Blaney Bags $12,000 Payday for Winning Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown Opener


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Dale Blaney
Dale Blaney

– SOMERTON, Ariz. (Jan. 1, 2016) – Dale Blaney kicked off the new year in style as he led all 30 laps of the opening feature for the 2nd annual Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown on Friday at Cocopah Speedway.

Blaney bested 45 other competitors to claim the $12,000 top prize and take the lead in the points standings after Round 1. Action continues on Saturday with Opening Ceremonies for Round 2, which also pays $12,000 to win and $1,000 to start the feature, scheduled to begin at approximately 7 p.m. (Mountain).


“It definitely paid for most of the trip tonight,” Blaney said. “This track really suited our style. It was smooth and it was slick. I almost felt like I was back in Ohio. This is a great facility with great people running it.”

Blaney earned the most combined points throughout heat race and qualifier competition, which put him on the pole for the main event. After an opening lap crash, which resulted in Rico Abreu and Bill Balog flipping in turn one, the race nearly went green to checkered without Blaney being closely challenged for the top spot.

However, Ryan Smith had a flat tire with less than two laps remaining to bring out a caution. That set up a green-white-checkered finish with all of the competitors tightly bunched behind Blaney for the restart.

Blaney powered away from Justin Henderson, who started the feature on the outside of the front row and pursued Blaney from the runner-up position throughout the main event.

“We got beat by a heck of a good race car driver and a really good team,” Henderson said. “We were lucky when he finally got by the lapped cars they were out of the way for me to get by.”

Blaney had two close calls that almost provided the opportunity for Henderson to steal the lead. On Lap 7, a half a lap after reaching traffic for the first time, Blaney bumped the backstretch wall exiting turn two. Approximately a dozen laps later he got into the back of D.J. Netto, who was trying to stay on the lead lap.

“After that happened I just kind of backed up and got enough distance,” he said. “It was two close ones, but we’ll take it.”

Despite the incidents Blaney maintained the lead to become the sixth different winner in six Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown features. Henderson held off Greg Hodnett for second place in a tight race between two drivers making their debut at the 3/8-mile oval.

“We only really had one opportunity in that whole 30-lap race to maybe squeak by Justin,” Hodnett said. “He kind of blew it in and hit some dust and scooted out. I had a little bit of a run, but it wasn’t worth crashing him or I trying to shove it in there. We felt it was better to finish and come back tomorrow. We’re pretty happy with it. Overall, the guys did a great job getting acclimated to unfamiliar territory. We just have to continue to work toward getting our car a little better.”


Roger Crockett advanced from eighth to fourth place with Bud Kaeding rounding out the top five.

Jason Solwold, Joey Saldana, Daryn Pittman, Kyle Larson and Terry McCarl finished sixth through 10th, respectively.

Austin McCarl, Henderson, Crockett, Danny Lasoski and Logan Forler each won a heat race with Bill Balog, Smith, Larson, Solwold and Christopher Bell claiming a qualifier. Craig Dollansky and Abreu were the B Main winners.

NOTES : D.J. Netto was awarded a $250 gift card from SpeedMart and a $75 certificate from TiLUBE Motorsport Lubricants for being the Hard Charger Award winner. … Netto qualified for the feature when Tanner Thorson was disqualified from the final transfer position in the second B Main because he was too light at the scales. … Logan Forler earned a $50 certificate from TiLUBE Motorsports Lubricants for being the first non-qualifier.


Heat Race 1 (8 laps): 1. 17a-Austin McCarl (1); 2. 1-Dale Blaney (3); 3. 49-Tanner Thorson (5); 4. 11-Steve Kinser (10); 5. 57-Kyle Larson (6); 6. 2b-Bill Balog (8); 7. 1g-Christopher Bell (7); 8. 99-Skylar Gee (2); 9. 1m-Jim Moughan Jr. (4); 10. 81w-Danny Wood (DNS).

Heat Race 2 (8 laps): 1. 1-Justin Henderson (1); 2. 21b-Brian Brown (3); 3. 1s-Logan Schuchart (2); 4. 121-Greg Hodnett (6); 5. 9k-Daryn Pittman (8); 6. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. (5); 7. 45x-Johnny Herrera (7); 8. 6g-Bryan Gossel (9); 9. 88n-D.J. Netto (4).

Heat Race 3 (8 laps): 1. 11c-Roger Crockett (1); 2. 2-Shane Stewart (3); 3. 83-Joey Saldana (5); 4. 1a-Jacob Allen (2); 5. 55t-Trey Starks (8); 6. 41s-Dominic Scelzi (9); 7. 7t-Tasker Phillips (4); 8. 55-Aaron Reutzel (6); 9. 7-Paul McMahan (7).

