Cool weather translates to “Sizzling” action at Merritt Speedway
Week two of the 2013 race season at Merritt Speedway featured Spring Championships in all 5 classes. With the track was in great shape for qualifying, drivers in both the UMP Modified and Late Model divisions lowered last week’s times considerably. David Mielke in the Super 8 UMP Modified #87 shattered the old track record (14.58) with a lap of 14.20 while Eric Spangler set quick time for the Roger Bazuin & Son’s UMP Late Models at 13.44, just 15 hundredths off the track record of 13.29.
The Roger Bazuin & Son’s UMP Late Model Dash would kick off the night with Tom Sprague Jr. carrying the first checkers of the night over Eric Spangler, Chris Brindley and Mike Kresnak. Rookie driver, Jordan Erickson found his way to victory lane in heat #1 followed by Mike Kresnak and Bill Bray. Heat #2 victory went to Chris Brindley over Eric Spangler and Andy Chester while Josh Knoll carried the checkers in the final heat followed by Tom Sprague Jr. and Adam Erickson. “B” Main action saw Jeremy Tulick pick up the win over Mark Carrick and Merv Hudson. All three drivers would transfer to the “A” Main to round out the 18 car field. Tom Sprague Jr. would lead the field to the green flag in the “A” Main with Jordan Erickson on the outside of the front row. Erickson got caught up in a turn 2 may lay and suffered left front damage and retired to the pits. On the restart, Mike Kresnak got the jump on Sprague and led the first 11 laps of the 25 lap event with Eric Spangler taking the runner up spot from Sprague on lap 4. For the next 7 laps Kresnak and Spangler would battle for the lead with Spangler eventually getting a good run out of turn 2 to take over the top spot. Spangler would then drive on to score his second feature win of the young season. Josh Knoll had pulled into the runner up spot at mid race but suffered mechanical problems with just two laps remaining and took the #87 to the pits. On the final lap Chris Brindley battled past Kresnak to come home second behind Spangler. Mike Kresnak held on to third followed by David Hillker 4th from 11th, Andy Galgoci 5th from 12th, Andy Chester, Bill Bray, Adam Erickson, Allen Markell and Merv Hudson rounded out the top ten.
The Super 8 UMP Modifieds thrilled the fans that braved the cool temperatures as well with an action packed 25 lap feature event. At the drop of the green flag, Rich Robinson Jr. jumped into the lead with pole sitter, Larry Cade and the rest of the field battling for position behind him. At mid race, Robinson and Roger Steig would swap the lead back and forth with Steig eventually coming out on top. On lap 21, fast qualifier David Mielke would overtake Steig for the lead but Roger was not to be denied as he regained the top spot on lap 23 and drove on to score the win. Coming to the checkers, Rich Robinson Jr. just edged out Mielke at the line to finish second. Brent Banning started 12th on the field and made a bid for a podium finish but fell just short finishing 4th in a three wide finish at the line with Robinson and Mielke. Kevin Miller, Paul Johnson, Larry Cade, Dave Baker, Chad Bauer and Tyler Norton rounded out the top ten. In preliminary action, Chad Bauer scored the Dash win over David Mielke, Dave Baker and Rich Robinson Jr. David Mielke carried the checkers in the first Heat race followed by Roger Steig and Larry Cade while Kevin Miller was victorious in Heat #2 over Andrew Terrill and Rich Robinson Jr.
Archie Miles Jr. carried the checkers in the WLLZ-TV 12 Pro Street Division heat race followed by T.J. Erickson and Steven Hilliker. In the Main event, Hilliker would take the lead from pole sitter, Archie Miles Jr. as the green flag flew and lead the first 5 laps. As the two batted for the lead, Miles would once again find himself out front only to have Hilliker make contact with Miles spinning him out. Hilliker was sent to the back for the restart leaving Archie to battle with last years track champion, T.J Erickson. On lap 19 Erickson took the lead but tangled with Miles bringing out the caution for the final time of the 20 lap event. Miles was called for the caution and sent to the rear and Erickson retired to the pits with a flat tire. Dan Dykman would inherit the lead with Steven Hilliker in second on the restart. As the two entered turn three on the final lap, Hilliker took the high line and just nosed out Dykman at the line to score the win. Bob Green finished third behind Dykman followed by Ben Hidy, Robert Erickson, Archie Miles Jr., Bob Timmer, Roger McQueen, William Hancock and T.J. Erickson.
Hardcore Performance Pro Truck action saw Brent Neverth visit victory lane in the heat race over Mike Nelson Jr. and Richie Sutherland. In the “A”Main, Richie Sutherland and Brent Neverth would swap the lead back and forth with Sutherland coming out on top and leading the field through lap # 11. On lap 12, last years track champion Mike Nelson Jr. took over the point and drove on to score the win over Richie Sutherland, Brent Neverth, Bobby Liuzzo, Gary Hammar Jr. and Russell Hacker.
Rick Stewart carried the checkers in the Jimmy’s Collision Factory Stock heat race followed by Terry Fancett and Mike Epplett. In the feature race, Terry Fancett would take the lead from the pole and dominate over the field to carry the checkers for the second week in a row. Rick Stewart finished a close second followed by Jamie Fancett, Art Johnson, Brian Paige III and Mike Epplett.
Coming this Saturday, June 1st will be another great night of side by side action in all 5 regular classes at Merritt Speedway. Help us name our new mascot by going to and liking our Face Book page “Merritt Speedway Racing” and give us your suggestion. We will be choosing one of the suggestions this week so don’t delay and suggest away.
See ya at the races, Alan Lardie