John Norder Victorious on Lightning Sprint Night at Merritt Speedway

Lake City, Michigan (Saturday, July 7th, 2018): Merritt Speedway held its third race night in seven days this past Saturday night where the speedway saw 11 feature winners make the trip to victory lane. It was “Lightning Sprint” night at the fast 1/4 (2.50) mile semi banked dirt oval, where the Cadillac News Lightning Sprints ran for a special payout. The Lake City, Michigan power plant hosted eight divisions in total. Along with the lighting sprints were the high-powered Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models, Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges.

The night began with the make-up feature event from June 30th for the Cadillac News Lightning Sprints who went 20-laps. Paul Erickson and Scott Flees led the field down to the green flag. Lindsey Erickson would fly to the front of the field and take the lead after lap 1 after starting fourth. She would go on from there to pick up the win after leading every single lap in the race. 2015 track champion Mack Erickson finished second. John Norder, Brendon Cascadden, and Bridgette Andras rounded out the top five.

Next it was the 15-lap make up feature for the Lake City Materials Factory Stocks who were led out by Logan Proctor and Dave Crawford. However, after the fall of the green it would actually be 13-year old Chase Burda jumping out in front of the pack of cars. He would hold that position until lap 3 when the defending track champion Rick Spencer weaved his way to the front of the field. Spencer would command the lead until 16-year old Dale Kaake III took the top spot at the white flag signaling one lap to go. But Spencer would not be denied as he charged back ahead in time for the checkered flag to get the win. Kaake, Burda, Crawford, and Brendan Powell completed the top five.

The Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges held their “Un-Restricted” and “Restricted” feature events. In the “Restricted” division it was Pierson DeShano making the trip to victory lane for his 4th win of the year. He finished just ahead of Cole Shanteau who was second. Dillon Liggett, Troy Yetter, and Keeton Cade made up the rest of the top five. Landon Kirt was the winner of the “Un-Restricted” division getting his first win of the year. 12-year old Clay LaChcik was the runner-up. Olivia Workman, Bella Erickson, and Brennan DeShano were the rest of the top five. The heat race winners were Pierson DeShano (Restricted) and Brennan DeShano (Un-Restricted).

The 20-lap A-Main feature for the Auto Value Pro Stocks rolled to the speedway led out by Tim Tabaczka and Tim Murphy. The drag race into the first turn began after the drop of chief starter Randy Hose’s green flag. Jordan Erickson would charge to the front of the field after the opening circuit after starting third. He would hang on until lap 4 where the defending track champion T.J. Erickson made the pass for the lead. That would turn out to be all he needed to do, as he would go on all the way from there to pick up the victory.

This was the third win of the season for the 26-year old driver from Traverse City, Michigan behind the wheel of his Culvers #19. Jacob Flickinger scored the second-place finish. Murphy, Marc Super, and Rick Yaroch rounded out the top five. Teri Lynn Murphy and T.J. Erickson won the heat races.

The 15-lap feature for the XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders was next. Aaron Boyd and 19-year old Stan Sutten brought the field onto the race track. 17-year old Danielle Robinson stormed ahead of everyone else to take the lead on lap 1. She pulled out to a convincing lead. However, the defending track champion Willard VanHaitsma weaved his way through the field after starting sixth and was able to catch Robinson and battle for the lead and when the checkered flag dropped it was VanHaitsma getting the win. VanHaitsma, the 60-year old driver from Cadillac, Michigan notched his fourth win of the season in his J&H Salvage #00. Robinson was forced to settle for second. Jeremy McCracken, 19-year old Cheyanne Emery, and Boyd finished off the top five. VanHaitsma also won the heat race.

The XLT Engineering Four-Cylinder B division competed in a 15-lap main event. Mike Hency and 18-year old Trent Matthews kicked things off from the front row. Matthews went to work taking the advantage on the first lap. He would hold the lead until lap 4 when he would see Rylee Knoll charge by taking the lead away. Knoll would lead on from there and take home the checkered flag. This was Knoll’s third win of the season and second in a row, driving the Vile Inc. Graphics #07. Matthews finished in second. Bobby Fetters, Hency, and Shane Forman capped off the top five. The lone heat race win went to Katie Robinson.

