Blaney Best in Outlaws Finale

Dale Blaney

Blaney celebrates his first win at Charlotte. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

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CONCORD, N.C. - Dale Blaney raced to the win in the World of Outlaws PEAK Motor Oil World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on a night where Donny Schatz was officially crowned the 2012 champion.

Racing in his 17th event with the Outlaws this year, Blaney capped off the season by holding off a hard-charging Paul McMahan to score his first win at Charlotte in front of a standing room only crowd and a television audience on SPEED.

"This is like Knoxville, Williams Grove, Eldora," Blaney said. "To win one in front of all these people in the World Finals - just the atmosphere itself and all the fans for the Modifieds and the Late Models is pretty special."

Dale BlaneyThe win was Blaney's second with the Outlaws this season and the eighth of his career. This year also marked the fourth straight season that he's scored at least one win with the series, including the last three on Goodyears, which will no longer be the official tire supplier.

"The last three we have run better every year on the Goodyears so I hate to see them go now," Blaney said. "We'll have to go back to re-learning the Hoosiers."

Ever since Blaney and his T.I. 22 Performance team unloaded the car on Thursday, they were fast every time they hit the track. On Friday, Blaney looked to be on his way to a potential win up until a right-rear blew on his car late in the race.

"Every race we have been in we have been really, really good," Blaney said. "When you are like that you are confident in your racecar and you can put in in places that it may not go, but you are going to put it there."

McMahan, who joined the No. 51 CJB Motorsports in September, came from the 22nd starting position en route to the runner-up finish, which marked his fifth consecutive top five dating back to his win at Williams Grove Speedway.

"We didn't qualify as well as we would of like to on Thursday and that put us behind the eight ball," McMahan said. "I was thinking that if I made it to the top 10 tonight it would have been a decent run for us. To come all the way up to second was unbelievable."

Jason Johnson finished a season-best third to give him top-five performances in both World Finals races.

Friday's night's third-place finisher Kraig Kinser finished fourth with Greg Hodnett rounding out the top five.

"The Hendrickcars.com car was great all weekend,” Kinser said. “We always want to finish a couple of spots higher, but with the caliber of cars that were at Charlotte, to finish third and fourth, we are very happy with that. The track was pretty racy both nights and we had some great battles out there and most importantly put on an amazing show for the fans."

Craig Dollansky passed Blaney for the lead on lap 19, but then fell out of contention when he had a tire go down. Once it did, Dollansky slowed and pole-sitter Stevie Smith, who led the opening seven laps, got into him and flipped.

"I was going to end on a positive note there with a win," Dollansky said. "I felt like we had a real comfortable lead at that point. I was getting through lap traffic well. I just feel bad for our entire race team."

Donny SchatzAfter clinching the championship in qualifying on Thursday, Schatz was officially crowned champion for the fifth time in the last seven years.

“This season has been one of the most rewarding ones of my career,” Schatz said. “Everyone at Tony Stewart Racing should be proud of what we accomplished."

Although he was able to win the war, Schatz, who swept the World Finals last season, wasn't able to come away with the finishes he would have liked to this weekend. On Friday night Schatz failed to make the A-Feature, and tonight he was caught up in a late-race crash while racing for third that relegated him to a 25th-place finish.

"We had a not so good weekend, but you are going to have that in racing," Schatz said. "Last night was purely us messing around too much. Tonight, we had a decent car all night long. In the Feature there we just kind of got run over, but those things are going to happen."

Schatz ended the season with a 114-point advantage over Dollansky. Last night's winner Sammy Swindell, who led the series in wins with 13, finished 138 back. Joey Saldana and Steve Kinser round out the top five.

Photos: Jeff Wackerlin

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