Merritt Speedway would like to welcome Quarter Master as a sponsor of the $5,000 to win B-Modified race on July 3, 2018.
Merritt Speedway Awards Eight Feature Winners
Lake City, Michigan (Saturday June 16, 2018): Merritt Speedway hosted another stellar night of dirt track racing which awarded eight feature race winners. The long-awaited summer temperatures greeted the fans that made their way out to the fast 1/4 (0.250) mile dirt oval located on M-55 in between Lake City and Houghton Lake. The show was headlined once again by the High-Powered Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models and Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds. The Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges all competed as well. Plus the speedway played host to the M.O.R.A. Mini Outlaws who made their first of two visits this season.
The Allstar Performance Mini Wedges kicked off the main events of the evening with 10 lap features for both the “Restricted” and “Un-Restricted” divisions. Trevor Epplett won the “Restricted” division feature finishing ahead of Dillion Liggett, 9-Year Old Claire Krajniak, Cole Shanteau, and 6-Year Old Peighton Crawford. Meanwhile, in the “Un-Restricted” division it was 13-year old Nathan Winters winning the feature over 12-year old Clay Lachcik, and 9-Year old Marshall Krajniak. Liggett and Lachcik won their respective heat races.
The M.O.R.A. Mini Outlaws took to the speedway for a 15-lap feature event. Freddy Krueger and Doug Roush brought the field to the green flag. Krueger took the early race lead. However on lap 2 it would be Roush taking the lead away. He would hold the top spot until lap 4 when it would be Dave Roush racing to the front of the field and taking the lead away. He would hang on from there to pick up the win. Roush also won the heat race.
Aaron Spearling and Ted Owens would lead out the 15-lap Main for the Lake City Materials Factory Stocks. It would be 13-year old Chase Burda who wasted no time jumping out in front of everyone else and leading the first circuit. The young driver would maintain control until lap 6. That was when the 2017 track champion Rick Spencer made the pass to take the lead away. That would turn out to be all the veteran would need to accomplish, as he went on from there to be the first to the checkered flag.
This was the second win of the year for the driver who calls Whittemore, Michigan home, driving his Spencer’s Auto Salvage #M65. Burda settled for second. 18-year old Brendan Powell, Will Stanley, and Spearling rounded out the top five. Spencer and 15-year old Bryan Cook won the preliminary heat races.
The Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models were out next for a 30-lap feature event. 6-time track champion Eric Spangler and Kory Maurice led everyone down to chief starter Randy Hose’s green flag. Spangler did not hesitate to jump out with the early race advantage. He would end up leading every lap of the caution free race.
Spangler, the 49-year old native of Lake City, Michigan scored his third win of the season at Merritt Speedway, in his Forbes Construction and Excavating / Mastersbilt Racecar #27. Nick Kurtz would be the runner up finisher. David Mielke, 2015-American Ethanol Late Model Tour Champion Rich Neiser, and Steve Hilliker capped off the top five. The heats were won by Kurtz, Spangler, and Mielke. Mielke also won the four-car dash. Kurtz was the overall fast qualifier with a time of 13.726.
Next was the 20-lap feature race for the Diesel Freak B-Modifieds division. They were led out by Nate Wilbur and Mike Shanteau. When the green flag waved, it Shanteau taking the early lead while everyone else battled for position behind him. Shanteau held the top position throughout much of the event, but he was challenged on lap 14 by the charging car driven by Mike Epplett who powered his way by for the lead. When the checkered flag waved, it was Epplett making the trip to victory lane.
This was the first win of the year at Merritt Speedway for the Muskegon, Michigan native who finished first in his #99. Shanteau finished second. Reid Sanders, 2017 track champion Cody Bauer, and Scott Payton completed the top five finishers. Scott Smith, Bauer, Epplett, and Dan Wierman won the heat races. The Last Chance race was won by Bill Delonge.
The Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds hit the speedway for what was a 25-lap main event. Joe Rokos and 2008-track champion Chad Bauer started on the front row. Rokos took the early lead from the start. However, on lap 6 the 4-time track champion David Mielke who started seventh made the pass taking over the race lead. He would gain a commanding lead over the rest of the field and picked up the win.
The 26-year old from Gladwin, Michigan earned his second win of the year in the Krompetz Elevators / Rocket by Ruhlman #87. Bauer, Jeff Erickson Jr., Rokos, and Paul Johnson made up the rest of the top five. Rokos, and Mielke were the heat winners. Mielke won the four-car dash, and was also the fast qualifier overall with a lap time of 14.176.
