Track Records “Drop like a Rock” this past Saturday at Merritt Speedway
23 Pizza Hut UMP Late Models and 18 Super 8 UMP Modifieds lined up in the make ready chute anxious to take a shot at the track record on another beautifully prepared race surface at Merritt Speedway. The times continued to get faster with each competitor on the track and when it was all said and done, UMP Late Model driver, Adam Erickson of Mesick shattered the old track record (13.29 held by Curtis Roberts) with laps of 13.09 and 13.06. Going into the night, David Mielke held the track record for the Super 8 UMP Modified division at 14.20. Several drivers would prove the track was extremely fast by bumping Mielke off the leader board. Aaron Morey (14.09), Chad Bauer (14.06) and Rich Robinson Jr. (13.88) all took their shot at getting into the record books but in the end it was Joe Rokos of Interlochen that set the new mark to beat with a lap of 13.84. Both drivers were acknowledged and received their $100.00 qualifying bonus from promoter Steve Potter at the drivers meeting.
The Pizza Hut UMP Late Model action continued with new track record holder, Adam Erickson scoring the Dash win over Chris Brindley, Scott Phillips and Eric Spangler. Last week’s feature winner, Rich Neiser carried the checkers in the first of three heat races followed by Eric Spangler and David Hilliker. Bill Bray made the trip to victory lane in heat #2 over Josh Knoll and Justin McNeill while Andy Chester scored the win in the final heat followed by Chris Brindley and Adam Erickson. For the second week in row, Jordan Erickson led the field to the checkers in the “B” Main but suffered mechanical problems and was unable to make the grid for the feature. Mike Kresnak and Brook Brasington rounded out the top three transfer spots in the “B” Main. Justin McNeill of Houghton Lake took the lead from the pole as the green flag flew in the “A” Main with Rich Neiser glued to his tail. McNeill held the lead for the first 7 laps but was unable to hold off the hard charging Neiser and Rich took over the point on lap #8. On lap 16, McNeill regained the lead as the leaders ran up on lapped traffic. Two laps later Justin would bring out the caution spinning in turn 3 and was sent to the rear. On the restart, Lake City’s, Eric Spangler pulled into the runner up spot but was unable to chase down Neiser as Rich went on to score his second feature race win in a row. Spangler held on to finish second followed by Bill Bray, Adam Erickson, Josh Knoll, David Hilliker, Justin McNeill, Scott Phillips, Andy Galgoci and Bob Hammar.
In Super 8 Ump Modified action, Chad Bauer carried the checkers in the Dash over Brent Banning, Rich Robinson Jr. and Joe Rokos. Chad Bauer found himself in victory lane for the second time of the night in heat #1 followed by Andrew Terrill and Aaron Raby. Brent Banning picked up the win in the second heat race over Adam Thrush and Rich Robinson Jr. In the 25 lap “A” Main, Aaron Raby took the lead from his outside front row starting position with the rest of the field battling side by side for position behind him. On lap # 9, Adam Thrush took over second from Terrill bringing Brent Banning along with him. With just 5 laps to go, Thrush took over the point but Aaron Raby was not to be denied and battled back to regain the lead with three laps remaining and drove on to his first feature win at Merritt. Adam Thrush held on to finish second followed by Brent Banning, Joe Rokos, Rich Robinson Jr., Kevin Miller, Aaron Morey, Chad Bauer, Roger Steig and Dave Baker.
Another strong field of WLLZ-TV 12 Pro Streets was on hand to slice and dice on the super smooth surface this past weekend. 2012 track champion, T.J. Erickson carried the checkers in the first heat followed by Steven Hilliker and Bob Timmer while new comer, Jimmy Hiller scored his first win at Merritt Speedway in heat #2 over Bob Green and Robert Erickson. In the feature event, Bob Green led the first couple of circuits but couldn’t hold off veteran driver, Steven Hilliker and T.J. Erickson and dropped to third place on lap #3. Hilliker and Erickson would battle the next 18 laps but T.J. was never able to completely pass the #21 of Midland’s Steven Hilliker. Steven was grateful to the fans, competition and track conditions as he visited victory lane for his second feature win of the year. T.J. Erickson held on to second over Caleb Kill, Chad Raby, Bob Green, Robert Erickson, Jimmy Hiller, William Hancock, Roy Bradley and Roger McQueen.
Bobby Liuzzo made his way to victory lane in the Hardcore Performance Pro Truck heat race followed by Brent Neverth and Richie Sutherland. In the “A” Main, Mike Nelson Jr. and Brent Neverth would swap the lead back and forth in the first 5 laps with Richie Sutherland a close third. With Nelson out front the battle was on for the runner up spot with Sutherland and Neverth exchanging the position and Sutherland eventually securing the position on lap 11. Mike Nelson drove on to score the win over Sutherland, Neverth, Garry Hammar, Mark Sheffield, Jerry Mynarcik and Bobby Liuzzo.
Jimmy’s Collision Repair Center Factory Stock driver, Mike Epplett scored the win in the first of two heat races followed by Rick Stewart and Joe Batts while Terry Fancett carried the checkers in heat #2 over Jamie Fancett and rookie driver Kevin Kroupa. In the feature event, Rick Stewart took the lead from the pole and led flag to flag to score his first feature win of the young season. Terry Fancett finished a close second followed by his son Jamie Fancett, Nick Crim, Mike Epplett, Dan Wierman, Brian Baro, Craig Wertz, Brian Paige III and Shaune Hackney.
The MORA Sprints would round out our 6-N-1 show this past Saturday with Floyd Roush making a visit to victory lane in the first heat race over Doug Roush and Bud Schrader. The victory in heat #2 went to Kent Strong followed by Ryan Reckow and Bob Baker. In the feature race, Kent Strong of Riverdale took the early lead Floyd Roush a close second. On lap #7 Doug Roush had worked his way from his 7th place starting position to take over the point. Doug would go on to lead the final circuits crossing the finish line just ahead of his father, Floyd in second place. Kent Strong would hold on to finish third followed by Luke Strong, Bob Baker, Jason Parkhurst, Ryan Reckow, 14 year old rookie Cheyanne Emery, Rod Keillor Neal Fisher and Bud Schrader.
Father’s Day Special this Saturday presented by Potter’s Excavating featuring all 5 regular classes. Check out our Face Book page and the website for complete details.
See ya at the track.