lead.jpgThe 2010 edition of the West Michigan Sand Dragway U.S. Sand Nationals featuring PTN Race #3 definitely went off as one of the biggest events of the race season to this point. Over 200 entries took part throughout the weekend going for the big PTN money as well as the coveted U.S. Sand Nationals victories. The PTN & WMSD crews fought through adverse weather conditions, and ended up putting on a great show that culminated in spectacular final eliminations on Sunday. Let’s recap all of the great action from this event.

Photos Courtesy Lone Star Graphics

Pro Truck

The PTN Pro Truck series has been exciting all season long with Kyle Harney leading the points chase heading into the WMSD event. A PTN record 28 entries would show up for competition at WMSD. Qualifying saw some new top qualifiers as Ryan Fredricks obtained the #1 spot on the ladder with a .011 RT while Jay Poortenga ran Low ET of qualifying with a 3.508. Round one saw some huge upsets starting off with the #1 qualifier Fredricks falling to Mike Ellington in a close race. Next up would see point leader Harney up against Fast Freddy Hugo. Hugo would leave first and take out the point leader by .055 to advance to round two. An exceptional round one match up saw two Michigan-based Jeeps face off between Brent Lokker & Dave Stinson. At the finish line, Lokker took the stripe by just .007 for the victory. Points contender Ben Dozeman dodged a huge bullet in round one as his Bad Company Jeep got a little out of shape against Mike Page, however Page went red by just .003 while running a nearly dead on 3.709 (3.70).

Round two saw a huge match up for Dozeman and the Bad Company Jeep as he faced off with Jay Poortenga’s Drag Nasty Jeep. Jay had been right on the 3.5 Index all weekend and looked to be the favorite to win on this weekend. This was to be a heads-up battle as both drivers were indexed at 3.50. Off the line, Dozeman took a .057 to .108 starting line advantage, and forced Poortenga into a 3.490 break out while Dozeman ran a 3.582 for the win. Jay’s 3.490 would stand for a new PTN Pro Truck series record ET while Dozeman’s 95.22mph in on this pass would stand for a new PTN Pro Truck series MPH record. Two out of town racers would be unable to return on Sunday as Mike Ellington & Eric Gallay both did not make the round two call.

Round three started with a race that had major point series ramifications as Dozeman faced off with Dave Kramer’s Super Toy Jeep. The winner of this match up would put themselves in a very favorable position in the season long battle. Both drivers would leave even off the line, but at the stripe it would be Kramer running a 3.660 (3.60) to take a .011 Margin of Victory and the point series lead heading into the final race of 2010. Next up would see Michigan’s Kip Martin in the Primal Scream Jeep match up against Kentucky’s George Colwell. Martin would leave first and not look back for a 3.846 (3.80) victory. Ryan Poortenga’s Funny Jeep would be up next against Jim Bailey’s Blue Thunder Chevy S-10 Truck. In this double red light scenario, Poortenga would have an even larger red light of .123 than Bailey’s, handing the win to the rear-engine truck. Last but not least would be Fred Hugo with a bye run, after his round two single when Ellington was unable to return. Hugo took the tree to advance on.

The semi-final round saw four tough Michigan competitors face off. Up first would be Martin versus Bailey. Martin would get the starting line advantage, but would take too much stripe and break out with a 3.789 (3.80). The other side of the ladder would see new point leader Kramer come up against Fred Hugo in an all-Jeep battle. Reaction times were nearly dead-even off the line, but at the other end it would be Hugo running closer to his dial with a 3.710 (3.70) for the victory. This would set up a great final round between Bailey and Hugo.

In the final, Hugo would take the starting line advantage and carry it through the stripe with a 3.761 (3.70) victory. This would be Hugo’s second PTN victory, as he also won the Inaugural PTN event in 2006 when this was a stand alone event at WMSD. Congratulations to Fred, Shelly, Bobby, and the whole Hugo team on the big win. Kramer takes a three point lead over Dozeman heading into the Season Finale at Bonne Terre with Harney still lurking in third place with a shot at the title.

Fred Hugo

Jim Bailey

Kip Martin

Dave Kramer

Top Fuel

The heads-up, unlimited Top Fuel class returned to WMSD at the U.S. Sand Nationals. The PTN series & WMSD did a great job of putting together this great crowd pleasing show for the weekend. Qualifying was led by 2010 Pro Outlaw FE dominator Brian Ambs with the Go Fast Energy Drink/Ambs Auto Clinic Altered, running a 3.02 on Friday night. The #2 spot in qualifying would be the U.S. Army Dragster of Scott Scheytt with a 3.03 while Scott’s brother Rob ran a 3.14 in the Bad Frog Dragster, and Nick Vanderputte rounded out the field with a 3.16 in the Curtis Tree Service Procharger-equipped Dragster.

