Lake Odessa, MI - Ryan Ruhl would use multiple caution flags to his benefit, and conquer the chilly temperatures to pick up the win on Friday night, in the Great Lakes Super Sprints Season Opener at I-96 Speedway. The Coldwater, Michigan native would methodically work his way into the top 3 early in the event from his 9th starting position, closing the gap on the leaders with timely cautions.
Dustin Daggett and Phil Gressman would lead the field to green, with Gressman rocketing out to the early lead. Daggett seemed to have issues getting ahold of the chilly surface, as he faded back early. The Overall Fast Qualifier would then be involved in contact, which would send him spinning off the frontstretch. Damage to the left front of his 85 machine would end Daggett's night early. Defending GLSS Series Champion Jared Horstman would also drift back, after charging into the top 3 early from his 8th starting position. Multiple cautions and a red flag would keep the 24 car field fairly bunched together throughout the first half of the 25 lap feature event. On the final restart, it was "go time" for Ruhl. He would use the bottom of the 4 tenths bullring to rocket past Max Stambaugh, and set his sights on Gressman. Ruhl would track down Gressman, once again using the bottom, to roar past the race long leader and drive away. In the closing laps, a great battle ensued behind Ruhl, as Horstman and Ricky Peterson would race their way to podium finishes. Horstman did seem to find some speed late, as he began to track down Ruhl, but ran out of laps.
"The crew really hooked me up," commented Ruhl after the win. "I figured we'd be pretty good, we had to be patient and I thought we'd have a pretty good shot at the end. The car got questionable, but I kept pluggin away."
Daggett would lock down the Overall Fast Qualifier Award ( 14.298) earlier in the evening, with Gressman, Zane DeVault, Stambaugh and Peterson capturing Heat Race wins. Chase Ridenour picked up the Hoosier Hard Charger and the Engine Pro Lucky Dog awards, after driving his 16w machine to a 6th place finish from his 19th starting position. Kobe Allison would pick up the win in the Last Chance feature event.
Next up for GLSS is a trip to Orrville, Ohio and the Wayne County Speedway on Saturday, April 24th.