Great Lakes Lightning Sprints
JAC NICKELS WINS INAUGURAL RACE
Auburn, MI – The 31 car of Jac Nickels (Harrod, OH) hit the trifecta tonight for the Great Lakes Lightning Sprints inaugural race at Tri-City Motor Speedway. Nickels was fast qualifier out of 18 cars, setting a blistering 12.833 second lap around the 3/8ths mile track. He also won the Engler Machine & Tool Heat race by 3.826 seconds before going on to win the A-Main by nearly 5 seconds!
Starting the season on July 2nd is challenging enough for teams that haven’t been able to get out and race anywhere, but the 95 degree temperatures tested everyone's indurance today. With a light breeze, the sun beat down as 18 cars pulled into Tri-City Motor Speedway for the first ever, official Great Lakes Lightning Sprint race! Running the same format as Great Lakes Super Sprints, GLLS took the track first tonight for qualifying.
Amongst the first group to pull on the track was Johnny Roberts (Wheeler, MI), the 2019 Track Champion at Merritt Speedway and our newest member, Bella Erickson (South Boardman, MI). Roberts, the veteran of the group, laid down second quick time over all with a 13.06 second lap, nearly 10 seconds under Bella. In fairness to Bella, this was her first race to drive competitively and she did well controlling the car. At the end of qualifying, Nickels sat on top as the fastest, with Roberts, Bill Dunham (Bellevue, MI), Scott Flees (Mesick, MI) and Brendon Cascadden (Traverse City, MI) rounding out the top 5 qualifiers.
Randy Plamondon (South Boardman) led out the field for the Engler Machine & Tool Heat 1. Starting in the fourth position, Nickels quickly moved up to second as he passed the front stretch. In the 5th lap, Nickels took over first place and led the rest of the way. Plamondon worked his way up to second, behind Nickels. Bud Schrader (Benzonia, MI), Mack Erickson and Bella Erickson rounded out the top 5 finishers.
In the Chaney Creek Construction Heat 2, Cascadden took the lead in the 3rd lap, and proceeded to keep the rest of the field behind him! Matt Cogley (Findlay, OH) did his best to reel in Cascadden, but he couldn’t do it. As the laps wound down, Chuck Erickson (South Boardman, MI) and Alex Cogley (Findlay, OH) were able to secure 3rd and 4th respectively. Roberts and Paul Erickson (South Boardman, MI) ran into some trouble in the opening lap of their group. They both lost their motors, dumping oil on the back stretch and were done for the night.
Lindsey Erickson (South Boardman, MI) battled the whole race in second place, but was finally able to get around ,Dunham for the lead and the checkered flag in the Beacon and Bridge Markets Heat 3. Running consistently the whole heat race, Jeremiah Roberts (Cook, MI) stayed the course and held on to take a third place finish. Paul King (Kalkaska, MI) and Richard Clay (Fife Lake, MI) rounded out 4th and 5th place.
For the Maxima Racing Oils A-Main, Dunham, in the 84 car, led the rest of the field out on the track. As the green flag flew, Dunham did his best to hold on to the lead. Leading the first two laps, Dunham slipped to second in the 3rd lap, but held his own for the next 6 laps. Cascadden ran very consistently and running as the race leader for 12 laps. Lindsey Erickson who started 5th, was able to better her position for a podium finish, finishing 3rd.
Jac Nickles, who started 6th, but fell back to 9th, worked his magic navigating through the field and securing the lead in lap 15. As Nickles held on the last 5 laps to take the checkered flag, Cascadden, Lindsey Erickson and father and son, Matt and Alex Cogley rounded out the top five finishers.
The feature went green to checkered in just under 5 minutes, challenging cars to pick their way forward under green, instead of getting help from a caution or two! Scott Flees, who had a bit of bad luck, throwing a chain in the heat race, started 15th in the feature and was able to move up for a 7th place finish. This earned Flees the Hard Charger award for his efforts.
Thank you to our sponsors, Maxima Racing Oils, Engler Machine and Tool, Chaney Creek Construction, Beacon and Bridge Markets, Hoosier Tires and Environmental Waste & Recovery Services. Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to do something we love and share our sport with you, are fans! Please visit and patronize them regularly.
Follow us on Facebook and check in often to our website at www.greatlakessprints.com for the most up to date schedule, during these challenging times.
Article Credit: GLSS Staff