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Dietrich races to history at Clinton County

MILL HALL — The Clinton County Speedway hosted its largest event in its 34-year history on Saturday featuring the 410 sprint cars in the Phil Walter Classic. Billy Dietrich claimed the $6,300 prize. Eddie Sites won the IMCA modifieds and Blake Snyder of Montgomery won the four-cylinder Summer Championship event.

Dietrich was the quickest in time-trail and set a new one lap track record with a time of 11.662 seconds. Dietrich earned $250 for setting quick time. Austin Bishop was second fastest followed by Mark Smith, Ryan Smith and Devon Borden. Heat races for the sprint cars were won by Todd Gracey, Austin Bishop and AJ Flick.

Todd Gracey and Kyle Smith started on the front row of the 35-lap main event. Smith jumped into the early lead followed by Gracey, Bishop Borden and AJ Flick. A few laps later Fick’s car brought out the yellow when in stopped in turns three and four. Following the restart, Smith continued to lead, as Bishop and Gracey battled for second and Borden and Ryan Smith battled for fourth and fifth.

The lap eleven restart had Smith leading Gracey, and Billy Dietrich who started seventh and was now running in the top three. Dietrich moved into second on lap 12. On lap 15, Smith continued to lead the field, with Dietrich in second followed by Gracey Bishop and Mark Smith. Devon Borden moved into the top five on lap 16. Dietrich began to close in on Kyle Smith and the duo battled through lapped traffic for several laps.

Dietrich was able to execute the pass on lap 18. By the completion of lap number 20, Dietrich, Kyle Smith, Devon Borden Gracey and Mark Smith were in the top five. On lap 23, Ryan Smith had worked his back into the top five.

As Dietrich managed to put a few laps cars between himself and Smith, the battle for second, third and fourth intensified, as Smith was being challenged by Borden and Ryan Smith. Borden claimed second on lap number 30, with Smith taking second back on the following lap. On lap 33, Ryan Smith passed Borden for third. On the white flag lap, Dietrich had a sizeable lead with Kyle Smith, Ryan Smith, Devon Borden, and Mark Smith in the top five. Dietrich had a three-second margin of victory. Ryan Smith passed Kyle Smith at the finish line to earn second. Devon Borden was fourth and Josh Beamer passed Mark Smith to claim the fifth spot. Sixth through tenth were Mark Smith, Austin Bishop, Jared Zionkowski, Todd Gracey and Mike Thompson.

The IMCA modified ran in a 25-lap main event with Rich Michael Jr. leading the first several laps. Ray McClure took the lead on lap six. By lap 15 Rodney Morgan. Aaron Benjamin and Eddie Sites were in the top three. On the final lap Mogan and Sites were in a fierce battle in turns one and two, with Morgan maintaining the lead. They raced hard down the back stretch and were side by side coming out of turn number four. Sites took the win by inches over Mogan at the finish line. Ray McClure, Aaron Benjamin and Jason Sullivan completed the top five.

In four cylinder competition, Snyder lead the lead from the drop of the green flag for the 20-lap championship race. By lap five, Snyder lead Larry Beachel, Cody Stover, Hunter Flook and Andrew Ricketts. A caution in lap 10 slowed the field, but Snyder quickly brought the field back up to speed with Beachel and Stover giving chase. Hunter Flook took over the third position on lap 13 as Shawn Stahl moved into the top five.

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