Cory Eliason gets by Dale Blaney to score All Star victory at I-96 Speedway

LAKE ODESSA, Mich (August 17, 2019) - Utilizing finesse, patience, and other's misfortune, Visalia, California's Cory Eliason earned his second Ollie's Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victory of the 2019 season on Friday night at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan. The $5,000 triumph, his first since scoring a monster payday at Virginia Motor Speedway at the beginning of the points schedule, was accomplished from the outside of row three, eventually taking command on lap 19 and holding off a championship contending Dale Blaney, as well as Premier Motorsports' Justin Peck, at the end of 30 circuits.

"We just kept getting better and better as the feature went on," Cory Eliason expressed, driver of the Rudeen Racing No. 26 entry. "Things went our way tonight and we were able to capitalize. It feels great to be standing out here."

Starting from the outside-pole position, Clute, Texas’ Aaron Reutzel earned the early jump, blasting off to a near-straightaway lead with just three circuits knocked off the scoreboard. A caution on lap four slowed the pace early, and although the initial caution left little effect on the running order, it was the caution on lap eight that left the front-runners in a tangle.

As race leader Aaron Reutzel was attempting to check-up for spinning car at the exit of turn two, Gio Scelzi, who was battling in the second position, made contact with Reutzel’s rear bumper sending the California-native out over the edge of turn two and ultimately upside-down. As a result, Aaron Reutzel was forced to go to the work area; both drivers would not return.

With Reutzel and Gio Scelzi out of the picture, it was Hartford, Ohio’s Dale Blaney who inherited the top spot, now with Eliason and Skylar Gee in tow.

Traffic eventually found its way into the picture by lap 14 creating a sudden roadblock for Blaney. As traffic intensified, so did Eliason’s pressure on the leader. By lap 17, Blaney’s advantage was scraped down to a car length, stuck behind slower cars with Eliason continuing to breath down his neck. The following circuit, Eliason made a big bid for the lead, nearly getting under Blaney as the duo battled off of turn four to complete lap 18. It only took Eliason one more lap to turn his near-takeover attempt into an official lead change, recreating his dive through turns three and four to successfully drive by the six-time All Star champion.

From that point forward, it was all Eliason at the front of the field, leading the final 12 circuits to score his second victory of the 2019 season. A caution with four laps remaining gave Eliason a stir, but Blaney and Justin Peck, who slipped into a podium spot from 11th just beyond halfway, was no match for the Rudeen Racing entry.

Tony Stewart’s All Star Circuit of Champions will continue their march through Michigan and Indiana with a one night stand at Plymouth Speedway in Plymouth, Indiana, on Saturday, August 17. Like their trek to Michigan one night prior, the trip to the Hoosier State will be a first and only for the traveling All Stars in 2019.

Plymouth Speedway in Plymouth, Indiana, will open pit gates at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 17. A mandatory All Star drivers meeting will take shape at 5:30 p.m., followed by hot laps at 6:30 p.m., sharp. Those wanting to learn more should visit Plymouth Speedway online at www.plymouthspeedway.net.

Contingency Awards/Results: I-96 Speedway - August 16, 2019:
Entries: 29
C&R Racing All Star Warm-Ups: Aaron Reutzel - 13.306 seconds
Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: Aaron Reutzel - 13.202 seconds *NTR
Ford Performance Heat #1: Lee Jacobs
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2: Skylar Gee
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3: Gio Scelzi
JE Pistons Dash presented by Fatheadz Eyewear: Dale Blaney
Classic Ink USA Screenprinting B-Main Winner: Tony Stewart
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet A-Main Winner: Cory Eliason
MSD Performance Hard Charger Award: Dan McCarron (+12)
Cometic Gasket Most A-Main Laps Led: Cory Eliason (19-30)
Rayce Rudeen Foundation First Non-Transfer: George Hobaugh
(Lincoln Electric, MSD Performance, Fatheadz Eyewear, Rayce Rudeen Foundation, Cometic Gasket: Need decal to qualify for contingency award)

