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Hoosiers Prevail In Dayton Challenge

Published: December 11, 2016 12:57 am ET

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The 'Hoosiers' swept to a resounding 406-317 victory over the 'Buckeyes' in the second annual Buckeyes vs. Hoosiers Drivers Challenge at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday night.

Despite the fact that each squad produced three winners in the six race contest, and the Buckeyes had the leading individual scorer in Josh Sutton, the Hoosiers drivers finished second through sixth in the individual standings—plenty of depth to prevail.

Sutton was the only double winner, sweeping the final two legs Giovanni (1:52.2) and Prince Bayard (1:51). Peter Wrenn was the other Buckeye to score with Lieutenant Steve (1:53.1).

The Hoosier winners were Tyler Smith with Dark Horse (1:55.2, 11-1), Trace Tetrick with Showdown At Sun Up (1:52.3, 8-1) and Andy Shetler with No Habla (1:54.2, 9-2).

Sutton’s late double enabled him to rack up 105 points to edge Trace Tetrick’s 102 for individual laurels. The next four finishers were all Hoosiers, though, as Sam Widger amassed 84, Ricky Macomber Jr. 77, Tyler Smith 75 and Andy Shetler 68.

The real winners on the night, however, were paramedic Crystal Wilson and Dayton Firefighters Local 136.

Wilson served as a paramedic in the mandatory trackside ambulance most nights during the track’s first two seasons. A tragic accident last April has rendered her paralyzed from the waist down and the drivers from both Buckeyes-Hoosiers squads voted to donate their entire $2,500 in prize money for the contest to Crystal to help with her mounting rehabilitation costs. The Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association chipped in another $500 to make the cheque $3,000.

When presented with the cheque, Crystal Wilson said, “I’m overwhelmed. These drivers are so awesome. My prognosis isn’t great, but I have faith and I WILL walk again. I can’t thank this track and these fantastic guys enough for their support.”

In 2015 Crystal was the chairman of the Christmas From The Firehouse Program at Local 136, an effort to insure that all underprivileged children in the station’s district have toys or gift cards to make for a Merry Christmas. The drivers in the initial Drivers Challenge heard about the program and threw their support behind Crystal’s cause by donating the $2,500 prize pool to the toy drive.

This year they asked their fellow horsemen and racing fans at Hollywood Dayton to bring new toys or monetary donations to insure that the 2016 toy drive is as successful as ever.

Over 100 new children’s toys were dropped off on Saturday night, in addition to an additional $500 donation by the OHHA. Leading driver Josh Sutton also pledged his entire driving commission from the night to the toy drive, with trainers Tyler George and Randal Smith chipping in with 50% of their Saturday earnings.

(Hollywood Dayton Raceway)

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