1-25-2014 El Paso Speedway Park -TX - NDRL Battle at the Border
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BR>Blankenship Makes it 2 for 2 in El Paso Speedway’s Battle at the Border
El Paso, Texas (25 January 2014) What a difference a week makes. During last week’s Winter Extreme action at Tucson International Raceway John Blankenship seemed to be unable to catch a break. Fast forward a week to El Paso Speedway Park and it seems Blankenship can do no wrong. Blankenship overtook leader Billy Moyer, Jr. on the tenth circuit of the 40 lap Battle at the Border Night #2 and that fought off a fierce challenge from Kent Robinson to take the $5000 victory and his 2nd win in as many nights. “We probably didn’t have the best car tonight but we had some luck and breaks fall our way with the lapped guys. Kent had a really good car, probably the best car here tonight. I think the lap traffic really saved me about halfway. I had seen him under me a few times and I could hear him. But I was able to get around some lap cars just right and I was able to get away from him (Robinson).” Blankenship said after the event.
Ryan Gustin led all drivers in Keyser Manufacturing Time Trials with a 17.414 second lap around El Paso’s 4/10ths mile facility. The El Paso track surface was dramatically different from Friday for Saturday night’s action. Friday saw a very heavy surface that was lightning fast. In fact Friday’s fast time was more than 2 seconds faster than that of Saturday’s fastest laps. The 26 drivers on hand found Saturday’s surface to by smooth and slick from top to bottom. Also fastest in their respective groups were Blankenship and Missouri’s Terry Phillips.
Billy Moyer, Jr. who started from the inside pole grabbed the lead at the outset from outside polesitter Ryan Gustin. Moyer opened up some daylight as Gustin was forced to face the onslaught from Blankenship and Robinson. Blankenship rolled by Gustin on lap 5 and set after the leader. By lap 8 it was a battle for the lead as the frontrunners reached lap traffic. Robinson moved up and joined Moyer and Blankenship in the war for the race lead.
Blankenship overtook Moyer as the field completed the 11th circuit. Robinson made the move for second one lap later and then went after the leader. Robinson reached Blankenship’s rear deck in just 2 laps and began to apply pressure in the heavy traffic. Robinson dove low and could pull alongside but could never clear to make the pass. Robinson was relentless as he kept the pressure on for the lead. But Blankenship was able to use the lapped cars to his advantage by rolling by them on their outside. Robinson who was utilizing the low line kept getting “picked” by the lappers which would allow Blankenship some breathing room.
With only 3 laps remaining, Blankenship made a daring low move and swept by a pair of lapped machines. The move proved to be just what he needed to secure his 2nd win of the weekend as he held off Robinson by just a car length at the checkers. “What a race. Kent was so good and I thought a couple of times he might get by me. It was a lot of fun racing him for the win. He’s a great guy and a really good racer. I am happy to get it done and I hope we can get another one tomorrow. We are looking forward to it.” Blankenship added.
NDRL Battle at the Border – Night Two
El Paso Speedway Park
El Paso, TX
Saturday, 25 January 2014
1 (3) 23 John Blankenship – Williamson, WV - $5000
2 (6) 7R Kent Robinson – Bloomington, IN - $2250
3 (1) 21JR Billy Moyer, Jr. – Batesville, AR – $1250
4 (2) 19R Ryan Gustin – Marshalltown, IA – $1000
5 (5) 75 Terry Phillips – Springfield, MO – $950
6 (7) 28 Jimmy Mars – Menominie, WI – $900
7 (8) 19 Tim Fuller – Watertown, NY – $850
8 (14) 21 Billy Moyer – Batesville, AR – $800
9 (4) 25Z Mason Zeigler – Chalk Hill, PA – $750
10 (9) 43 Garrett Alberson – Las Cruces, NM – $700
11 (17) 7K Jason Krohn – Slayton, MN – $650
12 (12) 19 William Thomas – Phenix City, AL – $600
13 (11) 111 Max Blair – Titusville, PA – $550
14 (13) 56 Tony Jackson Jr. – Lebanon, MO – $500
15 (15) 86 Kyle Beard – Truman, AR – $500
16 (19) 98 Dave Deetz – Las Cruces, NM – $500
17 (20) 33 David Karst – Casper, WY – $500
18 (22) 14 Sean Bray – Tucson, AZ – $500
19 (23) 24 Rick Ortega – Las Cruces, NM – $500
20 (17) 86 Steve Francis Jr. – Rio Rancho, NM – $500
21 (21) 72 Jeff Whyman – Las Lunas, NM – $500
22 (10) 58 A.J. Diemel – Elk Mound, WI – $500
23 (16) 27 Nick Bartels – El Segundo, CA – $500
24 (24) 911 Cliff Hansen – El Paso, TX – $500
Late Model heat results:
First heat: Ryan Gustin, Mason Zeigler, Jimmy Mars, A.J. Diemel, Tony Jackson Jr., Nick Bartels, Dave Deetz, Sean Bray. Scratched: George Ledine.
Second heat: Kent Robinson, John Blankenship, Tim Fuller, Max Blair, Billy Moyer, Jason Krohn, David Karst, Rick Ortega. Scratched: Fito Gallardo.
Third heat: Terry Phillips, Billy Moyer Jr., Garrett Alberson, William Thomas, Kyle Beard, Steven Francis Jr., Jeff Whyman, Cliff Hansen.