Great Lakes Traditional Sprints
STEINEBACH BAGS FIRST GLTS WIN
Auburn, MI – Jay Steinebach (Hudsonville, MI) was due for a win and he increased his odds Friday, seeing the track twice as much as anyone else, by driving double duty in his winged sprint and his non-wing sprint. Those increased odds paid off for Steinebach as he took the double checkered flags during Friday nights Great Lakes Traditional Sprints feature, holding off a pesky Double 0 Joe Irwin (Davison, MI).
With a full night of open wheel racing at Tri-City Motor Speedway, GLTS took the track second for qualifying after the smaller winged Lightning Sprints. Dustin Daggett (Portland, MI) sat on top of the field, setting quick time, with a 13.665 second lap. Stevie Irwin in the Flying Zero wasn’t able to break into the 13 second range, qualifying a little later in the field. However Irwin was able to hold on to 2nd quick with a 14.114 second lap. Mike Galajda (Fenton, MI), Lee Underwood (Troy, OH) and Biran Ruhlman (Clark Lake, MI) rounded out the remainder of the top 5 qualifers.
In the Engler Machine & Tool Heat 1, Steinebach jumped out for the lead and he wouldn’t look back, taking the checkered flag and bagging another heat race win. Daggett stayed close to Steinebach wanting to secure the coveted redraw spot, but Underwood had a little to say about that, as he got around Daggett in the last lap and beating Daggett to the checkered by 2 hundredths of a second! Mike Astrauskas (Pierson, MI) and RJ Payne (Montrose, MI) rounded out the top five in the first heat race.
Rolling out next in the Rocket Headers Heat 2, Max Frank (Williamston, MI) led the field for the first half of the race, but could not hold off the Flying Zero, who slipped around Frank for the first position. Irwin held on for the win with Frank coming in 2nd and securing the second redraw spot. Ruhlman finished 3rd while Mark Irwin (Columbiaville, MI) and Kent Gardner (Davison, MI) rounded out the top five.
Galajda wasn’t messing around in the Beacon & Bridge Market Heat 3, as he took the checkered after starting 4th, holding off Double 0 Joe Irwin. Joey Irwin secured 2nd and the final redraw spot, with Cody Howard (Millington, MI) rounding out the podium finishes. Rick Irwin (Fostoria, MI) and Don Simmons (Grass Lake, MI) finished 4th and 5th respectively.
In the Comp Cams Feature race, 18 cars made the call and formed up to take the green. Joey Irwin, who was on the pole, brought the field to the green flag and took early advantage of his starting position, leading the first 4 laps of the race. Starting fifth in the feature, Steinebach overcame and passed Irwin in lap 5 and he would never look back, leading the remaining 21 laps to grab his first Great Lakes feature win! Joey Irwin stayed with Steinebach the whole way and was able to hold off everyone else to secure the second place finish. Not to be denied a podium spot, Ruhlman charged up from his 8th starting spot to not only secure a 3rd place finish, but earning himself the Hoosier Hard Charger Award.
With the battles up front being decided early on, the rest of the field was clawing for every position they could get. There was a lot of action going on from the 4th to 8th spots, with slide jobs and any other trick these drivers could throw at each other. With the racing close and spots being defended in each turn. The white flag finally flew and just 4 quick turns and 14 seconds and this race would be in the books. At the checkered flag, Underwood followed Ruhlman by a half second and led Howard by less then a quarter of a second and Galajda securing 6th. Fighting for 7th, Stevie Irwin threw a slide job on Daggett going into 3, with the racing so tight the last few laps, Daggett made contact with Irwin and as Daggett tried to continue driving thru turn 4, Irwin’s car went over and came to rest with all 4 wheels up in the air. As the red comes out on the track after the checkered was thrown, the crowd was relieved as Stevie Irwin was able to get out of his car and he and his car were able to live to fight another day!
Our next race will be a co-sanctioned race with BOSS on Friday, August 28th at I-96 Speedway near Lake Odessa, MI, followed with a second race on Saturday, August 29th at Silver Bullet Speedway near Owendale, MI. For the most up to date schedule, please go to our website at www.greatlakestraditionalsprints.com or www.greatlakessprints.com . Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@GLSprints) for pictures and results.
Thank you to our series sponsors Comp Cams, along with our series partners, Engler Machine & Tool, Rocket Headers, Beacon & Bridge Markets, Specialty Fuels and Logistics and Environmental Waste & Recovery, Inc.
Article Credit: GLTS Staff
Submitted By: Barry Marlow