Fresh Faces in Victory Lane at Merritt Speedway
Fans were treated to yet another fantastic night of racing action on a beautiful night at Merritt Speedway this past Saturday. Strong fields in all classes were on hand in preparation of the upcoming 25th Anniversary running of the Wood Tic 100.
First up in qualifying action was the Dan Moriarty/Don’s Auto Clinic UMP Late Model division with Eric Spangler logging the overall quick time at 13.58. In the Hardcore Performance Pro Truck division, Mark Sheffield broke his own track record tripping the light at 15.49 while Kevin Miller topped the charts in the Super 8 UMP Modified division with a lap of 14.70.
Scott Phillips would be the first to visit victory lane for the night in the UMP Late Model Dash crossing the line ahead of Eric Spangler, David Hilliker and Jordan Erickson. Back for the first time in 2013, Adam Brinks carried the checkers in the Hardcore Performance Pro Truck Dash over Mike Nelson Jr., Richie Sutherland and Mark Sheffield while Roy Harvey claimed victory in the Super 8 UMP Modified Dash followed by Roger Steig, Kevin Miller and Donnie Roberts.
Preliminary action for the Jimmy’s Collision Factory Stock division saw point leader, Rick Stewart score the win in the first heat race followed by Jamie Fancett and Craig Wertz with Terry Fancett, second in points, claiming the victory in the second heat over Jeff Chalker and Nick Crim. In the feature event, Terry Fancett would grab the lead from his outside pole starting position and lead the field flag to flag for the victory. Point leader Rick Stewart battled stiff competition to finish 3rd from 5th behind Jamie Fancett in 2nd. Craig Wertz, Dan Wierman, John Matthews, Scott Boyd, Chuck Powell, Peni Lalonde and Jeremy McCracken rounded out the top ten. Rick Stewart maintains an 11 point advantage over Terry Fancett in the point race.
Bobby Timmer scored his second heat race win in row in the WLLZ TV-12 Pro Street Division over Dan Hersey and Archie Miles Jr. Miles drew the pole position on the redraw and would lead the field to the green flag in the feature event. Starting outside of Archie, Kevin Borgen took the lead as the field took the green with Archie glued to his tail. At the midway point of the 20 lap event Miles took over the point from Borgen and drove on to score his second feature win on the year. Bobby Timmer muscled his way past Borgen to finish second. Kevin Borgen held on to finish 3rd followed by Dan Hersey, Caleb Kill, T.J. Erickson, Greg Grahek, Tim Tabaczka, Roger McQueen and Andrew Steel. Point leader Steven Hilliker was absent from competition but still held a slim 4 point advantage over T.J. Erickson at nights end.
Adam Brinks showed he hasn’t lost his touch behind the wheel of the #22 Holton’s LP Gas Pro Truck. Brinks would continue his sweep of the night with a win in the heat race over Richie Sutherland and Bobby Liuzzo Jr. Adam would have to battle with Richie Sutherland at start of the 15 lap feature with Richie setting the pace for the first 5 laps. Brinks took over the point on lap 6 with Sutherland and Mike Nelson Jr. applying the pressure the remainder of the race. Adam ran a smooth line the final laps and completed the sweep with a trip to victory lane. Richie Sutherland held on to finish 2nd followed by Mike Nelson Jr., Dick Stout, Bobby Liuzzo Jr., Craig Foster, Bobby Liuzzo Sr., Mark Sheffield and Jerry Mynarcik.
The MORA Sprints made their second appearance of the year this past Saturday with Bob Baker claiming the win in heat #1 over Corey Roush and Sid McNees while Doug Roush carried the checkers in the second heat followed by Kent Strong and 14 year old Cheyanne Emery. In the feature race, Doug Roush of Traverse City took the lead on the second lap from deep in the field. Roush set a blistering pace and drove on to score the win with Kent Strong in second. Luke Strong, Bob Baker, Corey Roush, Floyd Roush, Bud Schrader, Cheyanne Emery, Sid McNees and Neal Fisher completed the top ten.
25 Dan Moriarty UMP Late models would battle for 18 feature race positions in preliminary action. Chris Brindley was the first to visit victory lane in heat #1 followed by Joe Pomeroy and David Hilliker while Eric Spangler secured a top half starting position with a win in heat #2 over Mike Kresnak and Scott Phillips. The final heat race win would go to Kris Patterson Jr. followed by Bill Bray and Late Model rookie Jordan Erickson. Andy Chester, Brook Brasington and Butch Strait would be the final transfers into the “A” Main with a 1,2,3 finish in the “B”. Pole Sitter, Chris Brindley launched into the lead as the green flag dropped with Mike Kresnak following in second. Brindley would stretch out a straight away lead until caution flew for Eric Spangler on lap 13. On the restart, Chris would once again take a commanding lead with Bill Bray now holding down the runner up position. Brindley drove on to score his first feature race win of the year over Bill Bray, Jordan Erickson, David Hilliker, Rich Neiser, Joe Pomeroy, Mike Kresnak, Kris Patterson Jr., Eric Spangler and Josh Knoll. Eric Spangler and David Hilliker are now tied for the championship point lead with Josh Knoll just 16 points back in 3rd.
Super 8 UMP Modified action saw Adam Thrush pull into victory lane in the first of two heat races over Kevin Miller and David Mielke while Chad Bauer carried the checkers in heat #2 followed by Roger Steig and Donnie Roberts. 19 cars took the green flag in the 25 lap caution free “A” Main event with point leader, Kevin Miller in a spirited battle with John Taylor. While these two swapped the lead back and forth for the first 8 laps, Scott Payton kept a close eye on them running in third. Miller was finally able to take command of the lead on lap #8 and Payton moved into the runner up spot as Taylor started to fade. Kevin Miller would go on to score the win over Scott Payton, Chad Bauer, David Mielke, Donnie Roberts, John Taylor, Roger Steig, Adam Thrush, Roy Harvey and Larry Cade. Kevin Miller and Roger started the night in a tie for the championship points with Miller emerging with a 6 point lead over Steig and Chad Bauer just 8 points back.
This weekend Merritt Speedway’s 25th Annual Wood Tic 100 will kick off Thursday morning at 10:00 AM with the “Dutchman Open” at the Pine View Highlands Golf Club in Houghton Lake. Check the Merritt Speedway Website at www.merrittspeedwaymi.com for complete details on the 3 day event.
See ya at the track