Great Lakes Edition: Busy Labor Day Weekend Ahead With Something for Everyone

Logan Easterday. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)
Max Stambaugh has a commanding lead in the GLSS point standings. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

By T.J Buffenbarger

(August 30, 2023) — The 2023 season is winding down in the Mitten with only a handful of races left to take in this year before you will have to head out of state to see sprint car racing. Coming off one of the most successful major event weekends in recent memory, the local sprint car series and tracks take center stage.

The Great Lakes Super Sprints Wolverine Division has their championship night Saturday at Crystal. Currently Max Stambaugh has a 284-point lead, assuring him of the title with Brad Lamberson in second. This season has continued to show Lamberson’s improvement but will also be viewed as a possible missed opportunity for Lamberson after having to miss a handful of races with engine issues.

Both drivers are expected to lead a talented field of drivers to Crystal, a race that tends to draw some out-of-town cars from Ohio for the holiday weekend.

On Sunday night at Crystal Dustin Daggett will participate in an exhibition with the outlaw late models of David and Derek Hilliker to see who can turn the fastest lap in three sessions. If you have never had the opportunity to witness the outlaw late models with their tall sideboards blast around Crystal, it is amazing to watch. Daggett will have his work cut out for him as the HIllikers own several track records around the area with their late models with the sideboards.

Further down the road Butler Motor Speedway has the Terry Wilber Memorial with the winged 410 sprint cars running 32 laps for $2,032 dollars to win. Logan Easterday has closed in on Trey McGranahan for the point lead at Butler, with McGranahan’s lead only 75 points going into Saturday’s event with three point races on the schedule.

The Great Lakes Traditional Sprints will head to the Northwest portion of the state to Silver Bullet Speedway in Owendale, Michigan for their next to last event of the 2023 season. Steve Irwin has another GLTS title all but wrapped up going into the final pair of events this season.

Max Frank. (Jim Denhamer photo)

Irwin has a challenger on his home turf at Owendale as Max Frank has a pair of victories at Silver Bullet this season and will be looking to complete the trifecta on Saturday. GLTS typically has decent showings for car counts at Silver Bullet, and will be the last chance for thumb residents to see sprint cars nearby this season.

For those that prefer pavement racing, Must See Racing make their final appearance of the year at the revitalized Owosso Speedway near Ovid, Michigan. This will be a prime opportunity to see all the great things the new management at Owosso has done over the past year with more expansive improvements planned for the off-season.

The Must See racing championship battle is the closest of all the above mentioned entities with Jason Blonde and Charlie Schultz tied for the point lead going into Owosso with Jimmy McCune just 16 points behind the lead duo.

As an added bonus the Must See Racing Lites sprint cars are on the undercard, giving Michigan fans to check out this class that has some real growth potential between the Must See series and Lorain Raceway Park.

After this only a handful of races remain in the mitten for 2023, making this a prime weekend to take in one before the weather starts to turn towards cider mill visits instead of sprint car racing.

Other Notes…

Jason Blonde. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

• Dan McCarron ventured over to Sharon Speedway for their Wednesday night Thunder program where he won his heat race, but dropped back in the feature as far as 12th before rallying back late in the main event to a seventh place finish.

• Taylor Ferns overcame some struggles at World Wide Technologies Raceway in St. Louis, Missouri with the USAC Silver Crown Series on Sunday including a spin on lap 26th to salvage an 11th place finish, placing her sixth in the overall point standings for the 2023 season with the series.

Ferns’ season continues Sunday at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Du Quoin, Illinois for the second and final dirt mile race of the season. Ferns picked up hard charger honors at the first mile race earlier in August at the Springfield Mile.

Fans can also see Ferns on MAVtv Sunday during “The Skinny with Rico & Ken” show Sunday night at 9:00 P.M.

• Reminder to everyone that Friday’s event at I-96 Speedway is cancelled due to storm damage that took place last Thursday.

• Our thoughts are with former sprint car driver and stock car standout in Michigan Louie Carufel who suffered serious injuries in a woodchipper accident. The good news is Carufel is out of the ICU, but has a long recovery ahead of him. We are working on finding out if there is an address we can send him cards and get well wishes.