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Losh wins over impressive field of modifieds, Eli Lakin gets first Pro-Sprint feature win

June 25, 2018
PSW_LakinWin6-23A consistent comment on the winner’s podium Saturday evening at “The Playground of Power” was how much grip the track had throughout the evening. Rain the previous days up until Saturday morning provided plenty of moisture for the surface. The track crew continued to stay on top of the track for all five classes that raced.
The racing was close, exciting and fast with in all the classes.
PSW_EliLakenLeadingIn Pro-Sprints Eric Saunders put down a 12.9 sec. lap during the feature and finished second behind first time feature winner Eli Lakin.
The modified feature started 19 of the 22 UMP modified that were signed in. Seven of those are in the top 25 in points in the nation. One of those that didn’t make the feature was Columbia City’s Scott Orr who started second in a very competitive heat. Orr got up into the deep cushion in turns one and two which unsettled the car and sent it up and onto its roof. While Orr emerged from the car once it was righted unhurt the same couldn’t be said for the number 88.
In the feature Derek Losh and Zeke McKenzie would start seventh and eighth, finishing first and second. Losh has six feature wins in eight feature appearances. McKenzie’s podium was a change in the luck he has suffered in his last couple of races at Plymouth Speedway.
Dylan Woodling started the feature on the pole finishing third. The feature had a couple of attempts at getting the first lap in but once they got started in was a green flag event to the end.
Lakin won his first feature after racing in the Pro-Sprint class at Plymouth Speedway since its start. Lakin jumped out to the lead on the first lap and held that position over second place finisher Eric Saunders the entire race. Saunders closed when the two got to some lapped traffic but Lakin was able to hold him off as they made their way through traffic. Finishing third was Goshen’s Tyler Fitzpatrick who nursed a broken left rear suspension in the closing laps. The third place number 57 had to be towed from the victory celebration on the front stretch.
Garrett Saunders retains his 13 point lead over his brother Eric with Fitzpatrick in third.
The 600 mini-sprint points are even tighter at the top with Saturday’s feature winner Garrett Wagoner moving within 8 points of the leader Chad Hartzell.
The 600 feature was the typical close fast paced event that this class is know for. Hartzell started on the pole with Woodling sharing the front row, with eventual winner Wagoner starting third.
Early in the event a car spun into the infield allowing the field to remain green, the car rejoined the race not far ahead of the leaders. Within half a lap Hartzell in the lead with Wagoner on his heels came up on the recovered car which made a sudden move to the bottom of the track where Hartzell and Wagoner had committed to get past causing all three to spin, Wagoner drove through the infield to avoid contact and Hartzell was sent to the tail as part of the spun cars causing the yellow. Hartzell would recover to get eighth place. Wagoner would lead Woodling to the checkers and Kyle Gunkel would move up from his fifth place starting spot to finish third.
Thunder Stocks started 15 cars for the feature which had a first lap first turn incident that required a restart but the field was fast and well behaved the remainder of the event with Kevin Kerlin getting past Lee Hall early and the two of them lead the way. Bryan Banta finished third from his sixth place starting position. Biggest mover of the race was Shane Sanders who started on the tail in 15th, finishing sixth.
Super Streets was the last feature of the evening on the still very racy clay providing plenty of grip. Ron Wilkes started on the pole and lead the green flag event to the checkers. Roger Duszynski Jr. driving the 82 of Joe Spiewak Sr., finished second in his first race back since the 2016 season. Kory Conner started the feature in ninth and made stead progress to the front to finish third, his first podium since 2016.
Next week the Plymouth Speedway features two exciting nights of racing, Friday and SaturdayFriday Tony Stewart will be back with his All Star winged 410 sprint car racing. Super Streets will share the bill with the high power sprint cars. Tickets are $25 for adults, Children six-12 are $8 and five and under are free. Gates open at 4 p.m., Hot Lapping starts at 6 p.m. with racing starting at 7 p.m.
Saturday will be a regular high caliber racing card of the regular five classes of racing.
USAC announced recently that Indiana Sprint Week will kick off on Friday, July 20 at the Plymouth Speedway.
Attached Photos by Greg Hildebrand:
Eli Laken of Buchanan, Mich. in victory lane after winning his first Pro-Sprint feature at Plymouth Speedway.
With the sun setting on the Plymouth Speedway dirt surface Buchanan, Michigan’s Eli Laken will go on to win his first Pro-Sprint feature.