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Bedford (Pa.) Speedway promoter Joe Padula poses with Keystone Cup winner Max Blair (left center), who won the event with a backup car from the sixth-place starting position. (Jason Walls/WRT Photo)

Bedford Official Explains Keystone Cup Ruling

BEDFORD, Pa. – Max Blair won Saturday’s $25,000-to-win Keystone Cup at Bedford Speedway with a backup car from the sixth-starting position.

The development created confusion, how Blair retained his starting position when changing cars before a main event almost always means that driver and team must start at the rear of the field.

Blair encountered mechanical problems in Saturday’s rescheduled six-lap dash and changed cars before leading 39 of 60 laps.

Blair won by eight seconds over polesitter and seven-time track champion Jeff Rine, who said Blair winning with a backup from sixth “is hard. We’re at Bedford. It’s unsanctioned… It is what it is.”

Track promoter Joe Padula reinforced his track’s rules in a phone interview late Monday night.

“Our rules, and there are rules in a lot of places, but our rules, on a multi-day show, you are allowed to switch cars after qualifying, before the feature,” Padula said. “The rule states during a multi-day show, the driver is qualified, not the car.

“Now, that’s not how it is on a one-day show,” Padula added. “On a one-day show, the driver has to use the same car all night. The reason for that rule is, and it comes up all the time, because guys on a multi-day show — this isn’t NASCAR for instance where they impound all the cars all weekend — you have no idea what that guy is bringing out of the trailer.

“They put [the car] away and you have no idea what that team is bringing out [the next day],” Padula continued. “Like I said, this happens all the time. … For instance, on Friday we had pure stocks and 4-cylinders racing, and it rained. So we brought them back on Sunday to finish their feature … but they didn’t have to bring the same cars because there’s no way to know which car they are running.

“That’s the rule,” Padula said. “That’s always how it’s been.”

Bedford followed its Chapter B, Section 4, F ruling that states “during a multi-day event only, a driver may change cars from the first day of the event to the next and retain their assigned starting position.”

As for this weekend’s fourth running of the Keystone Cup, Friday’s dash, which Blair was a part of, was rescheduled to Saturday because of rain. In Padula’s words, Blair had locked himself into a top six starting spot no matter what.

“In our case with Max Blair, he broke there after the dash and since it was a multi-day show, he was allowed to have a different car,” Padula said. “If, for instance, just to give you an example, if he had not come down for the dash, not come out and say they broke in warmups. He would’ve been locked into his sixth-starting spot, which would have been last place in the dash, and nobody would have had any idea what car he was running.

“But that’s the rule,” Padula added. “It’s been in our rule page for 30 years because it’s impossible to know on a two-day show what kind of car the guy is driving.

“It’s written there in black and white,” Padula said. “I guess, if guys would like to, every rule can be ready 50 different times I suppose. That’s the rule.”

The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series enforces practically the same rule (Chapter 7, Section 1, C), explaining “during a multi-day event, a driver may change cars from one day of the event to the next and retain their assigned starting spot for their next scheduled race.”

“Obviously you don’t like to see controversy and people unhappy, but I wish they’d read the rules,” Padula said.

“We’ve been in these situations before,” Padula added. “And you want to try and make the rules as simple as possible to cover the rules in every situation.

“If we would’ve done it differently, Max could’ve pulled up my rules and said, ‘Hey, it says right here that I’m good,’” Padula said. “It’s frustrating because we had a nice race and a nice night.”

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