Shaffer Bursts into Victory Column at Terre Haute By Richard Day TERRE HAUTE, IN (July 18) -- With three straight top-six finishes, Tim Shaffer has been one of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' hottest drivers lately. Shaffer turned up...
Shaffer Bursts into Victory Column at Terre Haute
By Richard Day
TERRE HAUTE, IN (July 18) -- With three straight top-six finishes, Tim Shaffer has been one of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' hottest drivers lately.
Shaffer turned up the heat Wednesday at the Terre Haute Action Track, leading all 30 laps in the "A" Feature for his first victory of the season. Shaffer, who won the first two main events of his career at Eldora Speedway, became the series' 13th different winner through the first 36 events this year.
"It was really our night tonight," Shaffer told the capacity crowd. "We've been running better lately, getting more top fives, and it's just hard work by everyone that's getting it done. Charlie Garrett's been building us some great engines, working really hard in the shop, and we've been trying to make it pay off. This is a good time of year to be back running good. I just hope we can keep it up for another four weeks."
Shaffer, the seventh-fastest qualifier in the 22-car field, won the First O'Reilly Heat Race and earned the right to start the "A" Feature outside the front row by following Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate Brad Furr across the finish line in the CHANNELLOCK Dash.
The 1999 Rookie of the Year drove Dave Helm's #11H Vivarin Maxim past Furr in the fourth corner to take the lead as the green flag fell in the main event. Fast-qualifier Dale Blaney and Terre Haute's single-lap record holder, Mark Kinser, also passed Furr during the opening lap.
Shaffer was 15 car-lengths ahead of Blaney when he entered lapped traffic six laps into the race.
Steve Kinser, who has won three "A" Features at Terre Haute, started racing toward the front in lapped traffic the next time around. He took the high line around Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski in turn four, then chased Furr for almost seven laps before passing him deep in the third corner. "The King of the Outlaws" passed Jeff Shepard with an inside move between turns one and two early in the 18th lap.
The Kinser cousins passed Blaney in the second corner during laps 20 and 22. Lasoski, who won an "A" Feature at Terre Haute last July 17th, drove NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart's #20L J.D. Byrider Eagle past Shepard and Blaney with similar low moves in turn two during the 24th and 25th laps.
Steve Kinser steered his #11 Quaker State Maxim to the lowest point between the third and fourth corners to pass cousin Mark for the runner-up spot the next time around.
Engine trouble in Karavan Racing's #7 Polydome Maxim caused Craig Dollansky to qualify a disappointing 17th and finish seventh in the Second O'Reilly Heat Race. Those power plant problems returned early in the 27th lap, forcing him to stop in turn two. The blown engine was the second of the night for the defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion.
Andy Hillenburg, who started outside the eighth row, passed five cars during the first half of the race. His steered his #2 Luxaire J&J into the low groove in all four corners on the ensuing restart and roared past Shepard, Stevie Smith, Paul McMahan. Jason Meyers and Blaney to claim fifth place. Donny Schatz followed Hillenburg through turns three and four to pass three cars and finish sixth.
Shaffer raced away from Steve Kinser on the final restart and was a straightaway ahead when he took the checkered flag.
Mark Kinser, whose crew replaced the engine in the #5M Mopar Maxim after the CHANNELLOCK Dash, finished third to climb within six points of "The Dude" in their battle for series championship. Lasoski finished in fourth place, ahead of Hillenburg, Schatz, Shepard, Smith, McMahan and Meyers.
Blaney set quick-time for the first time this season, pacing the qualifying session with a 109.137-m.p.h. lap around the semi-banked, ½-mile oval.