Berlin Raceway race notes 2003-07-05

DeVos, Meeuwsen, Gebben take home more trophies DeVos's 4.7-second win the biggest of the season MARNE, MI -- Tim DeVos is out to prove he means business on his quest for his first career Coors Light Late Model championship. The Rockford, ...

DeVos, Meeuwsen, Gebben take home more trophies
DeVos's 4.7-second win the biggest of the season

MARNE, MI -- Tim DeVos is out to prove he means business on his quest for his first career Coors Light Late Model championship. The Rockford, MI, native won for the fifth time in nine races and marked the half-way point of the 2003 season with the largest winning margin of the year for any division, by 4.7 seconds over second place Leroy Magoon. Rookie Nick Gebben won for the second time this season in the Hitches By George Sportsman division, while Ross Meeuwsen's trophy shelf got more crowded as he won for the eighth in 10 tries.

In the Hitches By George Sportsman feature, rookie #4 Nick Gebben started on the outside pole and led all 25 laps on his way to the second win of the season for the young 16-year-old from Holland. Just two cautions slowed the race - the first on lap 11 as the #89 of Kirk Meissner spun, as and the second on lap 14, points leader #24 Lee VanDyk and #25 Scott Root, running in second and third after each working their way up five spots from their starting positions, got together. Gebben stayed in front of the action and went on to claim his second Engine Pro/Hastings Manufacturing Powerflex Trophy and crack the top 10 in points for the first time since the first week of the season. #55 Dave Lake finished second, followed by #9 Mike Root, #86 Ray Melinn and #5 Casey Berenbrock. Mike Root gained ground on points leader VanDyk, who finished 18th after his mid-race mishap, slicing VanDyk's lead in half to just 36 points. Root won the Valvoline Hard Charger award by advancing six positions from start to finish.

Ross Meeuwsen of Zeeland continued to rack up victories in the Engine Pro Super Stock division. Meeuwsen started from the fourth position but quickly moved up to take the lead. The sole caution of the race came on lap 18 when something broke on the #8 of Billy Eppink, causing it to suddenly make a sharp right turn and run head-first into the frontstretch wall. Eppink was not injured. The field was no match for Meeuwsen, who went on to win his eighth Engine Pro/Mike Marks Pro Shop Trophy in 10 races this season. #98 Bob Bliss finished second for the fourth time this season to stay within striking distance in the point standings, 123 points behind Meeuwsen. Rookies #2 Jimmy TenBrink and #71 Brandon Braisted finished third and fourth, respectively, while #3 Ross Eppink finished fifth and won the Valvoline Hard Charger award by advancing the most positions (5) from start to finish.

Rockford's Tim DeVos put on an impressive display of driving skills in the Coors Light Late Model feature, lapping half the field on his way to his fifth Engine Pro/Federal Mogul Speed Pro trophy of the season. After an early lap 3 caution, the race stayed green for the remaining 47 laps. #1 Randy Sweet led the first 19 laps after starting on the outside pole, but was passed by pole-sitter #11 Leroy Magoon and points leader #12 DeVos on lap 20. Seven laps later, DeVos went high in turn 4 to take the lead from Magoon. DeVos put it in high gear, stretching his lead out quickly. By the 40-lap point he had a commanding four second full straightaway lead, and he crossed the finish line more than 4.7 seconds ahead of second place Magoon, the biggest winning margin of the season. #82 Tom Thomas passed Randy Sweet for third place on the final lap of the race, and #94 Greg Usher finished fifth. The top 5 finishes by Sweet and Usher were somewhat of a surprise, coming after a crash in an earlier heat race that left Sweet's car sitting on top of Usher's hood. #76 Brian Tillema won the Valvoline Hard Charger award. DeVos now leads the point standings by 162 points over #101 Joe Bush.

Complete race results and point standings can be found online at www.berlinraceway.com.

Berlin Raceway will be back in action next Saturday night, July 12, for a weekly points race presented by Performance Engineering. Coors Light Late Model, Engine Pro Super Stock and Hitches By George Sportsman divisions will compete. Tickets are $11 in advance and $12 at the gate for general admission and $25 for pit passes. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the first race begins at 7 p.m.

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