Season In Review - A Look Back at 2013

By Kyle Larson

ANDERSON, Ind. (February 1, 2014) –
The 2013 Auto Value Super Sprint Series consisted of seven events at six tracks in the states of Michigan and Ohio. Jason Blonde earned his fifth championship edging out Joe Swanson for the 2013 Crown. We take a final look at each of the 2013 events.


1 Friday, May 17* Dixie Motor Speedway Birch Run, MI Mike Ling Jason Blonde
2 Saturday, May 18* Berlin Raceway Marne, MI Mike Ling Jason Blonde
  Saturday, June 1* Kalamazoo Speedway Kalamazoo, MI Canceled - Rain  
3 Friday, June 14* Toledo Speedway Toledo, OH Troy DeCaire Cody Gallogly
  Saturday, June 29* Sandusky Speedway Sandusky, OH Canceled - Rain  
4 Friday, July 5* Dixie Motor Speedway Birch Run, MI Jo Jo Helberg Troy DeCaire
5 Saturday, July 20* Kalamazoo Speedway Kalamazoo, MI Jo Jo Helberg Jason Blonde
6 Friday, August 16* Auto City Speedway Clio, MI Cody Hoover Aaron Pierce
7 Sunday, September 29 Sandusky Speedway Sandusky, OH Aaron Pierce Aaron Pierce
  * Co-Sanctioned Event with HOSS      


Jo Jo Helberg 2 Jason Blonde 3
Mike Ling 2 Aaron Pierce 2
Troy DeCaire 1 Troy DeCaire 1
Cody Hoover 1 Cody Gallogly 1
Aaron Pierce 1    


Ling Takes Opening Victory
Dixie Motor Speedway - Birch Run, MI - Friday, May 17
Mike Ling made the most of his return to the seat of the Wayne Stickney owned No. 99 with an opening night win at Dixie Motor Speedway, scoring his ninth series victory.

Ling got the jump on Tim Cox taking the lead with third starting Troy DeCaire following suit advancing to second position after getting around Cox.

As Ling and DeCaire set the early pace, Kevin Feeney pulled even with Tim Cox on the fourth circuit, taking the position with a high side pass in turn four one lap later.  By the 10th lap, Jason Blonde rose to third spot with DeCaire closing on the race leader as they worked the lapped traffic.

At the checkers flew, Ling grabbed the win with a quarter lap margin over DeCaire. Third was Blonde, followed by Feeney and Cox to round out the top five.

In Hamilton Trucking qualifications, Jason Blonde set the pace with a lap of 12.416 seconds at 115.979 mph. Tyler Underwood, DeCaire, and Jim Swain won heats. 

Second Consecutive Win for Mike Ling
Berlin Raceway - Marne, MI - S
aturday, May 18
Mike Ling took the lead on the opening lap at Berlin (MI) Raceway and went on to claim his second consecutive wins and 10th of his career.

In the opening stages, Ling grabbed the first spot with Tim Cox and Bill Tyler close behind. Near the halfway mark, Jason Blonde charged from second to challenge for the race lead. Blonde caught Ling and made a bid for the spot in heavy lapped traffic. Blonde and Ling traded the lead several occasions then Blonde took command of the first position. 

On lap 20, Blonde went to the top of the track in turn three to pass a lapped car when the caution waved for debris. At the same time, Blonde and the lapped car made contact, causing Blonde to come to a rest in turn four. Ling inherited the lead with Blonde forced to start from the tail.

Over the final 10 laps, Ling pulled away as Swanson was the fastest car over the final five laps climbing to second at the checkered flag. . Ling and Swanson were followed by Cox, Kevin Feeney, and Blonde.

Blonde set fast time during qualifications. Blonde, Tyler, and Ling took victories in heat races.


Dominant Win for DeCaire at Toledo
Toledo Speedway - Toledo, OH - Friday, June 14

Troy DeCaire earned a dominating victory at Toledo (OH) Speedway, winning by half of lap over Jason Blonde.

At the drop of the green flag, DeCaire charged into the lead with Pierce close behind. Pierce began to apply pressure to DeCaire on lap four as the two separated from the rest of the pack.

