Plymouth, IN (May 24, 2014) – It was the way that drivers and fans wanted to start off the Memorial Day weekend: a perfect night of racing in five different classes on the dirt oval.
David Short was able to find his way around Michael Clark and Bob McLean early in the Super Street Feature and took command of the race when he found clean air. McLean was on the pole for the feature but fell back in the field after a complete restart as a result of a caution. Two quick cautions bunched up the field again on laps five and nine. That allowed the current points leader Clark to try and get the lead from Short but just couldn’t get his charge to stick. Randy Akers, who started in the fifth row, powered his way to a third place spot.
“Big Daddy Chassis got it done for me again,” stated Short. “It’s great to be on top of the podium again.”
The 600 Open Sprints found a rookie taking the top spot. Garrett Saunders had been working on getting past several division top runners and battled Billy Cribbs, Dawson Stealy and Nicholas Schaefer for position early. By lap five, he caught leader Aaron Davis. The two had contact out of turn four and Saunders took the lead. Davis dropped to fourth position. Cribbs and Stealy moved into the top three and battled each other for position for quite a few laps until the checkered flag flew. Cribbs was able to hold off Stealy for second and Saunders won with a one second lead.
“We’ve got good competition out there and I’ve got a good car this year. It was a great battle with last year’s champion (Cribbs),” said Saunders.
The UMP Modifieds feature found a familiar face on top of the podium. Jamie Lomax didn’t have an easy go at the win. He would need to get by Bobby Stremme and Stremme wouldn’t give up without a fight. Lomax came up the field from starting seventh and by lap eight he took the lead from Stremme. Stremme would stay in second and Steve Hogue was doing his best to stop a charging Frank Marshall who was charging hard through the field. Marshall spun in the middle of turns three and four on lap 14 and a flat tire ended his night. Lomax had a three second lead by the time the checkered flag was in the air with Stremme coming home in second and Hogue in the third spot.
“There was good competition tonight and the track was great. It’s a good night,” said Lomax in his post-race interview.
There was no catching Dennis Freeland in the Thunder Stock division as he rocketed to the lead from the pole and didn’t give it up. Eric Brown would have to fight for his second place finish as he got into Chris Joseph on the fourth lap. He was sent to the tail of the field but roared back, passing car after car until he found Joseph again for track position. Joseph couldn’t hold him off and Brown entered the top three and went on to pass Keith Crissinger for the second spot. Crissinger was holding his position and had to ward off the challenging Joseph in the closing laps. Freeland would pick up the win with Brown in second and Crissinger in third.
“It was a long winter and we’ve been working hard. We’re getting there,” stated Freeland after the race.
The fans were not disappointed with the Crate Late Model race which found a battle between Jeremy McLaughlin and a two-time winner in the Late Model series this season, Steve Lance. Lance started tenth and made his way through the field by the fourth lap. He battled McLaughlin for the lead on lap 15 but couldn’t get by the pole-sitter. A late race caution could bunch up the field and give Lance another chance at the lead but McLaughlin came away with the win. Chad Osterhoff would give Lance a run for his money for second place but with Lance focused on the win, Osterhoff kept his third place spot for the last driver placement on the podium.
“I’m just glad that Lance started as far back as he did when we started the race or I may have been in bigger trouble,” laughed McLaughlin on his win. “I’ll come back and race whenever you all want me to!”
Brian Ross, a former track champion at Plymouth Speedway, finished in the sixth spot and was happy to return to the track after two years.
The next race night at Plymouth will feature vintage race cars in the “Old Timer’s Night” feature. They will join the UMP Modifieds, Super Streets, Thunder Stocks and 600 Open Sprints. The gates will open at 4 p.m. and racing will begin at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 31.