Category Archives: Sprints on Dirt presented by ARP

Steve Irwin crowned 2017 Sprints On Dirt Champion

ERIE, MICHIGAN (November 14, 2017) – The curtain came down on the Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP 2017 season with the 38th Annual Awards Banquet at the Holiday Inn Battle Creek (MI) Saturday night with the last of the season’s $76,535 points money and awards handed out.

The top 12 drivers in season points were led by Steve Irwin, now a two-time SOD champion. Irwin’s share of 2017 points money and awards was $7,609. Irwin and wife/car owner Adrianna looked ready for to appear at a celebrity awards show in their vintage 50s-style attire.

Cap Henry takes the SOD COMP Cams Great Lakes Sprint Car Classic

MARNE, MI (October 1, 2017) – Cap Henry drove his Lane Racing, Kister-powered J&J to victory in the Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP COMP Cams Great Lakes Sprint Car Classic before a huge, enthusiastic crowd at Berlin Raceway Saturday night.

Henry started 4th and wasted little time getting to the front, taking the lead on lap 3. Henry drove to victory over the Ryan Ruhl and Jordan Ryan. While Henry looked untouchable, Ruhl was closing in on the leader quickly at the end, but ran out of laps. Ruhl dropped to seventh from his fifth place starting position, but came to life late in the 30 lap feature and finished just 0.6 seconds behind Henry. The only caution came out on lap 11 for a Thomas Schinderle flat tire; he rejoined the field after changing the tire. 2017 SOD Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Andrew Scheid finished 7th to win the KSE Hard Charger Award for advancing 7 positions.

Heat races were rough. Veteran Marl Aldrich caught the front straightaway wall in the 1st heat and did a series a hard flips to put an end to his night. Jared Horstman clipped a turn 3 tire marker in the 2nd heat and flipped, bringing his night to an end. In the 3rd heat, Brett Mann made hard contact with a tire marker in turn 2, destroying his #19. All drivers were okay.

The well-prepared temporary Berlin Raceway dirt surface held up extremely well under the pressure of a big program of 28 SOD sprints, 28 AELMT late models, and 30 AEMODT modifieds.

The CCGLSCC closes an exciting 2017 Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP season. Next on tap is the 2017 awards banquet that will be held Saturday, November 11 at the Battle creek Holiday Inn, Battle creek, Michigan.

COMP Cams Great Lakes Sprint Car Classic next for SOD

ERIE, MI (September 16, 2017) – Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP returns to the most unique venue it has ever raced at. Michigan’s renowned Berlin Raceway, a leader among paved short tracks, is being transformed into a dirt track for a few, select races this fall. Saturday, September 30, the raceway will present SOD’s COMP Cams Great Lakes Sprint Car Classic.

COMP Cams, a 2017 SOD heat race sponsor partner, has signed on as title sponsor of the Great Lakes Sprint Car Classic. The thirty lap feature will pay $4,000 to win and $400 to start. As with all SOD shows, Engler Machine & Tool, COMP Cams, RockAuto.com, Jim Coffey & Son Plumbing & Heating, and Engine Pro will pay $100 to each heat race winner. Lane Automotive and MSD Ignition will pay $50 to the fast qualifier in each heat group. $1,500 in contingency cash and awards will be available to competitors.

Berlin Raceway’s storied 67-year history and SOD’s status as the nation’s most progressive and recognized regional sprint car series promise to make the race an event fans won’t want to miss. The Classic will be part of an event that includes Michigan’s three leading dirt series, Sprints On Dirt, the American Ethanol Late Model Tour (AELMT), and the American Ethanol Modified Tour (AEMODT).

When it comes to oval track racing in Michigan, Berlin Raceway’s story is right at the top. In 1951, it was born as an oval dirt track located within the Berlin Fairgrounds. 1966 saw the track paved as a 7/16 mile asphalt oval track. In 2012, Berlin Raceway returned to its roots, covering the asphalt with clay and turning the track into a dirt track for the month of September. In 2013, 2014, and 2015, Berlin Raceway again hosted September dirt track racing. This will be SOD’s third race at Berlin with previous appearances in 2013 and 2014.

