O’Reilly All Star Drivers Prepare For The 2009 Edition of Ohio Sprint Speedweek
Wednesday, 17 June 2009

By Kelly Brown – All Star Public Relations Director

(Camargo, IL)
Last year the Ohio Speedweek competition came down to a one night shootout between O’Reilly All Star Champion Dale Blaney and Randy Hannagan. Once the dust settled on the final night at Eldora it was Hannagan who took the 2008 title. It may have happened a year ago, but it is still fresh on the minds of the two competitors that fought for the crown.

Last year the story of Ohio Speedweek was the weather as three out of the seven night scheduled were cancelled due to rain.

“I think the biggest factor to last year’s Speedweek Championship was rain,” Dale Blaney commented. “This year hopefully the rain will stay away and we will be able to get more nights in. Last year it really made hard if you had one off night. Losing three races really played a big part in the championship.”

With the first two Ohio Speedweek races falling victim to rain, the first event took the green flag at Hilltop Speedway. Starting from the pole position was Randy Hannagan, but when the Green Flag flew Mark Keegan took the lead and looked to run away with the event, until he slid to miss a car that was stopped on track. At the point Hannagan inherited the lead and never looked back recording his first win of the season. ImageThe second night of Speedweek was at Skyline Speedway and Jimmy Nier started the event on the pole. He would pace the field early, before Hannagan would steal the lead away from him on Lap 8. For the next ten laps The Hurricane was on point, until Dale Blaney took the wind out of his sails. Blaney would go on to win night two.

The next stop on the schedule was Fremont Speedway, and it was a quite night for a local hometown hero. David Harrison jumped into the lead as soon as the starter gave the field the go. Harrison benefitted from yellow flags when he was mired in heavy lapped traffic, and picked his way through the back markers with precise skill to hold off Randy Hannagan for the win. Mother Nature would win the event at Limaland Motorsports Park unfortunately, so the next stop was Eldora Speedway.

On the final night of Ohio Speedweek the stage was set to crown a champion. The top two in the battle still remember the night as if it was yesterday. The 30 lap A-main went wire-to-wire as Ed Lynch Jr. jumped out to an early lead, and Blaney chased him through the high banks with Brock Mayes hot on Blaney’s tail.  Mayes and Blaney were both eventually able to get past Lynch. On lap 24 Mayes bobbled and Blaney was able to get around him. Blaney would cross the finish line first. Randy Hannagan took the 2008 Ohio Speedweek championship for being one of the most consistent finishers of the week of the 79 drivers who participated over the 7 day stretch.

“Looking back the most memorable part of Speedweek last year had to be first win at Hilltop,” stated Hannagan. “I had my dad there with me which meant a lot, then also to have him there when I won the championship at Eldora. This year he will not be there, but both of those are great memories to have and I look to continue on making memories like that.”

“I have to say the most memorable part of Speedweek last year was that final night at Eldora,” said Blaney. “Going into the night I knew I had to win to take the Championship. We did everything we had to, but came up just a little bit short. It is things like that stick with you and push you to do better the next season.”

One of the biggest factors to becoming Ohio Speedweek champion is clearly momentum. As most athletes can tell you once you get on a roll you ride it, whether it is good or bad luck.

“The fact of the matter is that you are only as good as your car is on that night,” commented Hannagan. “The first two race tracks, Attica and Eldora are ones we run well at, so if you can get a good start to the week it is definitely a psychological boost. If you get on a roll you have to do it then and then keep on rolling.”

The 2009 edition of Ohio Speedweek  begins on Friday, June 19 at Attica Raceway Park and it will no doubt be another barn burning fight to see who can be the one who can be the most consistent over the eight nights of competition. Don’t miss a minute of Ohio Speedweek Action. Keep yourself updated by visiting both www.allstarsprint.com and www.ohiospeedweek.com.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 June 2009 )