LIMA, Ohio – Stratton Briggs made his 50th career USAC Midwest Thunder Speed2 Midget Series feature start a memorable one, racing to victory Friday night in the inaugural Mike Streicher Memorial at Limaland Motorsports Park.
Though Briggs led the opening two circuits of the 25-lapper, he wasn’t the dominant car. That honor went to Jacob Denney, who took command on the third lap and appeared to be on his way to a comfortable triumph at the quarter-mile dirt track despite a handful of yellow flags.
However, a pair of lapped cars got together in turns three and four as the leaders were racing toward the checkered flag, collecting Denney in the process. Briggs deftly avoided being involved, but then had to hold off the field on one final restart before he could celebrate in victory lane.
Briggs did just that, driving away from Chett Gehrke en route to the win in the race which honored the late Streicher, the 1991 USAC National Midget Series champion and a longtime instructor at the University of Northwestern Ohio.
Gehrke finished second, followed by polesitter Ian Creager, Abby Hohlbein and Ryan Tuowas.
Friday night marked Briggs’ 12th career Midwest Thunder Speed2 win and his first since Sept. 14, 2019, at Montpelier (Ind.) Motor Speedway.
Other feature winners during the Limaland season opener – the first event at the track since August of 2019 because of COVID-19 restrictions – included Jordan Conover (Bud Thunderstocks), Jeff Koz (Northwest Physical Therapy UMP Modifieds) and Chris Hicks (Dirt Track Truck Series).
The Dirt Track Truck Series event was that tour’s first-ever event at the University of Northwestern Ohio-operated dirt track.
A-Main (25 Laps): 1. 71-Stratton Briggs ; 2. 93C-Chett Gehrke ; 3. 36-Ian Creager ; 4. 11H-Abby Hohlbein ; 5. 1FR-Ryan Tuowas ; 6. 11T-Jacob Denney ; 7. 12M-Bryce Massingill ; 8. O1-Ryan Moran ; 9. 7T-Tom Hessel ; 10. 6S-Adam Schmenk ; 11. 2-Kyle Dager ; 12. 8Z-Zach Ginerich ; 13. 55-Matt Cogley ; 14. 98-Tommy Kouns ; 15. 18C-Alex Cogley ; 16. 60-Trey Osborne ; 17. 7-Cody Beard ; 18. 44-Ron Coleman ; 19. 20X-Alex Watson ; 20. 12Y-Josh Yenser .