Jason Blonde from Litchfield, MI scored his first Sprints On Dirt win of the 2003 racing season by passing Dain Naida in lapped traffic on lap 19 at Winston Motor Speedway. "The track turned out great!" Stated Blonde in victory lane. "We waited a...
Jason Blonde from Litchfield, MI scored his first Sprints On Dirt win of the 2003 racing season by passing Dain Naida in lapped traffic on lap 19 at Winston Motor Speedway. "The track turned out great!" Stated Blonde in victory lane. "We waited a while to get the race in, but the officials stuck behind us to make sure we got to race. Thanks to everyone who waited through all the rain, and track packing."
The evening started with a typical Michigan summer day. There was sunshine, with a few clouds, but everything looked set for another great SOD sprint car race. Just as Winston Motor Speedway officials were wrapping up their time trials, dark storm clouds quickly moved in from Lake Michigan and it began to rain. After a 30 minute rain shower that left the track a muddy mess, speedway officials began to try to re-pack the track surface. After a couple tow trucks seemed to make no progress on the track, SOD sprint cars began to push off. After a short packing period, the track started to come around and it looked as if the evening of racing would happen. Just as sprinters began to leave the track, the sky opened up once again.
Again, track officials tried to re-pack the racing surface. Then sprint cars came out a second time to pack the track. After another short packing session, driver's gave the thumbs up that the track was ready. With the stands beginning to fill back up, track officials announced that the evening of racing would have to be canceled. This decision did not sit well for most sprint car teams as the track was heavy, and looked to be very fast. Track officials decided to let SOD run their program, but canceled all other divisions for the night. At 10:30 P.M, the first heat race pushed off. Davey Brown, Jon Nichoson, and Fred Bliss would win the heats, with Bliss turning laps in the 12.8 second range on the semi-banked 1/4 mile. The A-main would push off at 11:15 P.M.
Davey Brown started the Sprints On Dirt A-main on the pole position with Dain Naida on the outside. As the duo came down to the green, Brown quickly got the advantage as the pair headed into turn one. Dave fox, who started fourth, went for the first corner pass of Naida, and slipped up and over the banking. As cars behind Fox checked up, Jim McCarron also slipped over the banking making slight contact with Fox. The second restart turned out in Naida's favor, as he went to the high side of turn one and passed Brown coming out of turn two. Blonde followed in third, followed by Fred Bliss and Corey Bevard.
The leaders quickly entered lapped traffic on lap four, and Blonde made the move for second around Brown using the highside of the race track. Blonde then set his sights on the race leader as Naida was slowing in traffic with lapped cars that were two and three wide on the narrow bullring. On lap 11, Bliss made a move around Brown to take over third. Just then, Blonde took a look on the outside of Naida coming through turn three, but the car would come up on the right side tires, as Blonde had to back out of the throttle to regain control. The next caution came out on lap 16 as Gregg Dalman who was running sixth, tagged the turn four wall. Dalman would slow, and come to a stop in turn two.
Naida quickly opened up a 10 car length lead over Blonde on the restart, but once again the front duo quickly entered lapped traffic. At this stage of the race, Naida was clocked at 12.12 seconds, which would have easily set a new track record. Working on the 19th circuit, Naida would lose his brakes, ending his reign in the top position. Blonde took advantage one lap later with a daring outside move in turn four to grab the top spot. Fourth place runner Brown lost an oil line on lap 21, sending his car up in smoke ending his evening. Brown was able to get his car off the track, and the race stayed green.
Naida would stay close to Blonde in the closing stages, but would gain any ground. The car on the move late in the race was Joe Bares. Moving from ninth up to fourth over the final 10 laps. At the finish, Blonde picked up the win over Naida, Bliss, Bares and Ronnie Beale. SOD Point leader Dustin Daggett came home sixth with Kyle Poortenga, Corey Bevard, Frank Taylor, and Jim Wohlfeil to round out the top ten. Up next for the SOD sprinters is a three day, Fourth of July weekend. Thursday, July 3 SOD will return to Hartford Speedway Park. Then July 4, the Sprints On Dirt, King of Michigan IV at Hartford Speedway Park with $4000 going to the winner. Then July 5th, SOD will move to Butler Motor Speedway for the second leg of the SOD/ NRA Challenge. For more information, be sure to log on to the official Sprints On Dirt web site at www.sprintsondirt.com
B&B Oval Track Supply Heat Race, 8 laps: (1:50.009) 1) 13 Davey Brown 2) 10 Jason Blonde 3) 19 Joe Bares 4) 3b Ronnie Beale 5) 85 Dustin Daggett 6) p46 Frank Taylor 7) 2m Jim McCarron
Kear's Speed Shop Heat Race: (1:46.727) 1) 62 Jon Nichoson 2) 49t Gregg Dalman 3) 410 Dennis Craft 4) 54n Dain Naida 5) 84 Kyle Poortenga 6) 18 Mark Irwin 7) 52 Mark Broughman
Goodyear Racing Tire Heat Race: (1:45.600) 1) 15 Fred Bliss 2) 3w Jim Wohlfeil 3) t10 Tom Miller 4) 54j Dave Fox 5) 8 Corey Bevard 6) 33 Bill Johnson
Sprints On Dirt A-Main, 25 Laps: (No Time) 1) Blonde 2) Naida 3) Bliss 4) Bares 5) Beale 6) Daggett 7) Poortenga 8) Bevard 9) Taylor 10) Wohlfeil 11) Nichoson 12) Johnson 13) Broughman 14) Fox 15) Irwin 16) McCarron 17) Brown 18) Craft 19) Dalman 20) Miller
SOD Points as of June 27, 2003: 1) Dustin Daggett 1522 2) Dain Naida 1511 3) Ronnie Beale 1395 4) Jim Wohlfeil 1325 5) Bill Johnson 1319 6) Dave Fox 1252 7) Mark Broughman 1168 8) Gregg Dalman 1098 9) Fred Bliss 1041 10) Frank Taylor 1036