With the laps clicking down in the Robbie Dean 94 at Kil-Kare Speedway late Friday night, Enon’s Mike Stacy saved his car and his tires for a shot at the win. He also saved his best driving for those final laps.
Stacy passed Dayton’s Don Mahaffey Jr. high coming out of Turn 4, then set sail to win the third and final race in the Robbie Dean memorial series. Stacy won by 1.763 seconds over runner-up Travis Braden of West Virginia. Urbana’s Michael Ward finished third, Mahaffey fourth and Troy’s Greg Stapleton — who won the Robbie Dean Series championship — fifth.
Mahaffey led the first 68 laps of the 94-lap event. He held off 22 other late models on six restarts during the first 57 laps. But running a fast pace may have worn out his tires faster than the challengers behind him.
“Donny was kind of hanging on. He was running kind of wide and loose,” Stacy said. “He knew that was going to get him in trouble so he (raced) on the bottom. He slowed down and I was ready to go. … I knew it was time to make my move.”
Once Stacy did he was gone in his No. 7 late model sponsored by Howe, Nelson Kohman, Water Quality Solutions, JVM Racing and Stacy’s Flooring. While Mahaffey seldom led by more than two or three car lengths, Stacy was never challenged and even put a pair of lapped cars between himself and Braden.
“I just wanted to keep running low. If (Braden) was going to pass me he was either going to knock me out of the way or pass me on the outside. I didn’t see anything so I just kept going to the checkered,” Stacy said.
“Robbie Dean means a lot to me. I raced with him a lot. He’s a great competitior, a fierce competitor. The guy could do some amazing things in race cars.”
With Stacy comfortably out front, Stapleton settled in behind Mahaffey knowing he had enough points to win the three-race championship.
“I kind of ran too hard in the beginning. I was trying to find a spot to fall in but I was using too much tire,” Stapleton said. “We played it real safe and I was able to bring it home.”
Top 10 finishers at Robbie Dean 94 memorial race at Kil-Kare Speedway late Friday night:
1. Mike Stacy
2. Travis Braden
3. Michael Ward
4. Donald Mahaffey
5. Greg Stapleton
6. Justin Alsip
7. Ryan Fleming
8. Chad Pendelton
9. Ray Muncy
10. Austin Troyer