LIMA — The 2018 season at Limaland Motorsports Park has been an enjoyable one for racing fans. With many close races and new faces, people have witnessed great shows all spring and summer. The tight competition continues Friday night with the K&L Ready Mix Clash & Keysor Memorial featuring the K&L Ready Mix NRA Sprints, the K&N Filter Modifieds and Bud Thunderstocks.
With only a few races remaining, the Bud Thunderstocks division champion will come down to a photo finish. Daniel Sanchez is currently on top of the leaderboard with 894 points and Tony Anderson is right behind him with 892 points.
Sanchez, who won the first three Thunderstock races of the season at Limaland, isn’t letting the pressure of holding a two point lead get to him.
“My mindset going into the last two races is no different,” Sanchez said. “We just want to go out and try to win some races. We want to be as prepared as we can be and work hard.”
With four total wins at Limaland this season, Sanchez caught most racing fans by surprise and maybe even caught himself by surprise a bit.
“Originally we wanted to win one race,” Sanchez said. “Then three weeks in we had three wins already. We caught some good breaks. We know the competition is very strong at Limaland.”
With one of the best drivers in the history of Limaland in Anderson right behind him, Sanchez has nothing but respect for his competitor.
“Whenever Tony Anderson is in the class, you know you’ll have to go against him,” Sanchez said. “To win the championship would be great, but if I lost to Tony Anderson, at least I would lose to the best.”
Anderson, who has 23 career championships with 11 of those being at Limaland, is really just happy to be in position to compete after a tough start to the season.
“Honestly, I’m very thankful to be where we’re at since we started out with so many motor problems early in the season,” Anderson said. “Out of the first eight weeks of the season, we had motors in and out of our car six times. We borrowed a motor for three weeks and also had a backup motor in for two weeks.”
Despite the adversity he dealt with at the beginning of the season, Anderson has won three total races. Two are in the Modified division and one in the Thunderstocks division.
“The biggest thing that’s helped me is the perseverance of our crew,” Anderson said. “Guys would tear the motor out on Friday night after a race and work on the car for several hours. The no quit attitude of my team has really carried us through. I want to do my part behind the wheel for them. I hope to race hard and make the right decisions.”
The K&N Filter Modified division isn’t as close as the Thunderstock division in terms of points, but it isn’t over yet. Ryan Sutter is currently in first place with 852 points and 2017 champion Jerry Bowersock is in second with 832 points.
“The big thing for this season has been being consistent,” Sutter said. “We haven’t had any finishes outside of the top ten this year. That’s been the key difference, not having any bad nights and not veering off from what we know works.”
Sutter has one victory so far this season at Limaland. Sutter has not won a championship at any track yet and will not let off until he accomplishes that.
“I try to forget about the points and stay calm,” Sutter said. “I’m going to approach it like it’s the first race of the year. We don’t have a big enough lead to go out and just take it easy. I’m a calm type of driver so I just need to stay calm and do what works.”
Bowersock, who was also the 2017 Sportsman of the Year at Limaland, is proud to be in position to compete for a title again this year.
“It seemed like it took a month or so of getting our car figured out,” Bowersock said. “We got a different car this year and we’ve been making changes and working on it. We had one DNF (did not finish) otherwise I think I’d be pretty close to Ryan (Sutter). If we could’ve ran in the top five that night, we’d be in the hunt. It’s going to be tough to make up 20 points. Ryan has had a really good year.”
With one victory so far this season, Bowersock is going to go into these last two races doing only what he does best.
“We are going to race hard,” Bowersock said. “That’s all you can do to finish the best that you can. You never know, I’ve won championships over the years going into the last couple of races and I’ve also lost some. You want to make sure you’re running at the end of the race.”
For results of the K&L Ready Mix Clash & Keysor Memorial, pick up the Sunday edition of The Lima News.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.