Terry VanHaitsma wins Lee Anderson Memorial 118
Nate Walton, Randy Veldman, Mike Speet and Samantha Jansen also win.
Marne, MI – It was Stars & Stripes Military Night at Berlin Raceway and even though the temperatures were hot, it didn’t stop the fans from coming out.
The first feature up was the 15-lap Burnips Equipment 4-Cylinder with #41 Brandon Tiaipalus and #36 Kyle VanDrunen on the front row. Tiaipalus led, but was immediately challenged by #7 Jared Lyzenga, who dipped a tire off of the backstretch just after he took the lead on lap 2. Coming up fast in his rear view was the #76 of Mike Speet; after starting 13th, he made the pass for the lead on lap 5. The first caution was out on lap 6 for debris on the frontstretch and after a quick caution to remove it from the track, the field was restarted and the racing was frantic, every car looking to make their move. As the field was getting ready to take the checker, the #89 Sierra Lantz spun in turn four and the race ended under both the yellow and checkered flag. Speet got the win again and the rest of the top ten were Lyzenga, #62 Charlie DeJong, #9 Zach Clark, #10 Dave Duyst, #11X Jason Essex, #7 Ryan Hamm, Tiaipalus, VanDrunen and #68 Jerry Smith.
Up next was the 25-lap Kerkstra Services Sportsman feature; #26 Brian Thome started first and was flanked by #1 Randy Veldman. The field raced wheel to wheel and Thome had a slight advantage. The top four stayed side by side and the race was on for the fourth position between the #15 Scott Root, #89 Kirk Meissner and #76 Brian Tillema; the trio went three wide on the backstretch and both Root and Tillema were able to clear Meissner. Meanwhile, Thome was able to clear Veldman and was leading the field. The battle was still on for that fourth position and this time it was Root, Tillema and #88 Tony Davis. Tillema was trying everything he could to get around Root and they raced side by side with Davis just waiting to see what would happen. Up at the front, Veldman got under Thome and took the lead with six laps to go. Thome wasn’t giving up and with two laps to go, he was trying to battle back on the inside, but Veldman was able to hang on for the win – his first-ever feature win. Thome took second and the rest of the top ten were Tony Davis, #40 Dave Cutler, Root, Tillema, Meissner, #18 Mitch Meppelink and #17 Jared Miller.
The 30-lap Engine Pro Super Stock feature rolled next with the #20J of Jeremy Munniksma and #31 Brett DeKraker leading the field to the green flag. Munniksma was able to maintain the first position and #20 Dave Hull was waiting patiently to make his move. As the field raced hard throughout, the first ten laps went by without incident. The first caution came out on lap 10 when the #51 of Weston Jewett spun after contact with #48 Seth Moody. Munniksma got a great restart, but the caution was quickly out again when #5 Tim Stuart spun in turn two. Hull grabbed the lead after the restart and had #66 Nate Walton all over his back bumper. Walton dove to the inside and swiftly passed Hull for the lead on lap 14. On lap 17, Stuart spun again in turn two, but he was able to keep it going and the race was not slowed. Meanwhile, the #77 of Andrew Nylaan made the pass for second and was working on chasing down Walton. With the laps winding down, Walton was able to take the win. Rounding out the top ten were Nylaan, #51 Justin Ryan, Hull, DeKraker, Munniksma, Moody, #78 Will Olmsted, #18 Denny Anderson and #51 Weston Jewett.
The Lee Anderson Memorial 118 featuring the Port City Racecars / GL Helicopter Outlaw Late Models was next with #8 Dakota Carlson and #X Ray Clay on the front row. Carlson was quick to jump out front of the field. He had a ten car length lead, but Clay was able to chop in to that and catch back up as the #37 Terry Senneker was screaming though the field. On lap 9, Senneker made a power move to grab the lead. On lap 24, #21 Terry VanHaitsma was up to second and under fire from #222 Caleb Bisacky who started last in the feature. Thirty-five laps in, the field was mostly single file and just a few laps later, Bisacky was showing his hand and overtook VanHaitsma for second and just one car stood in his way for the lead. VanHaitsma gathered it back up and was looking to get his spot back from Bisacky, but he fell back a bit. At half-way, Bisacky was gaining on Senneker, couldn’t find a way around him. On lap 70, #32 Ross Meeuwsen rocketed back up from the fourth position, he took second from Bisacky and was racing hard with Senneker for the lead. Meeuwsen had a slight advantage and as the field was coming to take the caution for the competition yellow, he made contact with Senneker coming out of four. Lap 75 was the competition caution that allowed crews to refuel and rehydrate their cars and drivers. After the field was restarted, Senneker went back to the lead and Meeuwsen hung with him and VanHaitsma was lurking behind them. All three of them were within a half of a second of each other with 25 laps to go and with traffic ahead. With 20 laps to go, Meeuwsen took the lead and was pulling away, using traffic to gain some ground. Senneker then fell into the clutches of VanHaitsma who took second and trying to reel in Meeuwsen on lap 103. With three laps remaining, VanHaitsma slammed his way past Meeuwsen for the lead and went on to get the win. Meeuwsen had to settle for second and the rest of the top ten were Senneker, #12 Tim DeVos, #6 Dave Zagaiski, #82 Tom Thomas, Bisacky, #28 Scott Thomas, Carlson and #15 Brian Maxim.
Rolling next were the cars of the Vintage Racing Organization for 25-laps; #83 Loren Peterson and #82 Glenn Parker were on the front row. Parker led the field and behind them, they were two and three wide behind him. The first caution of the race was out on lap 3 when #2 Randy Pierson lost control coming out of turn 4. Caution was out again just after the restart when #81 Andrew Bartoszek spun across the front stretch. Once the field was restarted, #43 Terry Byrne was leading by almost a half of a second, but the car to watch was the #16 of Samantha Jansen who was just making the pass for second when the caution came out again. This time the #31 Kristie Ouendag and Parker made hard contact on the backstretch and this brought out the red flag for clean up. After the restart, Jansen took the lead on lap 9 and once she took the lead, she flat ran away from the field. However, the battle for second was heating up between Byrne and #20 Don Deyman. The final caution of the race came on lap 16 when Byrne and #7 Jimmy Lawson spun in turn four and with the time limit met, the race was called as official with Jansen winning. The rest of the top ten were Deyman, #30 Max Wirebaugh, #61 Jason Burrus, #80 Billy Eppink, #59 John Evans, #42 Mike Becker, #4X Arnie Snyder, #4 Don Smith and Pierson.
The night was then capped off by a fantastic fireworks display.
Next Saturday, July 14 the Port City Racecars / GL Helicopter Outlaw Late Models will be in action along with the Top Speed Fabrication Modifieds, Engine Pro Super Stocks, Kerkstra Services Sportsman and Burnips Equipment 4-Cylinders. Tickets are just $12 for adults and kids 11 and under are free; racing begins at 7:00 p.m.
For more information please visit www.berlinraceway.com or call the office at 616-677-5000 during nomrla business hours 9am - 5pm Tuesday - Friday.