Sprints On Dirt Invade Merritt Speedway
Sixteen high powered Sprints On Dirt competitors rolled on to the track for the rescheduled event that was rained out in June 28th. As the green flag flew on the 25 lap feature event, Dustin Daggett launched into the lead from outside the second row. As Daggett was pulling away from last year’s SOD Champion and tonight’s pole sitter, Ryan Ruhl slid off the track in turn four and was relegated to the rear of the field for the restart. With Daggett out front and working lapped traffic, Ruhl was thrilling the Merritt Speedway faithful slicing and dicing his way through the field. Aided by two cautions, Ruhl was soon in a battle with Kyle Pitts for second place and took over the runner up position with two laps remaining. With Daggett setting a blistering pace, Ruhl ran out of laps and had settle for a second place finish behind Daggett. Kyle Pitts held on to finish a career best third place followed by Troy Chehowski, Chase Ridenour, Gregg Dalman, Andy Chehowski, Jay Steinebach, Chris Pobanz and Brad Lamberson. Heat race victories earlier in the night went to Chase Ridenour over Mike Austraskus and Gregg Dalman in heat #1, Ryan Ruhl followed by Dustin Daggett and Chris Probanz in heat #2 with Kyle Pitts carrying the checkers in the final heat over Andy Chehowski and Troy Chehowski.
In Super Late Model qualifying action, David Hilliker despite having a cast on his left foot set quick time of the night out of 25 competitors with a lap of 13.846 while Josh Knoll drove into victory lane in the Dash. Heat race action would see Tom Sprague Jr. score the win in heat #1 over Chris Brindley and Kevin Juusola. David Hilliker carried the checkers in heat #2 followed by Josh Knoll and Scott Phillips while Zack Olger scored the final heat race win over Greg Gokey and Kris Patterson Jr. In the “B” Main, Derek Reichert took the early lead but surrendered to Merv Hudson on a lap 5 restart. Hudson would drive on to score the win with Reichert holding on to finish in the runner up spot followed by Don Erickson. In the 25 lap “A” Main, pole sitter Kevin Juusola took the lead as the green flag flew with Greg Gokey breathing down his tailpipes. The two would battle nose to tail and side by side until the final lap when David Hilliker came from 6th to take over the runner up spot and a bid for the win but came just short as Juusola nosed out Hilliker for the win. Greg Gokey held on to finish third followed by Chris Brindley, Josh Knoll, Jordan Erickson, Zack Olger, Tom Sprague Jr., Kris Patterson Jr. and Merv Hudson.
The Pro Stock division also got a rare opportunity to qualify with the Modifieds having the night off and Chris Peyerk clocked the quick time at 15.621. Bobby Timmer would carry the checkers in Dash over TJ Erickson, Peyerk and Steven Hilliker. In the heat race TJ Erickson would drive into victory lane with Steven Hilliker and Bobby Timmer rounding out the top three. In the feature event Caleb Kill got the jump on pole sitter Allen Markel and led the first 6 laps until he suffered mechanical issues bring out the caution and sending him to the pits for the remainder of the event. On the restart, Steven Hilliker took over the point with Bobby Timmer and TJ Erickson in a battle for second. On lap 16 Erickson finally got around Timmer and one lap later Hilliker pulled into the infield handing the lead over to Erickson. TJ would drive on to score the win over Bobby Timmer, Chris Peyerk, Allen Markel, Ryan Ostrander, Steven Hilliker and Caleb Kill.
The MORA Outlaw sprints were also on hand for the second time in 2014 with Luke Strong taking the win in heat race action followed by Doug Roush and Kent Strong. In the feature race Luke Strong took the early lead when caution came out for a multi-car pileup in turn four. On the restart, Doug Roush took the lead with Luke Strong in hot pursuit. Roush would go on to lead the final circuits and score the win over Ryan Reckow, Bud Schrader, Cheyanne Emery, Luke Strong, Aaron Ebling, AJ Ebling, Floyd Roush, Corey Roush Neal Fisher and Kent Strong.
In the Hardcore Performance Pro Truck division, Garry Hammar Jr. pulled into victory during heat race action finishing ahead of Mike Nelson Jr. and Jerry Mynarcik. In the “A” Main, Mike Nelson Jr. took the lead as the green flew with Garry Hammar Jr. a close second. Nelson would cruise on to lead flag to flag for the win. With just three laps to go, Bob Hammar pulled into the third and finished the race behind his brother Garry in second. Bob Liuzzo Jr., Jerry Mynarcik, Dick Stout and Mark Sheffield would round out the field.
Car counts were down in the 4 cylinder division as Brendan Powell took the checkers in both the heat and feature events. Scott Boyd finished in the runner up spot in the feature followed by Dirk VanAuken and Jeremy Tulick.
Coming this Saturday will feature the Michigan Dirt Cup Modifieds in action at Merritt Speedway along with 4-Cylinders, Factory Stocks, Pro Stocks, Pro Trucks and Lightning Sprints. Then on August 16th the conclusion of Wood Tic 26. There is plenty of great action to be had at Merritt Speedway the entire month of August.
See ya at the track