Pierson, Krupp, Veldman, Shotko, Olmsted, Thomas and Meeuwsen take checkers
Byrne, Speet, Davis, Shotko, Ryan, VanHaitsma and Meeuwsen take champioships
Marne, MI – The Chet Championship Weekend signaled the end of the regular racing season for Berlin Raceway. Qualifying and heat races were scheduled for Friday evening, but with weather impending, qualifying was all that was completed. Heat races were run before the regular program so the features could get lined up for the show.
The Coors Light Super Late Models started the night off. Going in to the feature race, #21 Terry VanHaitsma was 26 points ahead of #55 Chris Anthony and he needed to finish 12th or better to win the championship. It was #20 Brian Campbell and #99 Ross Meeuwsen starting on the front row of the 75-lap feature and before a lap was complete, the caution was out when #101 Lauren Bush Spun between turns 3 & 4. Meeuwsen jumped to the lead on the backstretch and took off and the battle for second was on between #99 Jordan Dahlke and #20 Brian Campbell; #12 Tim DeVos looked to try to make it three-wide, but he backed out of it. Dahlke took second and set off after Meeuwsen. Campbell’s car finally came alive and took second on lap 8 and started to reel in Meeuwsen. On lap 25, Campbell was nose to tail with Meeuwsen, then was using the outside to gain momentum, but the leaders to coming in to traffic. At halfway, Campbell almost made the pass, but a slower car in front of him got in the way. On lap 44, it was a clear track in front of them and Campbell had some time to make his move, though he couldn’t wait too long at #82 Tom Thomas was right behind them. Thomas was stalking Campbell on lap 52 and their battle let Meeuwsen get a little bit of breathing room. With 15 laps to go, Thomas took second and while the leaders were back in traffic and this was working to Meeuwsen’s favor. With three to go, Thomas was all over Meeuwsen and there was a lapped car just ahead. Instead of yielding to the leaders, the leaders looked to go three-wide with #24 Lee VanDyk. Thomas tapped VanDyk and VanDyk spun, as did Thomas. Thomas was given his position back because of the lapped car interference and after two failed restarts, the race was back underway. Before they could complete the lap, the caution was out again for a multi-car wreck on the backstretch. Thomas took the lead on the restart and drove away while Meeuwsen was under attack from Campbell while Thomas took the win. The rest of the top ten were Campbell, Meewusen, #22 Caleb Bisacky, #23 Chris Koslek, #48 Seth Moody, Anthony, #55 Dave Lake, VanHaitsma and Dahlke. VanHaitsma took the championship by 13 points over Thomas.
The Kerkstra Services Sportsman division was next. This division had been the tightest point battle coming in to championship night – just 19 points separated #88 Tony Davis from #76 Brian Tillema. For their 40-lap feature, #15 Scott Root and #51 Garison Jewett started on the front row of the 40-lap feature. Root led and the #88 of Tony Davis was in second and challenging for the lead, but Root was able to pull away on lap 7. Davis started reeling him back in and the field raced single file. At half-way, the #1 of Randy Veldman and Jewett were battling for third and Veldman was looking on the outside, passing both Jewett and Davis in one fell swoop. Veldman was now all over Root and with 8 to go, they were side by side and Veldman cleared him for the position on lap 36. Veldman pulled away from the field and took his fifth win of the season. The rest of the top ten were Root, Jewett, Davis, #23 Andrew MacIntosh, Tillema, #40 Dave Cutler, #26 Brian Thome, #33 Allen Davis and #X Matt VanHorssen. Davis was named the champion by 23 points over Tillema.
The Port City Racecars / GL Helicopter Outlaw Late Models were next. Point leader #32 Ross Meeuwsen was 30 points ahead of #37 Terry Senneker and Meeuwsen just needed to bring it home in the 12th position to win. The #24 of Lee VanDyk and #82 of Tom Thomas led the field to the green flag for the 75-lap race. As the field was coming to take the green flag, contact between #37 Terry Senneker and Thomas started a chain reaction that ended with a multi-car wreck coming out of turn 4. After a red flag for cleanup, the field was reset and it was Meeuwsen who took the lead and the first few laps of this was were intense with cars going three wide at times. The first official caution came on lap 6 for debris in turn three. The #14 of Steve Needles grabbed the lead on the restart and just lap later, caution was called again for debris in turn 4. Needles got a good restart, but Meeuwsen was not letting him out of his sights. The #12 of Tim DeVos was screaming through the field, on lap 21 he was knocking on #X Ray Clay’s bumper for third. Lap 26 saw the third caution of the night when #48 Brian Clay drove through the frontstretch grass. Needles was able to maintain the lead on the restart, DeVos and Clay continued their battle with Senneker coming up behind them. With 25 laps to go, Meeuwsen starting to make his move, running nose to tail with Needles for four laps before the next caution came out; this time it was for #33 Monte Tolan who fought with his car until it spun in turn 1. Meeuwsen hung with Needles on the restart and on lap 58, Meeuwsen was scored as the leader and he drove away with not only the win, but with the championship by 39 points over Senneker. The rest of the top ten was Needles, Senneker, Clay, #8 Dakota Carlson, DeVos, #25 Tyler Roahrig, #16 Kristopher Fewless, Tolan and VanDyk.
