Blair Joins Schnars As Only Driver With 11 SLM Wins In A Season
To the surprise of likely no one in local racing circles, Max Blair turned in quite a weekend at Stateline Speedway.
How good was it?
Well, in the span of 24 hours Blair won two Super Late Model races and a Crate Model race.
“That was $9,000 of winning,” Randy Anderson said. “That’s not a bad weekend.”
But Anderson, the area’s ultimate authority on dirt-track racing and a former member of the now-retired Dick Barton’s race team, discovered that Blair’s latest successes in a summer to remember have put him in some lofty company.
In fact, by virtue of his two Super Late Model victories Saturday and Sunday — the final dates of the 2017 Stateline season — Blair finished with 11 SLM wins at the Kortwright Road oval.
“There were 19 Super Late Model features and he won 11 of them,” Anderson said. “There’s only been one time in the 61-year history of Stateline Speedway that anyone has won 11 Super Late Model races in a single year and that was Bobby Schnars in 1977. You’re in rarified air if you’re tying something that only Bobby Schnars has ever done.”
And when one adds in his successes in the Crate races, Blair has joined Stateline’s Mount Rushmore of drivers, if you will.
“I did look up the times that somebody had won both of the top two class championships in the same year at Stateline,” Anderson said. “Ron Blackmer did it in 1964, Jay Plyler did it in 1971 and Bob Schnars did it in 1972 and 1973.
“Late Model and Sportsman were the classes back then. They didn’t call them Super Late Model. Those were the top two classes that ran. When you’re only the fourth guy to ever do that, and it hasn’t been done in 45 years basically … ”
Anderson didn’t finish the sentence, but he didn’t have to, because it’s clear that Blair is setting a racing standard that is almost impossible to define or ignore..
“If this guy continues to win at this rate, he will own all the records. Ever,” Anderson said. “He already has won, I think, 18 Super Late Model races, and that’s only in a couple years, maybe three years, at most. To already be at 18, I think he’s about 11th all-time already.”
And he’s all of 27 years old.
Despite Blair’s records and successes at such a young age, Anderson said that the former “doesn’t care about any of that stuff.”
“All he cares about,” Anderson continued, “is winning the next race. He doesn’t care about yesterday, he doesn’t care about a week ago or last month. He only cares about what’s going to happen in the next race. That’s why he’s so focused. He’s focused on winning.”
Just like all the successful drivers, Blair is not a favorite of all race fans, Anderson admitted.
“Max is experiencing what all the great drivers experienced in their career,” he said. “Nobody is universally loved.”
Nevertheless, race fans aren’t shy about coming to see Blair get behind the wheel.
“Some are hoping he continues to win and others continue to hope he finally gets his comeuppance,” Anderson said. “For those waiting for him to get his comeuppance, they better bring their lawn chairs, because this is going to take a while.”