Terry VanHaitsma wins the Rowdy Warm-Up
Tony Davis, Bill Krupp and Don Deyman also take checkers
Marne, MI – The good weather was finally shining on Berlin Raceway this Saturday and the fans were treated to a fantastic night of racing. They saw Tony Davis take the win in his Kerkstra Services Sportsman, Bill Krupp victorious with his Burnips Equipment 4-Cylinder, Terry VanHaitsma in his Coors Light Super Late Model and Don Deyman in his Vintage Racing car.
It was the Kerkstra Services Sportsman 25-lap feature taking the track first with #33 Allen Davis and #18 Mitch Meppelink on the front row. The field stayed side by side for the first lap before Meppelink established himself as the leader and they were stacking up behind him. By lap 5, #88 Tony Davis made his way up to challenge Meppelink for the lead; he took it on lap 7. The #76 of Brian Tillema tried to follow though, but he wasn’t able to until lap 8. Davis was enjoying a one and a half second lead and behind him, Tillema, #15 Scott Root and #1 Randy Veldman were scrambling for second position. The first caution of the night came on lap 22 when #33 Allen Davis went off the backstretch and Meppelink spun in turn 2. After the restart, T. Davis shot back out to the lead and on the final lap, Veldman and Root were mixing it up and made the finish exciting for position three. Davis took the win and the rest of the top ten were Tillema, Root, Veldman, #40 Dave Cutler, #26 Brian Thome, #77 Gerry Shepard, A. Davis, #84 Tyler Nawrocki and #17 Jared Miller.
The #11x of Jason Essex and #18 Ryan Hamm lead the 15-lap Burnips Equipment 4-Cylinders to the green flag. Before a lap was complete, the #20 of Jackson Walker took a ride off of the backstretch; he was able to rejoin the field. Hamm took off with the lead and the cars to keep an eye on were the #14 of Bill Krupp and #76 Mike Speet. They both started deep in the field and were making breath-taking moved to get to the front. The first official caution happened on lap 3 when Walker went off the backstretch again and the #89 of Sierra Lantz also spun in turn four. On the restart, it was Krupp who was in second and giving Hamm a run for his money. Krupp took the lead on lap four just as Speet was up to third and passing Hamm for second. The leaders were racing hard and navigating through traffic and Speet was catching Krupp when the caution came out for the #63 Paul Ritchie who spun in turn two. The restart was single-file and business picked back up. Speet immediately went low, but Krupp was able to drive away. Speet kept at it with one lap to go, but he couldn’t make the pass. Krupp took the win and the rest of the top ten were Speet, Hamm, #62 Charlie DeJong, #9 Zach Clark, Essex, #07 Clayton Brown, #10 Dave Duyst, #17 Seth VanHorssen and Lantz.
The 100-lap Coors Light Super Late Models took to the track next, #19 Nick Szotko started in the pole position was #82 Tom Thomas in his outside. The field was racing two by two with Szotko leading when something broke on the #99 machine of Jordan Dahlke, he made hard impact with the wall in between turns three and four and came to rest at the pit entrance. This brought out the red flag for clean up. After the restart, they were two by two for the first six positions until lap 5 when Thomas took the lead. Behind him, #48 Seth Moody swung his car to the high side and grabbed the lead on lap seven; the #20 of Brian Campbell was trying to follow though when the caution came out behind him; Szotko spun in front of the field and everyone but the #57 of Allan Troup was able to avoid him. Moody was pulling away on the restart and that left Thomas trying to fend off the field. Moody’s stint as the leader was short-lived as he encountered mechanical trouble on lap 12, he was able to exit the track without incident; this handed the lead back to Thomas. The caution was out again on lap 16, the #32 of Gabe Ensing spun off of the backstretch and then #2 Ben Kleis and #77 Josh Hobson both hit the turn three tires/wall and this brought out the second red flag of the night. Campbell took the lead on the restart and it was #21 Terry VanHaitsma up to second and #5 Alec Carll in third; the field then settled in to single file racing. On lap 43, the leaders were in traffic and that let Campbell get just over a one-second lead over VanHaitsma. VanHaitsma was able to close back in after a few laps, but once they hit traffic again, he would fall back a bit. With 15 laps to go and a clear track in front of them VanHaitsma was working over Campbell, trying his best to find a way around him, but caution on lap 88 would put them side by side for the final 12 laps. On the restart, VanHaitsma took the lead and while Campbell was giving chase, he didn’t have enough to regain the lead. VanHaitsma was the one celebrating in victory lane and completing the top ten were Campbell, #222 Caleb Bisacky, #99 Ross Meeuwsen, #55 Chris Anthony, Carll, Thomas, #12 Tim DeVos, #55 Dave Lake and #6 Brandon Hermiller.
The final race of the night was the 25-lap Vintage Racing Organization of America feature with #4X Arnie Snyder and #4 Don Smith leading the field to the stripe. Smith grabbed the lead on the first lap, but that was swiftly taken away by #80 Billy Eppink. By lap 13, the battle was on for second between #2 Randy Pierson, #81 Andrew Bartoszek and #20 Don Deyman. With nine laps to go, Bartoszek and Deyman caught up to Eppink and were looking racy, but caution on lap 17 halted the race. Pierson spun in turn 4 collecting Smith, #61 Jason Burrus and #43 Terry Byrne. Eppink got a great restarted, but Deyman stuck with him and took the lead on lap 17. Eppink was battling back on the inside, but Deyman had him beat off of the corners. Deyman went on to get the win and the rest of the top ten were Eppink, Bartoszek, Byrne, Burrus, #42 Michael Becker, #59 John Evans, Smith, #31 Kristie Ouendag and Pierson.
Next Saturday, June 16 is Port City Racecars / GL Helicopter Outlaw Late Model Night. Running with the Outlaw Late Models will be the Engine Pro Super Stocks, Burnips Equipment 4-Cylinders and the Vintage Racing Organization of America. It’s also $1 beer and $1 hot dog night! Tickets are $12 for adults and kids 11 and under get in for free; racing starts at 7:00 p.m.