Rich Neiser scores 6th feature win in Don Nester UMP Late Model Division
Don Nester Auto Group of Houghton Lake sponsored the UMP Late Model division this past Saturday night. 20 drivers checked in for their last chance to dial in their setup for this coming Saturday’s NAPA 50 World of Outlaws Late Model show. Scott Phillips of Marlette, MI set quick time overall with a lap of 13.28, just 2/10’s off the track record while Eric Spangler carried the first checkers of the night in the Dash followed by David Hilliker, Dave Hartman and Phillips. In Heat #1, Rich Neiser cruised to victory and pulled a number two from the bag to put him on the outside of the front row for the feature. Erick Spangler and Bill Bray followed in second and third. Chris Brindley made his way to victory lane in the second heat over Dave Hartman and David Hilliker. As the green flag flew on the 25 lap feature event, Rich Neiser took the lead from pole sitter Bill Bray coming out of turn two. Through the first ten laps, Neiser stretched out a commanding lead only to have it wiped out when the caution came out for Jordan Erickson with a broken rear suspension. Eric Spangler had made his way to the runner up spot but was unable to get the jump on Neiser and Rich drove on to score his sixth feature win of the year at Merritt Speedway. Eric Spangler held on to finish in second followed by Chris Brindley, Scott Phillips, David Hilliker, Dave Hartman, Bill Bray, Brook Brasington, Josh Knoll and Merv Hudson. The “Flyin’ Farmer” Frank Seder received a huge ovation during the feature line up introductions as he was piloting his former ride, now owned by Dave Bowen. Frank finished just outside the top ten in 11th from his 14th place starting position.
TJ Erickson was quick overall in qualifying for the WLLZ TV-12 Pro Streets with a lap of 15.72. The Dash win went to Kevin Borgen followed Shane Aeschliman, Archie Miles Jr. and Erickson. Steven Hilliker scored the first of two heat race wins over Dan Hersey and Shane Aeschliman while Archie Miles Jr. picked up the win in heat #2 followed by Rick Beauchamp and Caleb Kill. In the feature race, Steven Hilliker started on the outside of the front row and quickly disposed of pole sitter Rick Beauchamp to take the early lead. At the midway point of the twenty lap event, Archie Miles Jr. took the runner up spot from Beauchamp, but ran out of laps in his attempt to chase down Hilliker. Steven would collect his 8th feature race win of the season with Archie Miles Jr. in second followed by Rick Beauchamp, TJ Erickson, Shane Aeschliman, Dan Hersey, Tim Tabaczka, Caleb Kill, Andrew Steele and Kevin Borgen.
Richie Sutherland set fast time during qualifying for the Hardcore Performance Pro Trucks at 15.79 while Mark Sheffield carried the checkers in the Dash over Sutherland, Bob Hammar and Bobby Liuzzo Sr. Mike Nelson Jr. made his way to the winners circle in the first of two heat races followed by Bobby Liuzzo Sr. and Bob Hammar. The victory in heat #2 went to Bobby Liuzzo Jr. over Richie Sutherland and Mark Sheffield. The outside once again proved to be the place to start the feature as Bobby Liuzzo Jr. took the lead from Mike Nelson Jr. at the drop of the green flag. Bobby Liuzzo Jr. would cruise to victory with Richie Sutherland taking over the runner spot with five laps to go. Mike Nelson Jr. held on to finish in third followed by Mark Sheffield, Craig Foster, Jerry Mynarcik, Jason Parkhurst, Garry Hammar Jr. and Bobby Liuzzo Sr.
Jimmy’s Collision Factory Stock Drivers were treated to a rare opportunity to qualify with Rick Stewart logging quick time at 17.15, less than 1/10 off the track record. John Matthews would visit victory lane in the dash followed by Jamie Fancett, Terry Fancett and Rick Stewart. Jamie Fancett carried the checkers in the heat race followed by Rick Stewart and John Matthews. In the feature event, Jamie Fancett was the only driver all night to take advantage of sitting on the pole as he took the lead at the drop of the green flag and never looked back driving on to score his second feature win of the season over Terry Fancett, John Matthews, Rick Stewart, Dan Wierman, Peni Lalonde, Craig Wertz, Nick Crim and Brian Paige III. Jamie Fancett would close the point gap to just 16 points behind Rick Stewart.
BH Hobart Jewelers/Hiram’s Lightning Sprints made a late addition to the lineup with Justin Ward carrying the checkers in the heat race over Tom Hunt and Bill Dunham. In the feature race, Bill Dunham of Bellville, MI took the lead and set a blistering pace over the rest of the field. Dunham would lead flag to flag for the win followed by Ton Hunt, Justin Ward, Mack Erickson, Chuck Erickson and Pauly Erickson.
Don’t miss this Saturday at Merritt Speedway when the “World of Outlaws” Late Models series returns for the third consecutive year. The early forecast is for great weather and even greater action on the track.
See ya at the track