Lake Odessa, MI (Friday, September 3, 2021) - A cool overcast evening greeted fans and drivers for the Great Lakes Showdown Friday night at I-96 Speedway. Headlining the night were the Great Lakes Super Sprints Presented by Engine Pro and ARP with 27 cars unloading on the property.
The first competitive laps were for the Ti22 Performance Fast Qualifier award. Phil Gressman, the 2019 Champion of the series, set fast time early in the single car qualifying order turning in a lap of 14.124 seconds around I-96 Speedway.
In heat race action, Linden Jones, Jared Horstman, and Chase Ridenour collected wins as the 20 car feature field began to take shape. Jay Steinebach was officially declared the B-Main winner after several accidents that resulted in the field trimming down on its own. The first drop out of the race came when Joel Hummel quickly came to a stop in turn four. It was discovered that Hummel had been struck by something inside his car and injured his leg. Hummel was conscious but was transported to a nearby hospital for further evaluation. Gary Fritts caught a rut going into turn three and flipped wildly, collecting RJ Payne in the process. Then, Levi Poortenga, who had been racing for second, lost the top of turns three and four and slid violently into the turn four wall. Fritts, Payne and Poortenga were okay.
Horstman and Linden Jones were scheduled to bring the field to the green flag for the 25 lap feature event, but before the cars ever lined up in formation, Jones was forced to the infield with an apparent mechanical failure. That moved Dustin Daggett to Horstman’s outside for the start of the race. Horstman jumped out to the early lead, but not without challenges from Daggett. Coming to complete lap two, Daggett pulled the trigger on a slide job going into turn three and came up just short, pulling up at the exit of turn four allowing Horstman to continue to lead.
The first caution of the race flew on lap four when Shane Simmons spun in turn one. Little would change on the subsequent restart. The race out front had calmed slightly, but the battle for third raged on as Keith Sheffer, Jr and Danny Sams raced in close quarters for several laps. The two nearly came together at one point on the front stretch as Sheffer settled into the third position.
As Horstman and Daggett raced into lapped traffic, the 2018 series champion (Daggett) began to track down the two time series champion (Horstman ‘17, ‘20) erasing an over sixth tenths of a second lead. Daggett dove to the bottom of the race track going into turn one and slid up in front of Horstman by turn two. At the exit of the corner, the pair raced side-by-side into turn three where Daggett took command of the race on lap 18.
Then, with just three laps to go, Kevin VanHouten slowed to a stop at the exit of turn two drawing the second caution flag of the race. Daggett executed the restart flawlessly, maintaining his lead over Horstman en route to the win. Horstman came home second as Sheffer, Sams, and Gressman rounded out the top five.
The Great Lakes Traditional Sprints Presented by PERFIT was also in action. Evan Mosley used a late race restart to get to the front and collect the win. For the Great Lakes Lightning Sprints Presented by Maxima Racing Oil, Brendan Cascadden lead every lap en route to the win.
The Great Lakes Super Sprints Presented by Engine Pro and ARP are back in action Saturday night at I-96 Speedway. They’ll race alongside the FAST on Dirt and Sprints on Dirt 410 Sprint cars for another Sprint Car exclusive show. Gates open at 5:00PM with racing at 8:00PM. For more information on the Great Lakes Super Sprints, log onto www.GreatLakesSprints.com.