Cale Thomas passes Joey Saldana late to earn first-ever All Star victory

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Cale Thomas passes Joey Saldana late to earn first-ever All Star victory

Story By: Tyler Altmeyer/ASCOC

Photos By: Paul Arch/RacersGuide.com

ATTICA, Ohio (May 25, 2018) – Fairland, Indiana’s Cale Thomas officially etched his name in the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 history book on Friday night at Attica Raceway Park, utilizing a late-race restart to drive by race-long leader, Joey Saldana, to capture his first-ever All Star main event victory, as well as a $5,000 top prize.

Thomas, who battled in the runner-up position the entire distance before taking over the top spot, made his winning move with just 11 circuits remaining, actually driving underneath Saldana at the exit of turn four to officially lead lap 30. A caution involving second row starter, Brady Bacon, on lap 29 set-up the winning move with Thomas ultimately chasing Saldana to complete lap 29 just before slingshotting under his fellow Indiana native the following circuit. From that point forward, it was all Thomas, eventually pulling away to a comfortable advantage over the “Brownsburg Bullet.”

“I did my best Byron Reed impression tonight. I knew Joey [Saldana] was running the bottom of turns one and two and the top of turns three and four, so I knew I had to go somewhere where he wasn’t,” Cale Thomas explained, driver of the Engler Machine & Tool No. 91. “I got under Saldana coming off of four just after that last restart. He tried to come down and block me, but I knew I didn’t want to give the spot up. I gave him a little tap so he knew I was there hoping it would move him up the track and it worked. I don’t like driving like that, but that part of the track was open and I had to take it. I knew I was faster on that restart.”

Joey Saldana held on to finish second after leading the first 29 circuits.

“Actually, I was struggling during all of the restarts tonight,” Saldana said, who had to endure five cautions during the 40-lap program, one of which resulting in red flag conditions. “Every restart Cale would get a really good run on me. It took me about a lap or three-quarters of a lap to get the tires back underneath me. Regardless, hats off to those guys. I know how special it is to win your first race, especially an All Star race. It’s a feeling that never goes away. It’s hard to win one of these races. Congratulations to them.”

In impressive fashion, twelfth row starter, Lee Jacobs, finished third during the evening’s All Star main event, making his first appearance in a podium position on lap 34, ultimately overpowering Lemoore, California’s Carson Macedo to take the spot permanently on lap 36 . Jacobs’ charge from 23rd to finish third was enough to earn the MSD Performance Hard Charger Award.

“Hats off to Rex LeJeune, the All Stars, and the entire Attica staff tonight,” Lee Jacobs said, driver the of 1881 Motorsports/Simcox Grinding & Steel/No. 81 sprint car. “You could race all over this track tonight; top, bottom, middle. I wish we would have started a little closer toward the front. I think we had the car to beat the last 10 laps or so.”

The Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 will continue their holiday weekend tour of the Buckeye State with a stop at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio, on Saturday, May 26. Like Attica Raceway Park, Tony Stewart’s All Stars will battle for a $5,000 top prize at “Orrville’s Historic Oval,” the second of four stops on the season.

The “Steel City Outlaw” Tim Shaffer is the most recent winner during All Star competition at Wayne County Speedway, charging ahead from the outside of row four to do so. The $5,000 victory was Shaffer’s second of the season during All Star competition, also claiming top honors at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., on February 2.

Wayne County Speedway will open pit gates at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 26. The mandatory All Star drivers meeting will take shape at 5 p.m followed by hot laps at 5:50 p.m., sharp. Those seeking additional news and notes should visit Wayne County Speedway live on the Web at www.waynecountyspeedway.com.

Contingency Awards/Results: Attica Raceway Park – Friday, May 25, 2018:
EMi Driver’s Meeting: 43 entries
State Water Heaters Warm-Ups: Parker Price-Miller – 12.647 seconds
Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: Jac Haudenschild – 12.587 seconds
Ford Performance Heat #1: Craig Mintz
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2: Stuart Brubaker
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3: Joey Saldana
Mobil 1 Heat #4: Brady Bacon
Ford Performance Heat #5: Paul McMahan
Elliott’s Custom Trailers and Carts C-main: Jordan Ryan
JE Pistons Dash #1: Joey Saldana
Wix Filters Dash #2: Cale Thomas
Classic Ink USA B-Main: Jac Haudenschild
Daido Engine Bearings Main Event Winner: Cale Thomas
MSD Performance Hard Charger Award: Lee Jacobs (+20)
(Lincoln Electric, Daido Engine Bearings, MSD Performance: Need decal to qualify for contingency award)

