Tom Thomas, Andrew Nylaan, Kevin DeGood and Bill Krupp all victorious on Anniversary Night
Marne, MI – It was Berlin Raceway’s 62nd Anniversary and it couldn’t have been a more perfect day for racing. The weather was great, the crowd was excellent and the racing was amazing. Tom Thomas absolutely dominated the Port City Racecars / GL Helicopter Outlaw Late Model and Coors Light Super Late Model races and Andrew Nylaan got his first Engine Pro Super Stock win of the season. Kevin DeGood and Bill Krupp added to their win totals in the Model Coverall Modifieds and Burnips Equipment 4-Cylinders, respectively.
The Engine Pro Super Stocks kicked things off with a 30 lap feature and #77 Andrew Nylaan and #48 Seth Moody on the front row. Nylaan cleared Moody for the lead and #78 Will Olmsted followed through. Olmsted was knocking Nylaan’s bumper on lap 2 as the field went single-file. The #51 of Justin Ryan was on the move, he slid by #66 Nate Walton and Moody and he was up to third. Walton was giving chase to Ryan and passed him for third on lap 10 and up front, Olmsted was still working on Nylaan. The next time by, the caution was out when Walton went around after contact with Ryan. The field was restarted and quickly went single file; that lasted just two laps before the caution was out again. #024 Cole Roelofs spun in turn 2 after contact with Ryan. Nylaan got a good restart and was able to pull away from the field a bit. With ten laps to go, he was almost a second ahead and behind him, Ryan was marching through the field. After being sent to the tail, Ryan had cracked the top three by on lap 25. Meanwhile, Nylaan kept pulling away and was able to get his first win of the season. Olmsted took second and the rest of the top ten were Ryan, #18 Denny Anderson, Moody, Walton, #6 Bob Bliss, #20J Jeremy Munniksma, #31 Brett DeKraker and #20 Dave Hull.
The Burnips Equipment 4-Cylinders were up next; #17 Seth VanHorssen and #9 Zach Clark were on the front row of the 15-lap feature. VanHorssen was able to keep the lead as Clark faded back. The #14 of Bill Krupp, who started last, was already up to second on lap 2 with #76 Mike Speet hot on his heels. Krupp drove past VanHorssen on lap 3 and took off with the lead. There was a great battle for third between VanHorssen, #62 Charlie DeJong and #11X Jason Essex and the battle went sour on lap 12 when DeJong and Essex made contact causing DeJong to spin in turn 4. Krupp got a good restart, but Speet was able to hang with him; Speet was giving it all he had for the final laps, but there just wasn’t enough to get around Krupp. Krupp got his second win of the season and the rest of the top ten were Speet, VanHorssen, #89 Sierra Lantz, #10 Dave Duyst, #36 Kyle VanDrunen, #68 Jerry Smith, DeJong, Essex and Clark.
It was the #12 of Tim DeVos and #48 Seth Moody leading the Coors Light Super Late Models to the green flag of the 100 lap feature and DeVos was able to clear Moody quickly and it was #18 Keith Herp shooting to the inside of Moody and taking second; DeVos would soon be under attack. The field was racing hard and close when the first caution came out; #32 Gabe Ensing spun on the backstretch on lap 6. The field was restarted and Herp got a good run on the outside of DeVos, but before a lap was complete, the field was three-wide battle for eighth the ended with #6 Brandon Hermiller in the wall between turns 3 and 4. The field was restarted after a couple of tries, Herp and DeVos were equally matched, but the pace was slowed when the caution came out again. The #19 of Nick Szotko spun across the frontstretch and the #21 of Tim Green also hit the wall in turn 1. After the slew of cautions, they field would settle in to a long green flag run. DeVos took off after the green flag was waved and behind him, #222 Caleb Bisacky had picked off #55 Dave Lake and was working on Herp for second. He took that position and then took off after DeVos. The top four hung close together and the battle for the lead was exciting. Bisacky had it on lap 20, but just four laps later Thomas took the lead as DeVos was clawing his way back up after fading to fifth; he was up to second again and working on reeling in Thomas. The top four proceeded to break away from the rest of the field, while Bisacky and DeVos were slugging it out for second, Thomas was skating away. Fifty laps in, Bisacky rode second with #55 Chris Anthony behind him and DeVos lurking in fourth and leader, Thomas was just starting to deal with traffic. With ten laps to go, only six cars remained on the lead lap and there was just no catching Thomas, who had dominated the race since lap 24. Anthony came in second and completing the top ten were Bisacky, #23 Chris Koslek, #21 Terry VanHaitsma, #99 Ross Meeuswsen, Lake, Moody, DeVos and #101 Lauren Bush.
The Model Coverall Modifieds rolled next for a 20-lap feature with #67 Ben Welch and #29 Rob Shoemaker starting out front. While Welch led the first lap, it was #68 Randy DeBoer taking the lead on lap 2, but that’s also when the first caution of the race came out; #8 Billy Eppink spun across the frontstretch after contact with #97 Kevin DeGood. DeBoer continued to lead with the #66 of Adam Chase just behind him. On lap 7, Chase and DeBoer were even at the line, but DeBoer was able to hold him off. There were excellent battles for position going on throughout the field and with three laps to go it was DeGood who made the pass for the lead after coming from the back. DeGood held off the field to take the win and the rest of the finishing order was DeBoer, Chase, Eppink, #22 Billy Shotko, Welch and Shoemaker.
The final race of the night featured the Port City Racecars / GL Helicopter Outlaw Late Models; #4 Adam Terry started on the pole with #1 Barry Hartwell on his outside. Hartwell had the opportunity to grab the lead and he did just that, with just ten laps in, he already had a 3 second lead. The field settled in and it was just ten laps later, Hartwell was at the tail of the field starting to lap cars. The #X of Ray Clay and #6 Dave Zagaiski had been battling back and forth for third from the drop of the green flag, Clay was hard to pass as he was making the outside work for him. Terry was starting to reel in Hartwell on lap 40 and had actually cut two seconds off of his lead, it would only be a matter of time before he would catch him. The #82 of Tom Thomas had been slowly picking off cars, he was up to third on lap 45 and had his sights set on Terry and Hartwell. They ran nose-to-tail on lap 49 and by lap 51, Thomas had overtaken both and of them and flat drove away with the lead. On lap 55, #32 Ross Meeuwsen and #37 Terry Senneker had caught up with Terry and Hartwell, but with those two side by side, it was nearly impossible to get around them. Terry was able to clear Hartwell, as did Senneker all while Thomas was enjoying a six second lead. Senneker passes Terry for second on lap 66 after a 14 lap battle, but he had a lot of ground to make up. With 25 laps to go, Thomas was in traffic and Senneker was cutting down his lead, but soon Senneker would be in traffic and he lost some ground again. There were only three cars on the lead lap with ten laps to go, and Thomas’ lead was so great, no one was able to catch up. Thomas got his second win of the night and the rest of the top ten were Senneker, Meeuwsen, Terry, #28 Scott Thomas, #14 Steve Needles, Zagaiski, Clay, #88 Tim Yonker and #57 Alan Marcott.
Next Saturday, August 4 will showcase the CRA JEGS All Stars Tour featuring Berlin Raceway promoter Mike Bursley. They will be racing along with the Engine Pro Super Stocks, Model Coverall Modifieds and Kerkstra Services Sportsman. Tickets are $15 for adults and kids 11 and under are free; racing starts at 7:00 p.m.