Daggett Scores GLTS Victory at I-96 Speedway

Dustin Daggett. (Jim Denhamer photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

LAKE ODESSA, Mich. (June 18, 2021) – Dustin Daggett continued to show his versatility as a sprint car driver picking up the feature victory with the Great Lakes Traditional Sprints Friday at I-96 Speedway. Daggett from nearby Portland, Michigan ran down and passed multiple time non-wing sprint car champion Steve Irwin in slower traffic, pulling away for the victory. The win was Daggett’s third in 2021 and first victory of the year without the win.

Daggett kept hammering away on the cushion, chipping away at Irwin’s lead before making the pass on lap 19.

“We kept rolling in the top there,” said Daggett. “It seemed like everyone kind of went to the bottom and it got a little dirty up there. Once the top finally got cleaned off I was able to put together some really good laps, got into lapped traffic, and was able to catch Steve and get around him. I don’t know if he was just cruising because he didn’t know that someone was there, but it feels go to be in victory lane without the wing.”

Irwin started on the pole and took the lead at the start while Keith Sheffer Jr. and Drew Rader raced side by side for the second position. Sheffer took the spot one lap later and worked on keeping pace with Irwin.

By lap four Daggett had moved into the third position but found himself under fire from Jay Stienebach briefly before challenging Sheffer for the second position. By lap 11 Daggett was able to get by Sheffer and set out after Irwin for the lead.

Daggett started to close in slower traffic and made his move around the top of the track while Irwin was boxed in slower traffic to take the lead. Irwin soon found himself under fire for second position from Sheffer.

After a caution for cars spinning between turns three and four Daggett pulled away for the victory over Irwin, Sheffer, Brian Ruhlman, and Rader.

Aftewards Daggett was happy to win a non-wing race at the closest sprint car track to his home, and is looking forward to doing more non-wing racing in the future.

“This is something we do for fun, and we run good with it,” said Daggett. “We have come close to winning a couple of races here last year. I gave it away though because I want to drive the car into the corner like a winged car and it’s a big transition. You need to be patience with these things without the wing. You don’t have the cushion on the top to hold you on the racetrack. Definitely a fun night, hopefully we can pick up some more victories without the wing.”

Great Lakes Traditional Sprints
I-96 Speedway
Lake Odessa, Michigan
Friday, June 18, 2011

1.0-Steve Irwin, 16.750
2.24-Lee Underwood, 16.837
3.85-Dustin Daggett, 17.001
4.25-Max Frank, 17.152
5.74-Drew Rader, 17.288
6.2-Mike Galajda, 17.413
7.49-Brian Ruhlman, 17.810
8.10S-Jay Steinebach, 17.816
9.3A-Mike Astrauskas, 17.833
10.11L-Travis LaCombe, 17.921
11.00-Joey Irwin, 18.504
12.86-Keith Sheffer Jr., 18.693
13.2S-Doug Stepke, 18.994
14.33-RJ Payne, 19.020
15.4G-Kent Gardner, 19.587
16.56-Mark Irwin, 19.939

Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 0-Steve Irwin[4]
2. 74-Drew Rader[2]
3. 85-Dustin Daggett[3]
4. 49-Brian Ruhlman[1]
5. 2S-Doug Stepke[7]
6. 00-Joey Irwin[6]
7. 3A-Mike Astrauskas[5]
8. 4G-Kent Gardner[8]

Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 10S-Jay Steinebach[1]
2. 86-Keith Sheffer Jr.[6]
3. 24-Lee Underwood[4]
4. 2-Mike Galajda[2]
5. 25-Max Frank[3]
6. 11L-Travis LaCombe[5]
7. 56-Mark Irwin[8]
8. 33-RJ Payne[7]

Feature (25 Laps)
1. 85-Dustin Daggett[4]
2. 0-Steve Irwin[1]
3. 86-Keith Sheffer Jr.[2]
4. 49-Brian Ruhlman[7]
5. 74-Drew Rader[3]
6. 2-Mike Galajda[8]
7. 14-Chad Wilson[17]
8. 24-Lee Underwood[6]
9. 25-Max Frank[10]
10. 00-Joey Irwin[11]
11. 3A-Mike Astrauskas[13]
12. 2S-Doug Stepke[9]
13. 4G-Kent Gardner[15]
14. 56-Mark Irwin[12]
15. 33-RJ Payne[14]
16. 10S-Jay Steinebach[5]
17. 11L-Travis LaCombe[16]