West Michigan Sand Dragway in Mears, MI held their 20th Annual Appletree Automotive U.S. Sand Nationals over the last weekend in July. Stellar MI summer weather made for some great racing action as competitors came from as far away as Arizona, Missouri, and Iowa. Our friends from Lonestar Graphics were on-site taking some great photos. Gary & Michelle made the long haul from Texas. Their full photo galleries can be found on www.LoneStarGraphics.com & products can be purchased from them at anytime through their site. Also on site taking photos was Ohio’s Brett Sanderson of Sand2KInc Photography. Brett is new to the sand drag scene, but takes great shots as well. Read on for the full story on this event, and to view some great moments captured by these photographers.


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Saturday Classes

The Quick 16 cars bracket class is always a tough shootout at WMSD events, and this race would be no exception. Eliminations came down to a final round between Arizona’s Keith Ahart in the Second Urge Dragster against MI’s Kip Martin in the Primal Scream Blown Alcohol BBC-powered Jeep. When the tree dropped, Martin would turn on the red bulb handing Ahart the win with another nice pass 3.51 (3.50).

Keith Ahart (Lonestar Photo)

Keith & Carolyn Ahart in the Winner's Circle (Sand2Kinc Photo)

Pro ATV is the top ATV class at WMSD with some of the toughest racers anywhere in the country battling it out on a weekly basis. The final round match up on this night would see Shocker Racing’s Steve Ewing line up against Jesse McComas to see who can take home the Winner’s plaque. Defending track champion Ewing would leave first with a .070 light and use a 4.37 (4.30) to force Jesse into a 4.36 (4.40) breakout.

Steve Ewing (Lonestar Photo)

Steve Ewing in the Winner's Circle (Sand2Kinc Photo)

The Pro Truck category always sees some amazing action with the wildest rides in the Midwest battling it out. The final round came down to an all-Jeep battle between Dave Stinson’s Outlaw Jeep & the Little Green Jeep with Blown Alcohol SBC power of Ryan Fredericks. Stinson has a knack for turning on win lights at big race events, and he would not be beaten on this night as he ran a 4.28 (4.20) to take the win.

Dave Stinson (Lonestar Photo)

Dave Stinson (Left) & his brother Keith in the Winner's Circle (Sand2Kinc Photo)

On any given weekend at WMSD, you can find some of the best side by side racing found anywhere in the Pro Cars bracket class. This class is indexed to the tenth (.1), with it being 4.50-Faster. The final round match up saw 2011 PTN Pro Truck champion Lee Reynders with his new look Orange & Purple Jeep against the Catreaction V8-powered Buggy of Charlie Willis. Willis was ready for battle taking a .02 to .05 RT lead, but at the stripe it was the Jeep of Reynders running a 4.33 (4.30) to turn on the win light.

Lee Reynders (Lonestar Photo)

Lee Reynders in the Winner's Circle (Sand2Kinc Photo)

A new class at WMSD in 2012 is the Heads-Up ATV class. With many ATV’s running between 3.7x to 4.0x range on a weekly basis, this has become an entertaining category. The final round on this night would come down to a pair of WMSD regulars on Snowmo-powered bikes as Shocker Racing’s Matt Ewing pulled to the line against Dylan Beld. Beld had the performance advantage in previous rounds, but he would go red by just. 04 as he threw away a nice 3.88 while Matt’s 4.04 would emerge victorious.

Matt Ewing (Lonestar Photo)

Shocker Racing - Matt (Left) & Steve Ewing in the Winner's Circle (Sand2Kinc Photo)

The Sportsman Car class had the biggest turnout of the weekend at WMSD with 27 entries making the round one call. Eliminations were brutal with many of the favorites to win falling in early round action. The final round would boil down to one of Missouri’s best in Ed Bunch with his beautiful Funny Jeep lining up against NSDN Editor Tom Bray in his CJ-7 Jeep. When the tree dropped, Bunch got a little antsy turning on the red bulb by just .022 negating a great 4.01 (4.00) while Tom went on for the win with a 5.01 (4.98).

Tom Bray (Lonestar Photo)

Tom Bray in the Winner's Circle (Sand2Kinc Photo)

The Sportsman ATV class saw two tough competitors battle for the night’s victory. Shocker Racing’s Matt Ewing was going for his second class win of the night, after winning the Heads-Up ATV class, against the four-stroke ATV of Joe Cady. Cady showed his starting line expertise with a stellar .030 to .080 lead off the line, then forced Ewing into a 3.96 (3.98) break out.

Joe Cady (Lonestar Photo)

Joe (Right) & Tom Cady in the Winner's Circle (Sand2Kinc Photo)

Friday Night Classes

WMSD typically runs some specialty classes on Friday night after Test and Tune is completed. These classes often put on a great show for the Silver Lake fans. The 3.5 Index class was a little on the weak side numbers wise on this weekend, but not on quality as the final round showed. Two MI dragsters lined up for the final as Roger Jareo’s Turbocharged BBC-powered Dusty Dungeon Hobbies Dragster squared off with Bob Kelly in his return to the sand with his SBC nitrous-assisted Dragster. Kelly would take the starting line advantage, but his 3.494 would hand the win over to Jareo’s 3.52. The Pro Cars bracket class final round saw Tom Hartman continue his winning ways with his Fistful of Dollars Blazer as he defeated Iowa’s Mike Orness. The Sportsman class final round saw Missouri’s David Risher take the victory as he defeated Iowa’s Hunter Orness, who drove Wildman Jeep to its second final of the night. The Pro ATV final saw Ohio’s Brett Sanderson of Sand2KInc ride his impressive four stroke-powered ATV to the victory over Midwest Coatings’ Buddy Hammett.

Roger Jareo (Lonestar Photo)

Tom Hartman (NSDN Photo)

David Risher (Lonestar Photo)

Brett Sanderson (Lonestar Photo)

Brett Sanderson in the Winner's Circle (Sand2Kinc Photo)

Junior Classes

At this event, the Junior classes were contested on Sunday morning. Bennett Dozeman followed in his dad Ben’s winning ways as he took the big win in the Junior Dragster final round over Makayla Beld. Cortney Thorpe continued her dominance of the Junior ATV class in 2012 as she defeated Jessie Berzley in the final round. A Poortenga taking a win is nothing new, but this time it was Grace Poortenga as her dad Ryan guided her to the Mighty Midgets victory over Scotty Highers.

Bennett Dozeman (Lonestar Photo)

Cortney Thorpe (Lonestar Photo)

Grace Poortenga (Lonestar Photo)

Photos Courtesy
Lonestar Graphics - www.LoneStarGraphics.com
Sand2Kinc. - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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