Great Lakes Traditional Sprints
GALAJDA TAKES THE CHECKERED FLAG
Owendale, MI – Mike Galajda (Fenton, MI) makes the best of his second visit to Silver Bullet this season, by winning his first feature of the season with Great Lakes Traditional Sprints!
With a new race format in place for this season, the night started out with the cars taking the track for qualifying. With the cars lined up to hit the track, there was an electrical issue at the tower and we had a longer wait in the sun then we wanted, the drivers were all pretty hot when they hit the track. When the last car rolled off the track, Brian Ruhlman (Clark Lake, MI) was sitting on top of the board as quick qualifier with a 16.048 second lap. Chris Pobanz (Sebewaing, MI), Max Frank (Williamston, MI), Mark Irwin (Columbiaville, MI) and Joey Irwin (Davision, MI) rounded out the top five.
In the Engler Machine and Tool Heat 1, Galajda brought home the checkered winning over Double O Joe (Irwin) and Ruhlman. Rounding out the field was Frank, Gary Hayward (Auburn Hills, MI) and RJ Payne (Montrose, MI).
On a pass around Cody Howard (Millington, MI) in the last lap, Pobanz takes the checkered and wins the Rocket Headers Heat 2 in honor of his dad. Howard took second, with Rick Irwin (Fostoria, MI), Mark Irwin, Tank Brakenberry (Pigeon, MI) and Ralph Brakenberry (Pigeon, MI) rounding out the rest of the field.
As the Beacon and Bridge A-Main rolled out and the caution lights were taken off, Ruhlman and Howard, side by side, brought the field around to the green. Ruhlman beats Howard to turn 1 and the field settles into a single groove and they start clicking off laps. Galajda who started 6th starts moving up through the lead cars. He works his way past Joey Irwin and Rick Irwin as a caution comes out. With 7 laps to go, Galajda now in 3rd, sets his sights on Howard. Getting by Howard, Galajda now has the leader, Ruhlman, in his sights.
With 5 laps to go, Payne gets up and loose in turns 3 and 4, but is able to get back on the track without a caution. Ruhlman and Galajda start getting some separation from Howard and the rest of the field. Ruhlman looks like he’s pulling Galajda around the track on a rubberband. Ruhlman gets a little separation from Galajda in the straight away, but Galajda would pull back in behind Ruhlman in the corners, looking for his chance to get by. As the white flag flies, Ruhlman and Galajda are coming up hard on Ralph Brakenberry. As Ruhlman shoots down the back stretch, he slows to avoid Brakenberry as they start to enter turn 3.
With Ruhlman checking up, he appears to go low into turn 3, while Galajda is chasing hard with a full head of steam down the backstretch and went into 3 behind, and slightly above Ruhlman. Galajda made contact as he went around the outside, which spins Ruhlman around 180 degrees. As Galajda comes out of turn 4, he gets the double checkered flag, and a caution is called. With the race declared over in front of the caution, the finish for the remainder of the field behind the caution car were scored based on their 24th lap crossing and the race leader from the caution was put at the tail of the lead lap.
The official finish was scored as follows:
Feature winner: Mike Galajda, 2) Cody Howard, 3) Joey Irwin, 4) Max Frank, 5) Rick Irwin, 6) Mark Irwin, 7) Gary Hayward, 8) Ralph Brakenberry, 9) Brian Ruhlman, 10) RJ Payne, 11) Tank Brakenberry, 12) Chris Pobanz.
A special shout out to drivers:
Brian Ruhlman, who had a solid night setting fast time and leading the race for 24 laps.
Mike Galajda, winner of the Engler Machine & Tool Heat 1 and the Beacon & Bridge Feature Winner
Chris Probanz, winner of the Rocket Headers Heat 2 (in recognition of his dad)
Max Frank, winner of the Hoosier Hard Charger Award
For our fans that don’t know the golden rule in sprint car racing, which is unlike other classes, you are allowed one push start per race in a sprint car. If, for any reason, your car comes to a stop on the track during the race and brings out a caution, that car must go to the tail of the lead lap or tail of the lapped cars, wherever they were running. The purpose of the rules are to “minimize” judgement calls and organize the chaos on a track full of sprint cars. We have a great bunch of veteran, sophomore and freshmen drivers that I feel are respectful of their fellow drivers. I am proud of how they handle themselves on the track, but unfortunately with open wheeled cars racing at over 100 mph, bad things happen to good people.
Our next race will be an exciting all open wheel race with all 3 of Great Lakes Sprints classes on Friday, August 7th at Tri-City Speedway.
Thank you to our series sponsor, Comp Cams and Perfit Corporation. Also to our marketing partners, Engler Machine and Tool, Rocket Headers, Beacon & Bridge Markets, Specialty Fuels & Logistics and Environmental Waste & Recovery Services.
For the latest updates to our schedule, results and points, go to www.greatlakessprints.com and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@GLSprints).
Article Credit: BARRY MARLOW
Submitted By: Barry Marlow