The Diesel Freak B-Modifieds took to the racing surface for their 20-lap feature race. Scott Smith and Scott Payton brought the field to the green. Smith grabbed the early race advantage, but Payton would answer him back on lap 2 pulling away with the lead as the stout field continued the position battles behind him. The defending track champion Cody Bauer was charging towards the front of the field soon after, but he would shockingly spin out bringing out the caution flag which forced him to re-start at the rear. Payton would hang on from there to collect the win.

The 36-year old driver Gaylord, Michigan scored his third win of the year in his Big Boys Tv / Longhorn Chassis #711. Josh Loomis was the runner up finisher. Reid Sanders, Smith, and John Taylor completed the top five. Mike Shanteau, Taylor, and Sanders won the heats.

The 30-lap main for the Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models was next led by Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Famer Steve Hilliker and Andrew Terrill on the front row. Hilliker took the lead after the opening circuit. A long battle would begin with both Terrill and the 2015 UMP DIRTcar national rookie of the year Nick Kurtz who both tried everything they could to get around the veteran driver Hilliker, always with striking distance. However, when the dust settled it was indeed Hilliker making the journey to victory lane.

This was the first win of the year at Merritt Speedway for the 58-year old driver from Midland, Michigan behind the wheel of his Midland Steel / Mastersbilt Racecar #21s. Terrill took second. Kurtz, Wade Witherspoon, and 16-year old Michael Luberda Jr. made up the rest of the top five. The heat victories went to Kurtz, 6-time track champion Eric Spangler, and Bobby Timmer. Spangler won the four-car dash, and Kurtz was the overall fast qualifier with a time of 13.497.
Anthony Whitehead and Dave Hall brought out the 25-lap main event for the Cadillac News Lighting Sprints who went head to head for a special payout. Whitehead took command of the lead in the early going. It would be on lap 4 when John Norder powered his way by taking the top position away after starting Tenth. Norder would hang on from there to get the feature win.

Norder, the 33-year old driver from Hudsonville, Michigan picked up his first win of the season in his Biggby Coffee #42. He finished ahead of Johnny Roberts who finished second. Brendon Cascadden, Lindsey Erickson, and Whitehead rounded out the top five. 2015 track champion Mack Erickson and Roberts scored the heat race wins. Lindsey Erickson was the overall fast qualifier with a time of 14.145.

The final feature of the night belonged to the Lake City Materials Factory Stocks. Dave Crawford and Aaron Spearling had the pleasure of starting the 15-lap race from the coveted front row. The green flag waved, and Crawford jumped out immediately. He would lead for the first nine laps until the defending track champion Rick Spencer worked his way by Crawford for the race advantage. Then, on lap 11 the hard charging Jake Thompson worked his up to battle with Spencer, and officially took the lead. Thompson went on from there to get the victory.

This was Thompson’s second win of the year in his S&S Auto Parts #50. He beat out Spencer who finished in the runner up position. 2016 track champion Jim Miller Jr., 13-year old Chase Burda, and Crawford finished out the top five. 2015 track champion Jim Miller Sr., and Thompson won the heats.

The next event for Merritt Speedway will be This Saturday July 14th. It will be “late model night” featuring at special $2000 to win feature event for the premiere division, the Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models. Also, in action will be the Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, Cadillac News Lightning Sprints, Auto Value Pro Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges. Plus, the night will see the second visit from the M.O.R.A. Mini-Outlaws. The Pit gates will open at 3:00pm, grandstands will open at 5:00pm. Qualifying for the UMP DIRTcar Late Models, and UMP DIRTcar Modifieds will take place at 6:00pm. Then, after pre-race ceremonies, Invocation/National Anthem, the green flag is set to fly at 7:00pm.

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Payton Snags $5000 Payday on July 3rd at Merritt Speedway

Lake City, Michigan (Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018): The grandstands of the Merritt Speedway were packed with a stellar crowd to celebrate the Independence Day holiday with enjoying a night filled with fireworks and lots of passing on the fast 1/4 (0.250) mile dirt oval located on M-55 east of Lake City and west of Houghton Lake. The show was headlined by an unprecedented $5000 to win race for the Diesel Freak B-Modifieds presented by Quarter Master. The specials didn’t stop there as the high-powered Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models competed for a special $2500 to win, and the XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders raced for a $600 to win prize. The Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, Cadillac News Lightning Sprints, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges were all in action as well.

