Truro racer pulls off miraculous win at Summer Clash 250

Truro racer pulls off miraculous win at Summer Clash 250

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TRURO, N.S. — A broken axle nearly cost Dylan Blenkhorn the Summer Clash 250.

Taking place on Aug. 12 at the Scotia Speedworld track near Halifax, the Summer Clash 250 was Blenkhorn’s first race of the year. As the owner and operator of Auto World Truro, Blenkhorn doesn’t have a lot of time for racing like he used to.

Though he grew up around cars, with his family owning Blenkhorn’s Auto, he’s usually stuck in sales rather than the driver’s street.

His last race had been the previous year’s Summer Clash. The same race put his name into the minds of fellow racecar drivers around Nova Scotia when he won in 2014.

As he was charging ahead of fifth place, he felt something was wrong with his car. He pulled off into the pit and learned what had happened. His axle snapped.

In the pit and unsure if his car would be fit to drive, it was hard not to feel like his chance had slipped away from him.

“I was done,” said Blenkhorn regarding the axle. “I was done for the day.”

It wasn’t the only issue plaguing Blenkhorn that day. An issue with his radio communications prevented him from knowing what lap he was on or learning what was in his blind spots.

The broken axle wasn’t the finisher. It was the cherry on the cake.

These problems made it all the more surprising to both the audience and Blenkhorn himself when he came first place in the 250-lap race.

Helping hand

When their axle broke, Blenkhorn ran over to a friend of his who drove the same racecar as him. Luckily, he had a car that had broken in the race early and let Blenkhorn take the axle out to repair his car quickly.

“I got back in the racecar and got out. We lost two laps halfway through the race,” said Blenkhorn.

Halfway through the race, Blenkhorn’s radio started to function again.

“We got our two laps back, and I think we got our second lap back with 50 to go,” recalled Blenkhorn. “We started from the back and drove through to win.”

While flying past the competition wasn’t easy, it was when Blenkhorn made it back up to fifth that it really became difficult.

“The first 20 cars are not easy, but they aren’t hard. The last five cars are the same speed as you, so you really have to try to work your way around them.”

While he would have settled for anything between fifth and second, he felt he could win it all when he took first place with ten laps to go.

“Once you get in the lead, it’s a whole different feeling,” said Blenkhorn. “You don’t have to look at anyone’s bumper anymore. Everyone’s chasing you.”

Blenkhorn ended up beating out the defending Summer Clash 250 winner, Ashton Tucker, who had been leading for 154 laps of the race. Tucker settled for second.

Blenkhorn received $16,500 in prize money plus contingencies for the win and was awarded the Fast Eddie Racewear Lucky Dog twice for his miraculous comeback.