ERIE, MI (July 15, 2018) – Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP took on the racy 3/8 mile Crystal Motor Speedway last night for the second time in 2018 for the MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge Race #3. Fostoria, Ohio’s Shawn Valenti drove an impressive race to take the victory, his second SOD win of the year utilizing a Gressman Powersports engine.
In spite of challenging hot, sunny weather, speedway owner/promoter Ron Flinn had the track surface ready for fast qualifying times. Jay Steinebach, Hudsonville, Michigan; Steve Irwin, Fenton, Michigan; and Thomas Schinderle, Berkley, Michigan; were heat race fast qualifiers. Irwin was overall fast-timer at 12.303.
Brad Lamberson, Parma, Michigan, took the Engler Machine & Tool heat over Steinebach and John Gall, Elsie, Michigan. Chad Blonde, Litchfield, Michigan, Friday’s King Engine Bearings King of Michigan feature winner, looked strong, winning the COMP Cams heat over Irwin and Valenti. Robert Huisken, Marne, Michigan, in his first 2018 SOD race, took the RockAuto.com heat over Ricky Ferkel, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, and Schinderle.
The twenty-five-lap feature started with pole sitter Steve Irwin grabbing the early lead. Fourth starter Jay Steinebach showing some early speed, but a rear end issue ended his race early. It was eighth starter Valenti quickly driving to the front and after a couple laps challenging Irwin; he then set a torrid pace, opening up a several car-length lead over Irwin. The race was slowed by a pair of cautions, but it had little effect on Valenti as he motored away from the field, each time. Eleventh place starter Boston, Mead, Onsted, Michigan quietly cut through the field and passed Steve Irwin for second late in the race. Valenti charged to a straight away win over Mead and Irwin.