Great Lakes Super Sprints
DAGGETT WINS THRILLER IN NIGHT 3
Lake Odessa, MI – Pulling off before the start of heat 2 with a broken spark plug, Dustin Daggett started at the rear of the B-Main to win it, giving him the 17th starting position in the feature where he worked his way through the field for his first feature win of the season, on night 3 of the Mid-Summer Triple Header.
With the best weather of the weekend, 27 Great Lakes Super Sprints/NRA cars, 19 MTS non-wing sprints and 22 IMCA Modifieds were in the pits for the GLSS Open Wheel Spectacular. Starting things early for the Sunday race, the sun beating on the track was a concern for the I-96 Speedway track crew. With a behind the scene agreement between GLSS owner Barry Marlow and the resident track prep expert “Walt”, things were hectic in the pits. Walt promised Marlow that he would have a fast track for us, if we got the cars on the track when he gave us the green light…Walt kept his end of the bargain up with a great racing surface Sunday night.
After the MTS Sprints ran hot laps, the winged sprints rolled out for qualifying. At the end of qualifying, Jared Horstman (Cloverdale, OH) sat on top of the group as fast qualifier with a 14.74 second lap. Daggett, Kyle Sauder (Archbold, OH), Joe Swanson (Etna Green, IN) and Chase Ridenour (Perry, MI) rounded out the top 5.
Heat 1 was won by Horstman, followed by Ridenour, Kyle Poortenga (Woodland, MI) and Andrew Scheid (Sparta, MI) who rounded out the top 4. Heat 2 took the green flag minus Daggett who had a broken spark plug. Jay Steinbach (Hudsonville, MI) wins the heat with John Schulz (West Berlington, IA), Linden Jones (Edwardsburg, MI) and Brad Lamberson (Parma, MI) rounding out the top 4. Heat 3 was won by Sauder and closely followed by Andy Teunessen (Hastings, MI), Devon Dobie (Wapakoneta, OH) and Gregg Dalman (Bellevue, MI). In the last heat race, a visiting Shawn Murray (Jacksonville, FL) wins over Kelsey Ivy (Fremont, OH), Swanson and Kyle Locke (Quincy, MI).
Taking the top 2 from each heat race, we had the winners redraw and filled in 4, 2 car brackets for the Home Pro HAMMER TIME DASH. Fast qualifier of each 2 car group had choice of inside or outside and the cars started side by side in turn 4 for 2 quick laps. The winner of each bracket pulled around and lined up for a 4 lap 4 car dash to determine their feature starting positions. The losing cars from the head to head battle filled in positions 5-8 based on their qualifying times. Making it thru to the HAMMER TIME DASH were Horstman, Sauder, Steinbach and Ridenour. Ridenour was out of his 4th position like a shot, quickly getting by the front row of Sauder and Horstman to claim the $250 1st place Dash payout. Giving Ridenour the pole in the feature.
With the B-Main rolling out and the last chance for 4 cars to transfer to the A-Main, Daggett quickly made short work of moving through the field to win it. Also transferring to the A, were Chris Pobanz (Sebewang, MI), Joe Geibe (Sturgis, MI and Tony Bures (Bristol, IN).
After about a half hour in which Walt prepped the track for the GLSS/NRA Feature. Sitting in the 4th position and getting ready to form the 4 wide fan salute, points leader Horstman pulled off the track into the work area with a mechanical problem and not able to get it fixed to make the green flag. Following the 4 wide and two more laps, the field when green and pole setter, Ridenour was off like a shot as he blew into turn 1 with Sauder trying to keep him reeled in!
The track prep paid off, as the field of cars where running in 3-4 lines around the track! The catfish were happy and high fliers were happy and the crowd was treated to a great show of speed and driving skills! In lap 13, Sauder who was holding on to 2nd place but loosing ground on Ridenour pulled off the back stretch and into the infield with motor problems. Daggett who had already passed his way up to 5th gained another spot into 4th . In lap 18, Daggett pulled into 2nd around Schulz and was putting his sights on Ridenour.
About 60 seconds from a checkered flag, suddenly in lap 20, Locke went off the track in 3 with a bent front axle and broken shock. When suddenly, something grabbed and pulled Locke’s car down into 3 and into the path of an oncoming Scheid who was cruising into turn 3 at 98 mph. Unfortunately Scheid caught Locke’s back tire and flipped the 77 car and slammed it into the ground and coming to rest in the middle of turns 3 and 4 bringing out the red flag and bringing the field together for a single file restart.
As Ridenour brings the field around for the final 5 laps and Daggett and Schulz chomping at the bit, the field goes green. As Ridenour and Daggett pass the start line Daggett takes off and hits the back of Ridenour, lifting quickly, Schulz is on the gas and slams into Daggett pushing him into Ridenour again. With held breaths and great driving by all 3 drivers, Ridenour’s down the front stetch with a about a car length lead going into turn 1. As Ridenour goes high into 1, Daggett goes low and Schulz, Murray and Tuenessen take the high line as they fly out of turn 2. With Ridenour and Daggett side by side, Daggett pulls away from Ridenour enough to beat him to the bottom of 3 and as Ridenour flies into the bottom of 3 on Daggets tail his momentum sends him high into the top of 4 and in front of a charging Schulz. That would be as close as anyone would get to Daggett the remaining 4 laps as he was on a rail all night pulling away from the field now. Daggett set fast times of the night in laps 22, 23 and 24 as he was flying around the track at an average speed of 109 mph. Taking the double checkered flags was Daggett, Ridenour, Schulz, Murray and a quiet Kelsey Ivy!
To see the highlights of Sundays race go to Youtube and you can find it under “072317 GLSS I96 Speedway” or go the Great Lakes Super Sprints Facebook page. For all the final results, go to www.greatlakessupersprints.com and be sure to LIKE our Facebook page!
Our next race will be at Limaland Raceway Park in Lima, OH where we’ll be part of the Run for the Rabbit on Friday, July 28th and then we’ll travel to Montpelier Speedway in Montpelier, IN for a Saturday night race on July 29th.
Thank you to Home Pro for giving us the HAMMER TIME DASH! It gave us a little flavor of Dashes from down under in Australia with our own little twist. We look forward running that a few times a year!!!
Article Credit: Barry M. Marlow