Great Lakes Super Sprints
DAGGETT SWEEPS WEEKEND
Crystal, MI – With 33 sprint cars in the pits and the stands packed for Sunday’s race at Crystal Motor Speedway, Dustin “Double D” Daggett (Portland, MI) captured his 3rd straight win this year by beating Gregg Dalman (Bellevue, MI), Danny “D3” Sams (Northport, FL) and Chase “kid rocket” Ridenour (Perry, MI) to the checkered flag with only a second to spare!
After a rain out at Merritt Speedway on Saturday night, we had 24 cars traveled to Crystal, MI for our final night of a 3 race weekend! By the time registration was closed, we had 9 more cars signed in and the largest field Great Lakes Super Sprints has put on the track since GLSS was formed at the end of the 2015 season.
The afternoon was sunny and hot, with clear blue skies and a stiff breeze. As pretty as the day was, with qualifying starting at 6 pm, the track would prove to be challenging for the 33 cars qualifying. As qualifying wrapped up, Daggett was our fast qualifier for the night with an average lap time of 13.938 or about 97 miles per hour. Rounding out the top 5 qualifiers were newcomer Quentin Blonde (Concorde, MI), Matt “Black Deuce” Foos (Fremont, OH), “Hoosier Rocket” Brett Mann and Ridenour.
Linden Jones (Edwardsburg, MI) and Jared Lamberson (Parma, MI) lead out the Kistler Racing Products heat race #1. As the field goes green, Jones puts some distance between himself and Lamberson. But in the second lap, a hard charging Daggett who started 4th gets around Jones for the lead. Jones holds on to the transfer spot till the last lap, and Lamberson is able to get around him as well as Ridenour. Putting Jones in the feature but out of the redraw. Going green flag to checker in 130 seconds, your top four drivers transferring from the Kistler Racing Parts Heat Race #1 were Daggett, Lamberson, Ridenour and Jones.
In the Campbell Performance Heat Race #2, Stevie Irwin (Fenton, MI) driving the 81 car and Phil “The Gasman” Gressman in the 7c car led the second group on to the track. As the green flag flew, “The Gasman” Gressman beat Irwin into the first turn and took the lead. “Joe Dirt” Geibe (Sturgis, MI) was able to make a move and get around Michael Summers (Warsaw, MI) for the 4th spot. With another green flag to checker race, the times fell off slightly, but was ran in 144 seconds. Gressman and Irwin grabbed the transfer spots, while Blonde and Geibe secured the other two transfer spots.
Leading out the Kistler Engine Heat Race #3 was two Florida residents, Bill Jacoby (Village, FL) and “D3” Sams. “D3” jumped out to grab the lead with Jacoby staying with him the first lap. In lap 2, Dalman and Foos got around Jacoby for good and then in the 3rd lap Tony Bures (Bristol, IN) was able to work his way into 4th. With a total elapsed time of 2 minutes and 28 seconds, “D3” Sams took the checkered flag inThe Kistler Engine Heat Race #3, with Dalman, Foos and Bures finishing out the transfer spots.
Hoping for a clean sweep of green flag heats was a little too much to ask as the sun settled below the trees and Andrew “Drew” Scheid (Sparta, MI) and Chris Pobanz (Sebewang, MI) led the Specialty Fuels & Logistics Heat Race #4 around the track. Scheid jumped out to an early lead with Pobanz close behind when they passed the flag stand. As the leaders were charging into turn one, suddenly Eric Smith (Lakeview, MI) shot off the end of turn 3 and spun out and Kyle “Pretty Boy” Stepke got into the front wall bringing out a red flag after Stepke’s right rear tire climbed the wall and flipped the car.
After Stepke was towed off the track we had a clean restart. In lap 2 Smith, still encountering problems pulled off and headed to the pits. Scheid had a comfortable lead and was cruising to his first GLSS heat race win. With the checkered flag in the air, Scheid hit the front wall where Stepke made contact earlier, but fortunately Scheid landed on his wheels avoiding the flip. With the remaining 5 cars fighting for their transfer spots and hot on Scheid’s heels, Pobanz who had been running second had to check up and shot inside of Scheid to avoid him and Lamberson was on the outside of Scheid and was able to avoid him as well with Mann and Mike Astrauskas (Pierson, MI) taking the checkered flag behind Lamberson and Pobanz.
