Great Lakes Super Sprints
DALMAN OVERTAKES MORRELL FOR VICTORY
Gas City, IN - What a show teenager Conner Morrell (Bradenton, FL) and veteran Gregg Dalman (Bellevue, MI) put on tonight, swapping the lead 4 times as Dalman finally gets past Morrell for good with 5 laps to go. Dalman parked it in the winners circle for his second GLSS victory of the season.
Unlike our first visit last year, there was no rain in the forecast this year and it was a beautiful evening in Central Indiana at Gas City I-69 Speedway tonight. 19 cars were able to make the pull for our only Friday night race here. The grounds crew did a great job prepping the track and the whole field of sprints were pushed off to wheel pack and roll the track in. Getting the thumbs up from the staff the cars returned to the pits and lined up for 3 car, group qualifying.
The qualifying order for each night is determined at the time of the driver registers and draws a number between 1-100. Normally drivers want to have a low number and go out early, however on a heavy track like we had tonight, there's an advantage to rolling out later when the track starts coming in a little better.
That was the case tonight as the fastest time in the first group to hit the track was Linden Jones (Edwardsburg, MI) with a 12.629 second lap. The fastest time of the night was set by Texas native, Brandon Long (Kokomo, IN) with a 11.529 second lap, shaving 1.1 seconds off Jones's quick time. Current points leader, Phil Gressman (Helena, OH) was in the same group as Long and grabbed 2nd quick with a 11.613 second lap. Chase Ridenour (Perry, MI), Dustin Daggett (Portland, MI) and Dan McCarron (Britton, MI) rounded out the top five quick times.
In the Kistler Engines and Racing Parts Heat Race 1, Brad Lamberson (Parma, MI) and Dalman lead the cars to the chalk line. As the field goes green, Lamberson does a good job holding off Dalman and getting out front in clean air. Daggett and Long were doing all they could to reel in the leaders, but Lamberson and Dalman were able to hold them off and Lamberson took the checkered flag and Dalman took the 2nd transfer spot, leaving Daggett, Long and Scheid roiunding out the top 5.
Morrell and Michael Summers (Warsaw, IN) led the next group around the track in the Campbell Performance Heat Race 2. On the start, Morrell was able to get a clean start and moved out front. McCarron was able to get past Summers for the second spot with Gressman getting around Summers for the 3rd spot in the 2nd lap. Gressman was back now from the 2 leaders about a full front stretch. As he worked where he could to reel in McCarron, Gressman was on his bumper with 3 to go and he was looking for an opening. Not getting a clean opening and the white flag is out, Gressman resorted to trying to sling shot past McCarron on the outside as they went into turn 4. Unfortunately Gressman ran out of track and bounced hard off the front stretch wall, which bounced him across the finish line in 3rd. Morrell and McCarron took 1st and 2nd, while Gressman, Summers and Garrett Saunders (Lakeville, IN) rounded out the top 5.
The Perfit/Engine Pro Heat 3 is led out by Lebanon, IN native, Lukas Smith and Jared Lamberson (Parma, MI). As they finish their first lap, Smith is able to hold off the bunch and be the leader. Lamberson has other plans, as he works around Smith for the lead in lap 2. Now Lamberson is having to deal with Ridenour on his tale. Finally in turn 4, Ridenour gets around Lamberson for the lead and Lamberson stays busy holding off the rest of the field. At the checkered flag, Ridenour is by himself with a 3 second lead over Lamberson, with Josh Shantz (Waterloo, ONT), Jones and Smith rounding out the top 5.
With the redraws done, setting the first 3 rows, the feature lineup is complete. Scattering the field of cars around the quarter mile track for the feature, the push truck drivers are given the thumbs up and the whole field of cars is fired in just over a minute. After the line up is good, the cars are given the signal to go 4 wide in a tribute to all the fans. Breaking out of that formation, the field is set and the one lap signal is given.
As Lamberson and Morrell take off at the chalk line, they push up the track a little high and Dalman takes advantage and he cuts underneath and is leading the pack at the end of the first lap. 36 years Dalman's junior, our 2018 Rookie of the year, Morrell had different plans for how his night was going to play out. After working Dalman for 4 laps, Morrell makes a pass and leads lap 5.
Getting into heavy lap traffic, Morrell is busy planning his next move and hoping that Dalman stays away. Morrell navigates through the field and manages to hold on to the top spot until lap 16 when Dalman gets around him for the lead once again. This is short lived with Morrell taking back the lead in lap 17 and holding it for 2 laps. In lap 18, Dalman regains the lead for one lap, when Morrell snatched it back for lap 19. In lap 21, Dalman gets by Morrell for good and takes the checkered flag for the win.
Morrell follows just 1.7 seconds behind Dalman for 2nd with Daggett, Ridenour and the Engler Hard Charger winner, Andrew Scheid (Sparta, MI) rounding out the top five finishers.
Our next race will be Border Wars 5 at Monpelier Speedway on Saturday, July 27th.
Thank you to our marketing sponsors, Beacon and Bridge Markets, Addvance Heating & Cooling, Specialty Fuels and Logistics and Hoosier Midwest. Also to our race sponsors, Kistler Engines and Racing Products, Campbell Performance, Perfit/Engine Pro and Engler Machine and Tool.
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Article Credit: Barry M. Marlow
Submitted By: Barry Marlow