08/22/13 Hoosier tires were digging in the dirt and gathering speed at Plymouth Speedway in the first-ever Bob Newton Hoosier Tire Classic Saturday, Aug. 1
In the inaugural event, the Sprints on Dirt Series featured 20 cars and they flew around the track! The sprint car driven by Gregg Dalman got out front in the first lap and never relinquished that lead. The caution flag flew once for a crash out of turn one that collected Shawn Dancer. The top five stayed put throughout most of the race, but Dustin Daggett shook things up as the final laps ticked off. Daggett ended up with the second spot while Brett Mann clinched third in the last few laps.
“I gave it away last night, but not tonight!” said Dalman on his win. “I got into lapped traffic and kept thinking to myself, ‘keep digging, keep digging, keep digging’ and we got it. Hell of a tire we have in these Hoosier Tires. We won!”
NASCAR driver and analyst Kenny Wallace raced in the UMP Modified event in his JEGS/UNOH machine and he was happy to help honor the Newton family on their accomplishments prior to the race. Wallace raced in the absence of NASCAR driver Tony Stewart who regrettably couldn’t participate in the race due to an injury sustained in a sprint car race on Aug. 5 in Iowa.
Wallace’s night didn’t last long as he got caught up in a melee during a restart which took his car out of contention. He was running seventh at the time of the crash on lap four. UMP Modified points leader Frank Marshall had a strong car and took the lead on the first lap. Zeke McKenzie and pole-sitter Mathew Mitchell had a challenge for the second spot on lap 15 and McKenzie was able to take the spot. The race was red flagged twice for a brake fire and a hard crash involving two drivers on the backstretch. When the field went to green, Marshall took a commanding lead and Zeke McKenzie crossed the finish line two-tenths of a second before Mathew Mitchell.
“We’ve been very fortunate to end up on the podium most nights. The track is great and the fans are great. Thank you all for being here,” commented Marshall on his win.
The Traxxas USAC 600 Restricted Winged Sprints saw a familiar face on the top of the podium. Points leader Garrett Saunders got the lead on lap five. Pole-sitter Bud McCune battled with Kristina Durr early in the race, but McCune later fell back to fifth position. The caution-free race found Saunders across the line with an almost five second lead on the second place finisher Nick Katrakis. Kristina Durr rounded out the top three.
“I’ve struggled with motors and just got this one back. My car was pretty fast! Thank you to my family, my sponsors and everyone who helps me with the car,” stated Saunders.
The Traxxas USAC 600 Winged Sprints was nearly caution-free, but a spin involving Billy Cribbs and Eric Saunders brought out the only yellow with only two laps to go. The leader, Randy Shilling, had a 4.7 second lead on Rodney Stealy at the time the caution came out and that was erased as the field went back to green. It didn’t phase Shilling as he was able to hold off Stealy for the win. Billy Cribbs finished third.
“We were flawless,” remarked Shilling. “Thank you to everyone who has helped me.”
Next Saturday is championship night at Plymouth Speedway. Meet the drivers in an autograph session scheduled for that night. The UMP Modifieds, Super Streets, Thunder Stocks and the Traxxas USAC 600 Open Sprints and the USAC 600 Restricted Winged Sprints will be running. Gates open at 4 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m. ET. For more information, visit www.plymouthspeedway.net or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
By: Anita Soltis