Chad Bauer Notches First Win of the Year at Merritt

Chad Bauer Notches First Win of the Year at Merritt

Lake City, Michigan (Saturday August 18th, 2018): The race fans of northern Michigan made their way out to the Merritt Speedway this past weekend for another speed filled Saturday night. The show featured a big 7 in 1 show headlined by the Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds. They were joined by the Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Cadillac News Lighting Sprints, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and Allstar Performance Mini Wedges.

The Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges held three feature events, two for the “Restricted” division and one for the “Un-Restricted” division. Jake Erickson won the feature for the “Restricted” division, with Keeton Cade, Pierson DeShano, Leilynd Strehlke, and Peighton Crawford making up the top five. Then, in the second feature It was Claire Krajniak getting the big win over Dillion Liggett, Lillian Erickson, Autumn Erickson, and Cole Shanteau completing the top five. In the Un-Restricted division, Clay Lachcik won the feature event. His finished ahead of Nathan Winters, Marshall Krajniak, Brennan DeShano, and Kyron DeShano completing the top five. The heat race wins went to Erickson and Krajniak (Restricted) and Lachcik (Un-Restricted).

The XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders rolled out for their 15-lap main event. 17-year old Danielle Robinson and 14-year old Bobby Fetters started on the front row leading the field of cars down to the green flag. Robinson pulled out front with the early lead. She would maintain her position through the early staged which did see a few cautions, but she would continue on and lead all the way through to the checkered flag. This was the fourth win of the year for the native of Mount Pleasant, Michigan in her Tommie Bauer Excavating #11. Fetters finished in the second spot. Brad Treichel, 18-year old Trent Matthews, and 19-year old Cheyanne Emery rounded out the top five. Robinson and Fetters won the preliminary heat races.

15-year old Bryan Cook and Dwight Crawford led out the next feature event for the Lake City Materials Factory Stocks. The field took the green flag for their 15-lap race with Crawford pulling away the early edge for the lead. Things would remain that way until lap 4 when the 2017-track champion Rick Spencer wheeled his way up the front of the field after starting sixth. Spencer would try to pull away, but a hard charging 13-year old Chase Burda would rally to challenge Spencer in the last stage of the event. However, when things were said and done Spencer would indeed go to victory lane after just beating Burda to the line. This was the Whittemore, Michigan driver’s seventh win of the year in the Spencer’s Auto Salvage #M65. Burda had to settle for second. Crawford, Cook, and Drew Reist would make up the rest of the top five. 18-year old Brendan Powell and Spencer were the heat race winners.

The 20-lap A-Main for the Auto Value Pro Stocks was out next with Tim Murphy and Kevin Newberry making up the front row. Once the green flag dropped it would be Murphy blasting off with the lead after the usual drag race into turn one. Three laps later Newberry powered his way past for the lead, but Murphy answered right back on lap 4. Murphy would stay there until lap 16 when Rob Westergard was able to rumble by taking the lead for himself and going on from there to pick up the big win. This was the second win of the year for the 29-year old driver from Bay City, Michigan in his R.W Transmission #27. 3-time track champion T.J. Erickson, Murphy, Newberry, and Jacob Flickinger finished off the top five. Westergard and Flickinger won the heats.

The next main event belonged to the Diesel Freak B-Modifieds with a 20-lap affair. Scott Payton and Scott Smith brought the full field to green flag, and Payton nabbed the edge early on. However, the race would be plagued by several cautions in the first six laps, losing multiple cars. The event would go just past the half-way point, but another caution would come out, forcing the scoring officials to end the race early due to breaching the time limit. Payton the 36-year old driver from Gaylord, Michigan notched his sixth win of the season in the Big Boy’s Tv / Longhorn Chassis #711. John Taylor finished second. Josh Loomis, Smith, and Kyle Galgoci capped off the top five. The heat races were won by Taylor, Loomis, and Reid Sanders.

The 25-lap feature for the Cadillac News Lightning Sprints were led out by Chuck Erickson and Anthony Whitehead. However, after the first circuit it was 2015-track champion Mack Erickson leading the way. Erickson would amass a good lead over the rest of the field, but on lap 23 Erickson would jump the banking going into turn 2, which allowed Johnny Roberts to take over the top position and sail on from there to take the win. This was Roberts fourth win of the year in the Pat’s Auto #2A. John Norder, Mack Erickson, Chuck Erickson, and Scott Flees rounded out the top five. Roberts and Norder won the heat races.

The main event of the evening fell to the Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds who competed in a 25-lap main. Larry Cade and Dave Baker brought the field down to chief starter Randy Hose’s green flag. Baker would take the early advantage as everyone shuffled for positions in his rear view. Baker would stay at the top of the leaderboard until lap 15, that was when the hard-charging 2008-track champion Chad Bauer would work his way up to go side by side with Baker and wrestle the lead away. Bauer would pull away from there and would go on to pick up the win. Bauer, the 45-year old from Farwell, Michigan scored his first win at Merritt in his Otto’s Retreat / Rocket by Ruhlman Racecar #19. Caleb Kill, Josh Knoll, Baker, and Kyle Novak finished the top five. Joe Rokos, and Knoll won the heats. Rokos also won the four-car dash. Bauer was the overall fast qualifier with a time of 14.430.

