latemodelamerica.com - Sept. 3 - West Virginia Motor Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

O'Reilly All Stars: Shaver Steals Balzano Memorial With Last Lap Pass

Jason Shank, WVMS p.r.

MINERAL WELLS, W.V. - Sept. 3. Vienna, West Virginia’s Steve Shave has been virtually unstoppable at the BDS Promotions West Virginia Motor Speedway since it reopened back in May of this year.  On Thursday, Shaver continued his dominance during the O’Reilly All Star Late Model Series sanctioned $5,000 to win, ‘Mark Balzano Memorial’ with a last lap pass on Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.V.

Steve Francis held the point early in the event while Davey Johnson and Shaver battled throughout the early laps for the runner-up spot. As Francis closed in on lapped traffic, Johnson and Shave began to reel in the race leader.  Johnson began to pressure Francis, but a lap 12 caution for the slowed car of Doug Drown thwarted that rally.

When racing resumed, Francis led the field into turn one, but as the field exited turn two, Francis looked to have lost a motor and bottled up the front group of cars. Fast qualifier Kennie Compton shot to the outside and drove around the top cars of Johnson, Shaver, Richards and Lux, while Johnson also got shuffled back.  Three laps later, Johnson came up lame with a flat tire to bring out the event's second caution on lap 15. 

When racing resumed Compton continued to lead as Shaver and Richards stalked him through the middle stages of the event.  By the mid-way point, Richards had made his move past Shaver and into second, and on lap 24, Richards poked his nose under Compton but slipped and lost all of his momentum. He able to hold onto the second spot, but with Shaver all over his rear deck.

It wasn’t long before Richards was back on the bumper of Compton and again pressuring the leader until, on lap 30, Richards got a run on Compton coming out of turn four and was scored the leader of that lap as he led by the nose.  The two battled side-by-side, with Richards gaining the momentum out of turn two to complete the pass.  Shaver was also right there waiting for his opportunity to get around Compton and on lap 34, he made the pass for second.

Richards had stretched his lead to about six to eight car lengths by the 36th circuit and caught lapped traffic on lap 37. That helped Shaver to close in, and as the two came to the white flag, Richards tried a slide job style move on a lapped car, which took a majority of his momentum and opened the door for Shaver to slip underneath the defending World of Outlaws Late Model Series Champion.  Shaver completed the pass in turns one and two and went on to win the first ASLMS event of his career and third at WVMS since it’s reopening in May of 2010.  Richards was second, followed by John Blankenship, Compton, and Matt Lux.

 

O'Reilly All Stars - West Virginia Motor Speedway

1) Steve Shaver, 2) Josh Richards, 3) John Blankenship, 4) Kennie Compton, 5) Matt Lux, 6) Rod Conley, 7) Eddie Carrier, 8) Gregg Satterlee, 9) Jared Miley, 10) Rob Blair, 11) Boom Briggs, 12) Tyler Reddick, 13) Jacob Hawkins, 14) Clint Smith, 15) Steve Francis, 16) Davey Johnson, 17) Jared Hawkins, 18) Doug Drown, 19) Greg Oakes
Fast Time: Compton (19.085 secs.); Heat winners: Francis, Shaver, Richards.

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