By Brian Liskai
FONDA, N.Y. (Thursday, July 18, 2013) – Sometimes last minute decisions pay off.
Such was the case Thursday for Aspers, Pennsylvania’s Danny Dietrich. After racing at Fulton Speedway in New York on Wednesday, Dietrich was heading back to the Keystone State to compete at Lincoln Speedway. But, about 20 minutes down the road the team decided to turn around and head to Fonda Speedway to run with the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of champions.
It was the right choice.
Dietrich took the lead when a multi-car crash occurred on lap four involving then leader Stewart Friesen. He then had to hold off three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Cap Henry on a late race restart to score his first career victory in the New York state. It was the second UNOH All Star win of the season for Dietrich who now has four career series wins.
“We were on our way home and we weren’t going to make it there (Lincoln Speedway) in time. We got some insight from a few people and we came back. I guess it was meant to be,” said Dietrich beside his Gary Kauffman Racing #48 with sponsorship help from Sandoe’s Fruit Market/Racers Used Parts Warehouse/Mark Bell Trucking/Drop of Ink Tattoo and Body Piercing/Moritz Machine Repairs/Hickory Run Orchards.
Stewart would rim-ride around Henry late in the race and closed on Dietrich as they drove into lapped traffic with five laps to go. But, Dietrich’s low line would be enough to score the win.
“We got going on the top finally, but I’m still not sure if it is seven or eight corners out there…however many it was we were making them,” said Stewart beside his Chevrolet/Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops backed #14. “It got really racy there. The lapped traffic kind of helped us get caught up to those two guys. I was just hoping they got stuck a little longer there. Danny does a great job in traffic.”
For Henry, the podium finish was a great birthday present as he celebrates his 23rd birthday Friday.
“I was committed to the bottom and when we got into traffic Danny and I got stuck and Tony just rolled around the top,” said Henry beside his K&N Filters/FK Rod Ends/Champion Oil/Kistler Engines/Outerwears/Keizer Wheels backed #54.
“We have a lot of momentum going into Thunder Through the Plains. A week ago we weren’t going to be able to afford to go, but we sold our truck and trailer this week and the new owners are letting us use it to go out west and now we have the finances to be able to do it. I’m excited to take our team out there,” added Henry.
Dietrich and Friesen would bring the field to the green for the 30-lap feature with Dietrich leading the first lap before Friesen powered to the front on lap two. However, Friesen, coming off a second place run the previous night at Fulton Speedway in his first 410 sprint car race, would get caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap four as he caught the back of the field. Mark Coldren would spin right in front of Friesen as Jessica Zemken, who was running third; Trey Gustin, Brad Howard and Scott Wilson were also involved. Zemken was able to return to action after a short pit stop, but her night would end on the restart when she and Coldren got together on the front stretch and came to stop locked together in turn one.
On the ensuing restart Dietrich was in command over Henry, Dale Blaney and Stewart. With 10 laps scored, Danny Holtgraver would spin, bringing out the caution with the running order Dietrich, Henry, Blaney, Stewart and Justin Barger.
When the green flew again, Dietrich pulled away slightly as Henry had his hands full with Blaney and Stewart. With 10 laps to go, Blaney’s challenge would end as he pulled into the infield with motor issues.
Now it was Stewart on the charge as he found the high side to his liking, quickly closing the gap on Henry. He made the pass for the runner-up spot in traffic with four laps remaining and moved in on Dietrich. However, Dietrich found a line through the back-markers to hold on for the win.
“We were tight all night and I couldn’t pass very well at the end,” Dietrich said. “Then I think I saw Tony there in turn four and figured I had to find a way past or I was going to lose the lead in the final laps.”
Behind Dietrich, Stewart and Henry was Barger, Dave Blaney, Lance Dewease, Danny Smith, defending race winner Tim Shaffer, Caleb Helms and Steve Buckwalter.
With just two races remaining for the UNOH All Stars Eastern Region points, Dewease, the region’s 2011 champion, holds a 58 point lead over Dale Blaney and Shaffer who are tied for second with Dietrich and Henry rounding out the top five in points. As the UNOH All Stars head west for their annual Thunder Through the Plains, Blaney, a three time series champion, has a slim 23 point lead over four time and defending All Star champion Tim Shaffer in the national points with Holtgraver, Henry and Helms rounding out the top five.
