CONCORD, N.C. – Dave Blaney dipped a white rag in a cooler of ice water and rubbed it across his face.
He had just navigated a virtual dust storm to a seventh-place finish in Saturday’s World of Outlaws Last Call and he needed to cleanse himself. In a way, he savored the moment.
Times like Saturday don’t come often for the 58-year-old at this stage in his life.
“We had a good night all night,” Blaney said through a smile. “Actually, [in the] first half of the feature, I thought we had a car capable of winning.”
It was just the eighth race of the season for Blaney, who worked his way through the field in the early going before staying put in seventh the rest of the way.
The performance was a total 180-degree turnaround from the night before. On Friday, Blaney struggled, qualifying 19th in his group of 22 cars and failing to finish the B-Main.
But on Saturday, the 1995 World of Outlaws champion turned back the clock, dueling with some of the sport’s best in Donny Schatz, who finished sixth, and Kyle Larson, who came home eighth.
“The crazy thing is we raced with those guys like we did tonight,” Blaney said. “We stuck right with them. For a part-time old guy, I’m happy with it. Really happy with the night, honestly.”
Saturday marked the seventh straight year Blaney has recorded at least one top 10 with the World of Outlaws, dating back to 2014.
Blaney ran a red and white No. 10, a tribute to his legendary father Lou Blaney who ran the exact colors in the 1970s.
“I love that car,” Blaney said. “Happy to have the red and white No. 10. It’s pretty cool.”
Blaney will finish the season with one victory, when he won at Sharon Speedway back in June. Next year, Blaney plans to bring back the livery that honors his father to go along with a 10-to-12 race schedule.
Other than that, he’s pretty busy with certain obligations.
“I cut Ryan Blaney’s grass,” Blaney said, jokingly.
Turning to a more serious note, Blaney is consumed with running the day-to-day operations of DRE Custom Trailers.
The Salisbury, N.C., business produces restroom and shower trailers that are available for sale and rent. Blaney started the endeavor in January and has enjoyed channeling his passion for fabrication.
But on Saturday, the thrill to win on the World of Outlaws tour rushed through Blaney like the good old days, and he wore a big smile when describing it.
“We were coming fast early in the race,” Blaney said. “We had visions of winning that. We didn’t quite make it but it was a lot of fun.”