Ruhl takes Hartford King Engine Bearings King of Michigan finale; Blonde KoM series champ


Ryan Ruhl (Coldwater, MI) charged from the 8th starting position to win the King Engine Bearings King of Michigan finale at Hartford Speedway last night.  The race brought the curtain down on the last race for Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt Presented by ARP at Hartford Speedway.

The 29 qualifiers were led by Joe Swanson, Lane Automotive/MSD Ignition Fast Master (fast qualifier) in the Engler Machine & Tool heat and fastest overall at 14.200.  Swanson looked like he had the speed to be a contender for the feature win, but suffered an engine failure while leading his heat.  Chad Blonde was Lane Automotive/MSD Ignition Fast Master (fast qualifier) in the COMP Cams heat, and Steve Irwin for the RockAuto.com heat.  Ryan Grubaugh’s night ended in qualifying with engine woes.

Ruhl’s win came after he took the lead from race leader Steve Irwin (Fenton, MI) on lap 10, but it wasn’t an easy win.  12th place starter Chad Blonde (Litchfield, MI), winner of the three previous King Engine Bearings KoM took 2nd on lap 16, then the lead on the next lap.  Ruhl wasn’t to be denied and charged back around Blonde on the next lap.  While it looked like everything was settled, Irwin found new speed and battled back and forth with Blonde for 2nd.  Irwin took 2nd on lap 22, but lapped traffic in his low groove forced him to check up, and Blonde drove around the top back into 2nd. Ruhl held on to take the action-packed 25 lapper over Blonde and Irwin.

Ruhl advanced 7 places in the feature, and Blonde advanced 12 places.  However, Brett Mann showed the most muscle by advancing from 19th to a 4th place finish, winning the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award at +15.  Irwin was the fastest car for several laps late in the race.

Blonde’s 2nd place finish earned him the King Engine Bearings King of Michigan Championship.  Steve Irwin finished 2nd, Gregg Dalman 3rd, Thomas Schinderle 4th, and Ryan Ruhl 5th.

King Engine Bearings made it possible to take the SOD King of Michigan to a new level as a four-race mini-series instead of a single race.  Hartford Speedway’s Tim and Leah Dibble and their entire staff gave competitors a great race track that culminated with an excellent program and one of the season’s best features with action and passing everywhere.

Going into the 2017 SOD final points race tonight at Crystal Motor Speedway, Andrew Scheid will be the 2017 Perfit Corporation Sprint Car Rookie of the Year; Scheid’s feature ended early on the hook with a flat right front tire.  Thomas Schinderle has a lock on the 2017 Perfit Corporation Series Car Rookie of the Year; Schinderle drove to an 8th place finish after an early race spin.

Qualifying – Lane Automotive/MSD Ignition Fast Masters (fast qualifiers) $50 each

Group Time # Driver
Engler Machine & Tool Heat 14.200 7J Joe Swanson
COMP Cams Heat 14.239 5b Chad Blonde
RockAuto.com Heat 14.442 0 Steve Irwin

Heat Races – Winners $100 each

Engler Machine & Tool Heat #1
  # Driver Contingency
1 20A Andy Chehowski
2 41 Thomas Schinderle Kistler Racing Products
3 77Z Zane Devault Racing Optics
4 12 Chris Gurley
5 21T Troy Chehowski
6 47 Robert Bulloch
7 11 Trey Smith
8 7J Joe Swanson
9 3G John Gurley
10 58 Tony Bures


COMP Cams Heat #2
  # Driver Contingency
1 16 Ryan Ruhl
2 5M Max Stambaugh Allstar Performance
3 10S Jay Steinebach Racing Optics
4 10J Chris Jones
5 5B Chad Blonde
6 8 Justin Ward
7 70 Eli Lakin
8 4 Tyler Fitzpatrick
9 52 Zac Broughman
DNS 71H Ryan Grubaugh


RockAuto.com Heat #3
  # Driver Contingency
1 0 Steve Irwin
2 49T Gregg Dalman Kistler Racing Products
3 77 Andrew Scheid Racing Optics
4 19J Linden Jones
5 27B Boston Mead
6 5QB Quentin Blonde
7 18 Michael Summers
8 27 Jared Lamberson
9 19 Brett Mann


  # Driver
1 19 Brett Mann
2 11 Trey Smith
3 70 Eli Lakin
4 18 Michael Summers
5 4 Tyler Fitzpatrick
6 27 Jared Lamberson
7 52 Zac Broughman
8 3G John Gurley


  # Driver Started Contingencies
1 16 Ryan Ruhl 8 Rod End Supply
2 5b Chad Blonde 14 Rod End Supply
3 0 Steve Irwin 1 Rod End Supply
4 19 Brett Mann 19 Schoenfeld Headers
5 49T Gregg Dalman 4 ATL Racing Fuel Cells
6 5M Max Stambaugh 7
7 77Z Zane Devault 5 Allstar Performance
8 41 Thomas Schinderle 3
9 27B Boston Mead 15 King Racing Products
10 10S Jay Steinebach 9
11 19J Linden Jones 12
12 20A Andy Chehowski 2
13 5QB Quentin Blonde 18
14 21T Troy Chehowski 13
15 18 Michael Summers  22
16 70 Eli Lakin  21
17 4 Tyler Fitzpatrick  23
18 8 Justin Ward  17
19 47 Robert Bulloch  16
20 10J Chris Jones  9
21 27 Jared Lamberson  24
22 77 Andrew Scheid  6
23 11 Trey Smith  20
DNS 12 Chris Gurley  10


KSE Racing Products Hard Charger – Brett Mann (+15)
BR Motorsports Contingency (feature top 10 draw) – MaxStambaugh
DMI (Diversified Machine) Contingency (feature 12-16 draw) – Troy Chehowski
Perfit Corporation Lucky Dog – Andy Chehowski

For more information about Engine Pro go to www.enginepro.com.  For more information about ARP, go to www.arp-bolts.com.  The full 2017 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 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 (Hard Charger Sponsor), XYZ Machining (Season Sportsman & Crew Chief Sponsor).  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.