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Five Division Championships decided at Plymouth Speedway


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Five Division Championships Decided at Plymouth Speedway


By: Anita Goodan


(Plymouth) It was championship night at Plymouth Speedway on Saturday night and the racing did not disappointment the many fans who attended the last five races of the season.


Garrett Saunders, of Lakeville, led the entire 20-lap Shepherd Firearms Pro Sprint race from the pole position. It wasn’t long before Kevin Atkins, of Warsaw, found second place and attempted a pass on Saunders, but couldn’t get past the leading car. Eric Saunders, of Lakeville, made the pass on Atkins for second by lap five. Zane DeVault, of Plymouth, who started sixth, made his way through the field and found himself battling for second on lap 17. DeVault also tried to take over the top position on the track but ran out of race. Garrett Saunders won the Feature with DeVault in second and Eric Saunders in third. Kevin Atkins won the 2016 Shepherd Firearms Pro Sprint Championship.


The leaders got into each other at the start of the WTCA Super Streets Feature. Preston Oberle, of Battleground, and Eric Hunter, of Kokomo, connected out of turn four and Hunter was sent to the tail of the field for causing the caution. Oberle resumed the race in the lead and didn’t look back. Roger Duszynski, Jr., of Black Oak, and Joshua Frye, of Ravenna, were side-by-side and swapping track real estate for the runner-up spot throughout the rest of the Feature. In the end, it was Oberle with the win, Frye in second and Duszynski, Jr. in third. Roger Duszynski, Jr. clinched the 2016 WTCA Super Street Championship.


It was a smooth Dickies Restaurant 600 Open Sprints race with Eric Saunders, of Lakeville, at the lead for the Feature. Dylan Woodling, of Warsaw, had to battle Kevin Hapner, of Nappanee, for the first nine laps of the race for second. He would dive low into the corner to get by Hapner’s No. 23, but Hapner would shut the door on the pass attempt. Woodling snuck past Hapner at the start/finish line on lap nine to complete the pass. The remainder of the Feature saw the first three places unchanged. Saunders picked up the win with Woodling in second and Hapner in third. Chad Hartzell, of Granger, was named the 2016 Dickies Restaurant 600 Open Sprints Champion.


Frank Marshall, of Valparaiso, found himself in the early lead in the Swan Lake Resort UMP Modified Feature. He had a straightaway lead on the second place driver at one point in the contest. Randy Lines, of Marion, Bobby Stremme, of South Bend, and Matt Mitchell, of Lafayette, each wanted the second place spot. Stremme was able to capture second while Mitchell ran in third. The pair were side-by-side by lap nine on the backstretch where Mitchell got ahead of Stremme, but Stremme got second place back out of turn four. After a caution on lap 13, Lines made his way back into third after Derek Losh, of Rensselaer, got out of his line in turn one. Lines would get by Stremme on lap 15 for second. As the laps dwindled and the checkered flag was shown, Marshall won the Feature with Lines in second and Stremme in third. Derek Losh was crowned the 2016 Champion in the Swan Lake Resort UMP Modifieds Division.


Another Oberle was found at the top of the field in the Walmart Thunder Stocks Feature. Sheldon Oberle, of Battleground, fended off RJ Akers, of Portage, early in the race for the lead and then Akers saw a lot of Jason Fritz, of Winamac, in the rearview mirror. A red flag came out after Blayne Townsend’s No. 92 spun on the frontstretch and a fire started under the right front of the car. Townsend safely exited the race car and the safety crew was quick to respond. After the race restarted, Oberle continued in the lead while Akers raced in second and Fritz in third. Fritz passed Akers on the restart lap after a caution on lap nine. Clint Hall, of Fowler, attempted to get by Akers on lap 17 but couldn’t get by him for third. Oberle finished first with Fritz in second and Akers in third. Shane Sanders, of Mishawaka, finished the season as the 2016 Rookie of the Year and the Walmart Thunder Stock Champion.


Plymouth Speedway Owner Ed Kennedy would like to thank all of the drivers, fans and staff for another successful season at the Playground of Power. The time and date for the championship banquet will be announced at a later date.


About Plymouth Speedway:
Plymouth Speedway features a three-eighths (0.375) mile banked dirt oval owned by Ed Kennedy. Five different classes of racing are featured: Swan Lake Resort UMP Modifieds, Dickies Restaurant Non-Wing 600 Sprints, Shepherd Firearms Winged Pro Sprints, Walmart Thunder Stocks, and WTCA Super Streets. Regular season races are scheduled in the months of April through August on Saturday nights with several special events. For information, visit www.plymouthspeedway.net, follow Plymouth Speedway’s official Facebook page, @PlymouthSpeed on Twitter, @plyspeedway on Snapchat, or email info@plymouthspeedway.net.

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