By Bob Fricke,Photo from Mike Campbell
The 2011 racing season at Limaland Motorsports Park will always be remembered as having been delayed at the start due to a record-setting springtime weather pattern. The season is also developing as one that produces first-time winners. Through the opening five weekends there have been racers in all three primary divisions that have taken the coveted checkered flag for the first time ever at the ¼-mile high performance speedplant in western Allen County Ohio.
Michigan invader Greg Dalman found himself second in driver point’s in the track’s highly competitive sprint car division entering the night’s showdown. He trailed two-time winner Kyle Sauder despite having posted only a season best 4th place showing a couple of weeks ago.
When the twenty cars took the green flag for the touring Engine Pro NRA Sprint Invader 25-lap feature, Greg Dalman was on the outside of row two surrounded by a field of hard-chargers. Tony Beaber led the first circuit and Caleb Helms paced everyone across the line through two laps before Tim Allison spun in turn four with the beautiful new Whelen track safety lights signaling a caution period.
The race restart proved furious as a three-car pileup in turn four resulted in veteran Butch Schroeder’s car tumbling into the front straight wall, ending his evening. Later, Kyle Sauder found himself in the turn four wall, while able to continue, it left him out of the chase for a third 360 sprint car win at the track in the four events contested this season.
Greg Dalman took his first lead on a second restart at lap 9 with an impressive move ducking underneath Caleb Helms, only to see Helms take it right back on the next trip around. The action was getting really intense with Luke Hall also putting his car in the mix moving to the second position with 15 of 25 laps complete. Helms was struggling a bit with lapped traffic as he stayed on the topside with Dalman working effectively on the inside. A cluster of challengers in the final three laps included Randy Hannagan, Helms, Hall and the eventual winner Greg Dalman.
“We dropped down to third for a bit and I though well maybe we’ll ride here for a while,” said Dalman. “The car started coming in as the guys off the top were sort of bangin’off the cushion, so we started reeling it back in and hey, by the last two or three laps, we did it! My first win here I give to my car owner as we came down here from Michigan, he said we started here to get into the (season ending) King of the Quarter Mile and we did it.” Hannagan took second, keeping the California native atop the NRA points, with primary race leader Caleb Helms, Luke Hall and Tony Beaber rounding out the top five finishers.
The next event for the 2011 racing season at Limaland Motorsports Park is set for Wednesday, July 13, it’s the Ohio Logistics 23rd Annual Brad Doty Classic presented by Racing Optics, featuring the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. It has been announced that NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and World of Outlaws car owner Kasey Kahne will be competing in the Brad Doty Classic.
The track box office opens on Race Day at 10:00 a.m., Pit gates open at 3:00 p.m., Spectator gates open at 4:00, Driver Autograph Session 4:15, Qualifying 6:30, Pre-Race Autograph Session 7:15, Racing 7:30. Call the ticket hotline at 419-998-3199. Seating information, plus all the latest news and information about America’s premier quarter-mile dirt track, can be found at www.limaland.com
Engine Pro NRA Sprints
Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 22D-Dennis Yoakam 2. 7C-Tim Hunter 3. 2M-Matt Westfall
4. 6S-Jr Stewart 5. 17-Jared Horstman 6. 18-Todd Heuerman
7. 1-Kent Wolters 8. 14-Andy Conley 9. 41J-Jeremy Powley
Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 49T-Gregg Dalman 2. 2H-Dallas Hewitt 3. 34-Luke Hall
4. 56R-Ryan Myers 5. 5M-Max Stambaugh 6. 49-Shawn Dancer
7. 29S-Marques Huffer 8. 2-Brent Gehr 9. 57-Mike Dunlap
Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 3T-Tony Beaber 2. 20B-Butch Schroeder 3. 82-Mike Miller
4. 28H-Hud Horton 5. 11-Tim Allison 6. 22-Ben Rutan
7. 8D-Dylan Cisney 8. 32M-Derek Hastings 9. 4J-Bob Gehr
Heat 4 – (8 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 40-Caleb Helms 2. 7K-Kyle Sauder 3. 35-Ron Blair
4. 22DH-Randy Hannagan 5. 6-Mike Dussel 6. 27-Beau Stewart
7. 4U-Rick Boughan 8. 10J-Jarrod Delong 9. 23-Jimmy Cochran
B-Main #1 – (10 Laps – Top 2 Transfer)
1. 17-Jared Horstman 2.18-Todd Heuerman 3. 49-Shawn Dancer
4. 1-Kent Wolters 5. 5M-Max Stambaugh 6. 14-Andy Conley
7. 41J-Jeremy Powley 8. 29S-Marques Huffer 9. 2-Brent Gehr
10. 57-Mike Dunlap
B-Main #2 – (10 Laps – Top 2 Transfer)
1. 11-Tim Allison 2. 22-Ben Rutan 3. 27-Beau Stewart
4. 6-Mike Dussel 5. 8D-Dylan Cisney 6. 32M-Derek Hastings
7. 4U-Rick Boughan 8. 4J-Bob Gehr 9. 23-Jimmy Cochran
10. 10J-Jarrod Delong
A-Main – (25 Laps) [#]-Starting Position
1. 49T-Gregg Dalman 2. 22DH-Randy Hannagan 3. 40-Caleb Helms
4. 34-Luke Hall 5. 3T-Tony Beaber 6. 6S-Jr Stewart
7. 17-Jared Horstman 8. 22D-Dennis Yoakam 9. 2M-Matt Westfall
10. 7K-Kyle Sauder 11. 11-Tim Allison 12. 56R-Ryan Myers
13. 22-Ben Rutan 14. 2H-Dallas Hewitt 15. 28H-Hud Horton
16. 82-Mike Miller 17. 35-Ron Blair 18. 7C-Tim Hunter
19. 20B-Butch Schroeder 20. 18-Todd Heuerman