The next event for Merritt Speedway will be this Saturday August 25th. The show will be headlined by the return of the high-powered Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models. Plus, the Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Cadillac News Lightning Sprints, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges will all be in action as well. The night will also see the running of the UMP Modifeds and B-Modifieds make up features from June 30th. The pit gates will open at 3:00pm. Grandstands open at 5:00pm. Qualifying for UMP Late Models and Modifieds will take place at 6:00pm. Allstar Performance Mini-Wedge heat races will be at 6:45pm, then after the invocation/national anthem, the green flag is set to wave at 7:00pm.

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Jacob Poel Wins Surprise AEMODT Event at Merritt Speedway

Lake City, Michigan (Saturday August 11th, 2018): The American Ethanol Modified Tour presented by Allstar Performance made an impromptu visit to the Merritt Speedway this past Saturday night. The traveling cars and stars of the Lake Odessa, Michigan based tour made the trip to “Michigan’s Premeire Dirt Track” for their fifth event of the 2018 season. The tour was joined by the high-powered Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models, Cadillac News Lightning Sprints, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges.

The Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges held their usually feature events both for the “Restricted” and “Un-Restricted” divisions. Jake Erickson picked up his fourth win of the year in his #48 car in the Restricted feature event. Dillon Liggett, Landyn Neitling, Pierson DeShano, and Peighton Crawford were the rest of the top five. Erickson, and Neitling won the heats. Then, in the Un-Restricted feature it was Landon Kirt getting his second win of the year in his #33. Clay Lachcik, Kyron Deshano, Nathan Winters, and Brennan DeShano all finished in the top five. The winner of the heat race was Brennan DeShano.

The Cadillac News Lighting Sprints made their way onto the race surface for their 25-lap main event led by the front row of Dave Hall and John Norder. The green flag fell, and Norder pulled out to the early advantage. He would maintain the top position throughout much of the race. However, as the white flag was displayed signaling the final lap Johnny Roberts would take the lead away and go on to get the win. This was Robert’s third win of the year in his Pat’s Auto #2A. Norder was forced to settle for second. 2015-track champion Mack Erickson, Brendan Cascadden, and Lindsey Erickson rounded out the top five. The preliminary heat races were won by Cascadden and Mack Erickson.

Dave Crawford and Steven Lippner brought out the 15-lap A-Main for the Lake City Materials Factory Stocks. Crawford would take the lead after the first lap with the rest of field shuffling for positions behind him.18-year old Brendan Powell would eventually weave his way to the front of the pack becoming the new leader with 13-year old Chase Burda and 2017-track champion Rick Spencer in hot pursuit. When the dust settled it was Spencer who managed to make the pass for the lead and pull away with just enough distance, and brought home the checkerd flag. Spencer, a native of Whittemore, Michigan picked up his Sixth win of the season in his Spencer’s Auto Salvage #M65. Powell, Burda, Dwight Crawford, and Dave Crawford made up the rest of the top five finishers. Burda and Spencer won the heat races.

The 30-lap main event for the Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models rolled to the speedway with 1980-track champion and Michigan Motorsports Hall of Famer Steve Hilliker and Steve Nieuwenhuis on the front row in charge of bringing the field to green. Once the event began it was actually Nick Kurtz getting the jump on everyone taking the lead after the opening lap. Nothing would change until lap 7 when after a restart 16-year old Michael Luberda powered his way to the lead. The young driver would hold a steady lead until lap 18 when a charging 2-time American late model series champion Brandon Thirlby wrestled the lead the away, but Luberda would not give in and a great battle began between the two drivers trading the lead four times until Luberda was able to secure it and continued on to victory.

This was the Au Gres, Michigan driver’s first win of the year in his Outdoor Adventures R.V. Resorts / Club 29 Black Diamond Chassis #1w. Thirlby took second. Kurtz, Hilliker, and 6-time track champion Eric Spangler completed the top five. The heat wins went to Hilliker and Kurtz. Hilliker also won the four-car dash. Spangler was the overall fast qualifier with a time of 14.873.

In the XLT Engineering four-cylinder “A” division it would be Travis Skaggs leading in the early stage of the 15-lap feature race. He held on all the way until lap 12 when 17-year old Danielle Robinson powered her way by and took the spot for herself. She would go on to make the visit to victory lane. The native of Mount Pleasant, Michigan notched her third win of the season in her Tommie Bauer Excavating #11. Brad Britting, Skaggs, 19-year old Cheyanne Emery, and 14-year old Bobby Fetters finished out the top five. Robinson also won the heat.

Then, in the XLT Engineering four-cylinders “B” division Mike Hency led the first four circuits until 18-year old Trent Matthews was able to maneuver his way by for the lead. Matthews pulled out but by lap 8 Rylee Knoll charged up to challenge Matthews, and Knoll was able to get by, and he would be the driver to get the win. Matthews finished second. Hency, Katie Robinson, and Mandie Downey capped off the top five. Matthews also won the heat race.

