Sommers’ smooth sailing the past few weeks hit a stretch of rough waters during the Howie
Lettow Classic 100 at Madison International Speedway with the ASA Midwest Tour. A good
night of racing can flip on a dime for any race team, and unfortunately GSR fell victim to an
The day started off at a fast pace, with two quick practice sessions available to dial in racecars
for the 100 lap main event later on in the night. Gabe was able to make it out on track multiple
times during the first practice of the day, clicking off a total of 21 laps before settling for seventh
on the speed charts. The Travis Sauter led crew went to work immediately, making changes to
the No. 15 in an attempt to find some raw pace for the feature. Almost as quickly as the first
practice ended, the second and final round began, with Gabe only turning eight laps around the
half mile oval before deciding to use the time left to focus on making changes to their overall
package. He would round out final practice a half tenth faster than previous, but slotted in at the
tenth spot in time.
Qualifying went off with a bang, with many drivers improving on their practice times, including
Gabe, timing in at an 18.008, good enough for ninth in a twenty-one car field. That would set
him up to start from the third position in the “Odd Heat”. The changes made had helped the
balance of the No. 15, but Gabe settled in and logged laps during the heat race, finishing right
where he started.
Soon after, it was time to roll off for the Howie Lettow Memorial Classic 100. Sommers would
start from the outside front row, and assume the lead for the first two circuits around Madison
International Speedway. Slipping to the second spot on Lap 3, Gabe would be able to ride
comfortably the 43rd circuit, where he would drop down to the final podium spot. Unfortunately,
heartbreak would come out of nowhere just twenty laps later. A flat left front tire derailed an
easy ride to a podium finish, trapping Gabe a lap down in the eleventh position. Attempting to
salvage the night, the No. 15 started snaking through the field and working his way back
towards the front end of the pack. With just under 25 laps to go, a bad situation turned worse,
and a sideways car disappeared in Gabe’s blindspot, coming down the track and nailing the
right front corner of the car. The damage results in needing a tow truck to assist him in getting
off of the racing surface, and ending his night completely.
Even with the unfortunate ending to the Howie Lettow Classic 100, Gabe still is able to hold on
to a 76 point lead over second place in the points standings heading into the Jim Sauter Classic
200 at Dells Raceway Park on September 2nd. If you can’t make it in person, the $15,555 to win
marathon will be broadcast live on MidwestTour.tv at 3 PM CST.