Sheffer Spectacular in Route to Strpko Memorial Victory with GLTS

Keith Sheffer II being interviewed by Zach Hiser after winning the GLTS portion of the Mark Strpko Memorial Friday at I-96 Speedway. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

LAKE ODESSA, Mich. (August 19, 2022) — Keith Sheffer II won the Great Lakes Traditional Sprints portion of the Mark Strpko Memorial Friday night at I-96 Speedway. Sheffer charged from fifth starting position to take the lead from Parker Fredrickson on lap nine and held off Steve Irwin with a restart with two laps to go for the victory. The win was Sheffer’s second of the 2022 season.

The two-lap shootout was unnerving to Sheffer, who did not have any idea he had built up a sizeable lead before the caution flag.

“I definitely was not feeling very good,” said Sheffer about being in the lead during the restart. “I thought someone’s going throw a massive slider on me. I knew it was coming but it didn’t happen. I was just focusing on hitting my marks making sure I was clean and everything worked out just fine.”

Larry Kinseed Jr. and Lee Underwood started on the front row for the 20-lap feature event. At the start fourth starting Fredrickson jumped into the lead with Underwood in tow.

Three laps into the main event one of the contenders, Evan Mosley, brought out the caution flag when he ended up stopped off turn four. Ralph Bakenberry also was stopped on track as well. Both drivers were unable to continue.

Fredrickson pulled away as Sheffer began to work on Underwood for the second position. Sheffer was able to take the position on lap four and began to chip away at Fredrickson’s sizeable lead. That advantage was erased with a caution flag while working lap nine when Joel Hummel stopped in turn four.

Sheffer pounced immediately during the restart and took the lead from Fredrickson. As Sheffer moved by Fredrickson slowed with mechanical issues to bring out the caution flag.

From that point on Sheffer motored away from the field building up a 4.389 second lead when the final caution flag of the race came up with two laps to go when Underwood brought out the caution flag when he slid off the racetrack. This put multiple time GLTS champion Steve Irwin and legendary Michigan sprint car driver Dustin Daggett on his back bumper for the restart.

Sheffer was up for the challenge driving away for the victory over Irwin. Third on back was shuffled on the final lap with Max Frank moving up to third spot. Kingseed and Jason Ferguson rounded out the top five.

Afterwards Sheffer was beaming about the quality of the race car his family-owned team and crew put under him for the victory.

“I had no idea we were that far ahead, no idea whatsoever. The car felt amazing, and I couldn’t ask for a better crew. All the work they do, the sweat, blood, and tears they put into this thing, and it really means a lot to put this car in victory lane for them.”

Great Lakes Traditional Sprints
I-96 Speedway
Lake Odessa, Michigan
Friday, August 19, 2022

1. 86-Keith Sheffer Jr, 15.977[6]
2. 34-Parker Frederickson, 16.103[8]
3. 24-Lee Underwood, 16.413[11]
4. 0-Steve Irwin, 16.445[14]
5. 27-Evan Mosley, 16.656[15]
6. 85-Dustin Daggett, 16.842[17]
7. 25-Max Frank, 16.920[1]
8. 33F-Jason Ferguson, 17.014[12]
9. 59-Larry Kingseed Jr, 17.309[7]
10. 3A-Mike Astrauskas, 17.371[4]
11. 5X-Trent Musk, 17.390[9]
12. 4G-Kent Gardner, 17.562[10]
13. 00G-Mike Galadja, 17.819[13]
14. 54-Joel Hummel, 18.245[16]
15. X-Colton Stepke, 18.362[3]
16. 56-Mark Irwin, 18.670[18]
17. 23-Ralph Brakenberry, 18.710[2]
18. 3T-Tank Brakenberry, 19.893[5]

Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 86-Keith Sheffer Jr[4]
2. 0-Steve Irwin[3]
3. 25-Max Frank[2]
4. 3A-Mike Astrauskas[1]
5. 00G-Mike Galadja[5]
DNS: 56-Mark Irwin

Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 34-Parker Frederickson[4]
2. 27-Evan Mosley[3]
3. 33F-Jason Ferguson[2]
4. 5X-Trent Musk[1]
5. 23-Ralph Brakenberry[6]
6. 54-Joel Hummel[5]

Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 59-Larry Kingseed Jr[2]
2. 24-Lee Underwood[4]
3. 85-Dustin Daggett[3]
4. 4G-Kent Gardner[1]
5. X-Colton Stepke[5]
6. 3T-Tank Brakenberry[6]

A-Main (20 Laps)
1. 86-Keith Sheffer Jr[5]
2. 0-Steve Irwin[6]
3. 25-Max Frank[7]
4. 59-Larry Kingseed Jr[1]
5. 33F-Jason Ferguson[8]
6. 00G-Mike Galadja[13]
7. 3A-Mike Astrauskas[10]
8. 24-Lee Underwood[2]
9. 5X-Trent Musk[11]
10. 85-Dustin Daggett[9]
11. 4G-Kent Gardner[12]
12. X-Colton Stepke[15]
13. 3T-Tank Brakenberry[18]
14. 54-Joel Hummel[17]
15. 34-Parker Frederickson[4]
16. 27-Evan Mosley[3]
17. 23-Ralph Brakenberry[14]
DNS: 56-Mark Irwin