Merritt Speedway Fans Electrified with Side by Side Action on week 3
Car counts continue to rise with 89 total entries including 32 Roger Bazuin & Son’s UMP Late Models and 22 Super 8 UMP Modifieds filling the pits this past Saturday at Merritt Speedway. The buzz words in the grandstands were, “Awesome”, “Phenomenal” and “WOW did ya see that move” as the best drivers from across the state competed at Merritt Speedway.
Roger Bazuin & Son’s UMP Late Model qualifying started the evening’s events with Midland Michigan’s, David Hilliker setting fast time with a lap of 14.65. As the checkered flag flew on the 4 car dash, Brandon Thirlby of Traverse City was leading the pack to capture the win with Eric Spangler, Adam Erickson and David Hilliker rounding out the field. Heat race winners included Eric Spangler, Chad Foster, David Hilliker and Dona Marcoullier. In the first of two “B” Mains, Jordan Erickson of Traverse City scored the win followed by Brad Finkbeiner, Bob Hammar and Charlie Liggett. Jeremy Tulick of Cadillac carried the checkers in the second “B” Main over Alex Kazmarski, Steve Nieuwenhuis and Todd Spencer. A stellar field of 20 UMP Late Models took to the grid for the start of the 25 lap “A” Main event with Rich Neiser of Fruitport and Mike Kresnak of Ellwell starting on the front row. As the green flag dropped, pole sitter, Rich Neiser stormed into the lead with Kresnak glued to his tail. In the first two laps, Bill Bray of Spring Lake drove from his 5th place starting position into third place to join the battle for the lead. On lap 11, Bray pulled into the runner up position and set his sights on the leader. As the laps clicked off in a caution free event, Rich Neiser continued to dominate, picking his way through lapped traffic and capturing the win. Bill Bray held on to finish second holding off the hard charging Eric Spangler who finished third. Dona Marcoullier, Mike Kresnak, David Hilliker, Chad Foster, Josh Knoll, Adam Erickson and Pat Ehlert rounded out the top ten.
In Super 8 UMP Modified action, Dona Marcoullier of Houghton Lake was quick in qualifying with a lap of 15.24. Chad Bauer of Farwell scored the Dash win over David Mielke, Dona Marcoullier and Kevin Miller. Heat race #1 victory went to Brent Banning with a bold three wide move on the outside from third to the front coming to the white flag. John Taylor finished a close second followed by Dona Marcoullier. Kevin Miller carried the checkers in heat #2 over Collin Thirlby and Jeff Erickson Jr. while Aaron Raby scored the final heat win followed by Chad Bauer and Adam Thrush. In the “B” Main, the battle was for the first three transfer positions with Aaron Morey coming out on top followed by Donnie Roberts and Trever Fedewa. Making the “A” Main for Fedewa was a victory in its self after Trever put the #68 Mod on its roof in earlier heat race action. In the feature event, Collin Thirlby of Traverse City took the lead from pole sitter Kevin Miller as the green flag flew. Miller was not to be denied as he battled with Thirlby and regained the lead on lap 4 of the 25 lap event. The only caution of the event came early on lap #2 for John Taylor keeping the score keepers busy the remaining 23 laps as the entire field battled 2 and 3 wide for position. Kevin Miller ran strong up front, mastering his way through lapped traffic to score the win. Collin Thirlby finished a close 2nd with Brent Banning 3rd from 7th, Dona Marcoullier, Roger Steig 5th from 13th, Aaron Raby, Adam Thrush, Jeff Erickson Jr., Chad Bauer and David Mielke rounding out the top ten.
In the WLLZ-TV 12 Pro Street Division, Tim Tabaczka carried the checkers in heat #1 over T.J. Erickson and Derek Poland while Archie Miles Jr. made his way to victory lane in the second heat followed by Bob Green and Roger McQueen. Derek Poland of Muskegon took the early lead in the “A” Main from his outside front row starting position and paced the field through the mid race point. On lap #11 Archie Miles Jr. took over the point as Poland started to fade in the second half of the 20 lapper. As the laps wound down, Bob Timmer and Steven Hilliker who both started deep in the field had worked their way to the front to battle with Miles for the lead. Archie was up for the challenge and drove on to the checkers and into victory lane. Bob Timmer held on to finish second followed by Hilliker, Bob Green, T.J. Erickson, Derek Poland, Roger McQueen, Kevin Borgan, William Hancock and Jimmy Hiller.
Bobby Liuzzo scored a clean sweep in the Hardcore Performance Pro Truck division scoring the heat race win over Mike Nelson Jr. and Richie Sutherland. In the feature, Liuzzo started on the pole and drove on flag to flag to complete the sweep. Garry Hammar scored a career best second place in the Plum Crazy #21 followed by Richie Sutherland, Brent Neverth, Mike Nelson Jr., Dick Stout, Jerry Mynarcik and Mark Sheffield.
A strong field of cars showed for the Jimmy’s Collision Repair Center Factory Stock division with Terry Fancett making his way to victory lane in the first heat over Karl McClellan and Rich Lafleur. Local boy, Rick Stewart carried the checkers in heat #2 followed by Jamie Fancett and Joe Batts. In the feature race, Joe Batts of Saginaw marched into the lead as the green flag flew with the rest of the field in a heated battle behind him. On lap #2, Rick Stewart fell back to fifth place but slowly worked his way back to the runner up spot by lap #11. Not to be denied, Joe Batts held on to take the win in his first trip to Merritt Speedway. Stewart finished in the runner position and has taken over the point lead at this early stage of the season. Terry Fancett finished in 3rd followed by Jamie Fancett, Karl McClellan, Rich Lafleur, Art Johnson, Dan Wierman, Craig Wertz and Nick Crim.
This Saturday, June 8th will feature all 5 regular classes plus the MORA Sprints will make their first appearance of the season. Be sure to join us for another “Thriller” at Merritt Speedway.
See ya at the track, Alan Lardie