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Archive for September, 2016

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ERIE, MI (September 23, 2016) – The Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt presented by ARP MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge, formerly the MAHLE/Clevite Short Track Challenge, had a very different look for 2016.

The five-race BLC mini-series typically wrapped up around mid-season and gave SOD competitors an opportunity to compete for a separate point fund within the full SOD season series.  As the former name indicates, the challenge took place at five different small tracks.  The name was changed to draw attention to the new, exciting Sprints On Dirt unlimited format.  It was intended to be the only significant change, but Mother Nature had other ideas.

The first 2016 race at Crystal Motor Speedway was rained out on April 30, then again on May 14.  The challenge then moved on to Merritt Speedway and put on a great show that was won by Brian Smith. I-96 Speedway was next on the challenge schedule, but it became the third rain out.  On Saturday, July 9, the challenge rolled into Thunderbird Raceway and Brian Smith was victorious again, building up a big lead in BLC points.

With only two races completed by late July, it was apparent that a mid-season finish was not going to happen.  MAHLE/Clevite BLC moved on to Crystal Motor Speedway on July 30, and guess what?  The show was rained out.  On August 19, in spite of some threatening weather, the I-96 Speedway challenge race was completed with Ohio visitor Mad Max Stambaugh leading the entire feature from his front row starting position.

With only three dates left on the 2016 Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt presented by ARP schedule, and a race already held at Merritt, there was no choice other than including the last two races at Hartford Speedway on September 2  and Crystal Motor Speedway on September 3.

It was a do-or-die weekend, and the Labor Day dates were blessed with great weather.  A huge crowd was on hand to see Litchfield, Michigan’s Chad Blonde run off with the win in Sean Robinson’s 5B.

The September 3 Crystal race was the championship race of the MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge mini-series sponsored by MAHLE/Clevite and final race of the Sprints On Dirt season.  It was also the Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP Nitro Black Mike Olrich Memorial Race in support of RacingAwareness.com, the most prestigious event of the entire season.  Ryan Ruhl dominated the 30 lap feature to duplicate his win in the 2015 Mike Olrich Memorial.

Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP 2016 Champion Brian Smith used his early season wins to build up a lead that he protected through consistent finishes to also win the MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge Championship.

Tom Schinderle and Dan McCarron looked like series championship contenders as a result of strong finishes in their 305 cubic inch cars, however, neither driver entered later challenge races and dropped out of contention.  After a disappointing 8th place finish in the first BLC event, Steve Irwin came on strong to finish 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, and 3rd in the remaining races, and closed in to finish only fourteen points behind Smith.

The final standings for the 2016 MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge Championship are:

Car Number Driver Total Amount
1 2+ Brian Smith 677  $   1,000.00
2 0 Steve Irwin 663  $      600.00
3 1A Mark Aldrich 601  $      400.00
4 81 John Gall 539  $      300.00
5 10S Jay Steinebach 509  $      200.00
6 1 Eric Smith 496  $      150.00
7 8 Justin Ward 494  $      100.00

For more information about MAHLE/Clevite, click here.  For more information about Engine Pro, click here.  For more information about ARP, click here.  The full 2016 Sprints on Dirt schedule, rules, current news, and other information are available at www.sprintsondirt.com.

Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP is brought to you by many important sponsor partners including: Engine Pro (Title Sponsor), ARP (Title Sponsor), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official SOD Tire), MAHLE/Clevite (Beyond Limits Challenge Sponsor), Engine Pro (Lucky Dog Sponsor), Lane Automotive (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), Engler Machine & Tool (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), COMP Cams (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), RockAuto.com (SOD Series Rookie of the Year Sponsor & SOD Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Sponsor), XYZ Machining (Sportsman of the Year Sponsor & Crew Chief of the Year Sponsor), KSE Racing Products (Hard Charger Sponsor).  In addition, SOD contingency sponsors include: ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Kistler Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, K2W Precision/Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Ti22 Performance, BR Motorsports, King Racing Products, License 2 Play, Maxim Racing, Simpson Racing Products, Rod End Supply, Diversified Machine Inc. (DMI), Racing Optics.For more information about MAHLE/Clevite, click here. For more information about Engine Pro, click here.  For more information about ARP, click here.

