Another Successful Ohio Sprint Speedweek as Blaney Wins 4th Title CAMARGO, IL (7-5-06) -- By Bryan Autullo -- Another Ohio Sprint Speedweek has come and gone. The tradition started by the All Stars in 1983 of inviting cars from all across the...
Another Successful Ohio Sprint Speedweek as Blaney Wins 4th Title
CAMARGO, IL (7-5-06) -- By Bryan Autullo -- Another Ohio Sprint Speedweek has come and gone. The tradition started by the All Stars in 1983 of inviting cars from all across the land to join the series in 7 straight days of racing at 7 Ohio tracks once again drew large car counts that topped anything seen in 410 racing in recent memory. 89 drivers from 10 different states including Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Mississippi converged on the Buckeye State to take part in the original sprint speedweek. Even two Australian drivers, Scott Reilly and Troy Little, made the trip from Down Under to try their hand against the American competition.
Speedweek consists of 7 events, but two more dates were scheduled at Lernerville and K-C Raceway on the weekend leading into Speedweek. Friday's event at Lernerville was rained out, and Saturday at K-C Raceway we saw a new face in victory lane. Tom Busch raced his way to his first ever All Star feature win.
A power outage caused by severe storms claimed the Monday date at Wayne County Speedway, and afternoon showers with more storms on the way caused the Wednesday event at Sharon Speedway to be postponed until September.
At the end of Speedweek, a total of 18 drivers made the tow to all 5 events (Dale Blaney, Greg Wilson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Bobby Clark, Brock Mayes, Brandon Martin, Kevin Huntley, Danny Smith, Rob Chaney, Paul May, Chad Blonde, Neil Shepherd, Tim Hunter, Dean Jacobs, Barry Ruble, Scott Reilly, Ben Gregg, and James Mosher). Six of those drivers made every A main event (Blaney, Wilson, Stenhouse, Clark, Huntley, and Chaney). Four former Ohio Speed Week champions competed in this year's events (Blaney, Kelly Kinser, Jacobs, and Huntley).
With the number of cars in the pits each night, it was never an easy task to qualify well and transfer to the A-main. Three nights had last chance "non-qualifiers" races as the field was limited to just 52 cars. The highest car count of the week was 60 at Limaland where the EFI-NRA 360 group was invited to race with the All Stars with the highest finishing 360 driver receiving bonus money. Fremont had 58 cars with only two 360's in the field. The lowest car count of the week was 29 at Eldora, but it was still a spectacular show with Dale Blaney picking up the win and the Speedweek Championship.
Greg Wilson retained the All Star season points lead as he finished the week 2nd in Speedweek points behind Blaney. The surprise of the week came from Olive Branch, MS in the form of an 18 year old hot shoe named Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. who had never seen any of these Ohio tracks and never raced with a 410 motor. With the help of Andy Potter, Stenhouse picked up wins at Attica, Fremont, and Limaland. By the end of the week, people were calling him "Harry" Potter for his magical setups. Stenhouse finished the week third in Speedweek points. Another surprise was Fremont, Ohio's Bobby Clark who made consistent runs all week long and was 4th in Speedweek points after charging from 21st to 7th at Eldora. Brock Mayes also had a solid week's worth of good finishes and rounded out the Top 5.
The 2006 Ohio Sprint Speedweek point fund paid dividends to the Top 15 in points at the end of the week. The remaining drivers in 6th through 15th place were Brandon Martin, Kevin Huntley, Danny Smith, Rob Chaney, Paul May, Chad Blonde, Neil Shepherd, Tim Hunter, Butch Schroeder, and Dean Jacobs.
The All Stars thank all of our Speedweek sponsors for making the $10,000 Speedweek point fund possible. KS Sales & Service, Outerwears Pre-filters, Crown Battery, Meguiar's Car Care Products, and RacingFansDirect.com all support the All Stars and area sprint car racing. Please show your patronage when in need of any products or services that they provide.
The All Stars series would like to express our thanks to all teams and drivers who participated in this year's Ohio Sprint Speedweek. We would also like to thank all the fans who came out and filled the stands all week long. We also thank all the track promoters and crews for their hospitality and hard work in making this week a success. We look forward to an even bigger and better Ohio Sprint Speedweek in 2007. We hope everyone continues to support 410 sprint car racing and the All Stars throughout the remainder of this season. We'll see you at the next race.