Blaney to race Busch and short-track races

Blaney summer schedule full of short-track and Busch Series dates in addition to his ...

Blaney summer schedule full of short-track and Busch Series dates in addition to his #77 Jasper Motorsports Winston Cup races.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Since his transition from sprint-car champion to stock-car regular in 1998, Dave Blaney has often said that the pace of a NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver's schedule pales in comparison to the 80-plus-race annual regimen he'd become accustomed to as a World of Outlaws champion.

But with his transition to NASCAR complete, Blaney's projected slate of competition for the remainder of the 2003 season has begun to resemble that from his WoO years, with 18 additional races complimenting his weekly Winston Cup events in the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford.

Add in his responsibilities as track owner/promoter as part of the management team for his hometown 3/8-mile dirt track (Sharon Speedway) in Hartford, Ohio and Blaney's schedule reinforces his frequent comments that racing is both his professional AND his hobby.

This weekend at Richmond International Raceway, Blaney will run the first of ten NASCAR Busch Series races in the #31 Whelen Ford, owned by former NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series owner and Connecticut native Ted Marsh. The team will use motors provided by the Penske-Jasper Engine program that last produced Busch Series engines for Ryan Newman during the 2001 season.

The remainder of the limited Busch Series schedule for Blaney and the #31 Whelen Ford includes races at Charlotte (5/24), Dover (5/31), Chicagoland (7/12), New Hampshire (7/19), Michigan (8/16), Richmond (9/5), Charlotte (10/10), Atlanta (10/25) and Miami (11/15).

Beginning with his participation (with Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace and Ken Schrader) in the Race of Champions feature last weekend at Cajon Speedway outside San Diego, Blaney will run a total of eight short-track events before late August, many on the dirt surfaces on which he learned his craft. The race last Friday evening at Cajon Speedway was the first since the murder of popular track promoter Steve Brucker on April 14.

Schrader will join Blaney and other track regulars at Memphis Motorsports Park on Friday, May 9 for a Late Model Stock car event that will benefit the Star Center (Jackson, TN.), a facility for treatment of head trauma and a designated charity of Blaney for the past several years.

On Saturday, May 10, Blaney will travel to New Richmond, WI. to join Matt Kenseth for a special evening of races at Cedar Lake Speedway where he and Kenseth will race in both the Dirt Modified and Super Stock events.

The Big Block Dirt Modified event at Williams Grove Speedway on Thursday, June 5 will be the first in a four-race series sponsored by Carquest featuring Blaney, defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart and former NASCAR Modified champion Mike McLaughlin. Also present for a pre-competition autograoh session at Williams Grove will be Greg Zippadelli, Stewart championship-winning crew chief and Fox TV NASCAR announcer Matt Yocum.

Other Carquest events with Stewart and Blaney include during the summer include Blaney's own Sharon Speedway (Thursday, June 12), Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, New York (Thursday, July 24) and New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway (Wednesday, August 20).

The early June race featuring Blaney and Stewart at Sharon Speedway is one of eight major events featured during a full summer of racing at Blaney's hometown track, one of the oldest short-tracks in the United States now in its 73rd straight season of competition.

Other major events at Sharon Speedway during the 2003 schedule include two O'Reilly World of Outlaws races (Friday, May 30 and Wednesday, July 30), part of the 25th anniversary season for the barnstorming WoO sprint-cars.

For the first time in the track's storied history, the AMA's U.S. Flat-Track Championship Series will compete at Sharon Speedway on Saturday, July 5. Four days later (Wednesday, July 9), the XTREME DirtCar Series--formerly known as the UDTRA--come to the track for the first time. The series is the only national dirt late model series featuring competitors from all over the United States.

On the Saturday night during the second NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend at nearby Michigan Speedway, Sharon Speedway will again host Blaney and fellow WC drivers Ken Schrader and Kyle Petty for a charity-driven evening prior to the Winston Cup race at Michigan the following afternoon.

The track will conclude its season with two major weekends, the annual Sharon Nationals (August 30-31), featuring Sprint-cars, the BRP Modified Tour, Mod-Lites and the annual Russ King Memorial on Saturday and an Enduro/Demo Derby and the Ty Longley Benefit Concert on Sunday. Longley, guitarist for the band Great White who tragically lost his life in a Rhode Island nightclub fire this winter, was a Sharon, PA. native and son of longtime Sharon Speedway scorer Pat Longley.

The final major event of the season for Blaney's track will feature the York E-Mod and Pure Stock Fall Classic on Saturday, September 13. Now in his second year as owner of the track managed by younger brother Dale, father Lou and mother Katie, Blaney's facility began its season with an All-Star Circuit of Champions event on Sunday, April 13, and opened its 17-race season for the track's four regular divisions (Sprint-Cars, Modifieds, E-Mods and Pure Stocks) last Saturday night. The track regularly attracts collective car-counts exceeding 125 entries for its regular shows.

-jm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Kenny Wallace , Ryan Newman , Mike McLaughlin , Dave Blaney
Teams Williams