World of Outlaws: Blaney Wins First Gold Cup Championship
23 September 1997
CHICO, CA (September 20) - The 1997 season has included many firsts for Dave Blaney. In his first year as driver and co-owner of the #10 Vivarin J&J with Keith Hylton, "The Buckeye Bullet" has won his first "Historic Big One" and his first Amoco Knoxville Nationals championship.
Blaney added his first Gold Cup Race of Champions title Saturday, leading all 40 laps in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' main event at Silver Dollar Speedway.
"I've never won this race before, and it's one I've always wanted," Blaney said. "My guys kept telling me who was behind me, and it seemed like it was somebody different every lap.
"Kenny (Woodruff, Blaney's crew chief) gave me a good setup this weekend, and after Friday night I thought we had a good chance of winning if we didn't make too many mistakes."
"The Buckeye Bullet" was one of the few in the 24-car field to drive a mistake-free race. The caution flag waved 11 times, keeping him out of lapped traffic for much of the feature. "I wasn't sure if it was ever going to end," Blaney said. "The yellows hurt me a little those last few laps. The restarts are really tough because you have to play offense and defense at the same time. The yellows also gave me an open track, and that helped because we weren't very good in traffic."
Blaney earned the right to start the championship feature on the pole by scoring the most points in the preliminary programs. He burst into the lead as the green flag fell.
A little more than one lap was complete when Tim Kaeding spun in turn four and his brother, Bud, stopped in the first corner. Bobby McMahan coasted into the pit area, and his crew was working on the #88 when the race resumed.
Mark Kinser passed Jac Haudenschild for second place within seconds after the green flag replaced the yellow. The pass was nullified, however, when Greg Hodnett stopped between turns one and two and Tim Kaeding spun in the fourth corner.
Blaney raced away from the field as McMahan rejoined the race on the ensuing restart. The caution was flying within seconds after the green fell, however, as Sean Fenn spun in turn one.
Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Sammy Swindell passed Kinser for third place as the race resumed, then steered his #1 Channellock Gambler into the low groove between the third and fourth corners to pass Haudenschild for second. "The Wild Child" took the high line around Swindell in turn two the next time around, only to have Sammy come back with a low move in the third corner to regain the runner-up spot seconds later.
Kinser relegated Haudenschild to fourth place early in the fifth lap with an inside move in turn one. Dion Hindi brought out the caution flag with a first-corner spin the next time around.
Haudenschild steered the #22 Pennzoil Maxim into the low groove between turns three and four during the seventh and eighth laps, but was unable to pass Kinser. Stevie Smith, the 1993 Gold Cup champion, took the low line into turn four to pass "The Wild Child" for fourth place late in the ninth lap. "B" Feature winner Shane Scott, Bud Kaeding, Randy Tiner and two-time Gold Cup champion Andy Hillenburg crashed in the fourth corner the next time around. Only Scott and Kaeding were able to restart the race.
Haudenschild regained fourth place within seconds after the green flag replaced the yellow, passing Smith high in turn one.
Kinser challenged Swindell for three laps before passing him with a low move in the third corner late in lap 17. Tim Kaeding was disqualified after this third spin brought out the caution flag the next time around.
Blaney controlled the ensuing restart as nine-time Gold Cup champion Steve Kinser joined the leaders with a front-stretch pass of Haudenschild for fourth place.
Peter Murphy's fourth-corner spin brought out the caution flag late in lap 19. Mark Kinser made a run at Blaney as the green flag replaced the yellow. He slid out of the low groove, however, allowing Swindell to pass him for second place.
Steve Kinser passed his cousin with a low move in turn three late in the 23rd lap. Haudenschild lost fifth place a lap later when he spun in the third corner.
"The King of the Outlaws" tried to pass Swindell with a low move in turn four as the race resumed, but Brent Kaeding took an even lower line into the corner and passed both for second place.
Blaney caught the backmarkers for the second time with eight laps remaining. He was taken out of lapped traffic two laps later, however, when Donny Schatz spun in turn one.
Steve Kinser took the high line into turn four to pass "BK" for second place as the race resumed, only to have Schatz stop in on the back straightaway with a flat right rear tire.
Kaeding was challenging Blaney for the lead when Smith allowed his #19 sprinter to spin in the second corner. Steve Kinser raced wheel-to-wheel with Kaeding during the ensuing restart, but was unable to surge ahead.