The running of the NAPA Auto & Truck Parts 30 courtesy of the American Ethanol Modified Tour presented by Allstar Performance rolled out next with 2008 Merritt track champion Chad Bauer and 2017-tour champion Jacob Poel on the front row bringing the field to chief starter Randy Hose’s green flag. Poel wasted no time pulling out the top position. The action picked up again as Poel began working his way through lap traffic which allowed Bauer and 4-time track champion David Mielke to make up a lot of ground. Mielke, who has won the last two American Ethanol tour event did get around Bauer for second, but it would end up being Poel’s night as he would stand tall at the end of the night picking up the big $1500 payday. Mielke, Bauer, Paul Johnson, and Joe Rokos rounded out the top five. Mielke, Bauer, and Poel won the heats.

The Auto Value Pro Stocks ran a 20-lap feature event with Kevin Newberry and 2008 Pro Truck track champion Dick Stout starting things off on the front row. Newberry shot out in front of the field, taking the early advantage after the opening circuit. The early stages saw a great battle for second between Jacob Flickinger and Tim Tabacaka. Unfortunetly Tabaczka would break causing him to end his night early. Newberry would command the lead throughout the event would be the first to the checkered flag. This was the first win of the year for the 54-year old from Gaylord, Michigan in the Shirtworksracewear.com #57x. Flickinger was second. 3-time track champion T.J. Erickson, Stout, and Teri Lynn Murphy made up the rest of the top five. Erickson and Tabcaka were the heat winners.

The next event for Merritt Speedway will be this Saturday August 18th with the running of another full show. The race program will once again be headlined by the Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models. Also competing will be the Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Cadillac News Lightning Sprints, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and Allstar Performance. The pit gates will open at 3:00pm. Grandstands will open at 5:00pm. Qualifying for Late Models will occur at 6:00pm, and after invocation/national anthem, the green flag is set to wave at 7:00pm.

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Merritt Speedway Celebrates 50 Years with Huge Double Header Weekend

Merritt Speedway Celebrates 50 Years with Huge Double Header Weekend

Lake City, Michigan (Saturday August 4th, 2018): The Merritt Speedway celebrated its 50th year in operation this past weekend with awarding it’s highest payouts of the 2018 season with all eight divisions competing. The weekend began with the preliminary races that were held on Friday followed by the dash for cash and main event feature that ran on Saturday followed by a great fireworks display. The show featured the Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models, Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Cadillac News Lighting Sprints, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges. The show was presented by Gilboe’s Lock and Safe.

Kicking off the main events of the weekend were the youngest competitors on the property which were the Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges, as usual running both “Restricted” and “Un-Restricted” divisions with fantastic turnout on Saturday night. The “Un-Restricted” division had enough drivers to run two A-Mains. The first winner was Jake Erickson who finished just ahead of Lillian Erickson, Landyn Neitling, Pierson DeShano, and Teegan Williams. Then in the second feature it was Claire Krajniak winning over Autumn Erickson, Troy Yetter, Leilynd Strehlke, and Cole Shanteau who finished out the top five. Then, in the “Un-Restricted” division it would be Kyron DeShano who picked up the win. Brennan DeShano, Clay Lachcik, Bella Erickson, and Nathan Winters rounded out the top five. The heat race winners were Cole Schymanski and Landyn Neitling (Restricted) and Landon Kirt (Un-Restricted).

13-year old Chase Burda and Aaron Spearling led out the 25-lap main event for the Lake City Materials Factory Stocks. The green flag dropped and Burda jumped out in front of everyone with the early race lead. A race long battle would begin with Burda trying to fend off both the 2017 track champion Rick Spencer and Jake Thompson. Burda held the lead until Spencer made the pass on lap 9. It was then Spencer’s race to lose with Burda and Thompson in hot Pursuit. However, when the dust settled it was Spencer picking up the victory. This was his fifth win of the year in his Spencer’s Auto Salvage #M65. Thompson scored the second-place finish. Burda, 16-year old Dale Kaake III, and Spearling made up the top five. Burda also won the four-car dash.

The Cadillac News Lightning Sprints rolled out for their 25-lap A-Main. It would be Lindsey Erickson and Johnny Roberts on the coveted front row. Erickson pulled out with the advantage early on. She would be able to hold the top position until lap 5 when Johnny Roberts powered his way by to take over the lead. Roberts would see pressure from the 2015-track champion Mack Erickson for several laps. Unfortunetly Mack would suffer from mechanical issues and was forced to pull off, leaving Roberts to sail on to get the win. This was Robert’s second win of the season in his Pat’s Auto #2A. Lindsey Erickson, John Norder, Chuck Erickson, and Rusty Havens finished out the top five. Lindsey Erickson also won the four-car dash.

The XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders competed in a 20-lap main event. 2017 track champion Willard VanHaitsma and 14-year old Gabby Susdorf brought the field out to take the green. VanHaitsma pulled away with the top position after lap 1. VanHaitsma held his ground through the first 18 laps and then a hard charging Bobby Fetters worked his way up to challenge VanHaitsma and would indeed take the lead away. That turned out to be the last move needed by Fetters who went on from there to win the event. This was the 14-year old rookie driver from Standish, Michigan’s second main event win in his DL Racing #3. 19-year old Cheyanne Emery, Jakub Burr, George Finney Jr., and 18-year old Trent Matthews capped off the top five. Jacques Julin and Blake Gokee won the four-car dashes.

The Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds hit the track for a 50-lap feature event with Joe Rokos and 2008 track champion Chad Bauer sitting on the first row. Rokos wasted little time in charging away from the rest of the field leading after the green flag waved. He would be able to lead until on lap 11 the 4-time track, and 5-time UMP DIRTcar Michigan state champion David Mielke would propel his way past to take the lead over. No matter what any of the other great talent on the track tried there was no stopping Mielke as he would maintain the lead all the way from there and go to victory lane. Bauer would finish second. 2017 American Ethanol Modified tour champion Jacob Poel, Collin Thirlby, and Dave Baker rounded out the top five. Thirlby won the four-car dash.

The Auto Value Pro Stocks squared off in a 25-lap feature race with Tim Murphy and Tim Tabaczka leading the field at the start. Tabaczka won the battle for the lead on the opening lap. It wasn’t until lap 11 when a hard charging Chad Bieri thundered by taking the top spot for his own. Things would remain that way until with five laps to go Nate Murphy had maneuvered his way up to the front of the field and did take the lead. He would go on to be the first to the checkered flag. Murphy the native of Coleman, Michigan picked up his second feature win at Merritt in his #69. Three-time track champion T.J. Erickson finished just behind in second after starting 15th. Tabaczka, Bieri, and Jacob Flickinger completed the top five. Tabaczka also won the four-car dash.

Reid Sanders and 15-year old Austin Harnick brought out the Diesel Freak B-Modifieds for their 40-lap main event. When the green flag waved Scott Payton pulled away as if he was shot out of a cannon, with everyone else battling for position behind him. The event saw several of the drivers who started at rear of the field make their way up to the top ten, one being Timmy Near who originally started 13th and was up to second trying to catch Payton. But despite everyone’s best effort Payton would lead the entire event picking up the big win. Near had to settle for second. Harnick, Scott Smith, and Josh Loomis made up the rest of the top five. Myron DeYoung won the last chance qualifier, and Harnick won the four-car dash. Payton driving out of Gaylord, Michigan in his Big Boy Tv / Longhorn Chassis #711 picked up his fifth main event win.

The night ended with the 50-lap A-Main for the Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models ran in the memory of Gene Kreager who built the speedway back in 1968 and Ed Vanduinen who was one of the longest serving promoters. Greg Gokey and two-time American Late Model Series Champion Brandon Thirlby led the field down to chief starter Randy Hose’s green flag. Thrilby charged off with the lead after lap 1. Soon after though David Mielke would answer and take the lead for himself on lap 3. This began a thrilling battle between the two drivers, each leading at several points until lap 30. Mielke was eventually able to put some distance between him and Thirlby. The race would see several cautions, but when it was all over Mielke made the trip to victory lane. This was the Gladwin, Michigan native’s first major event win in the Dan Moriarity / Rocket Chassis #87. Nick Kurtz would finish in second. Thirlby, Six-time track champion Eric Spangler, and two-time UMP DIRTcar National Champion Rusty Schlenk finished off the top five finishers. JC Witherspoon and Chris Brindley won the last chance qualifiers. Schlenk won the four-car dash.

The next event for Merritt Speedway will be this Saturday August 11th. The show will be headlined by the Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models. Plus, the Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifies, Cadillac News Lighting Sprints, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges.

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Results for Saturday July 28, 2018

Lake City, Michigan (Saturday July 28th, 2018): The American Ethanol Modified tour presented by Allstar performance made their way to Merritt Speedway to complete their show that was rained out back on June 23rd. The traveling tour brought some of the best UMP DIRTcar Modified drivers to “Michigan’s Premier Dirt Track”. The high-powered Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models also headlined the program. The Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, and XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders were also part of the full 6 in 1 show.

The feature events began on Saturday with the Diesel Freak B-Modifieds who rolled to the speedway for a 20-lap race. Mike Shanteau and Archie Miles made up the front row and brought the field to the green flag. Shanteau grabbed the early edge in the race leading after lap 1. He would hold that spot until lap 6 when the 2017 track champion Cody Bauer powered his way by for the race lead. Bauer pulled away with an impressive advantage, but soon there would be pressure coming in the form of John Taylor who was within striking distance of Bauer as the laps were winding down. However, an excessive amount of cautions would end up causing the feature to be finished due to breaking the time limit. Bauer the 25-year old from Farwell, Michigan was credited with the race win, his third of the season in the Bauer Construction / BMS #19x over Taylor, Scott Smith, Chuck Powell, and 15-year old Austin Harnick who made up the top five. Taylor, 17-year old Preston DeShano, and Jeremy Wood won the preliminary heat races.

Next up was the XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders “A” division led out by 18-year old Stan Sutten and John Lowes. Sutten pulled off with the early lead after the start of the race. Sutton would lead until lap 4, 19-year old Cheyanne Emery would work her way by taking the lead. Things would remain the same until lap 8 when Danielle Robinson would pull off the pass for the top position. She would go on from there to pick up the win. Robinson, the 17-year old from Mount Pleasant, Michigan picked up her second win of the season in the Tommie Bauer Construction #11. Emery took second. Russ Carrier, Lowes, and Sutten completed the top five. Robinson also won the heat race.

The XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders “B” division hit the track for their 15-lap A-Main. 16-year old Jake Bell and Bobby Fetters started on the front row. Fetters was able to jump out in front of the field in the early going. He was able to sustain the lead until lap 12, when Trent Matthews would snag the lead. He went on from there to see the checkered flag. Matthews the 19-year old from Houghton Lake, Michigan notched his second win of the year. Fetters had to settle for second. Ritchie Montgomery, Mandie Downey, and Katie Robinson finished out the top five. Rylee Knoll won the heat race.

6-time track and 3-time UMP DIRTcar Michigan State Champion Eric Spangler and Herb Reich led out the 30-lap main event for the high-powered Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models. The green flag waved, and Spangler took off with the lead after the opening circuit. The ever-intense battling for position commenced, with numerous battles round the track. When all was said and done, it would indeed be Spangler making the visit to victory lane for his fifth win of the year at Merritt in his Forbes Construction / Mastersbilt Racecar #27. Two-time Sunoco American Late Model series champion Brandon Thirlby finished as the runner up. Nick Kurtz, David Mielke, and 16-year old Michael Luberda rounded out the top five. The heat victories went to Mielke, Thirlby, and Josh Knoll. Kurtz won the four-car dash. Thirlby was the overall fast qualifier with a 13.238 lap time. 
The 20-lap feature for the Auto Value Pro Stocks was next with Marc Super and Teri Lynn Murphy on the front row. Super led after the opening lap, but he would soon have to see Jacob Flickinger power his way by on lap 3. Flickinger maintained the lead until the 3-time track champion TJ Erickson maneuvered his way to the front of the field after starting ninth and taking the lead away. Erickson scored the victory, it was his fourth of the year in the Culvers #19. Rick Yaroch, Super, Tim Tabaczka, and Tim Murphy capped off the top five. Jordan Erickson and Kevin Newberry won the heat races.

The main event for the American Ethanol Modified tour presented by Allstar Performance hit the speedway for a 30-lap feature race paying $1500 to win. John McClure would the first leader of the event topping the leaderboard after the first lap. He would try to hang on but on the very next time around it would be the four-time track and 5-time UMP DIRTcar Michigan State Champion David Mielke taking over the lead. Mielke would pull away with the advantage, but he would have the 2017 American Ethanol Modified tour champion Jacob Poel hot on his trail. But there was no stopping Mielke from being the first to the checkered flag. Mielke, the 26-year old from Gladwin, Michigan picked up his fifth Merritt win in his Krompetz Elevators / Rocket by Ruhlman Racecar #87. Poel was the runner up. 2008 track champion Chad Bauer, 4-time track champion Brent Banning, and Michigan Motorsports Hall of Famer Donnie Roberts completed the top five. Mielke, Banning, and McClure won the heats.

The final main event of the evening belonged to the Lake City Materials Factory Stock division running a 15-lap A-Main. Pat Kisser and 16-yeard old Tristian Siddall made up the front row. Kisser was the early leader after lap 1. But on lap 2 it was the hard charging 13-year old Chase Burda who lead the field. Burda would try to pull away, but the 2017 track champion Rick Spencer was in hot pursuit. Spencer would begin to race nose to nose with Burda, but the two would hit heavy lap traffic allowing Burda to get a firmer hold on the top spot. Spencer tried one last but Burda would hang on to get the big win. This was the second win of the year for the 13-year old from Lapeer, Michigan in the Rob’s Service #18. Spencer, Aaron Spearling, Kisser, and Dave Crawford made up the top five. Spencer and Burda won the heats.

The next event for Merritt Speedway will be a double header weekend this Friday August 3rd and Saturday August 4th to celebrate the speedways 50th Anniversary presented by Gilboe’s Lock and Safe. This weekend will feature the highest payouts for the 2018 season. The show will include racing from the Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models, Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Cadillac News Lightning Sprints, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and the Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges. The green flag is set to start the racing action both nights at 7:00pm.

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Dona Marcoullier Victorious at 30th Annual Wood Tic

Lake City, Michigan (Sunday, July 22nd, 2018): This past weekend was the 30th annual Ed Vanduinen WoodTic presented by Diesel Freak at the fast 1/4 (0.250) mile semi banked dirt oval of Merritt Speedway in Lake City, Michigan. Nearly 170 race cars entered the gates of “Michigan’s Premiere Dirt Track” to compete in what is always one of the most prestigious racing events in the entire wolverine state. The program featured all eight regular divisions, headlined by the High-Powered Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models and Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds. The Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Cadillac News Lightning Sprints, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges were in attendance as well for two-day race weekend.

The Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges held two programs over the weekend. On Friday night Jake Erickson won the Restricted division feature, with Troy Yetter, Lillian Erickson, Autumn Erickson, and Amelia Erickson made up the top five. Jake Erickson also won the heat race. On Sunday evening, Cole Shanteau won his first feature of the season over Jake Erickson, Lillian Erickson, Autumn Erickson, and Amelia Erickson who all finished in the top five. In the Un-Restricted division on Friday night, Bella Erickson won her first main event of the year. Landon Kirt, Nathan Winters, Clay Lachcik, and Bryant Vandermark completed the top five. Winters won the heat. Then, on Sunday Vandermark won the feature (his first at Merritt) Winters, Kirt, Erickson, and Lachcik rounded out the field. Lachcik won the heat.

