Great Lakes Super Sprints
SAMS WINS AGAIN AT CRYSTAL
Crystal Twp, MI – On May 25th, 2019, Danny Sams III had his first feature win in a full sized winged sprint car at Crystal Motor Speedway (CMS) in his second year with Great Lakes Super Sprints presented by Engine Pro & ARP. Last night, Sams won again at Crystal making it two wins at CMS and now 5 career wins.
After 3 straight days of rains cancelling Fridays scheduled race, Saturdays race at CMS was a little in question. Saturday turned out to be a chamber of commerce day, but the track was still wet which caused a delay getting the night started. With help from the late models on hand and the sprint cars, CMS staff were able to get the track worked in to give GLSS just enough room to qualify.
As the cars took the track, the drivers were comfortable to qualify, but the track still wasn’t wide enough yet to race on. What the track lacked in width, it made up for speed. Phil Gressman (Fremont, OH) set the Ti22 Performance Quick Time with a lap time of 13.208 seconds or an average speed of 102.2 mph. Sams, Max Stambaugh (Elida, OH), Ryan Ruhl (Coldwater, MI) and Brad Lamberson (Parma, MI) rounded out the top 5 cars.
Saturday night, GLSS was thankful for our fendered friends the modifieds and late models, who ran their 7 heat races in front of the sprints, widening out the track to give the sprint cars a track they could race on. The track was great in the corners but still a little bit narrow at the flag stand, giving us just enough room for about 2 cars to pass and have about 6 feet of open space. Fenders are a little more forgiving when they come together then two tires hitting each other or the wall.
By the time the Engler Machine & Tool Heat one rolled out, it was obvious the track was getting faster. As all the cars flew into turns 1 and 2, Tylar Rankin (Coldwater, MI) pushed up the track to the top of two getting his right side over the unusually large cushion. With great skill and luck, he came as close to flipping the car without flipping as anyone could. He saved the car, but allowed Gressman, who started 4th get by and take the lead. Gressman went on to take the checkered flag, with Rankin taking second and Ruhl taking 3rd.
Frank Neill (Vickory, OH) lead the Jim Coffey & Sons Plumbing and Heating Heat 2 around to the green. As the cars roared into the first turn, Gregg Dalman (Bellevue, MI) drives hard around the top and takes the lead. Sams, who started 4th, was on Dalman quick, pressing him into each corner for 7 laps. Dalman being the veteran he is was able to take advantage of the narrower track and make his car "seem" like it was 15 feet wide to Sams. With the white flag flying, Sams was able to get a smooth run to the top, going side by side with Dalman. The extra speed going high gave Sams just the advantage he needed to beat Dalman to the bottom of 3, giving Sams the win. Dalman and a hard charging Lamberson rounded out the podium.
As the Beacon & Bridge Markets Heat 3 rolled out, it was obvious that the track had been getting faster. Eli Lakin (Buchanan, MI) led the field to the green flag and as the cars roared down the front stretch Dustin Daggett (Portland, MI) flew in high and seemed to put his car on cruise control. Stambaugh was challenging, but every one of Daggetts laps were faster then the fast qualifier and laps 3-6 he was averaging 107.9 mph with the best timed lap of 12.51 seconds, just 21 hundreths of a second off the track record. Daggett cruised to the checkered flag with Stambaugh and Lakin rounding out the podium.
On a side note, Phil Gressman still holds the track record at CMS with a qualifying time of 12.304 he set on June 22, 2019, the year he won the GLSS Championship.
By the time the track was rolled in and safe for us to qualify, it was already after 8 pm. We wrapped up qualifying at 8:23 pm. With over 156 cars on hand and 23 heat races and 3 B-Mains to run, GLSS still rolled out for our PERFIT Feature Event around 11:45 pm. Kudos to Ryan Flinn and the rest of the CMS crew to keep the show moving. We were back in the pits loading up by 12:10 am. Pretty incredible job after over nearly a two our delay!!!
As we pushed off for the feature, the track was in great shape and the front stretch and back stretch had widened out substantially as the evening wore on, however because of safety reasons and time considerations, we did not do our traditional 4 wide salute. We did one parade lap double file led by Rankin and Sams and then gave the field the one to go and went green flag racing.