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Here is your chance to be a part of sprint car history!  Trophy sponsors for first season of the new, unlimited 2016 Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP final point positions 2 through 5 are available at $ 100.00 each and for positions 6 through 12 at $80.00 each.

Sponsors will be recognized at the banquet and have their name or company name placed on the trophy.  They will be included in awards banquet press releases and will receive a framed certificate of appreciation.

Please contact Sprints On Dirt at director@sprintsondirt.com or 734.309.RACE (7223) by October 14th for more information.

The 2016 SOD Awards Banquet will be at the Holiday Inn Battle Creek in Battle Creek, Michigan on Saturday, November 5th.

Banquet tickets are available for $35.00 per ticket until the deadline of October 24th.

2016 trophy recipients are:

1 2+ Brian Smith
2 0 Steve Irwin
3 1A Mark Aldrich
4 81 John Gall
5 8 Justin Ward
6 1 Eric Smith
7 19 Brett Mann
8 4T Josh Turner
9 10S Jay Steinebach
10 46 Robert Huisken
11 71H/27 Brad Lamberson
12 6 Tyler Beardon

For more information about Engine Pro, go to www.enginepro.com.  For more information about ARP, go to www.arp-bolts.com.  The read all about Sprints on Dirt, including the full 2016 schedule, final 2016 points, rules, current news, and other information, go to www.sprintsondirt.com.

Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP is brought to you by many important sponsor partners including: Engine Pro (Title Sponsor), ARP (Title Sponsor), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official SOD Tire), MAHLE/Clevite (Beyond Limits Challenge Sponsor), Engine Pro (Lucky Dog Sponsor), Lane Automotive (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), Engler Machine & Tool (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), COMP Cams (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), RockAuto.com (SOD Series Rookie of the Year Sponsor & SOD Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Sponsor), XYZ Machining (Sportsman of the Year Sponsor & Crew Chief of the Year Sponsor), KSE Racing Products (Hard Charger Sponsor).  In addition, SOD contingency sponsors include: ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Kistler Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, K2W Precision/Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Ti22 Performance, BR Motorsports, King Racing Products, License 2 Play, Simpson Racing Products, Rod End Supply, Diversified Machine Inc. (DMI), Racing Optics.

 

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Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP Nitro Black Mike Olrich Memorial Race trophy plate (TJ Buffenbarger photo)

Ryan Ruhl with the SOD Big Money

Ryan Ruhl with Mike’s children Joslyn, Taylor, and Josh

Ryan Ruhl dominated the Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP Nitro Black Mike Olrich Memorial Race in support of Racing Awareness.com at Crystal Motor Speedway.  The memorial race was the most prestigious event and final race of the Sprints On Dirt season, and the championship race of the MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge five-race mini-series.

Ruhl led all 30 laps of the non-stop feature in front of a very large and enthusiastic crowd.  Friday’s SOD Hartford winner Chad Blonde took over 2nd on lap 15, but Ruhl had a full straightaway lead.  Blonde was a tick faster than Ruhl the last few laps, but not enough to get close to the leader.  Ruhl also won the 2015 Mike Olrich Memorial at Crystal.

Brian Smith drove a steady race to finish 6th and secure the 2016 Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP Championship, the MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge, and the 2016 RockAuto.com SOD Series Rookie of the Year.

Ruhl’s win was with a 360 cubic inch engine.  One 305, three 360’s, and and six 410s in the top 10 cars.

Former lightning sprint standout Justin Ward nailed down the 2016 RockAuto.com SOD Sprint Car Rookie of the Year honoring the top first-time driver in a full-size sprint car.

