It’s Cory Eliason In Michigan All Star Run

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Cory Eliason, shown earlier this season, won Thursday's All Star sprint car feature at I-96 Speedway. (Chris Seelman photo)

LAKE ODESSA, Mich – Utilizing finesse, patience, and other’s misfortune, Cory Eliason earned his second Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victory of the season Friday night at I-96 Speedway.

The $5,000 triumph, his first since scoring a monster payday at Virginia Motor Speedway at the beginning of the points schedule, was accomplished from the outside of row three.

Eliason eventually took command on lap 19 and held off a championship contending Dale Blaney, as well as Premier Motorsports’ Justin Peck, at the end of 30 circuits.

“We just kept getting better and better as the feature went on,” Eliason said beside his Rudeen Racing No. 26 entry. “Things went our way tonight and we were able to capitalize. It feels great to be standing out here.”

Starting from the outside-pole position, Clute, Texas’ Aaron Reutzel earned the early jump, blasting off to a near-straightaway lead with just three circuits knocked off the scoreboard.

A caution on lap four slowed the pace early, and although the initial caution left little effect on the running order, it was the caution on lap eight that left the front-runners in a tangle.

As race leader Reutzel was attempting to check-up for spinning car at the exit of turn two, Gio Scelzi, who was battling in the second position, made contact with Reutzel’s rear bumper – sending the Californian out over the edge of turn two and upside down.

As a result, Reutzel was forced to go to the work area; both drivers would not return.

With Reutzel and Scelzi out of the picture, it was Hartford, Ohio’s Blaney who inherited the top spot, now with Eliason and Skylar Gee in tow.

Traffic eventually found its way into the picture by lap 14 creating a sudden roadblock for Blaney. As traffic intensified, so did Eliason’s pressure on the leader. By lap 17, Blaney’s advantage was scraped down to a car length, stuck behind slower cars with Eliason continuing to breath down his neck.

The following circuit, Eliason made a big bid for the lead, nearly getting under Blaney as the duo battled off of turn four to complete lap 18. It only took Eliason one more lap to turn his near-takeover attempt into an official lead change, recreating his dive through turns three and four to successfully drive by the six-time All Star champion.

From that point forward, it was all Eliason at the front of the field, leading the final 12 circuits to score his second victory of the season.

A caution with four laps remaining gave Eliason a stir, but Blaney and Justin Peck – who slipped into a podium spot from 11th just beyond halfway – were no match for the Rudeen Racing entry.

The finish:

A-Main (30 laps): 1. 26-Cory Eliason [6]; 2. 11-Dale Blaney [1]; 3. 70X-Justin Peck [11]; 4. 13-Paul McMahan [9]; 5. 99-Skylar Gee [3]; 6. 71P-Parker Price-Miller [10]; 7. W20-Greg Wilson [13]; 8. 85-Dustin Daggett [7]; 9. 81-Lee Jacobs [5]; 10. 21-Brinton Marvel [15]; 11. O7-Gerard McIntyre [22]; 12. 22M-Dan McCarron [24]; 13. 27K-Brad Lamberson [20]; 14. 18J-RJ Jacobs [18]; 15. 11R-Chase Ridenour [14]; 16. 70-Brock Zearfoss [8]; 17. 2L-Landon Lalonde [23]; 18. 14-Tony Stewart [19]; 19. 87-Aaron Reutzel [2]; 20. 71-Gio Scelzi [4]; 21. 97-Max Stambaugh [17]; 22. 4L-Ryan Ruhl [21]; 23. 4-Danny Smith [16]; 24. 71M-Paul May [12]

Lap Leaders: Aaron Reutzel 1-7, Dale Blaney 8-18, Cory Eliason (19-30)

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