Dave Blaney Takes Checkers at Roaring Knob


By Mike Leone


May 18, 2014                        roaringknob


(Markleysburg, PA)…On a crisp and clear Sunday evening, Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex played host to the second annual “410 Showdown in the Laurel Highlands” as Sprint Cars convened at the scenic 3/8-mile oval for just the second time in the track’s history.  Capturing wins were Dave Blaney-410 Sprint Cars, George Kowatic-RUSH Late Models, and Marty Spade-Street Stocks.


Ohio natives Dave Blaney and Jac Haudenschild have raced together and battled for victories literally all over the world in their illustrious Sprint Car careers.  The two former World of Outlaws standouts took different paths later in the careers with Blaney moving south to compete in NASCAR; however, the two friends were back at in their first ever appearances at Roaring Knob on Sunday and put on a show fans won’t soon forget.  The two traded the lead on several occasions running lines all over the racey track, but in the end it was Blaney garnering the 30-lap, $3,500 “410” Sprint Car feature win.


“It seemed like a really good race,” stated the Hartford, Ohio native turned High Point, North Carolina resident.  “Jac is so good.  I made way too many mistakes and I knew he’d be there.  Traffic was hard.  The top lane was better and if lapped cars were up there you had to make a choice of what to do without losing momentum.  I’ve never been here before, and it’s not that far from where I grew up.  It’s a very nice place, and is the perfect size and shape for really good Sprint Car racing.   I hope to come back in two weeks.   It was fun for me and I hope it was fun for you guys- I appreciated coming.”


An invert four put Trey Gustin and Blaney on the front row with Blaney using the highline to power into the early lead.  Haudenschild started fifth and was up to fourth after lap one getting by Mike Wagner.  Haudenschild went to the top and drove around Josh Davis and Gustin to take second on lap two, while Wagner moved back into fourth past Davis.  On lap three, Wagner drove by Gustin on the outside down the backstretch for third.  Tim Shaffer, who started in 12th, came out of nowhere into contention in a hurry as he passed Gustin for fourth on lap three already.


Blaney had a half-straightaway lead on Haudenschild as he caught traffic on lap five.  A spin for Bill Jones, Jr. was just what Blaney needed giving him a clear track with five laps scored.  When racing resumed, Danny Holtgraver cracked the top five moving ahead of Gustin.  A caution for southern Ohio racers Mark Imler and Wes McGlumphy, who tangled in turn one, slowed action with seven laps scored.  Four more laps were completed before the event’s final caution for a spin by Logan Wagner as the last 19 would go caution-free.


Back under green, contact was made between Haudenschild and Wagner.  Wagner got sideways on the backstretch and gathered it up, but not before Shaffer was able to make the pass for third.  While Blaney and Haudenschild were out in front, a great battle ensued for third with Shaffer, Wagner, and Holtgraver really going at it.


Blaney caught traffic on lap 18 for the third time in the race, but this time no caution slowed the event.  Despite a broken front wing, Haudenschild closed in and the two raced side-by-side on lap 19 with Haudenschild making the bottom stick in turn four for the lead.  Behind the duo, Wagner re-passed Shaffer for third on lap 20.  Three laps later, Holtgraver passed the Grove #45 (his ride from last year) taking fourth from Shaffer.


The closing laps kept the fans on the edge of their seats.  Blaney wasn’t about to give up and stayed within striking distance.  On lap 26, Blaney made the nearly identical move as Haudenschild did to take the lead back in turn four.  The pass turned out to be the winning one as Blaney led the final laps for the popular victory in his Mohawk Northeast/Global Oil & Gas Services/Lelands.com/Bill Davis Trucking-sponsored #98H!  Blaney was coming off a sixth place finish on Saturday night with the World of Outlaws at Williams Grove Speedway and will resume action with them on Tuesday night at New Egypt Speedway.


