By Trevor Hollis
Some of the best non wing sprint car drivers in the area helped celebrate the birth of our great nation with racing action over the weekend. On Saturday, the Lane Automotive Michigan Traditional Sprints invaded the Crystal Motor Speedway on Saturday and with them came the non-wing debut of Grand Ledge native Dustin Daggett. The all time win leader in Sprints On Dirt history sure didn’t look like he’d never raced with out a wing on the car as he was lightning fast right out of the box. 24 sprint cars representing 3 states and canada were on hand to put on a fantastic show for the fans. With 21 cars in the feature event problems were bound to happen. A couple of early spins kept the field tight but Daggett was able to pick up a couple of early positions and put him in a good position to pick up the win. The first major incident of the night involved the canadian invader of John Watson. Watson drove the car a little bit too hard into turn number one and the car was greeted by the crystal front stretch wall. Watson’s car bounced off the wall putting all 4 wheels in the air before rolling a couple of times and eventually coming to a stop well off the racing surface. John was ok. A couple of laps later the number 8 of Tim Champlin got upside down as well in turn one in a violent wreck in turn one as well. Tim was also Ok. With all of this happening Dustin Daggett was able to get a good handle on the car, and eventually take over the top spot. When the final flag fell it was Daggett out front with Greg Dallmann second, Indiana native Donald Smith third, fourth went to the 1h of Kevin Hawk, and rounding out the top five was the 7 of Nic Rogers. Heat race wins went to Keith Love, Dustin Daggett, and Joe Bares.
The very next night the sprints took the the bullring that is cherry raceway up in Fife Lake. The 17 drivers that checked into the pits for this one were all a little bit concerned about the rough track but they all went right to work finding a set up that would allow them the best chance of picking up a feature win. As the 25 lap feature rolled out it was Donald Smith that was the one to beat. It only took smith a couple of laps to make his way to the front and around Mike Austraukus to take the lead. Once out front Smith was walking away with the feature until he hit lap traffic and the 5k of Randy Kreple. Kreple lost the back end of the car and went around right in front of the leader forcing smith to take evasive action and ultimately blowing a tire on the 61X. That handed the lead over to the hometown man Joe Bares who never looked back. Bares was able to hold off a charge from Ohio’s Chad Wilson, Mike Austraukus, Chuck Wilson, and rounding out the top five Nick Landon.
The Lane Automotive Michigan traditional sprints will be back in action on Sunday July 10th as part of the co sanctioned event at the Millstream speedway as part of the road to the Hewitt classic. Please check out www.mtsprints .com for all of your scheduling questions and we will see you at the track.
Crystal A feature finish: 1- 2m Dustin Daggett, 2- 49 Gregg Dalmant, 3- 61 Don Smith , 4- 1h KEvin Hawk, 5- 7 Nick Rogers, 6- 77 Keith Love, 7- 18 Mark Irwin, 8- 00 Joe Irwin, 9- 35 Mark Strpko, 10- 31 Chuck Wilson, 11- 19 Joe Bares, 12- 100 Jim Payne, 13- 12 Mike Baker, 14- 2 Mike Galajda, 15- 82 NIck Landon, 16- 58 Jacob Caines, 17- 5k Dave Okerman, 18- 137 Jerry Evilsizer, 19- 8 Tim Champlin, 20- 26 John Watson, 21- 14 Chad Wilson
Cherry A feature finish: 1- 19 Joe Bares, 2- 14 Chad Wilson, 3- 3 Mike Astrauskas, 4- 31 Chuck Wilson, 5- 82 Nick Landon, 6- 18 Mark Irwin, 7- 77 Keith Love, 8- 1h Kevin Hawk, 9- 49t Gregg Dalman, 10- 00 Joe Irwin, 11- 100 Jim Payne, 12- 35 Mark Strpko, 13- 5 Randy Kreple, 14- 12b Mike Baker, 15- 61 Don Smith, 16- 06 Don Bostrom, 17- 137 Jerry Evilsizer