HAUBSTADT, IN -- Home state driver Danny Smith was victorious Sunday night at Tri-State Speedway in the All Star sprint vs. NCRA Eastern Challenge 40-lap feature. The win was Smith's first series win of the season, and it gave owner Guy Webb his...
HAUBSTADT, IN -- Home state driver Danny Smith was victorious Sunday night at Tri-State Speedway in the All Star sprint vs. NCRA Eastern Challenge 40-lap feature. The win was Smith's first series win of the season, and it gave owner Guy Webb his first All Star win in four years of trying. Webb was on hand to see his driver's win. It was the first appearance for the All Stars on the quarter-mile high banks since 5/1/94 and the 34 car field contained drivers from 11 states and Australia and played before a full house. Smith had to pass impressive rookie Jan Howard and then survive a 360 degree spin in which he kept going and maintained the lead. He then did a series of donuts on the front stretch before the victory lane interview.
"It was luck, there wasn't any skill involved in that at all," Smith said with a smile, referring to his 360 degree detour. "I didn't see second place when I spun, I'm glad I had a big enough lead. I want to thank all these Indiana race fans for coming out. I've been racing here since 1975 and it's the first track I ever flipped over at."
Smith and NCRA driver Howard brought the field to the green flag and after Howard led lap one in his Eagle Chassis with a Westfall engine, Rob Chaney made contact with another car and spun, leaving Rodney Duncan no where to go but up and over Chaney's wheel, flipping violently into the backstretch catch fence. A red flag was thrown for fence repairs and luckily Duncan was not hurt, but eliminated, along with Chaney and Travis Mize.
Howard led Smith and Kelly Kinser when the green came back out, with Smith applying heavy pressure. Smith nosed past Howard to lead lap 10 at the flagstand, just before a caution for a Jerrod Wilson flat tire. The running order was now Smith, in Webb's Eagle-Foxco on Hoosier Tires, Howard, Kinser, Chad Kemenah and Dean Jacobs. Smith began to build a lead on the tight quarter mile, with Howard consistently holding off the low running Kinser. Lap 25 saw the crowd gasp as Smith entered turns one and two too hard and spun, but he recovered without losing the lead. He pushed his advantage to a quarter straight at the checkered flag, with Howard finishing second and Kemenah who took third from Kinser on lap 39, finishing there in third. Following Kinser was Jeff Shepard, who had started sixth. Jason Johnson was next after starting eighth, followed by Dean Jacobs, Greg Wilson, Phil Gressman and Brooke Tatnell, who drove a steady race after starting 21st.
"I'm just happy to be able to race with these guys (Smith and Kinser). Being able to run with them is just great," said Howard, a 24-year old in his first season of 410 racing after six years in other classes. "It's just fun to do this, and I can't wait to come back."
Kemenah took over the series' points lead from K. Jacobs with this third place finish. "We're just aiming to remain consistent," he said. "We had a really good night tonight and just need to start winning races."
The Crown Battery heat fell to Brooke Tatnell, the B&B Products heat went to Greg Wilson, the Engler Machine and Tool heat was won by Travis Rilat and the TP Wings heat fell to Kenny Jacobs. Rob Chaney won the United Aluminum Window Sales & Consulting B Main and Kemenah captured the Haulmark Dash. Rodney Duncan and Travis Mize joined the field as provisional starters.