Wagner, who had a fast car from the time he unloaded, was able to get by Haudenschild on lap 29 for second, but ran out of time to mount a serious challenge on Blaney.  “The car was working pretty good, but I needed to just drive a little harder, explained the Harrisonville, Pa. veteran, who earned $2,000 for runner-up in his Freedom Powersports/Bedford Valley Petroleum/Ott Brothers Furniture and Appliance-sponsored #55.  “We don’t normally run these smaller tracks as we mostly run the half-mile stuff.  The last small track I ran was Dodge City (Kansas) and that was five years ago!  I would have liked to win, but I’d like to congratulate Dave for winning.”


“The Rick Rogers car was going real good tonight,” stated the Wooster, Ohio racer, who earned $1,200 for third in the Destiny Motorsports/Mondak Portables #9W.  “We had a good starting spot and the race track ended up being real good.  They watered the top before we went out.  The track was real racey and a lot of fun to race on.  Mike and Dave were going good there and had to have everything we did to get where we were at so we’ll take third tonight. We’re starting to get better so hopefully we’ll keep it going.”


Holtgraver beat out Shaffer for fourth.  Former E-Mod racer Andre Layfield, who has more experience at Roaring Knob than any other racer in the field, was sixth in his first Sprint Car race at the track.  Gustin dropped to seventh.  Mike Lutz passed more cars than any driver in the field advancing to eighth from his 16th starting spot.  Fifteenth starting Carl Bowser was ninth.  Davis completed the top 10.


In preliminary action, Mike Wagner set fast time with a blistering lap of 14.197 to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products gift card then went on to win heat race one from the fourth starting spot.  Other heat winners were Layfield and Holtgraver.


“410” Sprint Car Feature (30 laps, $3,500 to-win): 1. DAVE BLANEY (98H)  2. Mike Wagner (55)  3. Jac Haudenschild (Rogers 9W)  4. Danny Holtgraver (Hunter 10H)  5. Tim Shaffer (Grove 45)  6. Andre Layfield (21)  7. Trey Gustin (80)  8. Mike Lutz (McMillin 5M)  9. Carl Bowser (10)  10. Josh Davis (22D)  11. Billy Dietrich (8)  12. Brandon Matus (13)  13. Logan Wagner (Salathe RG3)  14. Brandon Spithaler (22)  15. A.J. Flick (2)  16. Brent Matus (33)  17. Dan Shetler (7K)  18. Wes McGlumphy (35)  19. Mark Imler (40)  20. Sheldon Haudenschild (93)  21. Bill Jones, Jr. (12J).


Precise Racing Products “410” Sprint Car Time Trials (track record 14.039 Caleb Helms 5/17/13): 1. Mike Wagner 14.197  2. Josh Davis 14.453  3. Dave Blaney 14.620  4. Trey Gustin 14.640  5. Jac Haudenschild 14.668  6. Mark Imler 14.669  7. A.J. Flick 14.740  8. Logan Wagner 14.748  9. Danny Holtgraver 14.783  10. Brandon Spithaler 14.876  11. Andre Layfield 15.016  12. Tim Shaffer 15.027  13. Brandon Matus 15.071  14. Billy Dietrich 15.241  15. Carl Bowser 15.284  16. Mike Lutz 15.327  17. Sheldon Haudenschild 15.407  18. Brent Matus 15.526  19. Wes McGlumphy 15.936  20. Bill Jones, Jr. 16.023  21. Dan Shetler NT.


“410” Sprint Car Heat 1: 1. Mike Wagner  2. Brandon Spithaler  3. Wes McGlumphy  4. Trey Gustin  5. Brandon Matus  6. A.J. Flick  7. Mike Lutz.


“410” Sprint Car Heat 2: 1. Andre Layfield  2. Logan Wagner  3. Josh Davis  4. Jac Haudenschild  5. Billy Dietrich  6. Sheldon Haudenschild  7. Bill Jones, Jr.


“410” Sprint Car Heat 3: 1. Danny Holtgraver  2. Tim Shaffer  3. Dave Blaney  4. Carl Bowser  5. Brent Matus  6. Dan Shetler  7. Mark Imler.