The night’s main events began like usual with the running of the Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges for both the “restricted” and “unrestricted” divisions. Dillon Liggett conquered the field in the restricted division finishing ahead of Lillian Erickson, Claire Krajniak, Cole Shanteau, and Pierson DeShano who made up the top five. In the Un-restricted division, Brennan DeShano made the trip to victory lane as the winner. Kyron DeShano was second. Marshall Krajniak, Jeff Gohr, and Bryant VanderMark were the top five. Shanteau (restricted) and 12-year old Clay Lachcik (un-restricted) won their respective heat races.

The Diesel Freak B-Modifieds rolled out onto the speedway for the big $5000 to win 35-lap A-main presented by Quarter Master. Greg Smith of Montague and 15-year old Austin Harnick of Clare led the 24-car field down to chief starter Randy Hose’s green flag. Smith jumped out with the early edge. He would pull out to a strong lead. However on lap 10 he would see Scott Payton charge to the front of the field and take over the lead. Smith would answer back on lap 12 and take command of the top spot. But after a late race caution with 4 laps remaining, Payton would power his way past on the restart and he would go on to score the big payday.

For Payton, the 36-year old native of Gaylord, Michigan this was his second feature win of the year in his Henkels and McCoy contractors / Longhorn Chassis #711. Defending track champion Cody Bauer was the runner up. Myron DeYoung, Chance Allen, and Jacob Flickinger rounded out the top five. Mickey Carman Jr., Bauer, Allen, Harnick, and Payton won the preliminary heat races. John Taylor and Terry Shank won the two last chance b-mains.

The 20-lap Auto Value Pro Stock feature event was out next with Joe Fisher and Kevin Newberry leading the way down to the green. Newberry wasted no time in taking the lead after the drag race into the first corner. On lap 3 it was Fisher who found himself in the lead. Then on lap 5 Jacob Flickinger would make the pass for the lead spot after starting fifth. Flickinger would see some great competition in the late stages of the race from Rick Yaroch, and the defending track champion T.J. Erickson, but when the dust settled it was Flickinger getting to make the trip to victory lane.

This was the 20-year old from Gaylord, Michigan’s first win of the season in his Golden Electric #08. Yaroch finished second. Erickson, Rob Westergard, and Marc Super completed the top five. The heat wins went to Westergard and Flickinger.

Andrew Terrill and 6-time track champion Eric Spangler led out the 35-lap $2500 to win main event for the Soaring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models. Once the green flag was out Terrill jumped out with the early race advantage as everyone else shuffled for position behind him. Terrill would maintain his possession of the lead until lap 12 when Spangler made the pass by him while the two battled in lap traffic, but Terrill would retaliate with a pass of his own on Spangler to take the lead back on lap 13. Terrill would go on from there to pick up the victory.

Terrill the 28-year old from Sanford, Michigan picked up his first win of the year at Merritt Speedway in his Cieslinski Electric / Rocket Chassis #4t. His finished ahead of Nick Kurtz who took second. Rich Neiser finished third after starting seventh, Spangler, and David Mielke finished off the top five. Thirlby, Mielke, and Greg Gokey scored the heat victories.

The Cadillac Tire Center UMP DIRTcar Modifieds were out next for a 25-lap feature race. Dave Baker and Collin Thirlby kicked things off from the front row. Thirlby blasted off with the lead after the opening circuit. Thirlby held the top position all the way through lap 10, when he would see a challenge from the 4-time track champion David Mielke who worked his way up after starting third. Mielke would take command from there going on to be the first to the checkered flag.

This was the 26-year old Gladwin, Michigan native’s third win of the season at Merritt Speedway in his Krompetz Elevators / Rocket by Ruhlman Racecar #87. Joe Rokos finished just behind in second. Thirlby, Baker, and Kyle Novak rounded out the top five. Mielke and Paul Johnson won the heat races.

Up next was the 15-lap main for the Lake City Materials Factory Stocks who were led out by Justin Kuhl and Marty French. The green flag waved, and it was 2016 track champion Jim Miller Jr. weaving his way out in front of the field after lap 1 from his third starting position. Miller would maintain the edge until the final five laps where he become engulfed in a great three car battle with 13-year old Chase Burda and the 2017 track champion Rick Spencer. The three drivers would stay right by each other in the closing laps with Miller holding the lead. But, on the final lap Burda would pull off the perfectly timed pass to get by Miller and Spencer and brought home the big win.