Heat Race 4 (8 laps): 1. 33-Danny Lasoski (1); 2. 24-Terry McCarl (4); 3. 3c-Craig Dollansky (3); 4. 68-Chase Johnson (7); 5. 23-Seth Bergman (2); 6. 97-Parker Price-Miller (5); 7. 21-Robbie Price (6); 8. 4s-Michael Kofoid (8); 9. 9r-Reece Goetz (DNS).

Heat Race 5 (8 laps): 1. 2l-Logan Forler (2); 2. 26-Bud Kaeding (4); 3. 9-Ryan Smith (3); 4. 18-Jason Solwold (6); 5. 24r-Rico Abreu (9); 6. 41-Jason Johnson (5); 7. 2c-Wayne Johnson (8); 8. 5h-Willie Croft (7); 9. 33v-Henry Van Dam (DQ).

Qualifier 1 (10 laps): 1. 2b-Bill Balog (1); 2. 9k-Daryn Pittman (3); 3. 24r-Rico Abreu (2); 4. 11c-Roger Crockett (5); 5. 2c-Wayne Johnson (8); 6. 45x-Johnny Herrera (7); 7. 2l-Logan Forler (6); 8. 33v-Henry Van Dam (10); 9. 5h-Willie Croft (9); 10. 49-Tanner Thorson (DNS).

Qualifier 2 (10 laps): 1. 9-Ryan Smith (2); 2. 23-Seth Bergman (1); 3. 83-Joey Saldana (4); 4. 33-Danny Lasoski (5); 5. 55t-Trey Starks (3); 6. 6g-Bryan Gossel (7); 7. 1m-Jim Moughan Jr. (9); 8. 11-Steve Kinser (6); 9. 55-Aaron Reutzel (DNS).

Qualifier 3 (10 laps): 1. 57-Kyle Larson (2); 2. 1b-Dale Blaney (5); 3. 3c-Craig Dollansky (3); 4. 26-Bud Kaeding (6); 5. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. (1); 6. 88n-D.J. Netto (9); 7. 4s-Michael Kofoid (8); 8. 97-Parker Price-Miller (7); 9. 68-Chase Johnson (4).

Qualifier 4 (10 laps): 1. 18-Jason Solwold (2); 2. 1s-Logan Schuchart (3); 3. 24-Terry McCarl (4); 4. 21b-Brian Brown (5); 5. 81w-Danny Wood (9); 6. 41-Jason Johnson (7); 7. 21-Robbie Price (1); 8. 17a-Austin McCarl (6); 9. 99-Skylar Gee (8).

Qualifier 5 (10 laps): 1. 1g-Christopher Bell (1); 2. 121-Greg Hodnett (4); 3. 1-Justin Henderson (6); 4. 2-Shane Stewart (5); 5. 41s-Dominic Scelzi (3); 6. 7t-Tasker Phillips (7); 7. 7-Paul McMahan (8); 8. 1a-Jacob Allen (DNS); 9. 9r-Reece Goetz (DNS).

B Main 1 (15 laps/4 transfer): 1. 3c-Craig Dollansky (1); 2. 1g-Christopher Bell (5); 3. 41s-Dominic Scelzi (2); 4. 7-Paul McMahan (10); 5. 2l-Logan Forler (3); 6. 17a-Austin McCarl (4); 7. 81w-Danny Wood (13); 8. 2c-Wayne Johnson (7); 9. 33v-Henry Van Dam (15); 10. 41-Jason Johnson (9); 11. 68-Chase Johnson (6); 12. 99-Skylar Gee (14); 13. 4s-Michael Kofoid (11); 14. 1a-Jacob Allen (DNS); 15. 1m-Jim Moughan Jr. (DNS).

B Main 2 (15 laps/4 transfer): 1. 24r-Rico Abreu (1); 2. 11-Steve Kinser (3); 3. 7t-Tasker Phillips (5); 4. 88n-D.J. Netto (9); 5. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. (6); 6. 5h-Willie Croft (13); 7. 23-Seth Bergman (4); 8. 6g-Bryan Gossel (8); 9. 97-Parker Price-Miller (11); 10. 21-Robbie Price (10); 11. 55t-Trey Starks (2); 12. 45x-Johnny Herrera (7); 13. 49-Tanner Thorson (DQ); 14. 55-Aaron Reutzel (DNS); 15. 9r-Reece Goetz (DNS).

