Not being a huge Sprint car fan I'm not one to follow the entire Speed Week Series, but I sure as hell wasn't going to miss their show at Hilltop. A couple big Sprint shows a year are plenty for me and for some reason this place seems to put on some of the best shows each year for these winged missiles. This time would bring an added bonus with non other than Dave Blaney in the field! Yep, it was time to see if all these years of driving on pavement in Nascar would ruin the guy or if he would return to his roots as strongly as he started out on dirt in the first place. Qualifying showed that Dave hasn't lost a thing when it comes to slinging a Sprint car around, and it looked like all that Nascar experience had made him almost chuckle at the thought of brushing the wall at these speeds. That would bite him in the ass before the night was over but he put on a hell of a show until then. The 40 lapper would see battles for the lead nearly every lap along with plenty of action throughout the entire field. Watching guys like Dean Jacobs slice their way towards the front is what keeps the fans on their feet for 40 laps too. At the halfway signal Blaney was running second but lapped traffic would drop him back to third but still looking like he might be the guy to beat at the end. A restart around lap 26 would bring the end of his strong run though as he was rudely reminded of the dangers of guardrails even if he's not going 200mph. Facing a strong challenged from behind by Jacobs, and looking at a shot to take at least second place in the tight formation, he drove a bit too deep into turn 1 and caught the rail at turn 2 sending him over onto his wing. I'll bet he didn't miss that sensation all these years. ;-) Still a pretty damn good night out for Dave's first return to a Sprint in years and the packed house got a great treat seeing his return at Hilltop. The action was far from over for the rest of the field and the winner wouldn't be decided until they came off turn 4 on the final lap. Millersburg's own Rob Chaney would slide by David Gravel in the final few feet to pull off the $5000 win. The place went absolutely nuts! Another half gallon of fuel for Gavel may have brought a different result but we'll never know I guess. Hats off to the entire field for putting on a great show all night long. A well deserved "attaboy" also goes out to the gang at Hilltop for providing a well prepared racing surface that held up pretty damn well and provided plenty of side by action. I guess that "special sauce" Jesse is using down there really does work. ;-)
A couple of other racing notes for this week. Don't forget that this Friday night is Kids Night at Lakeville Speedway. Kids can get autographs, compete in bike races, and even ride in race cars! All divisions will be in action at Lakeville this Friday and if you still haven't made the trip down there to check out the new and improved racing surface, get your ass down there this week!
On Monday night Rory Reed was involved in a very ugly incident at WCS. Rory was cut out of the wreckage and transported to the hospital to be checked out. I talked to him yesterday to get an update and I gotta tell you he sounded like shit, but he's home and already worried about the totaled car. He suffered a concussion and plenty of bumps and bruises but the car is junk from what he tells me. Cars come and go but ya just can't replace a guy like Rory, so let's hope for a speedy recovery.