Locals making names for themselves in Daytona

Hartford native Dale Blaney was recently crowned the 2013 national champion of the All-Star Circuit of Champions. This makes him a four-time champion, having previously won the title in 1995, 1996 and 2008. Blaney, at 49 years of age, also became the series’ all-time winner with 99 victories.

The All Stars are one of the premier sprint car sanctioning bodies in the USA, now in their 20th year of operation. About 400 drivers compete yearly in 40-plus races in several states and Canada.

The former West Virginia University basketball star drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers has shown time and time again that he can race and win against anyone in an outlaw sprint car.

Ryan Blaney, his nephew and son of NASCAR driver Dave Blaney, has become one of the most promising young drivers in motor sports. Already in his young career, he has won events in the NASCAR World Truck Series as well as races on the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Bidding wars from some of NASCARs top teams are going on for his talents as he gets closer to racing in NASCAR’S premier racing series. On Friday night, Ryan finished sixth.

In other family news, Ryan’s grandfather and local racing legend Lou Blaney was inducted into the Sprint Car class of 2013 Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa.

In other news around the area:

Jimmy Weller III, formerly of Hubbard before moving to North Carolina to pursue his racing career, has been racing part time in the NASCAR World Truck series driving for Bobby Dotter. He made his season debut on Friday night, finishing in ninth.

His father, Jimmy Weller Jr., won the Big Block Modified 2013 point championship at Sharon Speedway this past season.

Rex King Jr. also had a great season finishing second. Rex King Sr. was in the hunt for the championship until he missed the last few nights of racing after heavily damaging his racecar.

Seventeen-year-old Jeremy Double of Bristolville won the Econo Mod point title over 12-year-old Jacob Eucker of Hartford this past season at Sharon. Jeremy is the younger brother of 20-year-old Josh Double, the 2011 Sharon Speedway Late Model track Champion and top competitor.