For more information go to www.allstarsprint.com
Fonda Speedway – 7/18/2013
All Star Circuit of Champions (26 Cars)
Qualifying – Kistler Engines
1. 2-Dale Blaney, 17.424; 2. 1Z-Jessica Zemken, 17.462; 3. 33-Stewart Friesen, 17.569; 4. 54-Cap Henry, 17.671; 5. 14-Tony Stewart, 17.719; 6. 48-Danny Dietrich, 17.911; 7. 5-Justin Barger, 18.055; 8. 40-Caleb Helms, 18.089; 9. 10-Dave Blaney, 18.104; 10. 83-Tim Shaffer, 18.251; 11. 45-Danny Holtgraver, 18.331; 12. 27-Lance Dewease, 18.610; 13. 4-Danny Smith, 18.632; 14. 17B-Steve Buckwalter, 18.651; 15. O7-Mark Coldren, 18.779; 16. 3P-Josh Pieniazek, 18.815; 17. O7P-Danny Varn, 18.897; 18. 49-Bob Howard, 18.952; 19. 27J-Jamie Russel, 19.107; 20. 29-Dick Spadaro, 19.170; 21. 80-Trey Gustin, 19.292; 22. 3A-Warren Alexson, 19.357; 23. O-Chris Myers, 19.529; 24. 49H-Brad Howard, 19.536; 25. 38-Scott Wilson, 19.848; 26. X2-Curt Bradshaw, 99.999
Heat 1 – Kears Speed Shop (8 Laps – Top 10 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 3P-Josh Pieniazek ; 2. 2-Dale Blaney ; 3. 4-Danny Smith ; 4. 54-Cap Henry ; 5. 5-Justin Barger ; 6. 83-Tim Shaffer ; 7. 80-Trey Gustin ; 8. 49H-Brad Howard ; 9. X2-Curt Bradshaw
Heat 2 – All Pro Aluminum Heads (8 Laps – Top 10 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 17B-Steve Buckwalter ; 2. 1Z-Jessica Zemken ; 3. 14-Tony Stewart ; 4. O7P-Danny Varn ; 5. 40-Caleb Helms ; 6. 45-Danny Holtgraver ; 7. 3A-Warren Alexson ; 8. 27J-Jamie Russel ; 9. 38-Scott Wilson
Heat 3 – Dragon Race Fuel (8 Laps – Top 10 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 27-Lance Dewease ; 2. 33-Stewart Friesen ; 3. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 4. 10-Dave Blaney ; 5. O-Chris Myers ; 6. 29-Dick Spadaro ; 7. O7-Mark Coldren ; 8. 49-Bob Howard
Dash – Outerwears Performance Products (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 6 starting positions of A-feature
1. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 2. 33-Stewart Friesen ; 3. 1Z-Jessica Zemken ; 4. 54-Cap Henry ; 5. 14-Tony Stewart ; 6. 2-Dale Blaney
A-Main – University of Northwestern Ohio (30 Laps)
1. 48-Danny Dietrich; 2. 14-Tony Stewart; 3. 54-Cap Henry; 4. 5-Justin Barger; 5. 10-Dave Blaney; 6. 27-Lance Dewease; 7. 4-Danny Smith; 8. 83-Tim Shaffer; 9. 40-Caleb Helms; 10. 17B-Steve Buckwalter; 11. 45-Danny Holtgraver; 12. O7P-Danny Varn; 13. O-Chris Myers; 14. 27J-Jamie Russel; 15. 49-Bob Howard; 16. 2-Dale Blaney; 17. 29-Dick Spadaro; 18. O7-Mark Coldren; 19. 33-Stewart Friesen; 20. 1Z-Jessica Zemken; 21. 3P-Josh Pieniazek; 22. 3A-Warren Alexson; 23. 38-Scott Wilson; 24. 80-Trey Gustin; 25. 49H-Brad Howard
Hard Charger: O-Chris Myers[+10]