park victory and he did it leading the field flag-to-flag in the 25-lap feature race.

Earlier heat races and the random inversion selection allowed Blair to start from the outside front row starting position. Although it’s the most popular starting grid slot, a stacked field of former winners and veteran hard chargers provides no guarantees of a victory.

NRA Sprint Invaders point’s leader Randy Hannagan entered with a four-race Limaland Motorsports Park features winning streak. Despite Hannagan’s starting from the fifth row, most observers still felt he was a genuine contender. An untimely spinout for Hannagan on lap number three put him at the tail of the field and effectively ended his hopes for a fifth consecutive feature win at the track. He eventually finished in the sixth position.

At the front of the field, Ron Blair was riding the cushion of the track and looked to be in full acceleration. “I felt like I was on a rail running up high,” said a humble Blair after the race. Kyle Sauder, Tim Allison and Greg Dallman were involved in some exciting back and forth action behind Blair. Sauder finished second and Allison took the third finishing position.

It seemed as if Blair hardly noticed the action following him through the race, slowed by just two cautions. “It was a lotta fun and starting up front with the way the track felt tonight really suited my driving style,” said Blair. “My crew really did a great job getting my car ready for tonight!”

The 20-lap K&N UMP Modified feature also saw a flag-to-flag winning performance. Defending track champion Todd Sherman worked the bottom and middle lines around the track after starting on the pole of the twenty car field. Fellow Indiana racer Jake Reufer provided a genuine challenge to Sherman as he worked the outside line. Three separate caution flags slowed Reufer’s progress and he was unable to create a successful pass for the race lead. There was also a final white flag restart that added to the event’s drama.

“I knew Jake and the young guys would stay up on the cushion, but I was going to just stay down on the bottom and run a conservative line and it paid off for me,” said Sherman after the win. “This is a brand new car that we brought out last week at a different track. I’m scared to bring it here and experiment because the cars are so fast. I won with it last week and now here tonight so I guess we’ll keep it out as the point’s chase tightens up.” It was Todd Sherman’s first win since the season opener on April 20 and the 28th of his career at the track.

The big question entering the 15-lap Budweiser Thunderstocks feature was who might be able to put a stop to Jeff Koz and his current four-race winning streak. Defending track champion Tony Anderson took the early lead and then a flat tire for Koz on lap number four officially ended his hopes for another win. From that moment forward, point’s leader Shawn Valenti, the only driver other than Koz to win a feature in the division this season, gave Anderson all he could handle working the outside line on the race leader.

Valenti threatened on numerous occasions to pass Anderson but a series of caution flags slowed his momentum. Finally on the last lap of the race, Valenti cleanly drove around Anderson on the backside of the ¼-mile oval to cross the line in first position and post his fourth win of the season. “He (Tony Anderson) did such a good job with restarts, it was killing my chances,” said Valenti of Fostoria, Ohio. “I just couldn’t get around on top as we kept getting cautions. I thought maybe lapped traffic would have slowed him, but in the end I’m grateful to have pulled this one off. Anderson is a class act and this is a tough division.” It marked Valenti’s fourth win of the season and first since May 11.

Limaland Motorsports Park returns to action on Friday, June 29, with the 30th Annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek featuring the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions and the K&N UMP Modifieds. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with hot laps/qualifying beginning at 6:30 p.m. Racing begins promptly at 7:30 p.m.

All the latest news and information about America’s premier quarter-mile dirt track, can be found at You can also find 2012 Limaland Motorsports Park on Facebook and Twitter.

Limaland Motorsports Park – 6/22/2012

Engine Pro NRA Sprints
Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 5 Transfer)
1. 22D-Dennis Yoakam; 2. 4U-Rick Boughan; 3. 49T-Gregg Dalman; 4. 22-Ben Rutan; 5. 2M-Dallas Hewitt; 6. 10J-Jarrod Delong; 7. 7-Darren Long; 8. 2-Brent Gehr;
9. W11-Chris Ackland

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 5 Transfer)
1. 22H-Randy Hannagan; 2. 11-Tim Allison; 3. 5M-Max Stambaugh;
4. 17-Jared Horstman; 5. B20-Butch Schroeder; 6. 34-Jimmy Sneed;
7. 27B-Brad Lamberson; 8. 4J-Bob Gehr; 9. 50B-Mike Burns

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 5 Transfer)
1. 6S-Jr Stewart; 2. 7K-Kyle Sauder; 3. 35-Ron Blair; 4. 28H-Hud Horton;
5. 23-Devon Dobie; 6. 68G-Tyler Gunn; 7. 23M-Jack Miller; 8. 27-Beau Stewart

B-Main – (10 Laps – Top 5 Transfer)
1. 7-Darren Long; 2. W11-Chris Ackland; 3. 27-Beau Stewart; 4. 23M-Jack Miller;
5. 4J-Bob Gehr; 6. 10J-Jarrod Delong; 7. 27B-Brad Lamberson; 8. 2-Brent Gehr;
9. 50B-Mike Burns; 10. 34-Jimmy Sneed; 11. 68G-Tyler Gunn