Qualifying

Group (A)
1. 5R-Byron Reed, 12.610; 2. 70-Dave Blaney, 12.628; 3. 4L-Cap Henry, 12.637; 4. 11N-Craig Mintz, 12.668; 5. 16-Chris Andrews, 12.780; 6. 7-Shawn Valenti, 12.792; 7. 98-Carl Bowser, 13.099; 8. 71h-Ryan Ruhl, 13.215; 9. 22B-Ryan Broughton, 13.351

Group (B)
1. 3-Jac Haudenschild, 12.587; 2. 23-DJ Foos, 12.693; 3. 91-Cale Thomas, 12.710; 4. 35s-Stuart Brubaker, 12.784; 5. 83-Cory Eliason, 12.872; 6. 7K-Cale Conley, 12.886; 7. 10H-Chad Kemenah, 12.911; 8. 9M-Jordan Ryan, 13.069; 9. 8J-Jess Stiger, 13.464

Group ( C )
1. 17-Caleb Helms, 12.590; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 12.694; 3. 71X-Gio Scelzi, 12.709; 4. 26-Joey Saldana, 12.837; 5. 45L-Brian Lay, 13.336; 6. 68G-Tyler Gunn, 13.347; 7. 8M-TJ Michael, 13.529; 8. 9Z-Duane Zablocki, 13.685; 9. 51-John Garvin, 14.493

Group (D)
1. 99-Brady Bacon, 13.083; 2. 11-Dominic Scelzi, 13.097; 3. 49x-Tim Shaffer, 13.225; 4. 5T-Travis Philo, 13.276; 5. 81-Lee Jacobs, 13.391; 6. 3J-Trey Jacobs, 13.642; 7. 71-Ayrton Olsen, 14.211; 8. 22M-Dan McCarron, 14.725

Group (E)
1. 4-Parker Price-Miller, 12.734; 2. 3G-Carson Macedo, 13.034; 3. 13-Paul McMahan, 13.072; 4. 24-Rico Abreu, 13.378; 5. 22-Brandon Spithaler, 13.618; 6. 35-Tyler Esh, 14.517; 7. 23B-Chase Baker, 14.693; 8. 20i-Kesley Ivy, 14.802

Heat #1 – Group (A) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 11N-Craig Mintz [1]; 2. 70-Dave Blaney [3]; 3. 4L-Cap Henry [2]; 4. 5R-Byron Reed [4]; 5. 16-Chris Andrews [5]; 6. 71H-Ryan Ruhl [8]; 7. 98-Carl Bowser [7]; 8. 22B-Ryan Broughton [9]; 9. 7-Shawn Valenti [6]

Heat #2 – Group (B) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 35S-Stuart Brubaker [1]; 2. 91-Cale Thomas [2]; 3. 23-DJ Foos [3]; 4. 10H-Chad Kemenah [7]; 5. 83-Cory Eliason [5]; 6. 3-Jac Haudenschild [4]; 7. 7K-Cale Conley [6]; 8. 9M-Jordan Ryan [8]; 9. 8J-Jess Stiger [9]

Heat #3 – Group (C) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 26-Joey Saldana [1]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel [3]; 3. 71X-Gio Scelzi [2]; 4. 17-Caleb Helms [4]; 5. 68G-Tyler Gunn [6]; 6. 8M-TJ Michael [7]; 7. 9Z-Duane Zablocki [8]; 8. 45L-Brian Lay [5]; 9. 51-John Garvin [9]

Heat #4 – Group (D) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 99-Brady Bacon [4]; 2. 5T-Travis Philo [1]; 3. 49X-Tim Shaffer [2]; 4. 11-Dominic Scelzi [3]; 5. 81-Lee Jacobs [5]; 6. 3J-Trey Jacobs [6]; 7. 22M-Dan McCarron [8]; 8. 71-Ayrton Olsen [7]

