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By Carol D Haynes, ISMA PR

Saturday, July 28, 2018 – What was possibly the largest Hy-Miler 100 crowd in the Jaycox era at Sandusky Speedway, came to see a race that was anticipated to be a great one. Dave Shullick Jr., a second place finisher of Friday's Fast Forty, amidst some controversy, claimed his third win of the prestigious event, leading almost half the way after taking the point from Trent Stephens. The story of the race might well have been the incredible run by Michael Barnes in the Vic Miller 11. Barnes moved slowly at first from his 14th starting spot to become the main challenger to Shullick out front. Watching Barnes, subbing for Chris Perley in the car, move stealthfully forward on each lap until he was second to Shullick with less than 40 to go, was what makes races classic. Barnes, however, would not be on the podium to join the celebration as with less than ten to go, a late race spin by another car, cost him what would have been at least a second place finish.

Shullick replayed his race from a victory lane filled with well-wishers. “We had a really good run today. The car was a little tighter than I would have liked but in the end it worked out. I saw the 11 at the end there and he as running good. I changed my line to protect from what I thought he might be doing. I wasn't super good doing that so I had to go back to what I do which is to run a little higher on the track and keep it so I didn't pinch the bottom and let it roll. I didn't really know where Michael was. I knew he was fast. But I don't really know much about what his car was doing. Toward the end of the race lap traffic was heavy so I just gave it all I had. All in all I have to thank Level Performance, the Elios Financial Group, Futuri Media, Jim Bodnar and everybody and anybody who works on this car. It's pretty awesome to have three Hy-Miler wins. My dad and I were talking that when in 99 I was disqualified and he won. That was his fifth. If I hadn't been disqualified we both would have had four today. So that's kind of cool to think about. I still have time to get my dad.”

Mike Lichty, who had also worked up through the field, found himself just a spot shy of that elusive Hy-Miler win. “Second again here. I'm really surprised we finished second actually. The car was real good at the beginning and we made our way to the front. We were just way too tight to make up the ground we lost when DJ passed me. It's a tough race. We always seem to be a bridesmaid here at this one. But we'll take it. The car is in one piece. I want to thank Craig Reed, the whole Reed family, everybody at Reed's Salvage, my father at PATCO Transportation and a big thanks to Dennis at Level Performance... Just everybody who puts the effort into the program like all the ISMA sponsors like Corr/Pak, Hoosier and everybody who helps out like Ed Shea.”

A big smile was on the face of third place finisher Ben Seitz, driver of the new Soule 32. The team has been working out new car bugs and looked to have finally exterminated most. The Bourne, Mass. veteran stated that fact.

“We had a really good run. It's a new car and it's been improving every week. We really happy with the run. It's not a first, obviously we want to win, but we'll take third place. We learned a lot this weekend and we'll come back next race with a lot of notes and hopefully we'll get this car stronger. The car was actually pretty maneuverable Last night we had some issue through traffic but we really fixed that. We just need a couple other things to work on. But the car was really good tonight. I really have to thank Danny and the crew. This car has come a long way in a short period of time. A couple weeks ago we were not looking good at Monadnock but they worked their tails off and it paid off. We'll keep working and not be satisfied with third and move on to Lee and Waterford and hopefully win there.”

A pair of Ohioans, Jim Paller and Trent Stephens headed up the field of 20 which had been pared down by the loss of last year's winner Mike Ordway Jr., Talon Stephens, AJ Lesiecki and Larry Lehnert, all due to motor or mechanical ills. Stephens would jump to the initial lead which unfortunately take several tries to complete after first the cars of Eric Lewis and Tyler Thompson tangled and went off the bank coming off turn three. A lengthy delay ensued but a complete restart was negated by a slowing Johnny Benson Jr who slowed on the track and headed for a quick repair.

A third try of the start of the 41st Hy-Miler stuck with Stephens to get three laps in as leader before the car of Dan Bowes was off the second turn side of the track. The drama continued as the Fast Forty winner Timmy J headed pitside with a sparking 97. What first was thought to be a flat, turned out to be a broken panhard bar and the night was over before it really started after only three laps.

The restart of this lap saw the 22 of Mike McVetta, who was running well, tagged for a jump, a penalty he would serve on the next stop.

Finally the Hy-Miler was into race mode and Trent Stephens took command out front with Paller and Seitz next in line. But the hard chargers from deeper in the field were already on the move as the 19 lengthened the lead. Paller and Lichty soon had Shullick on their tail with Seitz, Kyle Edwards and McVetta next in line.

The Stout 19 was on a tear out front and soon was coming up on the tail of the field, as a distance behind ran the Paller, Lichty, Shullick, Seitz, Edwards, McVetta, Mark Sammut, Michael Muldoon, Barnes and Moe Lilje.

Stephens was able to maneuver around a couple more slower cars to keep a lengthy lead out front but the challengers were closing in and near lap 40, Paller was almost on Stephens back end, with Lichty, Shullick and Seitz right behind him.

A yellow on 40 would see Paller's fine run end as the 64 came to rest against the guard rail off turn 4. Jim would pit here and McVetta went tail for serve his penalty, as the 64 returned from the pit to sit back toward the back with the 22.

Stephens did not waste anytime in resumed his strong run and commanding lead. But in the back, Shullick was up alongside of Lichty several times and took away second on lap 49 with Paller pulling off the track just before the halfway mark.

A yellow-red was called for refueling after Paller pitted. McVetta also pitted here and would return...


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