RockAuto.com Rookies of the Year Brian Smith and Justin Ward

ARP MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge Feature

  # Driver Motor Size Awards Contingencies
1 16 Ryan Ruhl 360 Rod End Supply
2 5B Chad Blonde 410 KSE Hard Charger Rod End Supply
3 0 Steve Irwin 410 Rod End Supply
4 19 Brett Mann 410 Racing Optics
5 22M Dan McCarron 305 ATL Racing Fuel Cells
6 2+ Brian Smith 410 King Racing Products
7 17X Dain Naida 360
8 4T Josh Turner 410
9 1A Mark Aldrich 410 Ti22 Draw Winner
10 46 Robert Huisken 360
11 10S Jay Steinebach 410
12 77X Alex Hill 360 DMI Draw Winner
13 3A Mike Astrauskas 360
14 27X Jared Lamberson 360 Engine Pro Lucky Dog
15 8 Justin Ward 410
16 81 John Gall 410
17 24 Eric Smith 360
18 6 Tyler Bearden 305
19 27 Brad Lamberson 360
20 89 Chris Pobanz 360

Fast Qualifier – Chad Blonde, 12.390

Engler Machine & Tool Heat $100 winner – Josh Turner (4T)
4T, 19, 16, 22M, 10S, 6, 91L

Lane Automotive Heat $100 winner – Dain Naida (17X)
17X, 2+, 27, 27X, 3A, 8, 89, 35

COMP Cams Heat $100 winner – Mark Aldrich (1A)
1A, 0, 5B, 46, 81, 77X, 24, 31

B-Main winner – Chris Pobanz (89)
89, 8, 6, 24, 35 (Mark Strpko), 91L (Lexi Adgate), 31 (Tanner Astrauskas), DNS – 57 (Tyler Fitzpatrick)

Kistler Racing Products Contingencies – Brett Mann, Steve Irwin
BR Motorsports Contingency – Ryan Ruhl
COMP Cams Contingency – Brian Smith
Allstar Performance Contingency – Brad Lamberson
Schoenfeld Headers – Chad Blonde

For general information about Racing Awareness, go here; on Facebook, search for RacingAwareness or @RacingAwareness; on Twitter and Instagram type @RacingAwareness. For specific inquiries about Racing Awareness, contact Jeff or Norm at talktous@racingawareness.com.

For more information about MAHLE/Clevite, go here.  For more information about Engine Pro and Nitro Black, go to here.  For more information about ARP, go here.  The full 2016 Sprints on Dirt schedule, rules, current news, and other information are available here.

Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP is brought to you by many important sponsor partners including: Engine Pro (Title Sponsor), ARP (Title Sponsor), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official SOD Tire), MAHLE/Clevite (Beyond Limits Challenge Sponsor), Engine Pro (Lucky Dog Sponsor), Lane Automotive (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), Engler Machine & Tool (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), COMP Cams (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), RockAuto.com (SOD Series Rookie of the Year Sponsor & SOD Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Sponsor), XYZ Machining (Sportsman of the Year Sponsor & Crew Chief of the Year Sponsor), KSE Racing Products (Hard Charger Sponsor).  In addition, SOD contingency sponsors include: ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Kistler Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, K2W Precision/Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Ti22 Performance, BR Motorsports, King Racing Products, License 2 Play, Maxim Racing, Simpson Racing Products, Rod End Supply, Diversified Machine Inc. (DMI), Racing Optics.

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ERIE, MI (September 5, 2016) – Veteran Michigan sprint car star Chad Blonde drove his Sean Robinson owned 5B to victory from his 8th place starting position over 10th place starter Ryan Ruhl and 9th place starter Steve Irwin to win the Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge feature at Hartford Speedway last night.  The huge crowd saw a wild show with great racing on the 2016 Sprint On Dirt spec tire from Hoosier Racing Tire.