The Lake City Materials Factory Stocks $600 to win A-Main was led out by Jake Thompson and 16-year old Dale Kaake III. Thompson pulled away with the early race lead for the 20-lap event. Thompson would hold the top position until shortly past the halfway point, when 13-year old Chase Burda gained the lead after charging up from sixth. However, it would not be long until the 2017 track champion Rick Spencer would move up to challenge the young driver, and Spencer would indeed complete the pass and go on from there to get the win. The Whittemore, Michigan notched his fourth win of the year in the Spencer Auto Salvage #M65. Burda took second. Thompson, Tim DeGroft, and 18-year old Brendan Powell finished off the top five. Doug Kittel won the Last Chance race. Spencer and DeGroft won the heat races.

The Cadillac News Lightning Sprints entered the speedway for their $400 to win 20-lap feature event. Dave Hall and Rusty Havens kicked things off from the front row. Havens jumped out front with lead after the first circuit. Havens would lead through the first several laps. John Norder started seventh and began to weave his way through the field and would eventually take over the lead from Havens but would then see the 2015 track champion Mack Erickson in his rear view, Erickson had made his way up from starting 13th. Norder would prevail and pick up the win. The 33-year old from Hudsonville scored his second win of the year in his Biggby Coffee #42. Erickson finished second. Chuck Erickson, Havens, and Scott Flees capped off the top five. Mack Erickson and Lindsey Erickson won the preliminary heat races.

The Diesel Freak B-Modifieds rolled out to go after the special $1000 to win 20-lap A-Main. Scott Smith and 2017 track champion Cody Bauer led the field down to the green. Bauer would emerge as the leader, after a battle with the Smith in the early going. Bauer would maintain his spot in front of the field, but a hard charging Chris Cahoon was hot on Bauer’s trail in the late stages of the race. When the dust settled, Bauer would be the one to go to victory lane. This was the second win at Merritt Speedway this year for the 25-year old driver from Farwell, Michigan. Cahoon had to settle for second. Mike Shanteau, Smith, and Josh Loomis rounded out the top five. Mike Vandermark Jr. and Chad May won the Odd/Even Qualifiers. Kyle Galgoci won the Last chance race. Vandermark, Shanteau, and Bauer picked up the heat wins.

Collin Thirlby and 2008 track champion Chad Bauer brought out the $2000 to win Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modified 35-lap main event. The green flag waved signaling Bauer and Thirlby to begin the drag race into the first corner. After the first several circuits, the four-time track champion David Mielke powered his way to the front of the pack taking over the lead. He would gain a great advantage over the rest of the field and he would go on to victory lane. Mielke, the 26-year old from Gladwin, Michigan picked up his fourth win of the year in his Krompetz Elevators / Rockey by Ruhlman Racecar #87. Bauer, Joe Rokos, Thirlby, and Jacob Poel (who started 19th) completed the top five. Mielke and Rokos won the Odd/Even Qualifiers. Bauer won the four-car dash. The heat races were won by Mielke and Rokos. Four-time track champion Brent Banning was the overall fast qualifier with a time of 14.461.

The high-powered Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models made their way out to square off in the special $4000 to win 50-lap main with Greg Gokey and David Mielke bringing the thundering heard of cars down to chief starter Randy Hose’s green flag. Mielke took off with the early advantage and led the first several laps. Nick Kurtz would jump up the lead position after getting a great restart after a caution. However two-time American Ethanol Late Model Tour champion Dona Marcoullier would charge by Kurtz to take over the lead. Marcoullier would go on from there to score the victory and big payday. This was the second win of the year for the 34-year old Houghton Lake, Michigan native, behind the wheel of his Northside Towing / XR-1 Rocket #6m. Mielke finished runner up. Kurtz, five-time track champion David Hilliker, and Gokey made up the rest of the top five. Kurtz and Marcoullier won the Odd/Even Qualifiers. Kyle Borgman won the last chance race. Gokey won the four-car dash. Mielke, Travis Stemler, Kurtz, and Mike Vandermark Jr. won the heats. Kurtz was the overall fast qualifier with a lap time of 13.782.

Ashley Vanauken topped the field in the XLT Engineering $500 to win feature event. She started on the front row along with Jeremy McCracken. Vanauken would find her way to the lead and hang on to pick up the win, her first of the season in the Bay Video #27. 17-year old Danielle Robinson finished in the second position. Matt Limron, 19-year old Cheyanne Emery, and John Lowes finished off the top five. McCracken won the heat race.

In the XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders “B” main event it was Rylee Knoll notching his first WoodTic win and fourth overall of the year in the Vile Inc. Graphics #07. Knoll worked his way through the field after having to start tenth. 18-year old Trent Matthews took the second place finish. Katie Robinson, Mandie Downey, and Shane Forman rounded out the top five. Knoll also won the heat race.

The final event was the $1000 to win Auto Value Pro Stock 25-lap main event. Chad Spencer and Jacob Flickinger led the field to green flag. Flickinger would lead through the early stages of the event until Nate Murphy would rise to the occasion and make the pass for the top position. Murphy, who calls Coleman, Michigan home picked up the win. Flickinger had to settle for second. Chad Bieri (started 15th), Kevin Newberry, and Spencer completed the top five. Michael Luberda and Murphy scored the heat wins.