Steve Irwin 20Steve Irwin 2017 Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP Champion17 Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP Champion

ERIE, MI (September 9, 2017) – With the final points race in the books, Steve Irwin (Fenton, MI) has earned the 2017 Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP championship.  The Flying Zero team of Irwin, car owner/wife Adrianna, and crew chief Nathan Whitney put together a consistent season in their Krieger-powered Maxim Flying Zero, finishing in the top seven in fourteen races while dropping out of one. Continue reading Steve Irwin 20Steve Irwin 2017 Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP Champion17 Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP Champion

King Engine Bearings crowns Chad Blonde 2017 King of Michigan

ERIE, MI (September 5, 2017) – With three wins and a second, Chad Blonde (Litchfield, MI) drove Sean Robinson’s Krieger-powered Maxim to the Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP King Engine Bearings King of Michigan championship at Hartford Speedway Friday night.

The King of Michigan, a SOD tradition as a single race before King Engine Bearings came onboard as the title sponsor, became a mini-series including all four 2017 SOD races at Hartford Speedway. The first KoM race rained out on May 19th. Blonde then won on June 9th and the rainout make up race on July 14th. Blonde was in victory lane for the third race also, a 5 minute and 25 second non-stop feature on August 11th. At the series closer on September 1st, Ryan Ruhl, a previous, single-race KoM winner, took the win in an exciting race over Blonde and Steve Irwin, 2001 and 2017 SOD champion.

As the King Engine Bearings King of Michigan champion, Blonde collected $1,000. Irwin, Gregg Dalman (2015 SOD champion), Thomas Schinderle (2017 SOD Series Rookie of the Year), and Ruhl also earned a share of the KoM point fund.

Ruhl takes his 3rd SOD Mike Olrich Memorial win at Crystal Motor Speedway

ERIE, MI (September 3, 2017) – Ryan Ruhl (Coldwater, MI) capped off a great weekend by putting on a dominating performance to win his third consecutive annual Mike Olrich Memorial last night at Crystal Motor Speedway. The race was the final points race for Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt Presented by ARP 2017 season. The 25 lap SOD feature was run caution-free and in record time. Ruhl also won the SOD King Engine Bearing King of Michigan race at Hartford Speedway Friday night. Continue reading Ruhl takes his 3rd SOD Mike Olrich Memorial win at Crystal Motor Speedway

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

ERIE, MI (September 2, 2017) – 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 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.

SOD King Engine Bearings King of Michigan to be crowned Friday at Hartford

ERIE, MI (August 28, 2017) – This Friday, September 1, Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP makes its last appearance of the season at Hartford Speedway for the King Engine Bearing King of Michigan Championship.

The King of Michigan, a SOD tradition as a single race before 2017, was expanded to include all four 2017 SOD races at Hartford Speedway.  The always-popular King Engine Bearings King of Michigan returned bigger and better with heightened excitement about the four-race format and the newly reconfigured 3/8 mile track.

Litchfield, Michigan’s Chad Blonde has dominated the series, winning all three KoM races run this season.  Blonde leads Steve Irwin, Gregg Dalman, Thomas Schinderle, and Linden Jones in points.  The 2017 champion will be crowned Friday, and will receive $1,000; the top five will win a share of the point fund.

In addition, the champion will have a guaranteed starting spot in the Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP Mike Olrich Memorial Race at Crystal Motor Speedway on September 2nd, along with MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Champion Steve Irwin and Driven Racing Oil Battlegrounds Bash Champion Thomas Schinderle.

The King Engine Bearings team are bearing specialists. King Engine Bearings was founded in 1960 with one simple objective: to supply the highest quality bearings available in the marketplace. By specializing in engine bearings, King has built an extensive product offering that includes a wide range of engine bearings for automobiles, light duty and heavy duty trucks, marine, aviation, standby power and many other types of internal combustion engines. Every King bearing utilizes the highest quality materials and the most advanced designs to ensure complete customer satisfaction.

Thomas Schinderle 2017 SOD Driven Racing Oil Battlegrounds Bash Champ

ERIE, MI (August 23, 2017) – Thomas Schinderle (Berkley, MI) put together top five finishes in all three 2017 Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP races at Butler Motor Speedway to take the Driven Racing Oil Battlegrounds Bash championship.

