Great Lakes Edition: Trying to Exit 2020 on a High Note

Josh Turner (#4) and Ryan Ruhl (#71). (Jim Denhamer photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

(September 9, 2020) — While racing season started extremely slow in Michigan due to the COVID-19 outbreak September is shaping up for the year to end on a high note with several special events sprinkled throughout the state.

GLSS recently announced two additional shows, the return of SOD, and winged pavement sprint cars are just part of what should make for a great end to the 2020 season (weather permitting).

The Sprints on Dirt series will rise from the ashes under the direction of the Garrett family on Saturday at Butler Motor Speedway. The payout for Saturday’s event was released this week featuring a $1,600 to win and $320 to start. More information on Saturday’s program is posted on Butler’s Facebook page.

Sprints on Dirt is expected to return for the 2021 season. Point fund information for the 2021 campaign is lined up and is expected to be announced officially this off season.

If you are looking to make a trip in the fall that involves some racing September 18 and 19 would be ideal to see racing on blacktop and dirt. Friday the Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Super Sprints visit M40 Speedway in Jones, Michigan and Saturday the Great Lakes Super Sprints are at Hartford Motor Speedway.

Both M40 and Hartford are in the Southwest portion of the state along Lake Michigan filled with apple orchards, beaches, casinos, wineries, and a lot of other recreational activities to fill your days before heading to the racetrack at night. In addition, Hartford’s 360 program will pay $3,000 to the winner.

I-96 has expanded their season finale to be a two-night program on September 25th and 26th featuring sprint car racing on both days. Friday September 25th the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series heads north to take on the Great Lakes Traditional Sprints in a non-wing battle royal. This will be the first appearance of the BOSS series history in the state of Michigan. This is followed up by the Great Lakes Super Sprints taking center stage on Saturday September 26th.

Typically, I would refer to I-96’s date on the 26th as the sprint car season finale for the mitten, but with races popping up all over the country with little to no notice, I’m not quite comfortable yet saying we won’t see someone brave the weather and try an October date somewhere.


  • Joshua Turner picked up the biggest win of his career on Saturday with the FAST 410 Sprint Cars at Butler Motor Speedway. Turner was quick to credit the time he’s spent on at Attica Raceway Park throughout the season to help make him faster to capitalize on a moment like Saturday’s FAST event.

    Turner deserves a lot of credit because it is not easy to make it to Attica on Friday’s from Michigan with a race team where everyone has a day job. It’s a step we have seen with several Michigan drivers that have always come back faster once they spend the time competing on that Northern Ohio sprint car scene.

    Another person that has put in the time this year at Attica and reaped rewards is Zane Devault. Saturday Devault secured the 2020 Butler Motor Speedway track championship and currently sits ninth in the point standings at Attica. The championship is the first sprint car track title of Devault’s career.

  • Ryan Ruhl and Dan McCarron made the trip around the lake to Wisconsin competing with the Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association Friday at the Dodge County Fairgrounds and Saturday at Plymouth Dirt Track.

    Ruhl had a solid performance with second place finishes in the dash on Friday at Dodge County before encountering issues that put him back to 22nd in the feature. Saturday at Plymouth Ruhl was fastest in qualifying before finishing seventh in the feature.

    McCarron started and finished in 12th on Friday at Dodge County before charging from 21st starting position to finish 11th.

    McCarron mentioned he enjoyed the trip to Wisconsin.

    “The IRA officials were great to deal with. They were only on the radios when they needed to be and understood what the racers wanted as far as track conditions. I’d definitely would go back.”

  • With Butler the only sprint car race taking place in Michigan this week look for several teams to venture out of state with the National Racing Alliance racing on Saturday at Plymouth Speedway and the Must See Racing sprint cars at Jennerstown Speedway on Saturday. We’re also hearing rumblings of teams that may venture to Fremont Speedway and Sharon Speedway if the weather holds out.