Crystal, MI – Traveling from Northport, FL last year to run with the Great Lakes Super Sprints all season, Danny “D3” Sams III sniffed at victory during the season and took home a 4th place in overall points in 2018. Last night Sams tasted victory lane in his first ever feature win in a full size sprint car.
No one expected us to race last night! Crystal Motor Speedway was packed in tight for the expected heavy rains that were forecast for Saturday. The track received enough rain to fill the infield of the 3/8ths mile track with water…looking more like preparations for a Mud Bog Race than a Sprint Car Race.
But our hats are off to owner Ron Flinn for getting the infield drained and giving us the chance of racing. This left the racing surface hard and would be a challenge for the 26 sprint cars to find a groove to run in all night.
Rolling out on the track in the first group of three, Dustin Daggett (Portland, MI) experienced the challenges first hand. Daggett posted a 13.575 second lap, which was a full 2.4 seconds slower than the night before at Tri-City where he set fast time of 11.11 seconds!
When qualifying was done, Jacob “Little Ben” Brown (Ontario, Canada) was our fast qualifier, laying down a quick time of a 13.292 second lap. Chase Ridenour (Perry, MI), Jared Horstman (Cloverdale, OH, Daggett and Phil Gressman (Helena, OH) rounded out the top five cars, setting the field for the upcoming Heat Races.
Sams and Brad Lamberson (Parma, MI) lead out the Kistler Engines & Racing Parts Heat 1. Sams jumps out in the lead and puts some distance with the rest of the field and takes the checkered flag. Jacob Brown, Daggett, Lamberson and Garrett Saunders (Lakeville, IN) round out the top 5 transfer spots.
In the Campbell Performance Heat Race 2, Gregg Dalman (Bellevue, MI) jumps out to a solid lead. Ridenour moved up to second for a re-draw spot and Gressman, Andrew Schied (Kent City, MI) and Kyle Poortenga (Woodland, MI) rounded out the top 5.
Zane DeVault (Plymouth, MI) and Mitch Brown (Ontario, Canada) roll out with the Perfit/Engine Pro Heat Race 3. Brown gets out front for the lead and win with DeVault grabbing 2nd and the last re-draw spot. Horstman, Jay Steinebach (Hudsonville, MI) and Brett Mann (Elkhart, IN) round out the top five transfer spots.
For the NEEDMETHANOL.COM B-Main, Tyler Fitzpatrick (Goshen, IN) and Linden Jones (Edwardsburg, MI) lead the field of 11 cars out on the track. As the flag dropped, Jones gets a good run out front and leads the field to a caution free feature. Fitzpatrick, Jared Lamberson (Parma, MI), Conner Morrell (Bradenton, FL) and Josh Shantz (Waterloo, Ontario) all punched their tickets to the A-Main.
After a pill draw at the GLSS hauler, the front 3 rows are set with Sams and Jake Brown on the front row, Zane DeVault (Plymouth, IN) and Dalman are in the 2nd row and Ridenour and Mitch Brown (Ontario, Canada) filled out the 3rd row. After the fan favorite 4 wide, the cars get down to business and come around for the start.
As the green flag flies, Sams and Brown bring their cars to life and fly down the front stretch and into the ever dangerous first turn. As the field clears the first lap, Sams had already separated himself from the field. On a mission, Sams widened the lead and was already encountering lap traffic after lap 5.
Sams navigates his way methodically through the field and had some dicey laps trying to get around his teammate Morrell and Kyle Poortenga (Woodland, MI). Sams tried high and low and finally after 3 laps of trying to get around, did so the 4th time around. The saving grace was for Sams, was that 2nd place DeVault was having the same difficulty getting around the lapped cars.
As the white flag flew, the anticipation of his first ever full size sprint car feature was almost too hard to contain. Sams came out of turn 4 seeing what he has been chasing for 3 years…the checkered flag!!! Danny Sams III led the field of 20 cars green flag to checker, with no cautions in 6 minutes and 43 seconds and secured his first Great Lakes Super Sprints feature win.
DeVault followed Sams across the line 2.62 seconds later, with Jake Brown, Dalman and Ridenour rounding out the top 5 finishers.
It was a great night of racing on a hard track that was one lane most of the night. But that doesn’t take anything away from the teams racing a clean caution free night. The flag man at Crystal Motor Speedway could have left the yellow caution flag at home, not having to use it for qualifying, heat races, the B-Main or the feature event!
Our next race is Sunday, May 26, 2019 at I-96 Speedway near Lake Odessa, MI, where we’ll finish out our 3rd straight night of racing for the Memorial Weekend Triple Header!
Thank you to our marketing sponsors, Beacon and Bridge Markets, Addvance Heating & Cooling, Specialty Fuels and Logistics and Hoosier Midwest. Also to our race sponsors, Kistler Engines and Racing Products, Campbell Performance, Perfit/Engine Pro and Engler Machine and Tool.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the current pictures and activities. For our schedule, points and results go to our website at www.greatlakessupersprints.com.
To view this article on Sams Green Flag please visit this link: https://www.myracepass.com/news/?i=72622
- Barry Marlow on May 26, 2019
- Article Date: 5/25/2019 by Barry M. Marlow