Keyser Manufacturing Dirt Fall Classic commences
-Ben Welch, Josh Frye, Dona Marcoullier, and Brandon Thirlby victorious-
Marne, MI -- The Keyser Manufacturing Dirt Fall Classic kicked off on a cool, fall night at Berlin Raceway. The Michigan Dirt Cup Late Models were there to settle their championship and they were joined by the Keyser Manufacturing Support divisions of Modifieds and Street Stocks; Bombers were also a part of the show.
Street Stocks were up first with a 25-lap feature, #35 Dan Dykman and #44 Josh Frye started on the front row. While Dykman and Frye were racing hard for first, the #6 of Don Faber was off the pace and then the first caution of the night came out on lap 2 when #67 Carlind Forsythe spun on the backstretch. The field went back to green with Frye leading and the rest of the field were left to fight for position. The #13 of Derek Polland was on the move, driving past Dykman for second and reeling in Frye. With ten laps to go, Frye had caught the tail of the field and was working on putting cars a lap down. Lap 22 saw the second caution of the race when the #41 of Ryan Hamm failed to make it to the pit area and came to a stop in turn 3. Once the field was restarted, Frye was able to maintain the lead and take the win. The rest of the top ten were Pollard, #57 Daniel Wilson, Jr., #00 Marty French, #65 William Brandt, Jr., #8 Sadie Klein, #26 Justin Giddings, #00 Richard Sweet, #X Brian Crane, #07 Dennis Bringedahl.
The 25-lap Modified feature was up next with #42 Bob Baldwin and #82 Jacob Poel showing the way.
The field hurled off in to the corner two by two with Poel getting the advantage, but the #1 of Andy Sprague quickly took the lead by lap 3 leaving Poel to battle with #6 Dona Marcoullier. The first official caution of the race was on lap 7 when #9 Jared Guinn and #15b Dave Baker tangled in turn 3. Before a lap was complete, the caution was back out for the #1E of Jeffery Erickson, Jr. Sprague continued to lead after the restart with Marcoullier hot on his tail. Marcoullier power past Sprague on lap 11 and flat drove away from the field. Things got exciting on the last lap when Sprague passed Marcoullier in turn 3, but by the time the checkered flag was flying, Marcoullier took the lead back and got the win by .124 seconds! Sprague took second and the rest of the top ten were Poel, Baldwin, #2K Aaron Morey, #21 Brad Wilson, #25 Eddie Reyes, #43 Mark Anderson, #87 David Mielke and #25 Travis Stemler.
The Bombers were up next with a 10-lap race with #70 Mike DeJong and #99 Mike Epplett on the front row. Epplett took the lead from the start, but he was immediately challenged by #22 Billy Shotko on lap 2. The #67 of Ben Welch was throwing everything he had at Shotko as the pair raced side by side for the last few laps and Welch took the lead on the backstretch. Welch held on for the win and the rest of the finishing order was Shotko, #G5 Josh Grabe, Epplett and DeJong.
The Michigan Dirt Cap Late Models were the final race of the night; their 30-lap feature was started by #87 Rich Neiser and #912 Rusty Schlenk. While Neiser led lap 1, it was Schlenk who took the lead on lap 2. The first caution of this race came on lap 3 for the #21 Tom Sprague, Jr. and #14 Brandon Thirlby. Schlenk got a great restart and he left the field in his dust, but before a lap was completed, the caution was out when the #11 Rachel Carpenter hit the wall in turn 4. Schlenk quickly pulled away from the field with the lead and on lap 10, his closest competition was over 3.5 seconds behind him. That lead was quickly erased when the caution came out for the #94 of Bill Bray spinning on the frontstretch, he started to lose control coming to the start/finish line and he looped it going in to turn 1. The fourth caution came out on lap 13 for debris in turn 1. On the restart, Schlenk wasn’t able to pull away like he had in the past, this time #13 JR Hotovy hung with him and was challenging for the lead on lap 17. As luck would have it, Hotovy was the reason for the fifth caution when he hit the wall on the frontstretch on lap 19. On lap 21, the leader encountered problems and went off the backstretch and this handed the lead to #27 Eric Spangler. Spangler led after the restart, but it was #111 Curt Spaulding who would be leading with 7 laps to go. With just 5 laps to go, Spaulding was off of the pace thus giving the lead back to Spangler as the caution came out for the #61 Jim Fairbanks. It was Thirlby who took the lead on the restart and he was able to hang on to get the win. Spangler came in second and the rest of the top ten were #75 Dusty Moore, #21 David Miller, #15 Phil Ausra, Neiser, Spaulding, #34 Alan Vochaska, #15 Dave Hartman and #8 Keith Gentz.
Join us next weekend when the World of Outlaw Late Models return to Berlin Raceway for the Down and Dirty 100. Friday, September 20 will feature World of Outlaw Late Model qualifying and heat races along with features for Modifieds, Street Stocks, Bombers and 4-Cylinders. Saturday, September 21 will showcase the World of Outlaw Late Model feature and fresh racing with Modifieds and Street Stocks. Tickets for Friday are $15 for adults 18+, $9 for students 12-17, $5 for kids 8-11 and children 7 and under are free. Tickets for Saturday are $20 for adults, $10 for students, $5 for kids and 7-under are free. Racing will begin at 7:00 p.m. on both nights.
Camping is also available on a first come first served basis. Please call 616-677-5000 for more details.
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For general questions, please call the Berlin Raceway track office on Tuesday - Friday from 9am - 5pm weekly.