Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP made their only 2017 appearance at Thunderbird Raceway and Chad Blonde took the win in the MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge 25-lap feature in front of an enthusiastic, full house.
Just like the night before, hot, windy weather challenged Thunderbird Raceway owner/promoter Tom Sprague to give racers a good track, and even with an 11:0 PM curfew, Sprague was up to the challenge.
The night started out with Andy Chehowski getting into the turn two wall in the first qualifying session and flipping hard; extensive damage ended his night. Robert Huisken caught the wall in just about the same spot in his qualifying session and also flipped; Robert was able to make repairs before the feature.
Steve Irwin (Engler Machine & Tool heat) and Thomas Schinderle (COMP Cams heat) won the Lane Automotive/MSD Ignition Fast Master awards as fast qualifiers in their respective heat race qualifying sessions.
Blonde used his outside front row starting position to take an easy win in the Engler Machine & Tool heat race over Joe Swanson. Gregg Dalman also made good use of his second place starting position in the COMP Cams heat race to take the win over Thomas Schinderle.
Thomas Schinderle started on the pole of the feature and jump out to a quick lead. As expected, it didn’t take the leaders long to get into traffic on the racy ¼ mile oval. Once in traffic, second place starter Irwin challenged Schinderle several times but couldn’t pull off a pass for the lead. The race ran caution-free until lap twenty for a spin in turn 3 by Ricky Ferkel. It turned out to be the major turning point in the race as Schinderle, who was enjoying a several car length lead over Irwin and a straight away lead over Blonde, who started eighth, saw his advantage disappear for the restart.
38-year-old Blonde, the veteran driver from Litchfield, Michigan, in his #5B Flint Truck Service/Maxim Chassis/Krieger Racing Engines ride, went to the top side of Tom Schinderle and a lapped car going into turn one on the white flag lap to make the winning pass. Schinderle settled for second with current points leader and 2001 Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP Champion, Stevie Irwin, Joe Swanson and 1999 SOD Champion, Dain Naida completing the top five.
Qualifying – Lane Automotive/MSD Ignition Fast Masters $50 each
|Engler Machine & Tool Heat||12.175||0||Steve Irwin|
|COMP Cams Heat||14.018||41||Thomas Schinderle|
Heat Races – Winners $100 each
|Engler Machine & Tool Heat #1|
|2||7J||Joe Swanson||Kistler Racing Products|
|3||0||Steve Irwin||Racing Optics|
|COMP Cams Heat #2|
|2||41||Thomas Schinderle||Allstar Performance|
|3||21T||Troy Chehowski||Racing Optics|
|1||5B||Chad Blonde||—||Rod End Supply|
|2||41||Thomas Schinderle||0.686||Rod End Supply|
|3||0||Steve Irwin||1.510||Rod End Supply|
|4||7J||Joe Swanson||2.881||Schoenfeld Headers|
|5||17x||Dain Naida||4.539||ATL Racing Fuel Cells|
|7||77||Andrew Scheid||8.889||Allstar Performance|
|9||47||Robert Bullock||11.355||King Racing Products|
|10||1a||Mark Aldrich||-1 lap|
|11||10J||Chris Jones||-1 lap||Keizer Aluminum Wheels|
|12||46||Robert Huisken||-1 lap|
|13||81||Ricky Ferkel||-1 lap|
|14||8||Justin Ward||-1 lap|
|15||91L||Alexis Adgate||-3 laps|
|16||58||Tony Bures||-24 laps|
|17||11||Trey Smith||-25 laps|
KSE Racing Products Hard Charger – Chad Blonde (+7)
BR Motorsports Contingency (feature top 10 draw) – Andrew Scheid
DMI (Diversified Machine) Contingency (feature 12-16 draw) – Robert Huisken
Perfit Corporation Lucky Dog – Dain Naida
For more information about Engine Pro go to www.enginepro.com. For more information about ARP, go to www.arp-bolts.com.
Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP is brought to you in 2017 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), Driven Racing Oil (Battlegrounds Bash Sponsor), King Engine Bearings (King of Michigan Sponsor), Lane Automotive/MSD Ignition (Fast Masters Sponsor), Engler Machine & Tool (Heat Race Sponsor), COMP Cams (Heat Race Sponsor), RockAuto.com (Heat Race Sponsor), The Perfit Corporation (Lucky Dog Sponsor), KSE Racing Products, and XYZ Machining. In addition, SOD contingency sponsors include: Allstar Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, BR Motorsports, Diversified Machine Inc. (DMI), K2W Precision/Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Kistler Racing Products, Maxim Racing, Motor City Racing Promotions, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Schoenfeld Headers, Simpson Racing Products, Walker Performance Filtration.