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Buckeyes win, but driving prize money to kids

December 15, 2015
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In a thrilling six-race "Buckeyes vs. Hoosiers Drivers Challenge," which included four lead changes and came down to the last race, the top drivers from Hollywood Dayton Raceway in Ohio edged the top drivers from Hoosier Park in Indiana by a score of 169-162.
 
The biggest winners, however, were the Dayton Fire Department Local 136 and underprivileged children in the Dayton area. The members of both five-driver squads announced immediately following the Tuesday night (December 15) contest that all of the $2,500 in prize money they were competing for will be donated to the local firemen for their annual drive to help make sure that every child has a new toy under their tree on Christmas.
 
The "Hoosiers" raced to an early lead when Trace Tetrick won the first of the six races with Lex Lugar and teammate Tyler Smith followed him across the wire second with Lifetime Mattjic. The best the "Buckeyes" could do was a third-place finish by Jeremy Smith behind I Got My Wish and a dead-heat for fourth between Chris Page with Bluetime Avalanche and Dan Noble with Straight Dancer. The tally was 30-24 after Round One.
 
The Hoosiers did even better in the second round, with LeWayne Miller triumphing with Long Fight Hanover and teammates Ross Leonard and Trace Tetrick finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, with Concert Ticket and Jackson Wyatt. The Buckeyes were well represented by Josh Sutton (second with Northwesterndreams) and Chris Page (TSM Gabby Warbucks), but the visitor's lead was extended to 64-48.
 
The "Buckeyes" got things turned around in the third round when Josh Sutton scored in wire-to-wire fashion with Outback Alice, Chris Page finished second behind Bad Feeling and Jeremy Smith managed a fourth place finish with Jodi Girl. LeWayne Miller was the first Indiana driver to cross the line in third, while Ross Leonard got the fifth place check with Debi's Sign. The results left the halftime score 85-81 in Ohio's favor.

The tables were turned again in round four with another one-four-five finish for the Hoosiers. Tyler Smith got favored Bittersweet Best home in front, followed by Buckeyes Chris Page (Lucky Virgin) and Josh Sutton (La Semana Hanover) in second and third. Trace Tetrick (My Little Bit) was fourth and Ross Leonard (Destiny Cruise) fifth for the invaders. With the contest two-thirds done, the Hoosiers were back on top 113-107.
 
The fifth leg swung the momentum back in the Buckeyes favor in a big way with the Ohioans sweeping the top four spots. Jeremy Smith (Martini Twist), Dan Noble (Justlikeithought), Kayne Kauffman (Metro John) and Chris Page (Incredible Shooter) all crossed the line ahead of Trace Tetrick, Hoosier's best finisher, who was fifth (Henry Gram).
 
Going into the final leg, the Buckeyes were on top by an almost unsurmountable 150-124 tally. The Hoosiers stormed back to make the final score very close, though, with their own 1-3-4 finish in the contest nightcap. Andy Shetler notched the upset win with Easton Bound, and teammates Ross Leonard (Fox Valley Action) and Tyler Smith (Little Mans Magic) were third and fourth. Saving face for the Buckeyes were Kayne Kauffman, who finished second with Pipecreek Yankee, and Josh Sutton, who was fifth with Best Dream Seeker. (Hollywood Dayton)
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