Spangler wins two in a row – Chester goes for wild ride
Borg Warner powertrain solutions manufacturing sponsored the UMP Late Models and hosted their company summer outing at Merritt Speedway this past Saturday. Employees of the Cadillac, MI division were treated with meal tickets and reserved seating near turn one. This proved to be some of the best seats in the house as just two laps into the UMP Late Model feature event; Andy Chester of Kingsley and David Hilliker made contact sending Chester into a wild flip as they entered turn one. Andy came to rest on his wheels and climbed out of the wreckage okay. On the restart, Josh Knoll resumed in the lead with Bill Bray and Rich Neiser applying the pressure on Knoll. On lap #5, current point leader Eric Spangler had worked his way from 6th to the runner up spot and took over the point on lap #10. Eric would go on to lead the final circuits to take the checkers for the second week in a row. Running in second place, Josh Knoll suffered mechanical problems on the final lap and headed to the pits allowing Scott Phillips to finish second from his 10th place starting position. Rich Neiser overcame problems from an early flat tire and rallied to a third place finish followed by Chris Brindley, Mike Kresnak, Brook Brasington, David Hilliker, Bob Hammar, Jordan Erickson and Jim Billett. In preliminary action Eric Spangler set fast time with a lap of 13.22, less the 2/10 off the track record while Rich Neiser scored the dash win. Heat race wins went to Rich Neiser, Mike Kresnak and Josh Knoll with Jeremy Tulick carrying the checkers in the “B” Main over Brook Brasington and Jim Billett.
Scott Payton of Gaylord set quick time in Super 8 UMP Modified qualifying with a lap of 14.47 while Roger Steig took the dash win over Joe Rokos, Kevin Miller and Payton. Roger Steig would visit victory lane for the second time of the night in heat #1 followed by Scott Payton and Brian Brindley. Victory in the second heat went to Chad Bauer
followed by Kevin Miller and Joe Rokos. As the green flag dropped on the 25 lap feature event, Roger Steig took the lead from pole sitter Brian Brindley and was setting a blistering pace when the caution came out on lap #10. On the restart, Chad Bauer got the jump on Steig and took over the point with Roger glued to his tail. Bauer would go on to lead the remainder of the event and score the win over Roger Steig, Joe Rokos, Donnie Roberts, Paul Johnson, Jeff Cade, Greg Gokey, Scott Payton, Dave Baker and Brent Banning.
Bobby Liuzzo Jr. swept the nights events in the Hardcore Performance Pro Truck division with heat race win over Dick Stout and Mike Nelson Jr. In the feature race, Liuzzo took the lead from the pole with Mike Nelson Jr. and Craig Foster battling for second place. Foster would secure the runner up position on lap #5 while Nelson would suffer mechanical problems with just two laps to go and fell from competition. Bobby Liuzzo Jr. went on to score the win with Foster in second followed by Richie Sutherland, Dick Stout, Jason Parkhurst, Mark Sheffield, Jerry Mynarcik, Garry Hammar Jr. and Mike Nelson Jr.
Steven Hilliker set fast time during qualifying for the WLLZ TV-12 Pro Street division with a lap of 15.59 and scored the dash win over Bob Timmer, Caleb Kill and TJ Erickson. Hilliker made his way to victory lane for the second time of the night in heat #1 followed by Dan Hersey and Bob Timmer while Kevin Borgen carried the checkers in heat #2 over TJ Erickson and Roger McQueen. As the green flew on the 20 lap feature event, Steven Hilliker took the lead from the pole with Roger McQueen in second. On lap #2, McQueen would dump his entire driveline (transmission included) on the front stretch. After the cleanup, Hilliker would continue out front with TJ Erickson now in the runner up spot. Steven ran a smooth line and held off any challenges from Erickson and drove on to complete his sweep of the night followed by TJ Erickson, Dan Hersey, Caleb Kill, Archie Miles Jr., Andrew Steele, Kevin Borgen, Mark Howie, Roger McQueen and Bob Timmer.
Jimmy’s Collision Factory Stock division continues to grow with 14 entrants checked in at race time. Rick Steward claimed victory in the first of two heat races over Dan Wierman and Nick Crim while Kenny Keller carried the checkers in the second heat followed by Joe Cunningham and Jamie Fancett. Dick Cebula Jr. took the early lead from pole sitter, Karl McClellan with Wood Tic feature winner, Jamie Fancett in tow. On lap #7, new comer, Joe Cunningham took over the runner up spot and moved to the point just two laps later. Cunningham would go on to capture the checkers in his first visit to Merritt Speedway. It was also the first ever feature win for the Linwood, MI driver. Current point leader, Rick Stewart finished a close second followed by Kenny Keller, Dick Cebula Jr., Terry Fancett, Jamie Fancett, Nick Crim, Dan Wierman, Peni Lalonde and John Matthews.
Join us this Saturday for another action packed night at Merritt Speedway. In two weeks on August 17th the World of Outlaws Late Models will invade Merritt Speedway for the third consecutive year.