Heat #5 – Group (E) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 13-Paul McMahan [2]; 2. 3G-Carson Macedo [3]; 3. 22-Brandon Spithaler [5]; 4. 35-Tyler Esh [6]; 5. 20I-Kesley Ivy [8]; 6. 4-Parker Price-Miller [4]; 7. 24-Rico Abreu [1]; 8. 23B-Chase Baker [7]

Dash #1 (4 Laps)
1. 26-Joey Saldana [1]; 2. 3G-Carson Macedo [6]; 3. 11N-Craig Mintz [2]; 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel [5]; 5. 17-Caleb Helms [3]; 6. 35S-Stuart Brubaker [4]

Dash #2 (4 Laps)
1. 91-Cale Thomas [4]; 2. 99-Brady Bacon [1]; 3. 5R-Byron Reed [6]; 4. 70-Dave Blaney [5]; 5. 13-Paul McMahan [3]; 6. 5T-Travis Philo [2]

C-Main (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer
1. 9M-Jordan Ryan [1]; 2. 45L-Brian Lay [2]; 3. 8J-Jess Stiger [7]; 4. 71-Ayrton Olsen [4]; 5. 23B-Chase Baker [5]; 6. 22B-Ryan Broughton [3]; 7. 7-Shawn Valenti [6]; 8. 51-John Garvin [8]

B-Main (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 3-Jac Haudenschild [1]; 2. 4-Parker Price-Miller [2]; 3. 81-Lee Jacobs [6]; 4. 83-Cory Eliason [4]; 5. 3J-Trey Jacobs [10]; 6. 8M-TJ Michael [9]; 7. 16-Chris Andrews [3]; 8. 9M-Jordan Ryan [16]; 9. 24-Rico Abreu [13]; 10. 9Z-Duane Zablocki [14]; 11. 68G-Tyler Gunn [5]; 12. 7K-Cale Conley [11]; 13. 98-Carl Bowser [12]; 14. 22M-Dan McCarron [15]; 15. 20I-Kesley Ivy [7]; 16. 71H-Ryan Ruhl [8]; 17. 45L-Brian Lay [17]

A-Main (40 Laps)
1. 91-Cale Thomas [2]; 2. 26-Joey Saldana [1]; 3. 81-Lee Jacobs [23]; 4. 3G-Carson Macedo [3]; 5. 71X-Gio Scelzi [15]; 6. 13-Paul McMahan [10]; 7. 87-Aaron Reutzel [7]; 8. 11N-Craig Mintz [5]; 9. 35S-Stuart Brubaker [11]; 10. 4L-Cap Henry [13]; 11. 83-Cory Eliason [24]; 12. 49X-Tim Shaffer [16]; 13. 5R-Byron Reed [6]; 14. 98-Carl Bowser [25]; 15. 4-Parker Price-Miller [22]; 16. 22-Brandon Spithaler [17]; 17. 3-Jac Haudenschild [21]; 18. 35-Tyler Esh [20]; 19. 99-Brady Bacon [4]; 20. 17-Caleb Helms [9]; 21. 70-Dave Blaney [8]; 22. 5T-Travis Philo [12]; 23. 11-Dominic Scelzi [19]; 24. 23-DJ Foos [14]; 25. 10H-Chad Kemenah [18] Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana (1-29) Cale Thomas (30-40)

2018 All Star Circuit of Champions Driver Standings: (as of 5/25/2018)
1. Aaron Reutzel – 812
2. Jac Haudenschild – 782
3. Parker Price-Miller – 766
4. Carson Macedo – 752
5. Chad Kemenah – 744
6. Dave Blaney – 740
7. Tim Shaffer – 738
8. John Garvin – 684
9. Carl Bowser – 664
10. Cale Conley – 648

About the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1:
All Star Enterprises, LLC, wholly owned by Tony Stewart, d/b/a the All Star Circuit of Champions, is a winged sprint car series. The All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series is one of the oldest traveling 410 sprint car organizations and is a staple of grassroots, open-wheel racing. Formed in 1970 by Bud Miller, the series has largely been considered the first ‘outlaw’ Sprint Car organization of the modern era. Motorsports entrepreneur Tony Stewart agreed to terms with Guy Webb to become the sole owner of the original winged sprint car tour in January of 2015. In 2018, MAVTV Motorsports Network will be the official television home of the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 and will broadcast eight high-profile events.

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