Kyle Busch wins the 4th Annual Rowdy 251
Adam Chase also victorious
Marne, MI -- The crowd came out in droves at Berlin Raceway for the special Tuesday night show and they were witness to an exciting night of racing.
The ARCA / CRA Last Chance race was the first event on the schedule. The top twenty qualifiers made the feature on time and the rest were to duke it out in the 15-lap last chance race with the top four transferring to the 251-lap feature. Starting on the front row were #53 Boris Jurkovic and #26 Bubba Pollard. Jurkovic and Bollard broke away from the pack and battles to watch were for the third and fourth positions. With just three laps to go, #24 Lee VanDyk, #19 Nick Szotko and #18 Mark Lambert took it three-wide for the last transfer spot and Szotko spun bringing out the caution. Jurkovic held on the for win and transferred to the feature along with Pollard, #96 Ben Kennedy and Lambert.
The Top Speed Fabrication Modifieds were next with a 51-lap race; the #68 of Randy DeBoer and #42 Joe Axsom led the field to the green flag. DeBoer jumped out to lead with the #80 of Samantha Jansen all over him from behind. Caution was out early in this race, lap 2 saw the #3G of Gregg Campbell in the frontstretch wall. After the restart, Jansen shot up to the high side and #66 Adam Chase was trying the low lane and there was actually eight cars in contention for the lead. Chase took the lead on lap 4 and pulled away while the field scrambled behind him. The #97 of Kevin DeGood fought his way to second and was reeling in Chase as the second caution came out on lap 9 when #70B Mark Bott and #20 Jeff Vrsek spun in turns 1 and 2. The restarts were “Madhouse” style restarts, so #7B Trevor Berry took advantage of that and started on the outside of the leader. Berry was working Chase over for the lead for about ten laps before he rode behind him and caution came out on lap 27. The #29 of Rob Shoemaker spun in turn 2. The caution was out again rather quickly, Shoemaker and #32 Wayne Haughton spun between turns 3 & 4. On the restart, Chase continued to lead with Berry still trying to get by him; behind them, DeGood was waiting to see which lane would move. After trying the high side for a few laps, Berry switched to the low lane to try to find a way around Chase. DeGood was tired of waiting and showed Berry just how to use the high lane, passing him for second and reeling in Chase. On the last lap, DeGood was pushing it hard to find a way to pass Chase, he ended up flat sideways coming out of four. With this misstep, Chase was able to take the checkered flag and the rest of the top ten were Berry, DeGood, #7 Ryan Hamm, #22 Billy Shotko, #8 Billy Eppink, #27 Nyle Weiler, Loughan, #X Damon Breedlove and DeBoer.
The Rowdy 251 was finally underway with #82 Tom Thomas and #55 Chris Anthony starting on the front row. Anthony was scored as the first leader of the event, Thomas rode second as the rest of the field was side by side for position. It didn’t take long for the first caution to come out, the #21 of Kyle Jones spun coming out of four and that collected #4 Erik Jones, #84 Jay Niewiek, #18 Mark Lambert, #99 Jordan Dahlke, #24 Lee VanDyk and #96 Ben Kennedy. After the restart, Anthony continued to lead, but Thomas got shuffled back on the high side brining #48 Seth Moody to second. Anthony’s lead was short-lived when he pulled in to the pits on lap 15 thus handing the lead to Moody with the #25 of Ross Kenseth chasing him down with the tail of the field in sight. Kenseth was able to take the lead away before they got in to heavy traffic. Fifty laps in, the #51 of Kyle Busch was trying to crack the top five after starting in 15th position meanwhile #9 Chase Elliott was passing Moody for second. They tried to got three-wide with a lapped car, but Elliott backed off and it was the #61 of John VanDoorn who mashed the gas and passed both Elliott and Moody within a couple of laps. VanDoorn was the winner of the McGunnegill Engines fast time award and started in the 16th position. By lap 82, there were only 13 cars on the lead lap and the field was spread out, but a caution on lap 98 halted the pace when Niewiek spun in turn two. The restart came on lap 111 and VanDoorn grabbed the lead and pulled away from the field. Elliott emerged in second, but Busch powered past him the next time by. It was only a matter of time until Busch caught up with VanDoorn; he passed him for the lead on lap 122. The half-way break was just three laps later and the top six was Busch, VanDoorn, #20 Brian Campbell, Thomas, #99 Ross Meeuwsen and #21 Terry VanHaitsma. These top six then draw for inversion and they started with VanDoorn in position one followed by VanHaitsma, Busch, Thomas, Meeuwsen and Campbell. VanDoorn was able to pull away on the restart, but just a few laps later, the caution was out. The #199 of Travis Pastrana slid sideways in turn 1 and he was able to save it, but #55 Dave Lake found himself careening off of the backstretch off of turn 2. VanDoorn got another good restart on lap 136 and it was #12 Tim DeVos rocketing past Busch, taking second. Lap 139 saw the fourth caution of the race when #48 Seth Moody’s car threw out a bunch of smoke and fluid. The green was back out on lap 152, DeVos did not let VanDoorn get the lead like he did during the past few restarts and DeVos took the lead on lap 154. Lap 157 saw another close call for Pastrana who slid his car across turn 2, he was able to save it without incident. Meanwhile, Busch was gaining on DeVos after passing VanDoorn for second. Lap 161 saw DeVos go half off of the backstretch, but he was able to maintain control and quickly take back the ground he had lost. The top four (DeVos, Busch, VanDoorn and Campbell) broke away from the pack on lap 175. Approaching the 190 lap mark, Busch was up to challenge DeVos for the lead, but DeVos’ car was on a rail on the outside lane and he was able to chop off Busch on the exit of the corners. Busch finally pulled side by side with DeVos on lap 195 and he was looking for an advantage, but with the leaders quickly approaching traffic, Busch couldn’t advance. Caution was out again on lap 202 when Meeuwsen spun across the frontstretch. The restart came on lap 211 and after pit stops, it was #54 Daniel Hemric and Thomas leading the field. It didn’t take long for things to get exciting, lap 212 saw Busch go three-wide for the lead with Thomas and Hemric; Busch then attempted to drive away with the lead, but caution was out again when another three-wide battle didn’t work out so well and saw #39 Kenzie Ruston hit the turn three tires. Busch maintained the top spot off of the restart, Elliott was up to second on lap 222 and just behind them Hemric, VanDoorn and Campbell were fighting for third. It was DeVos who brought out the next caution on lap 228 after spinning his car in turn three. Lap 233 saw the restart with Elliott scored as the leader. He restarted on the outside, so Busch was able to sneak past him and got the lead back. With ten laps to go, Busch had almost a one second lead and a sense of urgency washed over everyone except Busch who went on to claim his third win in a row at the event named for him. Completing the top ten were Elliott, VanDoorn, Thomas, Kenseth, Campbell, Pollard, VanHaitsma, Jurkovic and DeVos. For a full field rundown please visit www.craracing.net
This Saturday, June 23 is Kids Night at Berlin Raceway. The Engine Pro Super Stocks will run a 75-lap feature and will be joined by the Model Coverall Modifieds, Kerkstra Services Sportsman and Burnips Equipment 4-Cylinders. There will be numerous inflatables on site for the kids to play on and there will also be a bike giveaway and big wheel races! Tickets are $10 for adults (or $7 if a ticket stub from the Rowdy is presented) and kids 11 and under are free; racing starts at 7:00 p.m.
More information can be found at www.berlinraceway.com.