Last Lap Pass at Thunderbird’s MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge Nets Chad Blonde Weekend Sweep


5bblondefeaturetbird61017SOD Announcer Matt Prieur interviews Thunderbird winner Chad Blonde

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.

T-bird grandstand 2

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

Group Time # Driver
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
  # Driver Contingency
1 5B Chad Blonde
2 7J Joe Swanson Kistler Racing Products
3 0 Steve Irwin Racing Optics
4 17x Dain Naida
5 11 Trey Smith
6 77 Andrew Scheid
7 1a Mark Aldrich
8 8 Justin Ward


COMP Cams Heat #2
  # Driver Contingency
1 49T Gregg Dalman
2 41 Thomas Schinderle Allstar Performance
3 21T Troy Chehowski Racing Optics
4 47 Robert Bullock
5 10J Chris Jones
6 91L Alexis Adgate
7 81 Ricky Ferkel


  # Driver Difference Contingencies
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
6 49T Gregg Dalman 7.806
7 77 Andrew Scheid 8.889 Allstar Performance
8 21T Troy Chehowski 9.934
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
18 20A Andy Chehowski DNS

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

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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), (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.