SOD Memorial Weekend Double Washed Out


Fort Wayne, IN (May 26, 2019) – In spite of the best efforts by Hartford Speedway and Butler Motor Speedway, the Lane Automotive Sprints On Dirt powered by King Engine Bearings / MSD Ignition / Motul races were both rained out.

Watching the Hartford weather Friday morning, it was already looking grim.  Then, faced with morning rains, already saturated grounds, a forecast for evening showers, and the distance teams need to travel, owner/promoter Tim Dibble announced shortly after noon that it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel the show.  Although a difficult decision, especially after being rained out for its season opener a week earlier, it was the right decision.

Weather predictions for Saturday showed Butler Motor Speedway was facing a narrow period of rain in the evening.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature apparently wasn’t watching, and around 2:30 PM a strong storm moved through dumping a large amount of rain in a short time.  Faced with a considerable amount of standing water and a prediction of more rain to come, promoters Denny Donaldson and Bob Garrett had to make a frustrating decision to cancel the show.  The race was already a make-up date for the May 11 rain out at Butler.

Sprints On Dirt thanks both Hartford and Butler for their hard work and support.  Along with SOD, they are struggling with weather woes this season.

For more information about Hartford Speedway at and Butler Motor Speedway, at

Please check out these websites too:
Lane Automotive –
King Engine Bearings –
MSD Ignition –
Motul –
Sprints On Dirt –

SOD at Butler over the falls without a barrel, race rescheduled


Fort Wayne, IN (May 12, 2019) – With rain percentages looking better and better as the day went on Saturday, the first 2019 Lane Automotive Sprints On Dirt powered by King Engine Bearings / MSD Ignition / Motul race at Butler Motor Speedway looked good.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature apparently wasn’t watching the percentages.

As pit gates opened and the pits filled with cars, intermittent sprinkles started.  Just as SOD sign in was winding down, rain increased, and it soon became clear to everyone watching weather radar on their phones that we wouldn’t get the show in.  After having put in a long week prepping for the race, Promoters Denny Donaldson and Bob Garrett had to pull the plug and cancel the show.

Butler and SOD officials went to work to replace the date, and within a short time, it was agreed to reschedule the race for Saturday, May 25.  It will be a two-day weekend for SOD competitors with Hartford Motor Speedway on the schedule for Friday, May 24.

For more information about Butler Motor Speedway, go to and the speedway’s Facebook page at

Please check out these websites too:
Lane Automotive –
King Engine Bearings –
MSD Ignition –
Motul –
Sprints On Dirt –

Ryan Ruhl masters SOD season opener at Crystal

Chad Blonde (2nd), Ryan Ruhl(1st), Zane DeVault (3rd)

ERIE, MI (May 5, 2019) – The Lane Automotive Sprints On Dirt powered by King Engine Bearings / MSD Ignition / Motul traditional season opener at Crystal Motor Speedway, rained out a week ago, went off under a sunny day Saturday. Ryan Ruhl was impressive in winning his Engler Machine & Tool heat race and the twenty-five-lap feature.

In the feature, Ruhl took the lead from the pole at the start, but the caution flag came out causing a complete restart.  On the second start Ruhl and Joshua Turner (Osseo, MI) battled side by side with Turner using the top of the track to grab the early lead.  But Ruhl (Coldwater, MI) had his Smith Motorsports Krieger-powered, Maxim hooked up on the lower groove and quickly moved into the lead.  As the race went on, Ruhl got stronger and stronger, turning laps near 98 mph on the Crystal oval.

2018 SOD champion Chad Blonde (Litchfield, MI) used a slight miscue by Turner to take second.  Blonde had a couple shots at Ruhl on the high side on restarts, but Ruhl was just too strong and motored away to win by a wide margin.  Blonde held on for second while Zane DeVault (Plymouth, IN), last year’s SOD opener winner, was impressive in finishing third in former SOD competitor, now car owner Greg Wheeler’s 360 ride.  Turner took fourth and second-generation driver Ricky Ferkel (Mt. Pleasant, MI) had a strong showing to finish fifth.  Tyler Gunn (Napoleon, OH), easy winner of the King Engine Bearings heat race, recovered from a spin and charged from last to finish sixth.

Gremlins made the night difficult for some veteran drivers as former SOD champions Brett Mann (Goshen, IN) and Steve Irwin (Fenton, MI) both had engine problems.  Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame member Jason Blonde (Litchfield, MI) suffered the same fate.

Garrett Saunders (Lakeville, IN), a standout in Plymouth (IN) Speedway crate Pro Sprints, made his unlimited sprint car debut as team mate to Zane DeVault.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Kent Gardner (Fenton, MI) returned to SOD competition after a twenty-six-year absence!

Crystal owner/promoter Ron Flinn, new SOD owner Dave Muzzillo, and their staffs did a great job to kick off the 2019 season in front of a great crowd.

Qualifying – Benic Enterprises Fast Masters (fast qualifiers)

Group Time # Driver
Engler Machine & Tool Heat     13.836 16C Zane DeVault
King Engine Bearings Heat     14.334 5b Chad Blonde

Heat Races

Engler Machine & Tool Heat #1
  # Driver Contingency
1 71H Ryan Ruhl  
2 4 Joshua Turner Ti22 Performance
3 16C Zane DeVault Racing Optics
4 46 Robert Huisken  
5 10S Jay Steinebach  
6 10XS Robert Bulloch  
7 16W Garrett Saunders  
8 24 Eric Smith  
9 0 Steve Irwin  
DNS 19 Brett Mann  
King Engine Bearings Heat #2
  # Driver Contingency
1 68G Tyler Gunn  
2 5b Chad Blonde Ti22 Performance
3 1a Mark Aldrich Racing Optics
4 0 Ricky Ferkel  
5 8 Justin Ward  
6 81 John Gall  
7 52 Zac Broughman  
8 6 Tyler Bearden  
9 41 Kent Gardner  
10 27K Jason Blonde  


  # Driver Contingencies
1 71H Ryan Ruhl Rod End Supply
2 5b Chad Blonde Rod End Supply
3 16C Zane DeVault Rod End Supply
4 4 Joshua Turner Schoenfeld Headers
5 0 Ricky Ferkel Saldana Racing Products
6 68G Tyler Gunn Pyrotect Racing Cells
7 10S Jay Steinebach King Racing Products
8 46 Robert Huisken Keizer Aluminum Wheels
9 81 John Gall  
10 8 Justin Ward  
11 16W Garrett Saunders  
12 52 Zac Broughman  
13 6 Tyler Bearden  
14 1a Mark Aldrich  
15 10XS Robert Bulloch  
16 0 Steve Irwin  
17 41 Kent Gardner  
18 24 Eric Smith  
19 27K Jason Blonde  

MAHLE Aftermarket Hard Charger – 4 drivers (3)
KSE Racing Products Hard Charger – 4 drivers (3)
BR Motorsports Contingency (feature top 10 draw) – TylerGunn
DMI Contingency (feature 12-16 draw) –Tyler Bearden
COMP Cams Lucky Dog – Tyler Bearden
Allstar Performance Better Luck Next Time – Brett Mann
Allstar Performance Better Luck Next Time – Jason Blonde

Check out Crystal Motor Speedway at and on Facebook at

For more information, check out these websites:
Lane Automotive –
King Engine Bearings –
MSD Ignition –
Motul –
Sprints On Dirt –