John Lowes and Russ Carrier led out the next feature event, which was courtesy of the XLT Engineering Four-Cylinder “A” Division who went 15 laps. Jeremy McCracken took the lead in the early going. He would do a good job of holding the lead, but in the closing laps the defending track champion Willard VanHatisma would try to take the lead away. But there was no stopping McCracken as he would be able to hang on through it all and was indeed the first to the checkered flag.
McCracken, the native of Lake, Michigan picked up his first feature win of the year in the McCracken Racing #19. He finished ahead of VanHaitsma who was second. 18-year old Stan Sutten, 17-year old Danielle Robinson, and Matt Bouschor rounded out the top five. Robinson also won the heat race.
The Final main event of the night was the 15-lap feature for the XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders “B” division. Rookie Mandie Downey and Ty Papkey kicked things off from the front row. Downey led the opening lap, but was soon challenged by Ritchie Montgomery who take the lead over on lap 2. He would lead until lap 10 where he would hit a safety tire causing him to spin, and brought out the caution flag. This would surrender the lead to 18-year old Trent Matthews who led from there all the way until the end.
Matthews from Houghton Lake, Michigan picked up his first feature win of the season. Rylee Knoll finished just behind in second. Katie Robinson, Zachary Swarts, and Downey rounded out the top five. Matthews and Montgomery were the winners of the heat races.
The next event for Merritt Speedway will be This Saturday June 23rd. The racing program will be headlined by the second visit from the American Ethanol Modified Tour presented by Allstar Performance for their second visit, bringing some of the best UMP DIRTcar Modified drivers in the Midwest to Northern Michigan. Also on the program will be the Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models, Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Cadillac News Lightning Sprints, Auto Value Pro Stocks, and the Allstar Performance Mini Wedges.
Results for Saturday June 9, 2018.
Spangler & Irwin Dominate, Thirlby Wins at Checkered
Lake City, Michigan (Saturday, June 9th, 2018): The Lane Automotive Michigan Traditional Sprint series invaded the grounds of the Merritt Speedway this past Saturday evening. The Davison, Michigan based series brought in some of the best drivers of wingless sprint cars for their first and only visit to the 1/4 (0.250) mile dirt oval located just outside of Lake City, Michigan. There were six regular divisions in attendance as well including; the Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models, Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, Cadillac News Lightning Sprints, Auto Value Pro Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and the Allstar Performance Mini Wedges.
The Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges kicked off the nights main events. First was the “Restricted” division which saw Pierson DeShano go to victory lane. Trevor Epplett, Jake Erickson, Keeton Cade, and Autumn Erickson completed the rest of the top five. Cameron Hendrickson won the “Un-Restricted” division of Mini-Wedges finishing ahead of Bryant Vandermark, Nathan Winters, Hunter Lange, and Brennan DeShano. Jake Erickson (Restricted), and Clay Lachcik (Un-Restricted) won the heat races.
The Cadillac News Lightning Sprints made their way onto the racing surface for a 20-lap A-Main feature event. Chuck Erickson and Dave Hall brought the field to chief starter Randy Hose’s green flag. Erickson jumped out to the early lead. However, on lap 2 Hall would make the pass to take the top spot away. Nothing would change until lap 11, where 2015 track champion Mack Erickson would work his way to the front of the field, and hang on from there to pick up the win.
This was Erickson’s first win of the season at Merritt in his Chaney Creek Construction #38. John Norder finished second. Scott Flees, Lindsey Erickson, and Bridgette Andras rounded out the top five. Norder, and Mack Erickson won the heat races.
The Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds made their way out for their 25-lap feature event led by 4-time track champion Brent Banning and 2008 track champion Chad Bauer. Bauer would the lead after the drop of the green, and he would pull out to very substation lead. But there would be a late race caution which would see the 4-time track champion David Mielke take the lead away on lap 23 after starting 15th. Mielke saw the checkered flag as he exited the final turn, but he was challenged by a hard charging Collin Thirlby who went side by side with Mielke at the finish line and it was Thirlby getting the win, beating Mielke by 0.022 seconds.
This was first feature win of the year for the driver from Traverse City, Michigan, behind the wheel of his Thirlby Automotive / Diamond by CTR #47. Mielke settled for second. Bauer, Joe Rokos, and Dave Baker finished off the top five. Caleb Kill, Rokos, and Banning won the heats. Rokos also won the four-car dash. Mielke was the overall fast qualifier with a lap time of 14.346.