The next event for Merritt Speedway will be this Saturday July 28th which will see the return of the American Ethanol Modified Tour presented by Allstar Performance. The Lake Odessa, Michigan based tour will bring some of the best UMP DIRTcar Modified drivers to northern Michigan. They will also be joined by the Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models, Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, and XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders. The Pit gates will open at 3:00pm. The grandstands will open at 5:00pm, and the show will start promptly at 7:00pm.

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Night one of the 30th Annual Wood Tic

Night one of the 30th Annual Wood Tic weekend is in the books. 168 race cars were on the property Friday night and competed in a total of 36 heats/dash races. The night began with qualifying for the Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Racing Late Models and the Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Racing Modieds, followed by the preliminary heat races. Then, for the second half of the night's program the special dash for cash races for the seven weekly divisions were ran. Plus this year there were special non-dash for cash events held every division. The Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges were also in attendance for a regular program.

Jake Erickson won the feature event for the Allstar Performance Restricted Mini-Wedges for his second win of the year. Troy Yetter, Lillian Erickson, Autumn Erickson, and Ameilia Erickson made up the top five. Jake Erickson also won the heat race. In the Un-Restricted Mini-Wedges it was Bella Erickson getting to make the trip to victory lane for her first win of the season. Landon Kirt, Nathan Winters, Clay Lachcik, and Bryant VanderMark rounded out the top five. Winters won the heat race.

Ashley Vanauken won the XLT Engineering four-cylinder Dash for Cash over Rylee Knoll, Stan Sutten, Danielle Robinson, and Willard VanHaitsma. Ritchie Montgomery won the Non-Dash. Jeremy McCracken won the "A" division heat, and Knoll won the "B" division heat.

Jake Thompson won the Lake City Materials Factory Stocks Dash for Cash over Chase Burda, Rick Spencer, Tim Degroft, and Brendan Powell. Mike Currie won the Non-Dash. Spencer and DeGroft won the heats.

For the Auto Value Pro Stocks, it was T.J. Erickson winning the Dash for Cash. Chad Bieri won the Non-Dash. Michael Luberda and Nate Murphy won the heat races.

Austin Harnick scored the win in the Diesel Freak B-Modifieds over Chad May, Cody Bauer, Scott Payton, and Mike Shanteau. The Non-Dash was won by Dwight Crawford. Mike Vandermark Jr. and Shanteau were the heat race winners.

The Cadillac News Lighting Sprints saw Johnny Roberts make the trip to victory lane in their Dash for Cash. Brendon Cascadden,Mack Erickson, John Norder, and Robert Ward made up the rest of the top five. Erickson and Lindsey Erickson won the heats.

David Mielke won the Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds Dash for Cash over Joe Rokos, Collin Thirlby, Chad Bauer, and Brent Banning. Rich Robinson Jr. won the Non-Dash. Bauer won the Four-Car Dash, and the heat wins went to Rokos and Mielke. Banning was the overall fast qualifier with a time of 14.461.

In the Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models, it would be David Mielke notching the victory after beating Kyle Roberts on the final lap. Nick Kurtz, Kyle Borgman, and David Hilliker rounded out the top five. Greg Gokey won the Non-Dash, and the Four-Car dash. Mielke, Travis Stemler, Kurtz, and Mike Vandermark Jr. were the heat race winners. Kurtz was the overall fast qualifier with a time of 13.782.

Rokos, Bauer, Robinson, Montgomery, and Erickson Pick Up First Wins of the Season

Lake City, Michigan (Saturday, July 14th, 2018): The high powered Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models headlined the program this past Saturday at the Merritt Speedway. The Premiere division for “Michigan’s Premiere Dirt Track” took part in a special $2000 to win main event. The packed show also included race action from the Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Cadillac News Lightning Sprints, Auto Value Pro Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges.

The first main event of the evening was the make-up Auto Value Pro Stock feature from June 30th. Kevin Newberry and Tim Murphy led the field of cars onto the racing surface to take the green flag. Murphy took the early edge in the event leading after lap 1. Newberry answered right back on lap two taking the lead for himself. He would hold the lead until Murphy would charge his way back to the lead on lap 12. Things would remain the same until the checkered flag waved and a hard charging Marc Super powered his way up to battle and wrestle the lead away from Murphy beating him to the finish line. Super earned his first win of the year in his Super Construction #9 after starting eighth. Newberry would finish in the second spot. Three-time track champion T.J. Erickson, Adam Erickson, and Jacob Flickinger rounded out the top five.

The Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges held their respective “Restricted” and “Un-Restricted” feature events. In the restricted division it was Jack Erickson picking up his first feature win of the season in his #28 car. 12-year old Clay Lachcik found his way back to Merritt Speedway victory lane for his 2nd feature win of the year in his Stine Seed #1w. Keeton Cade (Restricted) and Lachcik (Un-Restricted) won the heat races.

John Matthews and Brian Baumgarten rolled onto the speedway leading the field of Diesel Freak B-Modifieds for a 20-lap A-Main. Baumgarten took the lead after the start. On lap four, however the defending track champion Cody Bauer blasted his way past to take over the race lead. That would turn out to be the last move he would have to make as he would lead the rest of the event. This was the first win of the year at Merritt Speedway for the 25-year old driver who calls Farwell, Michigan home, scoring the victory in his Bauer Construction / BMS. Reid Sanders was the runner up. Mike Nelson, Mike Shanteau, and Richie Sutherland completed the top five. Bauer and Nelson were the heat race winners.

