What a difference a week makes. While last week’s show at Plymouth Speedway saw fans bundled up and covered in blankets, a bigger crowd took advantage of much milder temps Saturday night at the Playground of Power.
It wasn’t just the weather that heated up, as the track saw another first-time winner (last week, there were three). Kevin Hapner, of Nappanee, took the win the 600 Mini Sprints for the first time at Plymouth Speedway; followed by 22 Trey Johnson, of Warsaw. Third went to Blake Lamb, also of Warsaw.
Also hot for a second week, the Saunders brothers of Lakeville finished in the first and third spots, sandwiching Plymouth’s Zane DeVault in the Pro Sprints. DeVault, second-place finisher, also repeated last week’s results. Garrett Saunders, starting on the inside of the front row, took the win, while Eric Saunders, starting from the eighth spot, finished third. The season standings mirror the race results, as Garrett is in first, while DeVault is 4 points back and Eric is third, 11 points back.
“Right rear started to go away,” DeVault said. “It’s hard to win from fifth.” He added that it’s always unknown whether the track will be slick or dry, but thanked the Speedway for all the work they do to the track.
Twenty cars competing in the 25-lap Modified feature were slowed just once at lap 7, when four cars collected in turn 4. But continuing the hot streak theme of the week, Jamie Lomax, a Lake Village, Ill. native, took the checkers. He ran top five last week. “These guys have been tough all year. The track was moist so we could really use the engine tonight. These guys race clean all year; it feels great to get on the podium in the top division. Thank you to all the fans coming week in and week out.”
Second place Randy Lines, of Marion, Ind., who won last week’s feature, said “I think we missed the set up a little bit tonight. I think I decided this week I’m gonna make this my home track, the people are nice here and treat ya with respect. They take care of the track here.”
“I think we were a little snug tonight. We’ll try to figure it out each and every night,” said Derek Losh, of Rennsselaer, who finished third, one spot back from last week’s finish. The top three finishers are also the top three in the season point standings (Lines; Losh -4, Lomax -14).
While the night was heating up, it was only fitting for a caution to turn red in the Super Streets division. On lap 1, a spin by Joshua Holsinpiller, of Logansport, collected a couple of cars but most notably Rochester’s Mike Fincher. Fincher’s right front fender wrapped around the tire and crews worked to free the mangled mess, halting the race momentarily.
A quick caution at lap 18 gave way to a green-white-checker finish, as Gary, Ind.’s Shaun Wiltjer continued his own hot streak winning for the second week in a row.
“This kid next to me, I knew he was coming. We made a game plan mid week to make it to the podium. There are a lot of fast cars out here,” Wiltjer said. Echoing last week, he added “Man, this runs like a Cadillac!”
Hobart’s Bob McLean was second and Michael Clark, of Merrillville, finished third.
In the Mini Wedge division, Ryin Zelmer, of Eau Claire, Mich., took the checkers. Zelmer was followed by Warsaw’s Austin Burnworth and Rochester’s Preston Prater. Finishing out the seven car field was Chase Kosmatka (Chesterton), Jacon Timmerman (Warsaw), Clinton Hunter (Kokomo) and Samantha Banta (South Bend).
The Thunder Stocks finished out the night, with Sheldon Oberle, of Battleground, Ind. taking first; South Bend’s Bryan Banta was second and Plymouth’s Tom Grall finished third, for the second week in a row.
Oberle said, “Getting on the podium feels so good.”
For complete results and season standings, go to plymouthspeedway.
Next Saturday is a regular night of racing, with Modifieds, Wing Pro Sprints, Super Street, Thunder Stocks, Non-Wing Sprints and Mini Wedges. Cost is $12 for adults, $5 for children 6-12 and free for kids 5 and under. Pit passes are $30. May 27 will be a normal show plus a huge fireworks display.
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Media contact: Maggie Nixon plymouthspeedwayPR@
Photo by Greg Hildebrand
Shaun Wiltjer took the checkers Saturday at Plymouth Speedway, winning for the second week in a row.