A-Main – (25 Laps) [#]-Starting Position
1. 35-Ron Blair[2]; 2. 7K-Kyle Sauder[5]; 3. 11-Tim Allison[6]; 4. 6S-Jr Stewart[8];
5. 49T-Gregg Dalman[4]; 6. 22H-Randy Hannagan[9]; 7. 28H-Hud Horton[12];
8. 5M-Max Stambaugh[3]; 9. B20-Butch Schroeder[14]; 10. 7-Darren Long[16];
11. 17-Jared Horstman[11]; 12. 2M-Dallas Hewitt[13]; 13. 27-Beau Stewart[18];
14. 22-Ben Rutan[1]; 15. 4U-Rick Boughan[7]; 16. 23-Devon Dobie[15];
17. 22D-Dennis Yoakam[10]; 18. 4J-Bob Gehr[20]; 19. 23M-Jack Miller[19];
20. W11-Chris Ackland[17]

K&N Modifieds
Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 5 Transfer)
1. 65-Todd Sherman; 2. F16-Jake Reufer; 3. 33-Clint Reagle; 4. 35-Tim Cornett;
5. O1-Ryan O’Dette; 6. 20K-Bill Keeler; 7. 28-Chad Rosenbeck; 8. 21S-Mike Holhbein

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 5 Transfer)
1. 22B-Andy Bibler; 2. 1-Kody Weisner; 3. 93-Tyler Stump; 4. 40-Terry Hull;
5. 55M-Justin Matson; 6. 95-Greg Socha; 7. 67-Eddie Shaner; 8. 10L-Jack Landis

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 5 Transfer)
1. O3-Cory Seeling; 2. L5-Casey Luedeke; 3. 22T-Tony Anderson; 4. 19-Ryan Ordway; 5. 47-Nick Rosselit; 6. 18N-Derrick Noffsinger; 7. 10B-Scott Bowersock

Dash – (6 Laps – Top – Transfer)
1. 22B-Andy Bibler; 2. 1-Kody Weisner; 3. O3-Cory Seeling; 4. F16-Jake Reufer

B-Main – (8 Laps – Top 5 Transfer)
1. 95-Greg Socha; 2. 18N-Derrick Noffsinger; 3. 20K-Bill Keeler;
4. 10B-Scott Bowersock; 5. 28-Chad Rosenbeck; 6. 67-Eddie Shaner;
7. 10L-Jack Landis; 8. 21S-Mike Holhbein

A-Main – (20 Laps) [#]-Starting Position
1. 65-Todd Sherman[1]; 2. F16-Jake Reufer[4]; 3. 1-Kody Weisner[5];
4. O3-Cory Seeling[3]; 5. 22B-Andy Bibler[2]; 6. L5-Casey Luedeke[6];
7. 33-Clint Reagle[7]; 8. 22T-Tony Anderson[9]; 9. 40-Terry Hull[11];
10. 93-Tyler Stump[8]; 11. 10B-Scott Bowersock[19]; 12. 55M-Justin Matson[14];
13. 35-Tim Cornett[10]; 14. O1-Ryan O’Dette[13]; 15. 47-Nick Rosselit[15];
16. 18N-Derrick Noffsinger[17]; 17. 19-Ryan Ordway[12]; 18. 28-Chad Rosenbeck[20]; 19. 20K-Bill Keeler[18]; 20. 95-Greg Socha[16]

Bud Thunderstocks
Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 7 Transfer)
1. 7B-Shawn Valenti; 2. 82-Chris Douglas; 3. 2-Mitchelll Opatik;
4. 327-Randy Crossley; 5. 26-Justin Long; 6. 45-Kyle Bronson; 7. 52B-Sam Bodine

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 7 Transfer)
1. 16-Jeff Koz; 2. 1-Nick Wojcik; 3. 99-Andy King; 4. 7-Dan Wooten;
5. 27-Frank Paladino; 6. OO-Josh Sutter

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 7 Transfer)
1. 22T-Tony Anderson; 2. O1-Joel Ortberg; 3. 57S-Billy Siferd; 4. OOM-Bryan Martin; 5. 89-Keith Shockency; 6. 17-Corey Wooten

A-Main – (15 Laps) [#]-Starting Position
1. 7B-Shawn Valenti[4]; 2. 22T-Tony Anderson[2]; 3. 1-Nick Wojcik[5];
4. 2-Mitchelll Opatik[7]; 5. O1-Joel Ortberg[6]; 6. 327-Randy Crossley[10];
7. 57S-Billy Siferd[9]; 8. 82-Chris Douglas[1]; 9. 27-Frank Paladino[14];
10. 99-Andy King[8]; 11. 89-Keith Shockency[15]; 12. 17-Corey Wooten[18];
13. 52B-Sam Bodine[19]; 14. OO-Josh Sutter[17]; 15. 26-Justin Long[13];
16. 7-Dan Wooten[11]; 17. OOM-Bryan Martin[12]; 18. 16-Jeff Koz[3];
19. 45-Kyle Bronson[16]