Tri-City Motor Speedway
Open-Wheel Spectacular Shatters Track Records at Tri-City Motor Speedway
09/10/2021 (Auburn MI) With the final racing weekend of the year coming up next week, Tri-City Motor Speedway hosted the Great Lakes Sprints family of divisions with the Super Sprints, Traditional Sprints, and Lightning Sprints for their championship weekend. In addition, TCMS brought in the Cadillac Tire UMP Modifieds for a $5000 top prize and the Troll Smokehouse B-Modifieds (UMP) for $3000 to win as part of the ALLSTAR Performance Challenge Series. With the help of Pete Badgero’s excellent track preparation, long standing track qualifying records fell on this brisk fall-like evening.
The Allstar Performance Challenge Series for the Cadillac Tire UMP Modifieds saw the former track record broken. Clark Lake’s Brian Ruhlman was the final car to qualify and shaved over a half second off of the previous record as he navigated the clay oval with a 12.974. Chad Bauer picked up a heat race win as did the 2020 UMP State Champion Jeffery Erickson. Ruhlman and Kevin Reeve took the field of fifteen to the green flag in the $5000 to win A-Main. Ruhlman opened up the event by leading the first three laps before Hanover’s Kevin Reeve slung by the leader on the high side. By lap twelve, third place starter Joe Rokos snagged the point from Reeve. The two battled hard exchanging the lead five times in the race. A caution with four laps remaining bunched up the field for a final shootout for the top prize. On that restart, Reeve hit the turn one cushion which upset his momentum dropping him back to fifth and giving the lead to Rokos. Somehow, Reeve was able to overcome the late race mistake to take the win by inches over Rokos at the line. Rokos had to settle for second place with Kevin Miller, Garrett Rons, and Rich Robinson Jr. completing the top five.
The Troll Smoke House B-Mods had a rare TCMS appearance as part of the ALLSTAR Performance TCMS/Merritt Challenge Series. IMCA driver Kody Johnson took the first heat race win over Scott Peyton. The second heat race had Joey Burch out motor Myron DeYoung for the win. The feature, paying $3000 to win, had IMCA standouts Jaycob Truemner and Craig Vance lead the field to the green flag of the 25-lap feature. Vance looked like he could be the driver to beat in the early laps. Vance found the top groove to be the fastest way around the track but by lap seven former track Champion Myron DeYoung used the bottom groove to take the lead away from Vance. Although a few cautions bunched up the field giving Vance opportunities to retake the lead, DeYoung was just too strong as he led the remaining eighteen circuits to collect the big win. Johnson snuck by Vance at the line for the second finishing spot. Finishing behind Vance were Peyton and Chad Bennett.
The Great Lakes Traditional Sprints kicked off the nights events. Sterling Cling kicked off qualifying with a record lap of 12.372 on the 3/8 mile track. Heat races were captured by Gregg Dalman, Dustin Daggett, and Steve Irwin earlier in the evening. Mike Galajda and Dalman drew the front row starting positions for their 25-lap A-Main. Keith Sheffer Jr., however, jumped out to the initial lead while Dalman and Daggett kept swapping the runner-up position for a number of laps. By lap eight, Sheffer stretched his lead out to over 2 seconds before the first caution came out for a spin on lap nine. The restart put Daggett to the back bumper of the leader with Irwin and Dalman inside the top five. Daggett had committed to the top groove with it paying off on lap eleven as he passed the low groove riding Sheffer for the lead. Sheffer, though, fought back to take the lead on lap fifteen. Both drivers dealt with lapped traffic through the final ten laps. Sheffer was able to avoid a spinning lapped car with just a few laps remaining which brought Daggett back to challenge for the lead. However, it was Sheffer holding on for the win over Daggett, Irwin, Dalman, and Jay Steinebach completing the top five finishers.
The Great Lakes Super Sprints were also breaking track records in qualifying as Linden Jones eclipsed the track with a 10.710 lap which equaled the fastest lap ever recorded at TCMS since its 2011 dirt resurrection. Jared Horstman, Brad Lamberson, and Devon Dobie took checkered flags in their heat races earlier in the evening. The Last Chance Qualifier was loaded with talent that had to scramble to earn the final starting spots for the main event. Max Stambaugh dominated the 12-lap race for the win and a ticket to the main event. It was Brad Lamberson getting the early lead on the opening lap of the 20-car field feature. Despite front row starter Jared’s attempt to take the lead with three laps remaining, Lamberson leads all 25 laps to claim the victory. Horstman, Danny Sams, Ryan Ruhl, and Phil Gressman held on for top five finishes.
The Great Lakes Lightning Sprints, though a smaller motored and chassis, were just as their name implies as they were “lightning” quick on Friday night. It was Brandon Cascadden putting his name in the TMCS record books with track record of 11.506. Cascadden wasted no time showing that he was going to be tough to beat as he backed up his qualifying effort by winning his heat race ahead of Mack Erickson. The second heat race, it was Justin Ward edging out Brad Strunk at the finish. The third heat race was also a tight finish with Jac Nickles beating Matt Cogley at the line. Mack Erickson and Jac Nickles led the field of seventeen to the green flag for their 20-lap feature. 2021 season point leader, Nickles, was the first to lead the race ahead of Brad Strunk and Mack Erickson. Strunk made good of a restart to take control of the field on the second lap. Multiple caution laps in the first six laps never let Strunk get away from the competition. Cascadden took advantage of a restart and snuck underneath the leader Struck. That pass ended up being the winning move as Cascadden cruised to the victory over Strunk, Nickels, Justin Ward, and Alex Cogley.
Next week is the return of the Battle By the Bay at TCMS. UMP Late models, B-Mods, UMP Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Factory Stocks, 4-6 cylinders, and Mini-Wedges will all be action for the two-day show. All divisions will have their final opportunity to gain track points and ALLSTAR Challenge Series points. Heats and other preliminary races will be held on Friday with the features on Saturday. Both days will see the drop of the green flag at 7pm. For updated and instant results, season and Challenge Series point standings and the 2021 race schedule, visit the TCMS website at tricityracetrack.com or download the MyRacePass app.
Photo Credit: Randy Ellen
Article Credit: Roger Williams
Submitted By: Justin Sharp