LIMA – There is an old saying in sports that “winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.”
For veteran sprint car driver Shawn Dancer, the experience of winning a feature at Limaland Motorsports Park was the only thing he was still looking to accomplish.
That quest became a moot point for the Delphos-based racer as he went flag-to-flag on this night and won the coveted “Run for the Rabbit” 25-lap NRA Sprint Invaders showdown.
The event quickly turned into a 3-car tussle between Dancer, fellow front-row starter Hud Horton and Jared Horstman. Dancer and Horstman were content to storm around the high-side cushion of the high-banked ¼-mile, while Horton took the middle or inside line as his preferred avenue for racing. It remained a 3-car engagement with these same racers despite a pair of caution flags and a red flag to slow the race.
A harrowing end-over-end accident involving veteran Todd Heuerman occurred after he made contact with the turn four wall. The popular Leipsic racer was unable to continue due to damage with his number 18 machine. The incident did set up a 4-lap dash to the finish. Dancer simply turned it into a series of victory laps on his way to a first-ever feature-race checkered flag.
“The car was really good and my guys did a great job with the setup,” exclaimed a happy yet calm Dancer. “It’s awesome for my first win to be the ‘Run for the Rabbit.’ The family of Travis ‘Rabbit’ Miller is great for putting this on. For me after flipping at Eldora (recently) it was important to do something positive and my whole team really stepped up as this is something special!”
The Reineke Modifieds 20-lap feature proved to be a repeat of the previous two weeks as Matt Westfall and Todd Sherman continued their dual domination in the division. Westfall came from behind to edge Sherman at the finish line two weeks ago while Sherman held off Westfall in a similar scenario just last week at the famed western Ohio speed venue.
Westfall took an outside front-row starting position and propelled his number 54 entry to the early lead using the high line around the track. Sherman, celebrating a milestone 50th birthday, stayed with his traditional middle- to bottom-route line and was within range of Westfall throughout. Both racers seemed content to hold their positions although Sherman made a few attempts to get fully underneath Westfall. He was never successful as Westfall rolled mostly unthreatened to his third win of 2014.
“We had a really good car tonight and it’s always a good feeling to win,” said a matter-of-fact Westfall. “The longer the green, it seemed the top of the track was best and I didn’t feel like Todd (Sherman) was really gaining much on me.”