Lake Odessa, MI (Sunday, June 14, 2020) - For the first time in a long time crews, fans and drivers of Great Lakes Super Sprints Presented by Engine Pro and ARP (GLSS) geared up for a blockbuster event from Lake Odessa, Michigan’s I-96 Speedway. When registration closed, 25 of the areas fasted 360 c.i. Sprint Cars were ready to battle in the opening round of the 2020 campaign.
Hot Laps marked the first time Sprint Cars - or race cars of any kind - returned to the 4/10ths mile oval since late in 2019. Firing off in his brand new Wheeler Motorsports entry, 2016 GLSS Champion Chase Ridenour was fastest overall at the end of the session. The first competitive laps were turned during Qualifying, where Max Stambaugh set quick time turning in a 14.600 second lap time, besting Jared Horstman, Ryan Ruhl, Dustin Daggett, and Phil Gressman.
The first checkered flag of the GLSS season went to Bradenton, Florida native Conner Morrell. The former GLS Rookie of the Year bested Max Stambaugh and Dustin Daggett for the win in Engler Machine and Tool Heat Racing Number One. Campbell’s Performance Heat Race Number Two saw Ridenour go to victory lane ahead of Horstman and Gressman. The final heat race on the night was Kistler Engines Heat Race Number Three. There, Sparta, Michigan’s Andrew Scheid walked away with the win, besting Gregg Dahlman and Ruhl. With the majority of the field set, it was time to send some drivers home.
The Beacon and Bridge Markets B-Main would set the final five positions of the 20 car field. The win went to Concord, Michigan’s Quinten Blonde, while Eli Lakin, Josh Shantz, Andy Chehowski, and Justin Ward made up the rest of the transfer spots. With the field set, it was time for the 25 lap, $2,000 to win main event.
Cloverdale, Ohio’s Jared Horstman pulled alongside Bellevue, Michigan’s Gregg Dahlman to lead the field to the green flag. Horstman jumped out to the lead and never looked back throughout the course of the event. A debris caution late in the race stacked the field back up forcing Hortsman to hold off a hard charging Max Stambaugh.
On the restart, Stambaugh made his presence known with a hard charge to the inside of Horstman in turn one. Horstman, however, held his ground on the top shelf and powered back around the outside and maintained the lead down the backstretch. Another caution flew as the field was getting set to come to the white flag when Danny Sams III and Kyle Sauter tangled in turns three and four.
On the final restart of the race, Stambaugh made yet another charge at Horstman - and it was a good one. Stambaugh all but cleared Horstman coming off the second corner, but Hortsman was able to keep position on Stambaugh’s outside and was back out front by the third turn. Horstman held on for the win ahead of Stambaugh and Dahlman.
While the climate of the racing industry remains fluid in Michigan, GLSS has a tentative date to return to I-96 Speedway on July 3rd for the Series’ next event. Until then, fans can follow along with updates on Facebook, Twitter and the GLSS website at www.greatlakessprints.com.
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Story by - Zach Hiser, Motor City Racing Promotions
Photo - Jim DenHamer