A Main (30 laps): 1. 1b-Dale Blaney (1); 2. 1-Justin Henderson (2); 3. 121-Greg Hodnett (4); 4. 11c-Roger Crockett (8); 5. 26-Bud Kaeding (3); 6. 18-Jason Solwold (5); 7. 83-Joey Saldana (6); 8. 9k-Daryn Pittman (7); 9. 57-Kyle Larson (12); 10. 24-Terry McCarl (10); 11. 33-Danny Lasoski (9); 12. 2-Shane Stewart (14); 13. 21b-Brian Brown (13); 14. 1g-Christopher Bell (19); 15. 11-Steve Kinser (20); 16. 1s-Logan Schuchart (11); 17. 3c-Craig Dollansky (17); 18. 88n-D.J. Netto (24); 19. 7t-Tasker Phillips (22); 20. 9-Ryan Smith (15); 21. 41s-Dominic Scelzi (21); 22. 7-Paul McMahan (23); 23. 2b-Bill Balog (16); 24. 24r-Rico Abreu (18).

(Top 30 in passing and finishing points in the heat races were inverted in the qualifiers. The top 16 in passing and finishing points following the qualifiers locked into the A Main.)


.1. 1b-Dale Blaney 180; 2. 1-Justin Henderson 175; 3. 121-Greg Hodnett 171; 4. 11c-Roger Crockett 168; 5. 26-Bud Kaeding 165; 6. 18-Jason Solwold 162; 7. 83-Joey Saldana 159; 8. 9k-Daryn Pittman 156; 9. 57-Kyle Larson 153; 10. 24-Terry McCarl 150; 11. 33-Danny Lasoski 148; 12. 2-Shane Stewart 146; 13. 21b-Brian Brown 144; 14. 1g-Christopher Bell 142; 15. 11-Steve Kinser 140; 16. 1s-Logan Schuchart 138; 17. 3c-Craig Dollansky 136; 18. 88n-D.J. Netto 134; 19. 7t-Tasker Phillips 132; 20. 9-Ryan Smith 130; 21. 41s-Dominic Scelzi 128; 22. 7-Paul McMahan 126; 23. 2b-Bill Balog 124; 24. 24r-Rico Abreu 122; T25. 2l-Logan Forler 115; T25. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 115; T27. 17a-Austin McCarl 113; T27. 5h-Willie Croft 113; T29. 81w-Danny Wood 111; T29. 23-Seth Bergman 111; T31. 2c-Wayne Johnson 109; T31. 6g-Bryan Gossel 10; T33. 33v-Henry Van Dam 107; T33. 97-Parker Price-Miller 107; T35. 41-Jason Johnson 105; T35. 21-Robbie Price 105; T37. 68-Chase Johnson 103; T37. 55t-Trey Starks 103; T39. 99-Skylar Gee 101; T39. 45x-Johnny Herrera 101; T41. 4s-Michael Kofoid 99; T41. 55-Aaron Reutzel 99; T43. 1m-Jim Moughan Jr 97; T43. 49-Tanner Thorson 97; 45. 1a-Jacob Allen 95.


Dates: Jan. 1-2, Jan. 5 and Jan. 8-9, 2016

Track: Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Ariz.

Prize: $12,000-to-win, $1,000-to-start each night (Jan. 1-2, 8-9); $5,000-to-win (Jan. 5); approximately $250,000 total prize money

Type: 410ci sprint cars






General admission tickets for the event are on sale by visiting Kids 12 and under get in free. There is a discount for military members and senior citizens.


Speed Shift TV will be broadcasting live Pay-Per-View video of the 2nd annual Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown for only $24.95 per night. Also, a 20-percent discount is available for those who purchase all five nights. Visit for more information.


The 2nd annual Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown will showcase the top sprint car drivers in the world in sunny Southwest Arizona during the first two weeks of January in 2016. The four weekend races pay $12,000 to the winner and at least $1,000 to every driver who advances to the main event with the midweek show paying $5,000 to win.


The 2nd annual Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown features a $10,000 points fund thanks to Cometic Gasket, JE Pistons and K1 Technologies. The driver who garners the most overall points throughout all five races receives $4,000 for winning the championship with drivers finishing second through fifth each recording a $1,500 bonus.


Cocopah Speedway is a semi-banked, 3/8-mile dirt track located in Somerton, Ariz. It has a concrete wall perimeter, television-quality lighting and the pits are located outside turns three and four. There is also dry camping free of charge on the property. For more information, visit


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