LIMA — Consistency is key in one’s chase for a championship. Daniel Sanchez and Ryan Sutter were just about as consistent as any driver could be on their way to earning championships at Limaland. Sanchez won the Bud Thunderstocks division while Sutter won the K&N Filter Modifieds division. Both drivers will be on hand tonight for the 2018 Award Celebration Night at Limaland Motorsports Park. This race includes the NRA/LMP Point Fund Invitational Races, the Top 20 Invitational Race, 2018 LMP Season Banquet Ceremony, the King of the Quarter-Mile Races and the Pit Party and Celebration. There is a special start time with racing beginning at 7:15 p.m.
Sanchez and Tony Anderson actually tied in the points standings with 1,112 points but Sanchez won the tie breaker because he had more feature wins on the season than Anderson.
Sanchez finished the 2018 season with four feature wins in the Bud Thunderstocks.
“It was extremely stressful heading into these last few weeks,” Sanchez said. “All we wanted to do was win. We weren’t fast for one race and we decided to change things back because we had the worst heat race. We went back to our original setup from week two and the car handled great last week.”
Heading into last week, Sanchez took some time to really appreciate the company he was in and the chance he had to make his mark in the Limaland history books.
“Last week after our car checks, I was walking on the backside of the track and looking at the pictures of the past champions,” Sanchez said. “I was looking forward to having my name and picture on the backside of the track. It means a lot to me. Both divisions at Limaland have a lot of competition. The way I look at driving is go out and race like you’re racing as a kid. Race to have fun. Go out there and want to win. All you can do is your best.”
Sanchez is also the first University of Northwestern Ohio student to win a championship at Limaland while still being a current student.
“Winning a championship at Limaland is huge,” Sanchez said. “It’s the university that I go to and they own the track. It’s great. I love racing on the track that my school owns.”
Sutter had a little drama as well on his way to the K&N Filter Modifieds championship. Sutter edged out Jerry Bowersock and Dylan Woodling. Sutter finished with 1,066 points while Bowersock finished in second with 1,058 points and Woodling finished in third with 1,046 points.
“The race last week was pivotal because you had three guys who could have won,” Sutter said. “For our team to win the championship is huge. Some of the guys on my team have been around racing longer than I’ve been alive, so it’s really important to them. The maintenance we do to make sure it’s not us beating ourselves was big.”
Sutter was just about as consistent as one could be. Even though he only had one feature win for the 2018 season, he never finished outside the top 10 all year and also had seven finishes inside the top five.
“You look at the consistency over the year and at the end we only won by eight points,” Sutter said. “It was extremely relieving when we moved up in the race last week. We finally got by all the events this season without error. Joining the list of past track champions is just great though. It was a big testament to the team.”
For results of the 2018 Award Celebration Night, pick up a Sunday edition of The Lima News.
Waynesfield Raceway Park
WAYNESFIELD — Kids of all ages will take over Waynesfield Raceway Park on Saturday night. All school aged kids in attendance will be entered into a raffle to win a backpack filled with school supplies. In addition, drivers will line the front stretch signing autographs and giving away goodies during intermission.
On the track, the event will be headlined by the Satellite Connections UMP Modifieds running for $1,200 to win. The Vores Touring Compacts will also be on the program, bringing in some of the best Compact drivers from around the Midwest. Saturday will be the series’ only appearance of the 2018 season at Waynesfield. The night of family fun will come to an end with the Block Insurance Tough Trucks running for a $400 to win payday. The event is being presented by Indian Lake Outfitters.
Any member of the public that wishes to donate backpacks or school supplies to be given away Saturday can do so through the track office by calling 419-568-3201 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday’s race will be broadcast live on the Gem City Sports Network. The broadcast can be heard by visiting gemcitysports.com.
Adult general admission is $12. Those ages 11-15 can get in for $6. Everyone under the age of 10 will be admitted for free. Pit access is $30.
Pit side gates open at 4 p.m. Grandstands open at 5 p.m. Hot laps get under way at 6 p.m. with the first green flag of the night flying at 7 p.m. Head to waynesfieldracewaypark.net for more information.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.