Schinderle followed Chad Blonde and Ryan Ruhl to finish 3rd on June 17 at Butler. On July 22, Schinderle had his worst Bash finish, 5th, behind winner Joe Swanson, Jay Steinebach, Ryan Ruhl, and Boston Mead. Parked in 4th place in Bash points going into the finale, the 4th annual Butler Bash, on August 12th, Schinderle didn’t seem to be in a good position to take the championship. That didn’t faze him, though, as he charged to the win from 6th after an exciting, crowd-pleasing battle with Joe Swanson. Continue reading Thomas Schinderle 2017 SOD Driven Racing Oil Battlegrounds Bash Champ

Dan McCarron takes SOD Allstar Performance Open Wheel Spectacular at Merritt Speedway

ERIE, MI (August 20, 2017) – Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP invaded Merritt Speedway for the annual Allstar Performance Open Wheel Spectacular with Dan McCarron (Britton, MI) picking up his second career win at “Michigan’s Premier Dirt Track.”

“Danny Mac” started second, but was moved back one row for jumping the start. All that did was give him a chance to prove he was the class of the field as he took the lead on lap nine. Thirteen-year-old Andrew Scheid (Sparta, MI), leading SOD sprint car rookie, started on the pole and led the first lap before Gregg Dalman (Bellevue, MI) grabbed the lead. After McCarron took command, Dalman held second until lap sixteen when Steve Irwin (Fenton, MI) took the position. At times, it looked like Irwin had the speed in the low groove to overtake McCarron, but McCarron was up to the task and used the middle groove to perfection to pull away.

Lap eighteen saw a quick caution for a spin by Tyler Bearden , then disaster struck for Chris Jones when he flipped while trying to evade a spinning Mike Burkin.

Ryan Ruhl and Thomas Schinderle also looked like they could challenge for the win, but finished third and fourth respectively. 2016 SOD champion Brian Smith finished fifth.

Steve Irwin did double duty and won the non-winged portion of the Allstar Performance Open Wheel Spectacular over Brian Smith.

Thomas Schinderle tops SOD Driven Racing Oil Battlegrounds Bash

ERIE, MI (August 13, 2017) – Thomas Schinderle was dialed in as Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP invaded Butler Motor Speedway for the Driven Racing Oil Battlegrounds Bash finale/4th Annual Butler Bash Saturday night. The spectacular show, the last 2017 SOD race at Butler, put an exclamation point on the three-race series. The Driven Racing Oil, Butler Motor Speedway, Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP partnership was a huge success. Continue reading Thomas Schinderle tops SOD Driven Racing Oil Battlegrounds Bash

Chad Blonde charges to SOD King Engine Bearings KoM win at Hartford

Chad Blonde dominated the Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt King Engine Bearing King of Michigan Race #3 at Hartford Speedway Friday night.

The large crowd was treated to an impressive display of masterful driving as Blonde charged from his eighth starting position and had little trouble with lapped traffic on the wide, expansive track. Blonde took the lead from Linden Jones on lap four and drove away from the field. He was chased to the checkered flag by Ryan Ruhl who took second from Steve Irwin on lap 17. Ruhl was also impressive as he ran the entire race on seven cylinders, losing a cylinder at the start of the feature. SOD championship point leader Irwin finished third. The caution-free feature was completed in just five minutes and twenty-five seconds with only seven cars finishing on the lead lap.

Blonde is perfect in the three King Engine Bearing KoM races so far in 2017 and also won the last SOD race on the old Hartford track configuration last year. He was also the fastest overall qualifier and heat race winner. His three wins give him a commanding lead in the King Engine Bearing King of Michigan point standings over Steve Irwin, Gregg Dalman, Thomas Schinderle, and Linden Jones.

The Lane Automotive/MSD Ignition Fast Masters also won their respective heats with Blonde in the Engler Machine & Tool heat, Joe Swanson in the COMP Cams heat, and Ryan Ruhl in the RockAuto.com heat.

Hot August Michigan Weekend next for SOD at Hartford & Butler

ERIE, MI (August 8, 2017) – Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP is getting prepped for SOD’s “Hot August Michigan Weekend,” the first of two consecutive two-day weekends that will have a major impact on not only the SOD season championship, but all three of the season’s mini-series also.

On Friday, SOD rolls into Hartford Motor Speedway for the King Engine Bearings King of Michigan third race of the four-race series. Chad Blonde was the winner of the first two King of Michigan races and has a commanding KoM point lead over Steve Irwin, Thomas Schinderle, Chris Gurley, and Gregg Dalman. Continue reading Hot August Michigan Weekend next for SOD at Hartford & Butler

SOD MAHLE/Clevite BLC Championship at ,Manistee County Fairgrounds Friday

ERIE, MI (July 31, 2017) – This Friday, August 4th, for the first time since July 18, 1999, Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP will be racing at the Manistee County Fairgrounds in Onekama, Michigan. The fifth and final race of the MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge will determine the 2017 BLC champion.

