Center, Brian Smith; top left, Steve Irwin; top right, Mark Aldrich; bottom left, John Gall; bottom right, Justin Ward
When the 2016 Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt by ARP 37th annual awards banquet commences this Saturday, November 5th in Battle Creek, Michigan, it will have quite a different look. Each of the top five drivers have come together from different segments of sprint car racing in 2015. Excitement and anticipation are increasing as the top twelve drivers will close out the 2016 season in a big way.
When the new Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP “beyond limits” format was introduced in September 2015, many people questioned whether competitors would support it. Long-time Sprints On Dirt Series title sponsor Engine Pro, understandably skeptical, pledged its full support. Hoosier Racing Tire worked diligently to design and develop tires that would make the format a success.
SOD season champion Brian Smith was a regular primarily at Fremont (OH) Speedway, but also at Attica Raceway Park in the FAST 410 series. Second place Steve Irwin ran mostly non-wing shows with only an occasional wing event. Third place veteran Mark Aldrich ran with the 360 SOD sprints. Fourth place John Gall raced at Butler Motor Speedway in the 410 winged sprints. Justin Ward was a lightning sprint champion. Numerous drivers from several states competed in 2016 SOD events as wide-spread interest in the new format increased.
The ability to attract drivers from a variety of backgrounds in just its first season shows the strength and acceptance of SOD’s unlimited format. Careful, precise planning helped SOD create the format that remained unchanged and stable throughout the entire season; it will also remain unchanged for 2017.
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, Allstar Performance, Kistler Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, K2W Precision/Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Ti22 Performance, J&J Auto Racing, BR Motorsports, King Racing Products, License 2 Play, Maxim Racing, Simpson Racing Products, Rod End Supply, Diversified Machine Inc. (DMI), Racing Optics.