A driver is supposed to celebrate a new championship by getting out and jumping on his roof, not by landing on it.
That wasn’t how things worked out for Ryan Blaney in this past weekend’s CRA Super Late Model portion of the North-South Shootout at Concord Speedway (NC) though. Blaney started the race as the new point leader of the CRA Southern Six Pack Series. To turn that point lead into a title, all Blaney needed to do was to finish somewhat ahead of Jeff Fultz in the race.
Doing that wasn’t as easy as it might seem. On the second lap, Blaney was involved in a wreck where Matt Brooks launched over his car and rolled. Blaney lost three laps to make repairs, but made two of those up when he got involved in a late-race wreck that left him flipping. Blaney was not injured, but his #10 Super Late Model was now done for the night – credited with a finish of 17th. However, Fultz dropped out of the race with his own problems and finished behind Blaney. That meant that despite his wild ride, Blaney would become the 2010 CRA Southern Six Pack champion.
“It’s a strange feeling to be a champion with a wrecked car,” said Blaney. “We get a new Hamke car for winning the championship, but to lose one trying to do it really hurts. We had a really good car and we got into a stupid mix-up on lap two and knocked the front off it. We then worked on it and rode around the whole race and got super lucky winning the championship. Jeff Fultz had problems and that allowed us to finish in front of him so we could win the championship. He tried to stay out of trouble and finish it and we ended up on our roof.”
Despite racing cautiously for the championship, there was nothing that Blaney could have done to avoid the wreck that sent him upside down.
“[Dennis] Schoenfeld spun out and I saw him rolling, so I went to the outside thinking it would be clear. When I got into the smoke I saw [Jimmy] Weller and went up over the side of him and toppled over on my roof. It was bad luck.”
Blaney now hopes to put an exclamation point on his championship season by posting a strong finish in the 43rd Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida on December 5th.
“Now we have a month to get ready for the Derby, hopefully we have better luck down there,” said Blaney.
Ryan Blaney Wins CRA Southern Six-Pack Championship on His Roof