The Manistee County Fairgrounds, SOD’s northern most venue, will challenge racers with its large, d-shaped, almost circular track, unlike most configurations competitors have experience on.
anhimlkcflcdliai.jpg Continue reading SOD MAHLE/Clevite BLC Championship at ,Manistee County Fairgrounds Friday

Driven Racing Oil Battlegrounds Bash Race #2 for SOD Saturday at Butler

ERIE, MI (July 20, 2017) – This Saturday, Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP racers head to Butler Motor Speedway for the second race of the Driven Racing Oil Battlegrounds Bash.

Litchfield’s Chad Blonde drove from 6th to win the first 2017 BB race, the Driven Racing Oil Battlegrounds Bash WW III presented by Jim Coffey & Son Plumbing & Heating, feature on June 17th over Ryan Ruhl and Thomas Schinderle.

Blonde has two Butler wins in 2017, winning a weekly feature as well as the BB race. Ruhl has two 2nd place finishes at Butler this season. Last Friday, Blonde won the King Engine Bearings King of Michigan race at Hartford Speedway and Ruhl finished 2nd.

All three races of the Driven Racing Oil Battlegrounds Bash three-race series are being contested at Butler Motor Speedway, the birthplace of dirt track sprint car racing in Michigan and where many SOD competitors started their careers. The BB will pay the points champion $1,000; the top five will each earn part of the point fund. The third and final race will be on August 12th.

Steve Irwin Up to MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge at Crystal

ERIE, MI (July 16, 2017) – Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt presented by ARP 2001 champion Steve Irwin drove his familiar Flying Zero, Krieger Engine powered Maxim to the win in the exciting MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge Race #3 at Crystal Motor Speedway last night.

Starting outside, front row, the Fenton, Michigan, SOD point leader took the lead at the start over pole starter Brad Lamberson. Irwin maintained a small lead for five laps before 2015 SOD champion Gregg Dalman charged around Lamberson and then Irwin for first. Dalman was clearly the class of the field and opened up a commanding lead. Meanwhile, Jay Steinebach’s hard work paid off as he grabbed second from Irwin and began closing in on Dalman who had to contend with heavy traffic as the race wound down. Continue reading Steve Irwin Up to MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge at Crystal

Merritt Speedway, July 8th, Added to SOD MAHLE/Clevite Challenge Schedule

ERIE, MICHIGAN (June 28, 2017) – Merritt Speedway has announced that Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt will make up last Saturday’s rain out on July 8th. With the announcement, SOD has been able to move the MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge back to Merritt, maintaining the series’ format of five races at five different speedways.

SOD competitors eagerly looked forward to the first 2017 race at Merritt last Saturday, but Mother Nature had other plans. It is with heightened excitement that they now plan on making up the rain out at “Michigan’s Premier Dirt Track.”

Thomas Schinderle and Joe Swanson are tied for the MAHLE/ Clevite BLC point lead after two races. Steve Irwin, Dain Naida, and Chris Jones are 3rd through 5th.

The first MAHLE/Clevite BLC race, scheduled for May 20th, was rained out, but run the next day at Baer Field Motorsports Park and was won by Shawn Valenti. The 2nd race was at Thunderbird Raceway where Chad Blonde made a last lap pass of Schinderle to take home the win.

Besides the completed Baer Field Motorsports Park and Thunderbird Raceway races, 2017 MAHLE/Clevite BLC races are the Merritt Speedway race, one at Crystal Motor Speedway, and the last one at the Manistee County Fairgrounds Speedway. The BLC also includes its own point fund with $1,000 going to the champion.

Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt–Butler Motor Speedway

ERIE, MI (June 18, 2017) – Chad Blonde made it 3 big Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP wins in two weekends at Butler Motor Speedway Saturday night. Blonde drove from his 6th place starting position to take the $2,100 win in the Driven Racing Oil Battlegrounds Bash WW III presented by Jim Coffey & Son Plumbing & Heating feature.

On a night where strong winds and high temperatures made track preparation a challenge, Butler’s crew was up to it and the race track held up remarkably well. The action was fast and furious on the smooth, high banked 3/8-mile with the large crowd enjoying plenty of passing. The SOD feature was over shortly after 10:30 PM. Continue reading Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt–Butler Motor Speedway