Ryan Smith swept the night with the All Stars at Mansfield
On the restart, Shaffer kept the lead but as the laps wound down, Smith was reeling him in again, especially in traffic. Smith passes Shaffer on lap 26 for the lead as Jac, Macedo and now Lee Jacobs were all over each other fighting for third…maybe just ten to fifteen car lengths behind the top two! Just then, Macedo comes to a stop on the backstretch. On the restart, Smith takes the win, followed by Shaffer, Jacobs, Jac and Chad Kemenah. Smith was elated in victory lane. His car was working really well and recently, the team had been struggling but that seems to be behind them now.
As the heat races were getting underway for the regular program, would found out that Jac hurt his motor in the makeup feature and would scratch for the rest of the evening. The heats start around 8:15 and Kemenah gets the win in the first one, followed by Joey Saldana, Jacobs, Starks and Conley. The top five transfer and the top two go to the dash redraw. In heat two the finish is Helms, Duncan, Philo, Shaffer and Schuerenburg. Heat three got us Macedo, Henry, Jordan Mackison, Trevor Baker and Walter. T.J. Michaels was leading but got too close to the wall and turned over. Mitch Harble then had the lead but something broke and he went to the infield. In heat four, D.J. Foos has the lead and a right front comes off, sending him into the turn two wall hard. He was okay but was done for the evening. The finish was Smith, Spithauler, Price-Miller, Stambaugh and Armstrong. It was then that we learned that Chad Kemenah had clinched his second straight All Star title.
The dashes set up Philo on the pole with Macedo alongside. Smith and Duncan in row two and Saldana and Spithaler in row three. On the four abreast lap before the start, Armstrong gets tangled up with Baker and Hunter Mackison and Armstrong stops with front end damage. He goes to the infield and gets it fixed before the start!
When the green drops for the regularly scheduled event, Philo grabs the lead with Macedo trailing. Smith gets by Macedo but on lap three Duncan spins and keeps going but he did bring out the yellow. Duncan then pulls off before the restart.
When the race goes green again, Philo sprints away from the pack and opens a big lead. On lap ten, Baker rubs the wall in turn three and brings out a yellow…Macedo had passed Smith back for second. The running order is Philo, Macedo, Smith, Saldana, kemenah, Henry, PPM, Spithaler, Jacobs, Helms and Shaffer. On the restart, Philo gets out and away again with Macedo following but Smith gains and passes Macedo and sets after Philo. Once again, with traffic in play, Smith comes up on Philo and after many attempts finally passes for the lead on lap twenty one. Smith is again, using the middle and bottom to navigate faster through the turns. On lap twenty three Henry slows to a stop bringing out a yellow. On the restart, Smith stays out front but Macedo gets past Philo for second and tries feverishly to catch Smith. Macedo tries up high and gets a run on Smith at the turn two exit each lap but Smith then pulls away in three and four. Smith wins again, followed by Macedo, Philo, Kemenah and Saldana.
Wow, two really good features. Smith takes home $10,000 for a night’s work and at the same time gets a big shot of confidence. Now the racers are off to Eldora for the All Star finale tomorrow. I wish I could go but this will be the last race of the season for me.
Thank you All Star Circuit of Champions for a wildly entertaining season and thank you Mansfield Motor Speedway for going #BACKTODIRT. Let’s do this again next spring! In the meanwhile, I will wonder about the exciting news the All Stars are going to announce and at the same time my head will be filled with visions of winged sprint cars battling for $100,000 here on April 27th and 28th of next year.