The Cadillac News Lightning Sprints were out next for their 20-lap feature event led by Scott Flees and Chuck Erickson. The green flag waved, and the 2015 track champion Mack Erickson blasted off like he was shot out of a cannon as he worked his way up the lead on lap one after starting fifth. Erickson would see Johnny Roberts get within striking distance in the final circuits, but Erickson would maintain his way through it all to pick up the win. Erickson notched his second win of the year in is Chaney Creek Construction #38. Roberts finished second. John Norder, Flees, and Lindsey Erickson capped off the top five. Roberts and Lindsey Erickson scored the heat wins.
The XLT Engineering Four-Cylinder “A” division competed in a 15-lap feature event. Craig Robinson and Russ Carrier kicked things off from the coveted front row starting spot. After the opening lap, the leader was the defending track champion Willard Van Haitsma who charged to the front after starting fifth. However right after that on the second lap it was Danielle Robinson who would have the lead. VanHaitsma would re-gain the top position on lap four. But, it would turn out to be Robinson’s night, as she would patiently wait for her moment, which came on lap 12 when she would pass VanHaitsma in lap traffic and picked up the big win. The 17-year old driver from Mount Pleasant, Michigan won her first of the season in her Tommie Bauer Excavating #11. VanHaitsma was forced to settle for second. 19-year old Cheyanne Emery, 19-year old Stan Sutten, and Carrier made up the rest of the top five. Robinson also won the lone heat race.

This was followed by the XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders “B” division which also held its 15-lap A-Main. Ritchie Montgomery and Katie Robinson brought the field of cars to life from the front row as they saw the green flag. Montgomery wasted no time jumping out front with the top spot. Montgomery would look strong in the early going, but on lap 8 Brad Robinson would manage to get by with the race lead. However, when the dust settled, it was Montgomery making the trip down to victory lane after taking the lead on the very final circuit. This was Montgomery’s second win in his #0. He finished just ahead of Katie Robinson who wound up in second. Brad Robinson, Daryl Davis, and 18-year old Trent Matthews finished out the top five. The heats were won by Davis and Bobby Fetters.

It was then time for the $2000 to win special event for the Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models. Six-time track champion and three-time UMP DIRTcar Michigan State Champion Eric Spangler and Andrew Terrill brought the field down to chief starter Randy Hose’s green flag. Spangler pulled away with lead in the early going as everyone else shuffled for position behind him. Spangler commanded throughout the event, and despite some late race cautions he would continue to pick up yet another victory. This was the fourth win of the year for the 49-year old Lake City, Michigan driver behind the wheel of the Forbes Construction and Excavating / Mastersbilt Racecar #27. Terrill finished second. Nick Kurtz, David Mielke (who started 19th), and Alex Hupert rounded out the top five. Spangler, Kurtz, and Terrill won the heats. Kurtz also won the four-car dash. Mielke was the overall fast qualifier with a time of 13.565.

The Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds were led out by four-time track champion Brent Banning and 2008 track champion Chad Bauer. Bauer took the advantage in the early stage of the race gaining an excellent distance between himself and the rest of the field. He would lead all the way until lap 18 where he would run into a lapped car and be forced to exit the race early due to heavy damage. That gave the lead to Joe Rokos who led the remainder of the event despite pressure from Paul Johnson. This was the first win of the season for Rokos, the 36-year old from Interlochen, Michigan in his Gilboe’s Lock n Safe / Impressive Racecar #77. Johnson was the second-place driver. Kyle Novak, Jeff Cade, and Caleb Kill made up the top five. Kill and Bauer won the heat races. Rokos also won the four-car dash. Kill was the overall fast qualifier with a 14.825 lap time.

The final main event of the evening belonged to the Auto Value Pro Stock division. It was Adam Erickson and Jacob Flickinger who had the pleasure of leading the field to the green from row number one. Erickson took the lead in the early going. He would hold the spot until lap 7, which would be where he would hit a lap car which caused enough damage for him to make an emergency visit to the pit area. This would give Jacob Flickinger a chance at the lead. He would show the way for the rest of the event despite some heavy pressure from the drivers behind fighting hard for every position they could. But Flickinger hit the correct marks and ended up making the visit to victory lane. The 20-year old from Gaylord, Michigan won his second feature of the season in his Golden Electric #08. Three-time track champion T.J. Erickson finished right behind in second. Rob Westergard, Richard Yaroch, and Nate Murphy capped off the top five. Murphy and Westergard won the preliminary heat races.

The next event for Merritt Speedway will be this Friday and Saturday July 20th-21st for the 30th annual Ed VanDuinen Wood Tic Weekend presented by Diesel Freak. The double header weekend will feature all eight regular divisions competing for huge payouts. The show will be headlined by the $4000 to win Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models, and the $2000 to win Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifeds. Also, on the program will be the $1000 to win for the Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, $400 to win Cadillac News Lighting Sprints, $1000 to win Auto Value Pro Stocks, $600 to win Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, $500 to win XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and the Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges. Friday night will feature the heat races for all the divisions, plus the special dash for cash events. All the A-Mains will be run on Saturday. Pit gates will open at 2:00pm, both nights the racing action is scheduled to start at 7:00pm.

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