1-24-2014 El Paso Speedway Park -TX - NDRL Battle at the Border
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John Blankenship Charges to El Paso Battle at the Border Victory
El Paso, Texas (24 January 2014) West Virginia’s John Blankenship has had a fast race car the last two weeks. Blankenship has also had his share of bad luck. Blankenship was fastest in time trials on two occasions at Tucson International Raceway’s Winter Extreme but he was unable to parlay that success into a win in Arizona. But it seems Blankenship turned a corner during Friday’s Battle at the Border opener at El Paso Speedway Park in El Paso, Texas. Blankenship set the tone by again qualifying fastest overall and picking up a heat race win. Blankenship redrew the fifth starting position to start inside of the third row for the 30 lap feature. “We had a really fast car. But starting fifth in a 30 lap race makes it tough for sure. If that yellow didn’t come out I am not sure I would have been able to catch Billy (Moyer)” Blankenship said.
Moyer took control early on by blasting past inside pole-sitter Mason Zeigler on the opening lap and then stretched his lead to a full straightaway. Moyer diced his way through lap traffic and was able to maintain his lead as the event approached the halfway point. But Moyer’s huge lead was erased when the yellow flag waved for a spun Kent Robinson in turn two. Blankenship had moved by Zeigler for second and set after Moyer at the drop of the green flag. Blankenship immediately went to work on Moyer pulling even to the inside of the 21 on several occasions. Blankenship made it count on lap 17 as he pulled ahead of Moyer exiting turn four.
From there it was all Blankenship as he simply ran off and hid from the rest of the field. The only challenges to Blankenship’s lead came in the form of heavy lap traffic. On more than one occasion Blankenship had to make a daring three wide move or thread the needle to move by the lappers. But Blankenship persevered and drove away for the $3000 victory. “The bottom was really good for me on that restart. I knew that our car was really fast and if I did my job we had a really good shot to win. We had some tight squeezes with the lap cars there. A couple of times I tried to lift and ease by them but when I did I picked up a push. So I just had to run hard and get through there.” Blankenship added.
NDRL Battle at the Border
El Paso Speedway Park
El Paso, Texas
24 January 2014
1. (5) 23 John Blankenship – Williamson, WV - $3000
2. (2) 21 Billy Moyer – Batesville, AR - $1500
3. (1) 25z Mason Zeigler – Chalk Hill, PA - $1000
4. (12) 58 AJ Diemel – Elk Mound, WI - $800
5. (11) 19 Tim Fuller – Watertown, NY - $750
6. (8) 43 Garrett Alberson – Las Cruces, NM - $700
7. (15) 28 Jimmy Mars – Menominie, WI - $650
8. (6) 21JR Billy Moyer, Jr. – Batesville, AR - $600
9. (13) 24 Rick Ortega – Las Cruces, NM - $550
10. (17) 98 Dave Deetz – Las Cruces, NM - $500
11. (19) 14 Sean Bray – Tucson, AZ - $450
12. (22) Steve Francis, Jr – Rio Rancho, NM - $400
13. (20) Jeff Whyman – Los Lunas, NM - $350
14. (10) Terry Phillips – Springfield, MO - $300
15. (3) 19R Ryan Gustin – Marshalltown, IA - $300
16. (4) 111 Max Blair – Titusville, PA - $300
17. (16) 56 Tony Jackson, Jr. – Lebanon, MO - $300
18. (24) 27 Nick Bartels – El Sugando, CA - $300
19. (14) 7K Jason Krohn – Slayton, MN - $300
20. (18) 86 Kyle Beard – Truman, AR - $300
21. (7) 7R Kent Robinson – Bloomington, IN - $300
22. (9) 19 William Thomas – Phenix City, AL - $300
23. (23) 911 Cliff Hansen – El Paso, TX - $300
24. (21) 33 David Karst – Casper, WY - $300
First heat: Billy Moyer, Billy Moyer Jr., Terry Phillips, Kent Robinson, Rick Ortega, Tony Jackson Jr., Steven Francis Jr., Sean Bray.
Second heat: Mason Zeigler, Ryan Gustin, Garrett Alberson, Tim Fuller, Jason Krohn, Dave Deetz, Jeff Whyman, Cliff Hansen.
Third heat: John Blankenship, Max Blair, William Thomas, A.J. Diemel, Jimmy Mars, Kyle Beard, David Karst, Nick Bartels.