The caution lights were turned on after the checkered flag had been thrown, when in actuality it was all pretty simultaneously since the front 5 of the 6 cars were grouped together. The GLSS officials called the race as they took the checkered, Lamberson, Pobanz, Mann, Astrauskas and Mark Widderhold (Elkton, MI). For reasons I can’t explain at this time, the field was re-fired and lined back up and given the white/checkered. When the field came around the second time, Mann edged out Lamberson for the re-draw spot.
After discussion with the drivers involved and the GLSS staff, in an attempt to do the right thing, it was agreed we would go with our original call with Lamberson and Pobanz being in the re-draw and Mann and Astrauskas moving onto the feature. However, since the track ran the last lap again and Mann “earned” a redraw spot, we allowed 9 redraws instead of eight with Mann receiving the 9th and last pill…whatever it may be. Our fans deserve an explanation, since the results didn’t correspond with Race Monitor and the format was slightly skewed from our normal procedures. There was a lot of “grey” and we made the best call we could…moving on.
Kyle Poortenga, (Woodland, MI) led the field of 16 out for the B-Main. With a clean start, everyone makes it around the first couple laps, but with continued engine problems, Smith pulled off the track in the third lap with Widderhold pulling off the next lap. Cruising into lap 7 and battling for the 4th transfer spot, Clayton Sanders (Lexington, KY) and Dustin Carl (Jackson, MI) get tangled up and are done for the night.
With Poortenga in front and Andy Chehowski (Coldwater, MI) in second and Jay Steinbach (Hudsonville, MI) in third, the battle brewing in the second half of the B-Main was for the last transfer spot. Driving thru the middle of the field, Ralph “Tank” Brakenberry (Pigeon, MI) who started 8th, fell back to 9th, drive up and secured the 4th spot, fending off a challenging Jacoby the last two laps.
Our 9 drivers in the re-draw went up to the grandstands and had young fans from the crowd come down and draw the starting positions for the top 9 cars. Luck of the draw was with Daggett last night, drawing the lowest pill to qualify first and then his young fan reached in and pulled out a #1 for the feature. Paired next to Daggett for the feature was Brad Lamberson, followed by Dalman, Irwin, Gressman, Sams, Jared Lamberson, Mann, Pobanz and Ridnour rounding out the front 10 cars. With the drawing done, the feature was set to go!
As Daggett brought the field around for the first lap it was Daggett, Dalman and Sams up front on their own mission. All the action was behind them as Gressman and Ridenour were trying to make moves to get to the front. As the leaders came up on lapped traffic, Daggett was behind Brakenberry for about a lap and a half before he got his chance to go low into turn one and get by, with Dalman and Sams sliding through as the caution flag flew. As the leaders went under Brakenberry, the front right wheel broke sending Brakenberry to an abrupt stop at the top of turn 2.
Meanwhile in the back during lap 14, Poortenga was trying everything he could to get his car forward in the pack when suddenly, Poortenga spun out across from the flagstand, but fortunately stayed on all 4 tires. Getting Poortenga pushed off, we’d go the final 12 laps with no cautions. Behind the 3 leaders, Ridenour had worked his way up to 4th and Chehowski worked his way up 7 spots to 11th earning him the Englers Machine and Tool Hard Charger.
The track was rubbered down and drivers were starting to be concerned about their rear tires. What made it exciting the last 4 laps is watching drivers save their tires to finish the race. Fortunately we had no blown tires, however we had plenty of racing slicks when the top 5 cars teched and weighed in! Fortunate for the rest of the field, but not so much for Daggett, but the slick tires didn’t allow Daggett to pull away from the rest of the field. As Daggett took the checkered flag, Dalman was less than a second behind Daggett, Sams was 1.2 seconds, Ridenour was 1.9 seconds and Irwin was 2.5 seconds behind the leader. A win is a win, however I don’t thnk Daggett realized how close the rest were! Congratulations to the Daggett team for sweeping the weekend and winning our opener.
Our next races will be at Gas City Speedway, IN and Plymouth Speedway, Plymouth, IN). For more information on our schedule and for payouts and results, go to our website at www.greatlakessupersprints.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you to our sponsors, Kistler Engines and Kistler Racing Products, Engler Machine and Tool, Campbell Performance and Specialty Fuels & Logistics.
Article Credit: Barry M. Marlow
Submitted By: Barry Marlow