By Brian Liskai ATTICA, Ohio – The new University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions will invade Attica Raceway Park to open “Ohio’s Finest Racing” venue’s 2015 season in the 24th Annual HD Supply Spring Nationals on Friday and Saturday, April 3 and 4.
The nation’s oldest winged sprint car touring series has competed at Attica 104 times in the track’s history and will visit the track five times in 2015. It will be the first point’s race for the All Stars though they held five non-points races in Florida during February which saw Kerry Madsen claim three wins with 2014 All Star Eastern Region Champion Greg Hodnett and former World of Outlaws Champion Daryn Pittman claiming the other two wins.
“With it being early in the season we expect some drivers from around the region to show up for the HD Supply Spring Nationals. We usually see some drivers from the Pennsylvania area and hopefully we will see some competitors from the Midwest and Knoxville areas,” said Rex LeJeune, Director of Operations at Attica Raceway Park.
“We will have several Knoxville Fair Board members in attendance for the Spring Nationals and we are confident they will see an entertaining and exciting two nights of racing,” Attica Promoter John Bores.
Five time All Star Champion Dale Blaney, of Hartford, Ohio, has claimed Spring Nationals wins in 1995, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The last time both nights of the Spring Nationals were competed saw Blaney and two-time Attica Champion Craig Mintz claim victories in 2012. Blaney leads all drivers in career All Star wins at Attica with 15 and has 21 total victories at the track to place him third on the all-time win list. Blaney also sits atop the all-time win list for the All Stars with 115 victories including 16 in 2014.
Things certainly won’t be easy for Blaney as several new teams have joined the All Stars in 2015 including Pennsylvania’s Ryan Smith, who scored a World of Outlaws win in his home state in 2014. He will also have to battle fellow four time All Star champions Tim Shaffer and Chad Kemenah. Of Kemenah’s 20 career wins at Attica (fourth on the all-time list), five are All Star victories of which two have come during the Spring Nationals. Shaffer has recorded 13 career wins at Attica of which five are All Star victories. Greg Wilson, a two-time All Star champion, has 19 career wins at Attica (fifth on the all-time win list) and has seven series wins at the track including Spring National wins in 2002, 2003 and 2006
Attica Raceway Park has also been a favorite track for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Danny Holtgraver. The former Lernerville Speedway champion has two career All Star wins at Attica including one last season.
Danny Smith, who will be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame later this summer, has three career All Star wins at Attica, his last coming in 2005 during the Spring Nationals. The Chillicothe, Ohio driver has 10 career victories at Attica Raceway Park.
Attica’s tough weekly competitors will also contend for the Spring National victories. Six time Attica champion Byron Reed has 30 career wins at the track (second on all-time win list) of which four are All Star victories including a Spring Nationals win in 2010.
Another former Attica champion Chris Andrews of nearby Sandusky, Ohio, has joined a new team in 2015 and has six career wins at Attica including an All Star win in 2013. Former track champion Dean Jacobs has 10 career wins at Attica including an All Star win in 1998. Former All Star competitor Cap Henry of nearby Bellevue, Ohio, scored two wins at Attica in 2014.
Other possible contenders for Spring Nationals wins include Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Stevie Smith, who has two career All Star wins at Attica including a Spring Nationals win in 2005. Iowa’s Terry McCarl, who already has a World of Outlaws win in 2015, has two career wins at Attica including a Spring Nationals win in 2006. Local driver Brandon Martin has three career wins at Attica and will contend for a win as will weekly competitor Brian Lay who has two career Attica wins. Don’t count out Dalton, Ohio’s Lee Jacobs who had a break-out year in 2014, scoring his first two career All Star wins. He has four career wins at Attica.
There is a very strong contingent of rookies scheduled to compete at Attica in 2015 including multi-time 305 sprint champion Nate Dussel, who takes over the seat of the Davis #40DD which carried Caleb Griffith to the track championship last season. Other rookies include T.J. Michael, who scored a 305 sprint win in Texas this season; Jimmy Colvin and Tyler Gunn. Other weekly 410 drivers who will contend include Brian Smith and Travis Philo, who each have two career Attica wins, Duane Zablocki, Jody Keegan, Stuart Brubaker and D.J. Foos (both in new rides in 2015), and Rob Chaney, who has eight career Attica win including an All Star win in 2001.
Other drivers planning to run most if not all of the All Star schedule in 2015 include Caleb Helms, Cole Duncan, Sheldon Haudenschild and Andrew Palker.
Gates will open Friday at 3:30 p.m. with racing underway at 7:45 p.m. Gates will open Saturday at 3:30 p.m. with racing underway at 7 p.m.
For more information go to www.atticaracewaypark.com or www.allstarsprint.com