Former NASCAR Star Returns to the Top in World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series

(Photo Credit: Trent Gower - World of Outlaws)
(Photo Credit: Trent Gower – World of Outlaws)

Much like the recent one-year anniversary World of Outlaws celebration weekend, the return of the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series to Hartford, OH’s famed Sharon Speedway delivered one of the most magical moments of the 2021 race season. When 58-year-old former NASCAR Cup Series star Dave Blaney walked away from his superstar status a few years ago, many thought he would simply stick with supporting his son Ryan Blaney in his rise to NASCAR fame. Although this is true, how many drivers do you know that are able to fully walk away from the sport that they love? This certainly is not the case for the 1995 World of Outlaws champion, Blaney, who returned to Sprint Car racing on Saturday night where he scored his 95th career victory after stunning Sheldon Haudenschild with a last-lap pass that will forever cement this racing star in the history books.

After setting the record for the longest gap between World of Outlaws wins, Blaney’s return to racing at his personally owned dirt track was not the smoothest return. Starting behind recent Eldora Speedway victor Sheldon Haudenschild, who dominated the opening laps of the 35 lap feature, Blaney was given the opportunity to move to the front when the final caution flag flew on Lap 31.

“I knew when the caution flag flew that this was my only chance to race the lead,” said Blaney. “I could see lapped vehicles catching up to race leader Haudenschild on the bottom, which slowed the top down. After seeing that Haudenschild wasn’t going to move away from the top, I thought that I had a chance if I could get alongside him.”

As Blaney continued to chase the race leader in the final two laps, Blaney would finally see the light at the end of the tunnel when Haudenschild’s NOS Energy Drink #17 got too tight causing him to hit the wall and give the lead to racing veteran Blaney, who rolled to the win by 0.802-seconds over Haudenschild.

“This is one of the most special moments of my career,” said the driver who climbed out of his car to bleachers shaking and fans chanting BLANEY! BLANEY! BLANEY! “Winning a World of Outlaws race in this day and age, after over 20 years away, and doing it against today’s modern crop of Outlaws is giant; especially at a track I’m part-owner at. To do so with such an exciting fan response was just overwhelming.”

About Ellen Richardson 491 Articles
Ellen Richardson is the author of Behind The Wheel for RacingJunk.com. This automotive sports junkie has a passion for telling an athlete's story while also covering various racing activities. Find out more about her at ellennrichardson.wordpress.com or follow Ellen on Twitter at @ellennrich or Instagram at elnrich33.

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