Round one saw Ambs and Vanderputte kick off the round. Ambs would take a slim starting line advantage and hang on for a victory by mere thousandths of a second as both drivers had to lift early in a 3.29 to 3.28 decision. The final pair of the round would see the Scheytt brothers face off. Mechanical problems plagued the U.S. Army team all weekend and they once again reared their ugly head as Scott would have to shut off before the tree handing the Bad Frog team the win. Rob would run Low ET of the weekend with a 2.99. Brian & Rob would end up splitting the victory as they could not run the final round on Sunday. Congrats to the Ambs & Scheytt teams on their performances at this event.

Brian Ambs

Rob Scheytt

3.5 Index

The 3.5 Index class has seen some amazing performances throughout the 2010 race season. The father-son team of John & JR Dreher led the standings after sweeping the season’s first two events. However, the door would be opened for a new winner as the Dreher Race Cars team was unable to attend this event. Round one would see some great racing action as several low 3.5’s were run, including Ryan Poortenga’s great 3.509 in defeat of Missouri’s David Risher.

Round two kicked off with Ryan matching up against his dad, Jay Poortenga. Jay would leave first .050 to .085, and at the stripe he would force Ryan into a 3.478 break out with a 3.536. Up next would be points contender Ben Dozeman against Dave DeLoof in the Backdraft Dragster. DeLoof would push the tree and come up .094 red handing the win to Dozeman with a troubled 3.784. The third pair of the round would see Missouri’s Dan Wies in the Wies Racing Altered against Mike Page’s Blown-SBC powered Chevy Blazer. Page would leave first .070 to .151, but at the other end it would be Wies’ 3.639 turning on the win light. Roger Jareo’s Dusty Dungeon Hobbies Turbo BBC-powered Dragster would receive the bye run and run a 3.676 to advance on.

Up first in the semi-final round would be Jareo against Poortenga. Two long-time WMSD racers faced off and Jareo would turn on the red bulb by just .006, handing the win to Poortenga. Jay would lay down an exceptional run of 3.534 with a .010 RT. The second pair would see Wies match up against Dozeman. Ben would leave first .062 to .157, but the Bad Company Jeep could not run the number and give up the victory in a 3.528 to 3.668 decision. This would set up a Michigan versus Missouri final round match up for the third consecutive race in the 3.5 Index class.

This battle would be decided on the tree as Poortenga got a tad too antsy and turned on the red bulb by .072. Wies would take the win, running it out to a 3.463 ET. This would be Wies’ first 3.5 Index victory and moved him to within striking distance in the 3.5 Index point race. Dreher, Dozeman, and Wies all have chances to take the title heading into Bonne Terre.

Dan Wies

Jay Poortenga

Ben Dozeman

Roger Jareo

Sport Truck

Along side the 3.5 Index class on the Friday night docket would be the return of the Sportsman Truck class again. This class debuted at the PTN WMSD race in 2009, and was once again a great success with 21 entries making the first round call. Eliminations would boil down to a Michigan shut out this year as only Kentucky and Ohio were left heading into the semi-final round. Starting off the round would be Kentucky’s George Colwell facing off with Ohio’s Mike Ellington. In this all-Jeep battle, Colwell would leave first, and force Ellington into a 4.326 (4.37) break out for the win. This would set up an all-Kentucky final round between Colwell & PTN Race #2 Pro Truck class winner Kyle Harney. Harney would leave first .043 to .048, but at the other end it would be Colwell running a 4.470 (4.40) to take a .015 Margin of Victory at the stripe. Congrats to the Colwell/Gorilla Glue team on the big victory.

George Colwell

Kyle Harney

Mike Ellington

Quick 8

The Quick 8 class on this weekend saw some amazing racing action with the bump spot for the 8 car qualified field being a 3.53. The semi-final round saw Mike Bolyard’s Blown Ford-powered Bronco face off with Missouri’s David Risher in his naturally aspirated SBC-powered Altered. Risher would break out by mere thousandths of a second handing the win to Bolyard. The other semi-final pair would see a rematch of a 3.5 Index semi-final pair from Friday night as Jay Poortenga came up against Roger Jareo. At the finish line, the outcome would be the same as Poortenga advanced on. This set up a great Jeep versus Bronco final round. When the win light came on, it would be shining in Poortenga’s lane as he would take the class victory.

Jay Poortenga

Mike Bolyard

Other Bracket Classes

A tough Pro 1 class consisting of 28 entries ended up with long time WMSD racer Tim Holstege turning on the win light over Scott Gierula in his VW-powered Buggy entry. “Shocker Father” Steve Ewing would outlast the tough Pro ATV category, defeating veteran Pro ATV contender Jeff Jareo in the final round. The other half of the Shocker Racing Team, Matt Ewing, would take home the top spot in the ATV (Sportsman) class, defeating Brad Adams in an all-Snowmo powered final round. NSDN Editor Tom Bray would sweep the Sportsman car classes, scoring the Sportsman 1 win over Dan Turner & Sportsman 2 over Rick Browe. Junior class winners on the weekend were Makayla Beld (Junior Dragster), Jessie Berzley (Junior ATV), and Tyler Watkins (Mighty Midgets).

Tim Holstege

Steve Ewing

Tom Bray

Matt Ewing

Tyler Watkins

Jessie Berzley

Makayla Beld

Photos Courtesy - Lone Star Graphics

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