Linden Jones and John Gall led the start of the 20-lap feature with Gall jumping into the lead for the first 2 laps before Jones took over for laps 3-4.  On lap 4, SOD points leader Brian Smith escaped disaster when Joe Swanson climbed up his left rear going into turn one bringing out the race’s only caution. Both cars sustained damage, but restarted after repairs in the pits.  Early leaders John Gall, Linden Jones, and Mark Aldrich, as well as SOD Hartford May winner Ryan Ruhl proved to be no match for Blonde who drove away and finished with a commanding lead over Ryan Ruhl and Steve Irwin.  Blonde’s victory was his first appearance with SOD in several years, and he found the highly-acclaimed 2016 SOD spec Hoosier tires to his liking.

Robert Bulloch suffered a mechanical failure in his Kirkendall 7K that sent him hard into the water barrels in turn four in the first heat.  His car was launched high into the air upon impact and although the car was destroyed, Bulloch was eventually cleared by the track medical crew.  The proper installation of the car’s seat and belts prevented potentially serious injuries in this high-speed, heavy-impact crash.

ARP MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge Feature

  # Driver Awards Contingencies
1 5B Chad Blonde   Rod End Supply
2 16 Ryan Ruhl KSE Hard Charger Rod End Supply
3 0 Steve Irwin   Rod End Supply
4 1A Mark Aldrich   Racing Optics
5 7 Joe Swanson   ATL Racing Fuel Cells
6 19J Linden Jones   King Racing Products
7 10S Jay Steinebach Ti22 Draw Winner  
8 4T Josh Turner    
9 2+ Brian Smith    
10 46 Robert Huisken    
11 81 John Gall DMI Draw Winner  
12 27K Ryan Kirkendall Engine Pro Lucky Dog  
13 1 Eric Smith    
14 8 Justin Ward    
15 57 Tyler Fitzpatrick    
16 91L Lexi Adgate    
DNS 7K Robert Bulloch    
DNS 23 Joe Geibe    

COMP Cams $100 Fast Qualifier
Joe Swanson (7) – 16.803

Engler Machine & Tool Heat $100 winner – Brian Smith (2+)
2+, 7, 0, 1A, 19J, 46, 91L, 23

Lane Automotive Heat $100 winner – Ryan Tuhl (16)
16, 5B, 4T, 27K, 81, 7K, 8, 24, 57

Kistler Racing Products Contingency – Joe Swanson
BR Motorsports Contingency – Steve Irwin
COMP Cams Contingency – Chad Blonde
Allstar Performance Contingency – Josh Turner

MAHLE Aftermarket technology can make the difference in your vehicles today.  The highly acclaimed MAHLE/Clevite is an American brand with one of the oldest pedigrees and supplies pistons, assemblies, cylinder liners, bearings and valves for American commercial vehicles as well as construction and agricultural equipment applications. For more information about MAHLE/Clevite, click here.

For more information about Engine Pro, click here.  For more information about ARP, click here.  The full 2016 Sprints on Dirt schedule, rules, current news, and other information are available at www.sprintsondirt.com.

Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP is brought to you by many important sponsor partners including: Engine Pro (Title Sponsor), ARP (Title Sponsor), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official SOD Tire), MAHLE/Clevite (Beyond Limits Challenge Sponsor), Engine Pro (Lucky Dog Sponsor), Lane Automotive (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), Engler Machine & Tool (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), COMP Cams (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), RockAuto.com (SOD Series Rookie of the Year Sponsor & SOD Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Sponsor), XYZ Machining (Sportsman of the Year Sponsor & Crew Chief of the Year Sponsor), KSE Racing Products (Hard Charger Sponsor).  In addition, SOD contingency sponsors include: ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Kistler Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, K2W Precision/Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Ti22 Performance, BR Motorsports, King Racing Products, License 2 Play, Maxim Racing, Simpson Racing Products, Rod End Supply, Diversified Machine Inc. (DMI), Racing Optics

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