Ross Meeuwsen gets first win of the season
Justin Ryan, Kevin DeGood, Randy Veldman and Mike Speet also victorious
Marne, MI – It was a wild night of racing at Berlin Raceway and the crowd that turned out saw a little bit of everything.
Kicking things off were the cars of the Engine Pro Super Stock division, #16 Josh Slade and #48 Seth Moody led the field to the green flag for the 30-lap feature. Moody shot to the lead and pulled away as the battle for second was trying to be settled between five cars; #51 Justin Ryan, #78 Will Olmsted, Slade, #77 Andrew Nylaan and #66 Nate Walton. Ryan was the first to break out of that pack and he quickly began cutting in to Moody’s lead. While Slade and Olmsted were beating and banging on each other for fifth, Moody dove low to take the lead from Moody on lap 17. With ten to go, Nylaan and Walton had a great battle going on for third; Walton looked like he had it free and clear, but Nylaan was working him over and caught and passed Moody for position with five to go. While they were cutting in to Ryan’s lead, there was simply not enough time. Ryan took the win and the rest of the top ten were Walton, Nylaan, Moody, Slade, Olmsted, #18 Denny Anderson, #51 Weston Jewett, #20 Dave Hull and #6 Bob Bliss.
Next were the Burnips Equipment 4-Cylinders for a 15 lap feature with #3 Dan Schoenborn and #75 Dan Ream on the front row. With lap one getting under way, the field was bunched up and they were three and four wide all throughout the field. With all of the jostling for position, the #14 of Bill Krupp, who started last, found himself sitting in second just as the caution came out; the caution was for the #9 of Zach Clark just after the first lap was completed. On the restart, Krupp grabbed the lead, but before a lap was complete, the caution was out again. The #17 of Seth VanHorssen went off of the backstretch; he hit the dirt just right and the car took flight, barrel rolling and then turning end over end before coming to rest in the grass. Just as VanHorssen escaped the car, it went up in flames. This brought out the red flag for safety and cleanup. The #77 of Jared Lyzenga backed it in to the turn three wall. Once the field was restarted, Krupp took the lead and the #76 of Mike Speet was on the move, passing for second on lap 3. The caution was out again on lap 4 when #89 of Sierra Lantz spun on the frontstretch and this erased the lead that Krupp had built. As soon as the field was green, it was back to yellow again, the #10 of Dave Duyst spun and came to a stop at the top of the track. The race was shortened to ten laps and the race was restarted with 6 to go, single file. Krupp and Speet took off after the restart and with three to go, Speet was side by side with Krupp for the lead, however the caution was out again for Lantz and the race was slowed once again. Coming to one lap to go, Krupp and Speet were leaning on each other and Speet took the lead and held on for the win. Krupp had to settle for second and the rest of the top ten were #11X Jason Essex, #62 Charlie DeJong, #22 Jake Loesch, Duyst, #62 Paul Ritchie, #20 Jackson Walker, #36 Kyle VanDrunen and Schoenborn.
It was #89 Kirk Meissner and #15 Scott Root on the front row of the Kerkstra Services Sportsman 25- lap feature. Root took the lead and just as they were coming to complete lap 2, the caution was thrown when Meissner spun and come to a stop in the turn two grass. After a quick yellow, the race was restarted and it didn’t take long for #76 Brian Tillema to get involved with the battle for the lead. Tillema went around him for the lead on lap 5 and just behind the leaders, the #51 of Garison Jewett was coming though the field; he was up to second on lap 8 just before the caution came out; #84 Tyler Nawrocki spun with some help from the #88 of Tony Davis. Both cars were sent to the tail and the race was restarted. Tillema continued to lead with Jewett on his tail; just behind him the #1 of Randy Veldman was there, after starting in the back, he made his way through the field and was looking to mix it up with the leaders. With ten laps to go, Jewett was able to get his nose under Tillema, but he was minding his time. Lap 19, Jewett took the lead and took Veldman with him. Veldman got under Jewett and he was scored as the leader with 4 laps to go. Veldman took off and left Jewett and Tillema to sort it out for second. Veldman got the win for the second week in a row and for the second time in his career. Jewett got second and the rest of the top ten were Tillema, Root, #33 Allen Davis, #40 Dave Cutler, #18 Mitch Meppelink, #23 Andrew MacIntosh, Meissner and #52 Nick Sherrington.
