Ross Meeuwsen wins the Icebreaker
-Jeremy Munniksma, Seth VanHorssen and Don Deyman also take checkers-
Marne, MI – Amazing weather greeted competitors and fans to an excellent night of racing, including the opener for the Port City Racecars Outlaw Late Models. Ross Meeuwsen and Don Deyman returned to their winning ways while victory lane saw two new faces in Jeremy Munniksma and Seth VanHorssen.
The Napa Filters Racing Vintage Modifieds were up first with a 25 lap feature; #4X Arnie Snyder and #80 Billy Eppink started on the front row. Eppink took off with the lead early being chased by #84 Andrew Bartoszek and the field stacked up behind them. Bartoszek was gaining on Eppink, but that battle would have to wait as the first caution of the race came out; Snyder spun his car in turn 1 and lap 5 and collected #21 Tom Boorsma. Eppink maintained the lead after the restart and this time it was #43 Terry Byrne putting the pressure on him for the top spot with #20 Don Deyman close behind. Deyman passed Byrne and then swiftly passed Eppink on lap 9, but a caution on the same lap would slow the race again. Once the green was in the air, Deyman was on the gas and was able to put a second and a half between himself and Eppink within a couple of laps. The battle for second was getting exciting between Eppink Byrne and Bartoszek, but that was put on hold as #83 Loren Peterson brought out the third yellow of the night on lap 15. On this restart, Byrne was able to hand with Deyman and give him a good challenge for the lead. On lap 19, the caution was out again for Peterson. Deyman was able to maintain the lead after the restart, but before a lap was complete, the caution was out again when #30 Todd Cowan spun on the backstretch. With the time limit approaching, the restart was single file and it was once again Deyman and Byrne battling for the top spot. It was Deyman’s night, he went on to get the checkers and the rest of the top ten were Byrne, #3 Lou Caposey, Eppink, Bartoszek, #7 Jimmy Lawson, #59 John Evans, #2 Randy Pierson, #4 Don Smith and Peterson.
Up next was the Burnips Equipment 4-Cylinder 15-lap feature with #27 Rikki VanHorssen leading the field to the green flag, #75 Dan Ream was on her outside, but it was #10 Dave Duyst who lead the first laps. Just as the first lap was complete, the caution was out for #35 Mike Mellon who spun in turn 1. It was the #9 of Zach Clark grabbing the lead on the restart, however a caution for the #89 Sierra Lantz would revert scoring back to the last completed lap. The restarts were then single-file and Duyst was able to put some space between himself and #9 Zach Clark. Clark powered around Duyst on lap 5 and the #17of Seth VanHorssen and #11x Jason Essex followed suit. S. VanHorssen was then in hot pursuit of Clark’s top spot, he made the pass on lap 7. With just one lap to go, the caution was out again for Mellon and the race ended under yellow. VanHorssen took the win and the rest of the top ten were Essex, Clark, Duyst, R. VanHorssen, #63 Charlie DeJong, #20 Jackson Walker, Mellon, #19 Robert Bowyer and #111 Frank Bisacky.
The Engine Pro Super Stocks rolled next and #44 Brian VanZalen and #20J Jeremy Munniksma were on the front row for 30-lap feature. The ran one-two and were able to pull away from the field who stacked up behind them. The #77 of Andrew Nylaan was the first able to clear the pack, but #66 Nate Walton and #78 Will Olmsted weren’t far behind. While VanZalen and Munniksma were more than three seconds ahead of the rest of the field and Munniksma draw even with VanZalen on lap 16 and took the lead on lap 17, though VanZalen wasn’t backing off. The battles for third and sixth were just as exciting; truly great racing throughout the field. Walton and Olmsted were side by side for third with #48 Seth Moody waiting to see which lane would move and #31 Brett DeKraker was holding off a hard-charging #76 Brian Tillema for the sixth position. With just one lap to go, the #54 of Justin Regnerus brought out the first caution of the race thus erasing Munniksma’s lead. With restarts double-file from start to finish, VanZalen would restart on Munniksma’s outside with Moody and Olmsted right behind them. Munniksma was able to hold on for the final laps of the race to get his first career win. Moody got second and the rest of the top ten were VanZalen, Olmsted, Tillema, Walton, #21 Tyler Rycenga, #55 Dave Lake, DeKraker and #67 Ben Welch.
The final event of the night was the Port City Racecars Outlaw Late Models. There were 27 cars that timed in for 60-lap feature, #32 Ross Meeuwsen was on the pole with #8 Phil Bozell on his outside. They stayed side by side for the first few laps until Meeuwsen was able to clear him on lap 3. It didn’t take long for the caution to fly, on lap 4 when #33 Monte Tolan spun. Before a lap was complete, the caution was out again for a wreck on the frontstretch involving #4S Justin Schroeder and #64 Todd Dougherty. After a red flag for clean up, the field was restarted and quickly under yellow again when Schroeder spun in turn 2. Bozell and Meeuwsen were again side by side after the restart and the #10 of Johnny Benson was up to challenge for second. By lap 13, the leaders were already in traffic and the field spread out to single file racing. While Benson and #6 Dave Zagaiski raced hard for second, Meeuwsen was starting to pull away from the field; even in traffic, he was able to maintain a lead of over one second. With 14 laps to go, the caution came out, erasing Meeuwsen’s lead. The restart put Benson and Meeuwsen side by side and while they raced side by side for a few laps, Meeuwsen was eventually able to pull away with 10 laps to go. Meeuwsen went on to take the win and the rest of the top ten were #21 Terry VanHaitsma, Benson, Zagaiski, #61 Tim DeVos, Bozell, #14 Steve Needles, #83 Andy Bozell, #82 Tom Thomas and #28 Scott Thomas.
Next Saturday, May 11 the ARCA/CRA Super Series will be in town for the Tri-State Collector Car Appraising 125 presented by T.A.A.G. Tooling Inc.! They will be joined by the Engine Pro Super Stocks, Enterprise Iron & Metal Sportsman and Burnips Equipment 4-Cylinders; it is also a $1 beer and $1 hot dog night! Tickets are $15 for adults, $9 for students 12-17, $5 for kids 8-11 and children 7 and under are free; the first race will begin at 7:00 p.m.
More information on Berlin Raceway’s 63rd season can be found at www.berlinraceway.com
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