Driver Forecast: Dirt Classic Indiana
(PETERSEN MEDIA)- With the inaugural running of the Dirt Classic Indiana featuring the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions at the Kokomo Speedway rapidly approaching, the Dirt Classic team reached out to series announcer Blake Anderson to pick his brain on the upcoming event.
With Anderson working with the series on a daily basis, and having a rich background in Indiana sprint car racing, we felt that he would be our best resident expert for this two-day extravaganza coming up on July 22-23rd.
The Favorites: The Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions is amidst a very competitive 2016 season, and is coming off of the grueling Ohio Speedweek. With winged races being sparse at the Kokomo Speedway over the years, the favorites for this weekend of racing are Dale Blaney, Chad Kemenah, Sheldon Haudenschild, and Rico Abreu.
Dale Blaney and the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions go hand in hand with each other. Over the years, Blaney has been extremely tough to beat on a nightly basis with the series, and we expect him to be a threat to lock into the September 20th Dirt Classic that will offer drivers $1,000-to-start and $20,000-to-win.
“It is tough to bet against Dale Blaney on any night,” Anderson said. “He is a fierce competitor, and should be exciting to watch at the Kokomo Speedway.”
Four-time series champion, Chad Kemenah is having a very strong season. Kemenah may only have one win with the series at time of press, but he currently leads the season point standings and is coming in on the heels of his second career Ohio Speedweek Championship.
“Chad (Kemenah) has been a model of consistency with us in 2016,” Anderson added. “Though he may be light on feature event wins, he seems to find his way on the podium nightly.”
A pair of young guns and rim riders should also be ones to watch for at the Dirt Classic Indiana. Sheldon Haudenschild is winning races left and right it seems, and Rico Abreu has had success at the Kokomo Speedway over his brief, but successful career.
“Sheldon Haudenschild has been the driver to watch this year, and he makes things very exciting just as his father does, and should be fun to watch him get around during this race,” Anderson added. “Rico is another driver that fits in well at this track. He has an All Star win to his credit this year, and I could see him grabbing another one and locking into the Dirt Classic during this event.”
The Dark Horses: A couple of drivers that may slide under the radar, but are more than capable of winning this race are Gary Taylor and Randy Hannagan. Taylor has been a very well rounded driver over his career and experience at Kokomo could very well give him the upper hand to pull off a win, while Hannagan has been extremely fast at similar tracks thus far in 2016.
“Gary and Randy are two drivers that might not be fan favorite picks, but are two that are capable of turning in a big performance,” Anderson added. “Gary Taylor has turned quite a few laps at Kokomo, and Hannagan as been extremely fast at Limaland this year, and in my opinion it is a track that races similar to Kokomo.”
ON TAP- July 22nd and 23rd , the Dirt Classic Indiana is slated to take over the Kokomo Speedway. For those who are unable to attend the event in person, Pay Per View will be available via Speed Shift TV.
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