The feature event for the Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models was next. Six-time track champion Eric Spangler and five-time track champion David Hilliker brought out the 20-car field for the 30-lap main event. Spangler jumped out with the advantage in the early going. The rest of the field would try, but there was no stopping Spangler as he would led every single lap in the caution free race.
Spangler picked up his second straight feature win at Merritt Speedway, behind the wheel of his Forbes Construction and Excavating / Mastersbilt Racecar #27. Steve Hilliker would finish in second. Two-time Tri-City Motor Speedway track champion Andrew Terrill, Two-time Sunoco American Late Model Series Champion Brandon Thirlby, and Greg Gokey capped off the top five. The heats were won by Gokey, David Mielke, Nick Kurtz, and Thirlby. Derrick Hilliker won the last chance race, Gokey also won the four-car dash. Kurtz was the overall fast qualifier with a lap time of 13.269.
Steve Irwin and Mike Burkin led out the field for the Lane Automotive Michigan Traditional Sprints 25-lap feature event presented by Allstar Performance. Irwin wasted little time in jumping out in front of the rest of the field. He would manage to hang onto the top position throughout the several cautions that happened throughout, but Irwin kept the lead all the way through until the end eventually getting the win. Mike Galadja Joe Bares, Joe Irwin, and Travis Lacombe rounded out the top five. Steve Irwin, Jay Steinbach, Burkin, and Galadja won the preliminary heat races.
The XLT Engineering Four-Cylinder “A” division rolled out next for a 15-lap feature event. Aaron Boyd and Craig Robinson started on the front row. Boyd took off with the early lead. He would remain there until on lap 3, the defending track champion Willard VanHaitsma maneuvered his way passed Boyd to take over the lead. He would never look back from there as he would be the first to checkered flag.
VanHaitsma, the native of Cadillac, Michigan earned his third win of the year in his J&H Salvage #00. 17-year old Danielle Robinson was the runner up. 18-year old Gabe Geselman, 19-year old Cheyanne Emery, and Russ Carrier completed the top five. Robinson was the winner of the heat race.
Next was the 15-lap main event for the XLT Engineering Four-Cylinder “B” division. Shane Forman and Jake Bell led the field down to the green flag. Once the race began, it was Ritchie Montgomery pulling out in front of everyone else. He would lead throughout the event, until on the final he would spin in the final turn, surrendering the lead and the win to 18-year Trent Matthews.
This was the first win of the year for Matthews, the native of Houghton Lake, Michigan driving his Houghton Lake Automotive #11m. Ty Papkey was the second place finisher. Katie Robinson, Bell, and Montgomery made up the rest of the top five. Rylee Knoll was the heat race winner.
The final race of the night was the 20-lap feature event for the Auto Value Pro Stocks. Doug Kittle and Josh Poley brought the field to the green flag. Tim Murphy would lead in the early going. However, the race was plagued by several caution within the first 6 laps. That allowed Nate Jones to work his to the front of the field after lap 5. He would hold the top spot until lap 16 where the defending track champion T.J. Erickson would fight his way pass Jones to take the lead away. Erickson would go on from there to pick up the win.
Erickson, who is a native of Traverse City, Michigan won his second feature of the season behind the wheel of his Culvers sponsored #19. He finished just ahead of Nate Jones who was forced to settle for second. John Robbins, Nate Murphy, and Jeremy Spencer rounded out the top five. Dale Kaake Jr., Nate Murphy, Jones, and Tim Tabaczka won the heat races. Spencer won the last chance race.
Merritt Speedway’s next event will be next Saturday June 16th for “Schools out Night”. It will be a full show headlined by the Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models and Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds. The Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, and the XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders will all compete as well. Plus, Merritt will welcome the M.O.R.A. mini outlaws. The Pit Gates will open at 3:00pm, Grandstands will open at 5:00pm. Qualifying for Late Models, and UMP Modifieds will begin at 5:45pm. Then after pre-race ceremonies, Invocation / National Anthem, The green flag is set to fly at 7:00pm.
Lake City, Michigan (Saturday, June 3rd, 2018): Drivers and fans gathered for the second week of racing at Merritt Speedway this past Saturday. The 1/4 (0.250) mile dirt oval located in Lake City, Michigan hosted six divisions in what was another action-packed night. It was Factory Stock night where the Lake City Materials Factory Stock division competed for an increased payout, as did the Diesel Freak B-Modifieds. The Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models, Auto Value Pro Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-cylinders, and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges were all in action as well.
The Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges took kicked off the feature events with Pierson DeShano earning his second win of the season with Claire Krajniak, Keeton Cade, Peighton Crawford, and Cole Shanteau rounding out the top five in the “Restricted” division. Brennan DeShano won his first feature of the year in the “Unrestricted” division with Clay Lachcik, Marshall Krajniak, and Dillon Liggett making up the rest of the top five. Pierson DeShano and Brennan DeShano won their respective heat races for their divisions.
The Auto Value Pro Stocks made their way out for their 20-lap A-Main. Dick Stout and Roger McQueen started things off on the front row. However, on the opening lap it would be T.J. Erickson taking lead. That turned out to be all he needed, as he would hang on until the very end to be the first to the checkered flag. Rob Westergard was the runner up finisher. Jacob Flickinger, Kevin Newberry, and Marc Super completed the top five. Newberry and Westergard were the heat race winners.
Then, it was time for the $800 to win special event for the Lake City Materials Factory Stocks. Dave Crawford and 13-year old Chase Burda led the field down to chief starter Randy Hose green flag. Burda jumped out with the early lead after the opening circuit. He would remain there until lap 5, where Jake Thompson who started eighth powered his way by and took over the lead. Thompson would go on from there to pick up the win and big payday. It was the Traverse City, Michigan driver picked up his first win of the year. Defending track champion Rick Spencer finished second. Eric Lake, Will Stanley, and Burda capped off the top five. The Preliminary heat wins went to Myron Wiggins and Aaron Spearling.
The feature event that followed was the Diesel Freak B-Modifieds facing off for a special $1500 to win prize lasting 30-laps. Mike Shanteau and Richie Sutherland brought the field to green. Shanteau wasted little time in commanding the race lead. The rest of field would give their best effort, but there was no stopping Shanteau as he led every lap of the event and took home the $1500 payday. This was the first win of the year for the Weidman, Michigan native who finished in front of Josh Loomis who was second. Scott Payton, Sutherland, and Scott Smtih finished off the top five. Defending track champion Cody Bauer, Dwight Crawford, and Blake Rausch won the heats, and Jeremy Wood won the B-Main.
Greg Gokey and JC Witherspoon led out the next feature event which was courtesy of the Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models. The green flag fell for the 30-lap race which saw David Mielke take early led. He would hold on throughout much of the event, but on lap 27, Nick Kurtz who had pressured Mielke the last several laps made the move to wrestle the lead away. Kurtz would go on from there to pick up the win. The 24-year old from Greenville, Michigan earned his first victory of the season. Mielke was forced to settle for second. 6 time and defending track and 5 time and defending UMP DIRTcar state champion Eric Spangler, Andrew Terrill, and Steve Hilliker made up the rest of the top five. Kurtz, Gokey, and Chad Finley won the heat races. Gokey also won the four-car dash, and Kurtz was the overall fast qualifier with a time of 13.073.
The 15-lap XLT Engineering Four-Cylinder A division feature was the next to hit the racing surface. Russ Carrier and Ashley Vanauken led the field out from the front row. Vanauken led in the early going, but the defending track champion Willard VanHaitsma would maneuver his was to the front of the field and take over the race lead. The Cadillac, Michigan driver earned his second feature win of the year. Vanauken took second. 17-year old Danielle Robinson, Jacques Julin, and 19-year old Cheyanne Emery rounded out the top five. VanHaitsma also won his heat race.
The XLT Engineering Four-Cylinder B division also went 15-laps for their feature event race. 16-year old Jake Bell and Gabby Susdorf started things off when the green flag waved. Rylee Knoll who started at the rear of the field powered his way up to front of the pack to lead on lap 1. He was able to hang on from there picking his first feature win finishing ahead of 18-year old Trent Matthews who was the runner-up. Katie Robinson, Mandie Downey, and Shane Forman completed the five. Knoll also won the heat race.
The next show at Merritt Speedway will be This Wednesday June 6th. The traveling cars and stars of American Ethanol Late Model tour will compete for a purse that will pay $4000 to the winner. Plus, it will be the season opener for the American Ethanol Modified tour presented by Allstar Performance, where the modifieds will be in action battling for a $1500 to win prize. Both tours will bring the best racing talent in the great lakes region to northern Michigan. The Diesel Freak B-Modifieds and XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders will be in action as well. Pit Gates will open at 2:00pm. The grandstand gates will open at 4:00pm. Drivers will hit the track for hot laps at 5:45pm, followed immediately by qualifying at 6:15pm. Then, after pre-race ceremonies, invocation/national anthem, the green flag is set to fly at 7:00pm.