(Plymouth, IN) The Sprints on Dirt Series (SODS) has a 2014 champion and seven classes of cars took to the track on a chilly Northern Indiana evening for a wild night of racing.
The Super Modifieds hadn’t been at the Playground of Power in about forty years, but they proved that they still can make some noise. The caution-free feature found an early battle for the lead for the front row starters, Brent Eberle and Bill Layton. They had a rough time staying in those spots, especially with the car that Dave Gross had. Gross started next to last and made up a lot of ground to take over the top spot by lap six. It was smooth sailing for Gross after that with Tommy Hathaway picking up the second spot and Jim Hubbard in third. Hubbard also came from the back to place in the top three.
The SODS had a tough points battle for the lead with Ryan Ruhl and Dustin Daggett and this was the final race to determine the champion. Ruhl had come into this race 12 points ahead of Daggett and Ruhl would fight early to keep it that way. Ruhl started on the outside pole while Daggett started eighth. Ruhl took the early lead in the race and Daggett slowly made this way to fifth by the fifth lap. It appeared that Ruhl had the handle on this race until two lapped cars got into trouble in front of him and collected him in a three car pileup in turn one about halfway through the 25-lap contest. Ruhl would quickly get to the pits to make repairs, but he would restart the race at the tail. By this time, Rico Abreu had moved up the field from starting tenth and was poised to make a move. Scotty Thiel would go to the point after the caution but he and Jim Lingar would get jumbled up in between turns three and four which handed over the lead to Abreu. By that time, only four laps were left in the race and Abreu was able to keep the lead and took home the trophy. Shawn Dancer finished second and Dustin Daggett was third. Ruhl finished eighth.
Dustin Daggett was crowned the 2014 SODS champion – his fifth championship in the series.
The Dickies Restaurant 600 Sprints feature found a new winner. Eric Saunders started on the pole and kept that lead through the entire event to collect his first feature win in his sprint car career. Sam Kimmel, Chad Hartzell and Nick Yoder were vying for positions behind him. Yoder moved into the second spot early while Kimmel moved to third. That’s how the running order stayed throughout most of the feature, even through two caution situations.
Travis Wolford won his heat race and he was looking for a win in the Super Street feature. He and Jerrad Krick started on the front row and battled for the top spot. Wolford quickly went to the front and didn’t look back. David Short moved his way through traffic to get to the second spot by lap 10. A caution came out which bunched up the field and gave Short a chance to go for the lead. He would give it a good try with two laps to go but couldn’t make the pass. Wolford won the race with Short in second and Jerrad Krick in third.
The Swan Lake Resorts UMP Modifieds put on a great show with a new face in Victory Lane. Darren Wireman was the early leader but found himself in the outside wall after coming into contact with Todd Sherman after a couple of laps. Josh Scott then battled side by side with Derek Losh for clean air after the caution and would get the lead after a couple of intense laps. Losh would tuck in behind Scott while Todd Sherman would round out the top three. That’s how they raced and placed for the rest of the quick 20-lap feature.
The Thunder Stock division saw a little more action with a green-white-checkered finish. Jim Henson jumped to the lead early but couldn’t hold off Bryce Shidler. By lap three, the pair battled side by side for two laps before Shidler took over the lead. Two quick cautions happened after Shidler took the lead on lap five but it wouldn’t slow him down. Shidler, Henson and Eric Brown, who started sixth, bunched up on the restart on lap eight and were all looking for the lead. Shidler had a solid lead by lap 10. Brown continued to battle Henson for the second spot but couldn’t get enough speed to make a pass. On the last lap of the feature, a caution came out for a blown motor which set up a three lap dash. Shidler was able to keep his lead and Eric Brown tried again to get second from Henson but ran out of race. Shidler picked up the win with Henson in second and Brown in third.
The final feature of the night showcased the Cyber Stock division. Four drivers took a wild ride on the first lap coming out of turn three which caused a red flag. One driver was evaluated for minor injuries. When the race went green, a tire came off the No. 85 driven by Richard Loraft which caused another quick caution. While all of this was happening, Ryan Lagestee enjoyed the race lead. That would only last until Guy Sutton caught up to him by lap seven. Eryn Hartz tried to take second from Lagestee but couldn’t make the pass once the checkered flag flew. Guy Sutton won the race with Lagestee in second and Eryn Hartz rounding out the top three.
It’s a big night of racing on Saturday, Oct. 11 with the Lane Automotive 50 Race of Champions, presented by All Star Performance, Cometic Gasket, Inc., and JE Pistons with K1 Technologies. Come on Friday with track action beginning at 7:15 p.m. Racing on Saturday starts at 7 p.m. ET. Don’t miss the final race of the year at the Playground of Power!
For more information, visit www.plymouthspeedway.net.