The Top Speed Fabrication Modifieds were next for a 75-lap feature with #80 Samantha Jansen and #66 Adam Chase leading the field to the stripe. Chase grabbed the lead and behind him, the field raced side by side. The first caution of the race came on lap 3, the #68 of Randy DeBoer spun in turn 4. It was the #22 of Billy Shotko who took the lead on lap 4 and the top three broke away from the field. With seventy laps to go, the field settled down, but on lap 13, the caution came back out for the #07 Tom Jewell and #29 Rob Shoemaker. With the Madhouse-style restarts, the #7 of Trevor Berry started in second and he was able to maintain the position, looking to challenge Shotko for the lead, but the caution was out again before a lap was completed for Shoemaker. After the restart, Shotko pulled away from the field and battle was on for second between Chase, Berry and #97 Kevin DeGood. Caution was out gain on lap 17 when #76 Ryan Gruppen spun across the frontstretch. It was Berry who drove away with the lead on the restart and the field raced single-file behind him. On lap 22, #7 Ryan Hamm was off the pace just as the battle for the lead was heating up between Berry and DeGood. They were wheel to wheel on lap 25 and DeGood took the lead the next time by. Caution came out on that lap when DeBoer spun on the backstretch. As the field was taking the green flag, the #21 Cal Castle and #76 Ryan Gruppen got together and made contact in the turn 1 wall, they also took out the caution light in turn 1. The race was then shortened to fifty laps, so the race restarted at the half-way point. The field was trying to get restarted, but the caution was out again for the spinning car of #61 Brad Springer. DeGood grabbed the lead on the restart and while they did complete a couple of laps before the caution was out again – Shoemaker racked up his third and went to the pits. Berry got a large jump on the restart and the field was turned back to green. It was only a matter of a few laps before DeGood caught back up to Berry, he was using the outside to make his move and on lap 34, he was the clear leader. They raced incident free until four laps to go when Jansen and #20 Jeff Vrsek made contact with the wall just coming out of turn 4. DeGood was able to hold on for the final few laps to get the win and the rest of the top ten were Berry, Chase, Shotko, #8 Billy Eppink, #67 Ben Welch, X Damon Breedlove, Springer, Jewell and Jansen.
The final feature of the night was the 100-lap Port City Racecars / GL Helicopter Outlaw Late Models; #X Ray Clay started on the pole with #1 Barry Hartwell on his outside. The Outlaw Late Models are always amazing to watch, the level of competition is outstanding and it was Clay who lead the first few laps, that was until #10 Johnny Benson took the lead on lap 10; the #12 of Tim DeVos followed through and kept working on whittling down Benson’s lead. Thirty-five laps in, they were still running nose to tail with #14 Steve Needles right behind them. Lap 38 saw DeVos swing high on the backstretch and take the lead on lap 39. DeVos immediately began pulling away from the field and it was the #82 of Tom Thomas who snuck past Needles for the third spot and was reeling in Benson. Caution was out on lap 47 when #21 Terry VanHaitsma and Needles made contact and spun in turn two. On the restart, Benson took the lead back, but DeVos and #32 Ross Meeuwsen were on his bumper and it was Meeuwsen who emerged as the lead on lap 52 and Benson fell back to fourth. Lap 76, the leaders were in traffic, but Meeuwsen was still pulling away. With ten to go, #37 Terry Senneker was gaining on DeVos for the past few laps and their battle was side by side on the white flag, but Senneker spun and the checker and yellow flew at the same time. Meeuwsen got the win and the rest of the top ten were DeVos, T. Thomas, Needles, #15 Brian Maxim, Benson, Clay, #6 Dave Zagaiski, #28 Scott Thomas ad Senneker.
Next week, July 16-21, the Berlin Fair is in town and Berlin Raceway will be playing host to an assortment of events. Tuesday, July 17 is the West Michigan Off Road race (tickets $10 for adults, $5 for kids); Wednesday, July 18 is the Wolverine Pullers Truck and Tractor Pulls (tickets $10 for adults, $5 for kids); Friday, July 20 is the Faster Pastor race featuring racing pastors from all over West Michigan (tickets $10 for adults, kids are free). The finale is Saturday, July 21 when the Auto Value Super Sprints will be in town and will be joined by the Engine Pro Super Stocks, Model Coverall Modifieds, Kerkstra Services Sportsman, and the Vintage Racing Organization of America. Tickets are $15 for adults and kids 11 and under are free; all events will start at 7:00 p.m.
More information can be found by visiting www.berlinraceway.com or by calling the office (616-677-5000) on normal business hours Tuesday - Friday at 9am - 5pm.