Qualifying

Group (A)
1. 11-Dale Blaney, 13.316; 2. 26-Cory Eliason, 13.328; 3. 71p-Parker Price-Miller, 13.440; 4. 81-Lee Jacobs, 13.569; 5. W20-Greg Wilson, 13.712; 6. 4-Danny Smith, 13.716; 7. 16c-Gregg Dalman, 13.775; 8. iO7-Mark Coldren, 13.781; 9. 22M-Dan McCarron, 13.817; 10. O7-Gerard McIntyre, 13.859
Group (B)
1. 13-Paul McMahan, 13.316; 2. 14-Tony Stewart, 13.317; 3. 99-Skylar Gee, 13.532; 4. 85-Dustin Daggett, 13.541; 5. 70X-Justin Peck, 13.557; 6. 97-Max Stambaugh, 13.733; 7. 27K-Brad Lamberson, 13.752; 8. 11R-Chase Ridenour, 13.757; 9. 4L-Ryan Ruhl, 13.786; 10. 71E-Tyler Esh, 14.170
Group (C)
1. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 13.202; 2. 71-Gio Scelzi, 13.233; 3. 70-Brock Zearfoss, 13.515; 4. 71m-Paul May, 13.631; 5. 2L-Landon Lalonde, 13.802; 6. 21-Brinton Marvel, 13.878; 7. 18J-RJ Jacobs, 14.158; 8. 40-George Hobaugh, 14.183; 9. 14W-Chad Wilson, 14.373
Heat #1 - Group (A) (8 Laps) - Top 6 Transfer
1. 81-Lee Jacobs [1]; 2. 26-Cory Eliason [3]; 3. 71P-Parker Price-Miller [2]; 4. 11-Dale Blaney [4]; 5. W20-Greg Wilson [5]; 6. 4-Danny Smith [6]; 7. O7-Gerard McIntyre [10]; 8. 22M-Dan McCarron [9]; 9. 16C-Gregg Dalman [7]; 10. IO7-Mark Coldren [8]
Heat #2 - Group (B) (8 Laps) - Top 6 Transfer
1. 99-Skylar Gee [2]; 2. 85-Dustin Daggett [1]; 3. 13-Paul McMahan [4]; 4. 70X-Justin Peck [5]; 5. 11R-Chase Ridenour [8]; 6. 97-Max Stambaugh [6]; 7. 4L-Ryan Ruhl [9]; 8. 27K-Brad Lamberson [7]; 9. 14-Tony Stewart [3]; 10. 71E-Tyler Esh [10]
Heat #3 - Group (C) (8 Laps) - Top 6 Transfer
1. 71-Gio Scelzi [3]; 2. 70-Brock Zearfoss [2]; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel [4]; 4. 71M-Paul May [1]; 5. 21-Brinton Marvel [6]; 6. 18J-RJ Jacobs [7]; 7. 2L-Landon Lalonde [5]; 8. 40-George Hobaugh [8]; 9. 14W-Chad Wilson [9]
Dash #1 (6 Laps)
1. 11-Dale Blaney [2]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel [3]; 3. 99-Skylar Gee [1]; 4. 71-Gio Scelzi [6]; 5. 81-Lee Jacobs [4]; 6. 26-Cory Eliason [7]; 7. 85-Dustin Daggett [5]; 8. 70-Brock Zearfoss [8]
B-Main (10 Laps) - Top 6 Transfer
1. 14-Tony Stewart [1]; 2. 27K-Brad Lamberson [2]; 3. 4L-Ryan Ruhl [3]; 4. 22M-Dan McCarron [6]; 5. O7-Gerard McIntyre [5]; 6. 2L-Landon Lalonde [4]; 7. 40-George Hobaugh [7]; 8. 16C-Gregg Dalman [8]; 9. IO7-Mark Coldren [10]
A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 26-Cory Eliason [6]; 2. 11-Dale Blaney [1]; 3. 70X-Justin Peck [11]; 4. 13-Paul McMahan [9]; 5. 99-Skylar Gee [3]; 6. 71P-Parker Price-Miller [10]; 7. W20-Greg Wilson [13]; 8. 85-Dustin Daggett [7]; 9. 81-Lee Jacobs [5]; 10. 21-Brinton Marvel [15]; 11. O7-Gerard McIntyre [22]; 12. 22M-Dan McCarron [24]; 13. 27K-Brad Lamberson [20]; 14. 18J-RJ Jacobs [18]; 15. 11R-Chase Ridenour [14]; 16. 70-Brock Zearfoss [8]; 17. 2L-Landon Lalonde [23]; 18. 14-Tony Stewart [19]; 19. 87-Aaron Reutzel [2]; 20. 71-Gio Scelzi [4]; 21. 97-Max Stambaugh [17]; 22. 4L-Ryan Ruhl [21]; 23. 4-Danny Smith [16]; 24. 71M-Paul May [12] Lap Leaders: Aaron Reutzel (1-7), Dale Blaney (8-18), Cory Eliason (19-30)

2019 All Star Circuit of Champions Driver Standings (After 8/16/2019):
1. Dale Blaney - 3202
2. Aaron Reutzel - 3176
3. Cory Eliason - 3154
4. Paul McMahan - 3070
5. Brock Zearfoss - 2994
6. Greg Wilson - 2962
7. Gerard McIntyre - 2872
8. Skylar Gee - 2802
9. George Hobaugh - 2462
10. Tony Stewart - 1790