The only caution period took place on the eighth circuit when Kyle Feeney spun with a flat tire. On the restart Blonde began his surge forward sailing by the outside of three cars, going from sixth to third. DeCaire pulled away from Pierce in lapped traffic as Blonde closed the gap to make a bid for runner-up finish by lap 19.

Blonde made the pass for second with four laps remaining, but it was too late to overcome the lead that DeCaire had constructed.

At the finish, DeCaire finished 6.616 seconds ahead of Blonde with Kody Swanson in third. Jimmy McCune and Gallogly completed the top-five finishers. Pierce faded in the final three laps crossing the line in sixth.

In qualifying, Gallogly topped the charts with al lap of 12.592 seconds at 115.444 mph. Heat race wins were claimed by DeCaire, Tyler Underwood and Darren Roberts.

Helberg Holds Off Swanson for Dixie Triumph

Dixie Motor Speedway - Birch Run, MI - S
aturday, July 5
Jo Jo Helberg won the 30-lap feature at Dixie (MI) Motor Speedway. He led all 30 laps and fended off several challenges from Joe Swanson. Fast qualifier Troy DeCaire finished in third position with Geoff Kaiser and Jason Blonde completing the top five.

"Dixie is a new favorite of mine and it was great to see a really good crowd ," said an excited Jo Jo Helberg after earning his second career Auto Value Super Series victory. "Thanks my dad, girlfriend and Jerrod for sticking me after a poor qualifying effort and a trying heat race were our nose wing collapsed. I didn't see him (Joe Swanson) at all. My dad was giving me signals and he was pretty fast. The short runs worked great for us. It allowed me to cool the tires down. I was able to get through 1-2 really good, but it was pushing really bad in 4. Figured if I could arch it in there, it could save both lines where he couldn't get by me."

Helberg charged into the lead with Inside front-row starter Ryan Gillenwater settling into second spot. At the sixth go-around Swanson was glued to the bumper of Gillenwater in the battle for runner-up honors and then made the pass to take second.

The caution waved at lap nine with Helberg showing the way over Swanson, Gillenwater, Bill Tyler and Troy DeCaire completing the top five. The second half of the event the yellow waved for a hard crash by Jim Swain in turn 4 and Bill Tyler made contact with the turn 1 wall. Both drivers were ok.

At the finish, Helberg fended off challenges from Swanson to grab the victory at the .40-mile oval.

Helberg Wins at Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo Speedway - Kalamazoo, MI - S
aturday, July 20
Jo Jo Helberg scored his second consecutive series feature victory with being awarded the top prize at Kalamazoo (MI) Speedway. The 50-lap event concluded with Troy DeCaire flashing across the finish line in first position. Series officials ruled after winner's circle ceremonies concluded that DeCaire jumped the final restart and placed him back two positions to finish in third spot. That advanced Helberg to first with Kevin Feeney in the runner-up position. The remainder of the adjusted finish included DeCaire, Jeff Bloom and Joe Swanson.

First Career Victory for Hoover
Auto City Speedway - Clio, MI - Fri
day, August 16
Cody Hoover won his first career main event at Auto City Speedway in Clio, Mich. Hoover inherited the first position near the mid point of the race after leader Aaron Pierce and second running Hank Lower tangled. Once out front, Hoover drove to his first career victory in just his fourth start with the series. Following the winner across the line included Joe Swanson with Tim Cox.


Pierce Wins Finale at Sandusky, Blonde Secures Fifth Title
Sandusky Speedway - Sandusky, OH - Sunday, September 29

Aaron Pierce captured the AVSS season finale at Sandusky (OH) Speedway.

Pierce moved into first position with a pass on Jimmy McCune, who concluded the 2013 season with a HOSS victory at Angola and podium at Sandusky . Following Pierce across the finish line included Brian Gerster and McCune to fill out the podium. Tim Cox and Dave Baumgartner rounded out the top-five finishers.

Jason Blonde earned his fifth AVSS title, narrowly edging Joe Swanson in the final points tally.