Mark Kinser passed Swindell with a high move in turn three with three laps remaining, and caught cousin Steve in the fourth corner as they headed for the checkered flag. "The King of the Outlaws" slid in front of Mark and beat his cousin across the finish line by inches.
Blaney was seven car-lengths ahead of Kaeding when he claimed the $20,000 first prize.
Swindell finished fifth, ahead of 1991 Gold Cup champion Joe Gaerte, Paul McMahan, 1996 Gold Cup champion Jeff Swindell, Greg Hodnett and Danny Lasoski.
The World of Outlaws is scheduled to run a $75,000 event at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, NE, Friday and Saturday.
1997 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series 44th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions Silver Dollar Speedway, Chico, CA E Feature (10 laps): 1. Brian Coelho ($100) 2. Erik Folger ($100) 3. Steve Dyer ($100) 4. Andy Forsberg ($100) 5. Jim Skinner ($100) 6. Gary Willey ($75) 7. Mike McCreary ($50) 8. Rick Frock ($50) 9. Steve Fehrman ($50) 10. Jerry Bonema ($50) 11. Dan Paiva ($50). (first four qualified for the "D" Feature) D Feature (12 laps): 1. Kevin Lovell ($100) 2. Jim Van Lare ($100) 3. Billy Sellers ($100) 4. Brad Furr ($100) 5. Jason Statler ($100) 6. Roger Crockett ($75) 7. Kyle Schild ($75) 8. Jason York ($50) 9. Mark Flachman ($50) 10. Mark MacKay ($50) 11. Erik Folger ($75) 12. Brian Coelho ($75) 13. Steve Dyer ($75) 14. Andy Forsberg ($75) 15. Dave Clarke ($50) 16. Tim Crawley ($50). (first four qualified for the "C" Feature.) C Feature (15 laps): 1. Ryan Riley ($300) 2. Tyler Haylett ($300) 3. Randy Hannagan ($300) 4. Brian Hodges ($250) 5. Korey Lovell ($200) 6. Kevin Lovell ($225) 7. Jim Van Lare ($200) 8. Tim Montgomery ($125) 9. Jon McClain ($100) 10. Graydon Cross ($100) 11. Brad Furr ($150) 12. Colby Weisz ($100) 13. David Robinson, Jr. ($100) 14. Billy Sellers ($150) 15. Ron McBride ($100) 16. Cal Herdson ($100). (first two qualified for the "B" Feature) B Feature (20 laps): 1. Shane Scott ($500) 2. Donny Schatz ($500) 3. Bud Kaeding ($500) 4. Greg Hodnett ($500) 5. Jason Lund ($500) 6. Jason Meyers ($450) 7. Jeff Young ($400) 8. Johnny Herrera ($350) 9. Chad Riolo ($325) 10. Craig Dollansky ($250) 11. Duane Bonini, Jr. ($225) 12. Tyler Haylett ($250) 13. Ryan Riley ($225) 14. Todd Bammer ($150) 15. Dale Smith ($150) 16. Dave Lindt, Jr. ($150) 17. Johnny Rodriguez ($150) 18. Stephen Allard ($150). (first four qualified for the "A" Feature) A Feature (40 laps): 1. Dave Blaney ($20,000) 2. Brent Kaeding ($10,000) 3. Steve Kinser ($5,500) 4. Mark Kinser ($4,600) 5. Sammy Swindell ($3,500) 6. Joe Gaerte ($2,760) 7. Paul McMahan ($2,300) 8. Jeff Swindell ($2,200) 9. Greg Hodnett ($2,125) 10. Danny Lasoski ($2,000) 11. Kevin Pylant ($1,700) 12. Bobby McMahan ($1,600) 13. Shane Scott ($1,475) 14. Bud Kaeding ($1,325) 15. Stevie Smith ($1,200) 16. Steve Kent ($1,050) 17. Peter Murphy ($1,000) 18. Donny Schatz ($725) 19. Sean Fenn ($600) 20. Jac Haudenschild ($600) 21. Dion Hindi ($600) 22. Tim Kaeding ($600) 23. Andy Hillenburg ($600) 24. Randy Tiner ($600). Lap leader: Dave Blaney 1-40 By Richard Day of Racing PR