This was the first win in the factory stock division for the 13-year old driver who calls Lapeer, Michigan home in his Rob’s Service #18. Miller was forced to settle for second. Spencer, 18-year old Brendan Powell, and Aaron Spearling capped off the top five. Burda and Spencer scored the heat race victories.

The XLT Engineering four-cylinders $600 to win A-Main was next with 19-year old Cheyanne Emery and 19-year old Stan Sutten bringing the field to the green. However it was the fourth place starter Ryan Hamm who took the lead in the first trip around the dirt oval. That would turn out to be the only move Hamm would have to make as he would lead throughout the event despite several cautions and a good battle with defending track champion Willard VanHaitsma for several laps.

This was the Muskegon, Michigan drivers first win of the year at Merritt Speedway in his #7h. VanHaitsma took second. Ashley Vanauken, 17-year old Danielle Robinson and Dillon Gentry completed the top five. Gentry and Don Sevenski were the preliminary heat race winners.

The final main event of the night belonged to the XLT Engineering four-cylinder “B” division who came out for a 20-lap feature event. Katie Robinson and Ty Papkey started at the front of the field. Robinson took the lead on lap 1, but was answered right away by Rylee Knoll who took the lead away on lap 2. Knoll would gain a good advantage over the rest of the field, and despite several cautions, the young driver held on to make the trip to victory lane.

This was the second feature win of the year for the native of Lake, Michigan driver in his Vile Inc. Graphics #07. Limron finished second. Robinson, Papkey, and Shane Forman rounded out the top five. 18-year old Trent Matthews picked up the heat win.

The next event for Merritt Speedway will be This Saturday July 7th. It will be Lightning Sprint night where the Cadillac News Lightning Sprints division will be racing for an increased payout. The show will also include the Soaring Eagle UMP DIRTcar Late Models, Diesel Freak B-Modifieds, Auto Value Pro Stocks, Lake City Materials Factory Stocks, XLT Engineering Four-Cylinders, and Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges. The make-up features for the Factory Stocks and Lighting Sprints from June 30th will begin the nights show.

The Pit Gates will open at 3:00pm, grandstands will open at 5:00pm, qualifying for the UMP DIRTcar Late Models and Lightning Sprints will take place at 6:00pm then after the Invocation/National Anthem, the green flag is set to wave at 7:00pm.

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Mother Nature Forces Cancelation at Merritt Speedway

Mother Nature Forces Cancelation at Merritt Speedway

Lake City, Michigan (Saturday, June 24th, 2018): The Merritt Speedway was set to host yet another Saturday night of racing but was forced cancel the event after a few pop-up showers. The forecast did not call for any rain, but heavy cloud cover. The night’s program began like normal with qualifying for the visiting American Ethanol Modied tour and the Soring Eagle Casino UMP DIRTcar Late Models. It was during the Late Model qualifying that the first light rain shower hit the speedway, forcing a 30-minate rain delay. The rain did clear away, and many drivers helped get the racing surface back to a good condition, giving hope that the program could still be completed.

The race program began with preliminary heat races, and it was during the fifth race on the track when another heavier rain shower covered the facility forcing a halt in the action. The decision was made to cancel the night’s program shortly thereafter. “We tried everything we could to get it in, but after that second shower the track had taken to much water for us to get it back” race director Jason Vermilyea said after the decision. The event for the American Ethanol Modified tour at Merritt was rescheduled for Saturday July 28th.

The next event for Merritt Speedway will be This Saturday June 30th. The show will be headlined by the annual visit from the fire breathing winged warriors of the Great Lakes Super Sprints. The traveling cars and stars of the traveling winged sprint car series will bring some of the best driving talent in all of the great lakes to northern Michigan. They will be joined in action by the 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 Allstar Performance Mini-Wedges. The Pit Gates will open at 3:00pm, Grandstands will open at 5:00pm. Racing is scheduled to start at 7:00pm.

Results For June 16, 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.

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Results for June 9, 2018

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.

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