Up next were the Engine Pro Super Stocks. The #51 of Justin Ryan had just a 25 point lead over Will Olmsted. Due to a crash in a heat race, Ryan would be starting last and in order to clinch the championship, he would have to rally to 10th. It would be #48 Seth Moody and #76 Warren Speet on the front row of the 40-lap feature. Moody would lead the first few laps until an attempt at 3-wide went bad with #18 Denny Anderson off the backstretch and the #5 of Matt Keltner also spun on the backstretch. Moody got away from the gaggle behind him – Speet, Olmsted, #77 Andrew Nylaan, #66 Nate Walton and #20J Jeremy Munniksma were all racing close. Olmsted was able to break away from the back and began to chase down the leader. The first second caution came on lap 12 when Nylaan spun with some help from Munniksma in turn 4. This led Moody and Olmsted restart side by side; Moody was able to maintain the lead, but Olmsted was chipping away at it. Olmsted took the lead on lap 26 and was looking to cruise to his second win, but caution was out with four to go for Nylaan spinning in turn 3. Moody was giving it his all, but Olmsted held him off for his second win of the season. Ryan finished fourth and that was enough to win the championship by 13 points. The rest of the top ten were Moody, Walton, Ryan, Speet, #6 Bob Bliss, #54 Joel Baker, #024 Cole Roelofs, Munniksma and #51 Weston Jewett
The Vintage Racing Organization was next with #83 Loren Peterson on the pole and #55 Jeff Barons on the outside of the 25-lap feature. Peterson led, but on lap 4 #2 Randy Pierson took the lead and drove away from the field. While #59 John Evans was reeling him in, bringing #61 Jason Burrus and #20 Don Deyman with him, there was no catching Pierson who went on to win the caution free event. Evans came in second and the rest of the top ten were Burrus, Deyman, #81 Andrew Bartoszek, #4 Larry Mollohan, #7 Jimmy Lawson, #43 Terry Byrne, #2x Randy Boorsma and #80 Billy Eppink.
Up next were the Burnips Equipment 4-Cylinders. The point leader, #76 Mike Speet was so far ahead of the field in points that he didn’t even need to show up to get the championship... and he didn’t. The #62 Charlie DeJong and #11X Jason Essex led the field to the green flag of the 15-lap feature. It didn’t take long for this race to get wild, before a lap was complete the caution was out with cars spinning and in turn four. Essex took the lead after the restart, but that didn’t last for long as #14 Bill Krupp took the lead on lap three and by half way he was three second ahead of the competition. There was just no catching Krupp, who took the win by just over eight seconds. The rest of the top ten were Essex, #10 Dave Duyst, #18 Jared Lyzenga, #14 Richard Peck, DeJong, #89 Sierra Lantz, #17 Seth VanHorssen, #9 Zach Clark and #36 Kyle VanDrunen. Mike Speet was the champion by 51 points over DeJong.
The Model Coverall Modifieds were the final race of the night. Point leader, #22 Billy Shotko was 60 points ahead of #97 Kevin DeGood and he just needed to start the race to win the championship. #68 Randy DeBoer and #29 Rob Shoemaker were on the front row of 20-lap feature. With the green flag in the air, the championship went to Shotko and the race was on for the win. Chase took off with the lead with Shotko right behind him. The cars were just getting in to their groove when the caution came out on lap 5; #97 Kevin DeGood spun entering turn 4. It was Shotko who took the lead on the restart and the field settled in to single file racing. Lap 11 saw the second caution when DeGood spun across the frontstretch. Shotko’s lead was erased, but when the race was restarted, Chase and #7 Ryan Hamm were battling for second, Shotko was able to skate away again. Hamm was unable to run him down, so Shotko got the win and the championship by 82 points over DeGood. The rest of the finishing order was Hamm, Chase, #67 Ben Welch, #8 Billy Eppink, #68 Randy DeBoer, Shoemaker, #7 Dennis Mann and DeGood.
The night was capped off by a champagne celebration with the champions on the frontstretch and then a dump truck came out to drop the first load of clay onto the racetrack.
Berlin Raceway will be back in action on September 20-22 when the World of Outlaw Late Models take to the dirt track. They will be joined with 4-Cylinders, Factory Stocks, Street Stocks and Modifieds. There will be an open practice on Thursday, qualifying and preliminary races on Friday and features on Saturday. Tickets will be $20 on Friday and $30 on Saturday, a two-day pass will be available for $45. Kids are $7 on Friday, $10 on Saturday, a two-day pass will be available for $15. Racing will start at 7:00 p.m. on both nights. More information can be found at www.berlinraceway.com.