MANSFIELD, OH – Tim Shaffer has now won the two biggest Sprint Car races in the World. The Aliquippa, Pa., driver won the 50th Knoxville Nationals and on Saturday night he won the first ever Sprint Car World Championship worth $100,000 at Mansfield Motorsports Park.
Shaffer jumped out to the lead at the start of the main-event. He beat Aaron Reutzel off of the fourth corner and maintained the edge on the top of turns one and two lead the opening circuit. Before another lap could be collected Cap Henry spun in turn two collecting Kerry Madsen. Madsen got upside down. Both drivers were uninjured in the crash.
Action picked back up with Shaffer on the point. Shaffer set a quick pace as the race behind him picked up between Hunter Schuerenberg and Aaron Reutzel raced for the runner-up position. Schuerenberg took the position on lap four but gave way four laps later when Carson Macedo rocketed by.
Macedo now focused on the race long leader Shaffer. Shaffer caught the tail of the field by lap 10 allowing Macedo to close the gap. Macedo took a look under Shaffer on lap 10. At that point Shaffer picked up the pace pulling away from Macedo.
Shaffer continued to set a torrid pace at the front as Macedo held his own in the runner-up position. At this point Reutzel able to get back by Schuerenberg to move onto the podium. The top three remained unchanged until caution on lap 18 for a slowing DJ Netto.
The restart gave Reutzel the chance to shoot around Macedo for the second spot with Shaffer motoring away out in front of the field.
The halfway caution came with Shaffer at the point, Reutzel, Macedo, Gio Sceliz and Brown Brown the top five.
Shaffer quickly rocketed away from the field once the action resumed. Before lap 27 could completed the yellow was necessary as James McFadden slammed the outside wall in the second corner. He was unable to continue.
Shaffer was flawless on the next restart allowing him to pull away from Reutzel for the first laps after the green. Shaffer again found traffic. As Shaffer worked traffic, Reutzel took advantage and pulled right up to Shaffer. He took a peak to the inside on lap 38 but couldn’t get it done.
Schuerenberg’s night came to an abrupt end on lap 44 bringing out the red flag as he got upside down in turn four. This gave everyone another opportunity at Shaffer.
Shaffer didn’t get the best of restarts at the final green allowing Reutzel to hang tough with him. Reutzel stayed in close contact with Shaffer waiting for an opportunity.
On the final lap, Ruetzel made a bonsai move to the inside of Shaffer going into turn three after he closed ground down the backstretch but he was unable to complete the pass as he tapped the fence with his right rear tire. As a result, Shaffer was able to drive back underneath the Ruetzel No. 87 en route to a $100,000 payday.
Reutzel finished second with Kemenah, Joey Saldana and Cap Henry completing the top five.
SPRINT CAR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP A-MAIN FINISH (50-LAPS): Tim Shaffer, Aaron Reutzel, Chad Kemenah, Joey Saldana, Cap Henry, Danny Dietrich, Spencer Bayston, Parker Price-Miller, Rico Abreu, Caleb Armstrong, Travis Philo, Gerard Macintyre, Tyler Gunn, Carson Macedo, Hunter Schuerenberg, Adam Kekich, Caleb Helms, Brian Brown, Giovanni Scelzi, James McFadden, Dave Blaney, Rob Chaney, D.J. Netto, Kerry Madsen