Racing legend Lou Blaney signs autographs at Yankee Lake Ballroom in this 2005 file photo.

One of local auto racing’s true legends, Lou Blaney of Hartford, died Sunday at the age of 69 after an extended illness.

Blaney started racing in 1958 and during two decades of competition, he was a dominating figure in both Super Modifieds and Super Sprints, He won more than 200 races, including capturing the National Open at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg in 1966.

He went on to race DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, winning another couple hundred events from 1978-2002.

Blaney was popular with fans at tracks all over the area, including his home Sharon Speedway, Tri-City Speedway, Mercer Raceway Park, Lernerville Speedway, Jennerstown Speedway, Sportsman’s Speedway, Expo Speedway, Raceway 7 and Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.

He won numerous regional point titles and is a member of the DIRT Motorsports and Pittsburgh Circle Track Club halls of fame. Last year he was inducted into the Tri-City Speedway Hall of Fame.

He handed down his love for racing to his two sons, Dave and Dale. Dave has raced for several years in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after great success with the World of Outlaws. Dale is an All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Series 3-time champion.

Blaney is survived by his wife, Kate, his sons, Dave and Dale, and 5 grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are: viewing, 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. at the Hartford United Methodist Presbyterian Church, Route 305, Hartford; funeral, 11 a.m. Wednesday.

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