Rankin was quick to get out front with Sams hanging on his bumper all the way around the track with heavy hitters breathing down their backs like Gressman, Stambaugh, Daggett, Dalman, Ruhl and Lamberson all of them waiting for someone to miss their mark. Rankin was the first to bobble and Sams was there to make him pay, taking the lead in lap 6. There was a lot of positioning in the remaining 19 laps and plenty of excitement as the leaders weaved their way in, out and thru lapped traffic. As the checkered flag flew it was Sams, Gressman, Stambaugh, Daggett and Dalman rounding out the top 5!
Keith Sheffer, Jr (Jerome, MI) was tonights Hoosier Hard Charger advancing 3 spots along with Jay Steinebach (Hudsonville, MI) and Chris Pobanz (Sebewang, MI). Sheffer finished the highest at 7th earning him the honors. Steinebach was tonights Engine Pro Lucky Dog, choosen by Sams, the feature winner.
Thank you to all of our sponsors, fans, tracks and teams that support Great Lakes Super Sprints presented by Engine Pro & ARP, without them none of this would be possible. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@GLSprints). For our schedule, results and points, go to our website at www.greatlakessprints.com.
Engine Pro & ARP (Automotive Racing Products)
Hoosier Racing Tires
Engler Machine & Tool
Jim Coffey & Son Plumbing and Heating
Beacon & Bridge Markets
Specialty Fuels & Logistics
Addvance Heating & Cooling
Great Lakes Super Sprints Crystal Results
PERFIT A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 24D-Danny Sams III; 2. 7C-Phil Gressman; 3. 71H-Max Stambaugh; 4. 85-Dustin Daggett; 5. 49T-Gregg Dalman; 6. 27-Brad Lamberson; 7. 86-Keith Sheffer Jr; 8. 16C-Tyler Rankin; 9. 70-Eli Lakin; 10. 88N-Frank Neill; 11. 10S-Jay Steinebach; 12. 3A-Mike Astrauskas; 13. 84-Kyle Poortenga; 14. 19-Jett Mann; 15. 89-Chris Pobanz; 16. 31-Jim Girard; 17. 23-Ralph Brakenberry; 18. 25M-Ryan Ruhl; 19. 1-Levi Poortenga; 20. 2-Tyler Bearden
eNGLER MACHINE & TOOL Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 7C-Phil Gressman; 2. 16C-Tyler Rankin; 3. 25M-Ryan Ruhl; 4. 86-Keith Sheffer Jr; 5. 19-Jett Mann; 6. 2-Tyler Bearden; 7. 23-Ralph Brakenberry
JIM COFFEY & SON PLUMBING AND HEATING Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 24D-Danny Sams III; 2. 49T-Gregg Dalman; 3. 27-Brad Lamberson; 4. 88N-Frank Neill; 5. 10S-Jay Steinebach; 6. 31-Jim Girard; 7. 1-Levi Poortenga
BEACON & BRIDGE MARKETS Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 85-Dustin Daggett; 2. 71H-Max Stambaugh; 3. 70-Eli Lakin; 4. 3A-Mike Astrauskas; 5. 84-Kyle Poortenga; 6. 89-Chris Pobanz
HOOSIER Qualifying 1: 1. 7C-Phil Gressman, 00:13.208; 2. 24D-Danny Sams III, 00:13.314; 3. 71H-Max Stambaugh, 00:13.384; 4. 25M-Ryan Ruhl, 00:13.457; 5. 27-Brad Lamberson, 00:13.488; 6. 3A-Mike Astrauskas, 00:13.514; 7. 16C-Tyler Rankin, 00:13.557; 8. 49T-Gregg Dalman, 00:13.558; 9. 85-Dustin Daggett, 00:13.573; 10. 86-Keith Sheffer Jr, 00:13.704; 11. 88N-Frank Neill, 00:13.767; 12. 70-Eli Lakin, 00:13.849; 13. 2-Tyler Bearden, 00:13.902; 14. 31-Jim Girard, 00:14.013; 15. 84-Kyle Poortenga, 00:14.097; 16. 19-Jett Mann, 00:14.182; 17. 10S-Jay Steinebach, 00:14.343; 18. 89-Chris Pobanz, 00:14.829; 19. 23-Ralph Brakenberry, 00:15.683; 20. 1-Levi Poortenga, 00:15.804
Article Credit: Barry M. Marlow
Submitted By: Barry Marlow