Berlin Raceway race notes 2004-08-07

Bush, Wiersma win third straight Van Haitsma wins seventh Standale Lumber Sportsman feature MARNE, MI -- Joe Bush and Brian Wiersma each won their third straight Coors Light Late Model and Engine Pro Super Stock feature, respectively, Saturday...

Bush, Wiersma win third straight
Van Haitsma wins seventh Standale Lumber Sportsman feature

MARNE, MI -- Joe Bush and Brian Wiersma each won their third straight Coors Light Late Model and Engine Pro Super Stock feature, respectively, Saturday night at Berlin Raceway in front of 7,453 fans on UAW Night. In the Standale Lumber Sportsman division, Terry Van Haitsma continued to run away with the points lead, winning his seventh of the 14 races this season. The Sportsman and Super Stock races provided two of the most exciting finishes of the season for the WXSP TV audience.

In the 40-lap Engine Pro Super Stock feature, an early caution came out on lap 7 as #1 Greg Wing spun on the backstretch. #35 Kyle Anderson, #30 Zach Dunson and #98 Bob Bliss were also involved. A long green flag stretch followed, with #76 Warren Speet leading the pack. But Speet, who was involved in a hard crash last week, got a bit loose ahead of #88 Tim Sweeney on lap 27, and the two cars got together causing Speet to spin in turn 1. On the lap 27 restart, Anderson got sideways on the frontstretch and spun, with Bliss, #53 Chris Modzeleski, #9 Nick Shotko, #H7 John Smith Sr., Sweeney and #52 Jim Idema piling up.

Then on lap 30, #36 Dan Groeneveld and Idema crashed on frontstretch for the fourth yellow flag of the race. On the restart Idema hit the turn 3 wall to bring out the final caution. But the race for the checkered flag came down to the wire as #1 Brian Wiersma caught leader #5 Ray VanAllsburg on the backstretch of the final lap, nosing inside to force side-by-side racing through the final two turns. VanAllsburg drifted high coming out of turn four, scraping the frontstretch wall and slowing enough to allow Wiersma the opportunity to edge him out for the win by a tenth of a second. #71 Brandon Braisted finished second, followed by #13 James Haney and Speet. It was the fourth Clevite Trophy presented by The Dana Corp. sponsored by Engine Pro of the season and third in a row for the Coopersville driver, who now leads the points by 170 over Bliss.

In the 60-lap Coors Light Late Model feature, #101 Joe Bush of Hastings took the lead on lap 21, followed by #12 Tim DeVos and #18 Lee Anderson. The three cars stayed in those positions for the remainder of the race, which lasted just 20 minutes with just one early caution. Just six cars finished on the lead lap. Bush took the Fel-Pro Trophy presented by The Federal Mogul Group sponsored by Engine Pro by a .857 margin over DeVos, who held more than a five-second advantage over third place Anderson. #88 Tim Yonker finished fourth, followed by #33 Dave Stehouwer. #9 Mike Root won the Valvoline Hard Charger award by advancing 11 positions to finish sixth in the feature. In the tightest points race among the three divisions, Bush holds a 53-point margin over teammate Anderson.

The Standale Lumber Sportsman feature provided another exciting finish, as Hudsonville's Terry Van Haitsma made it three wide with half a lap to go by sneaking inside the side-by-side battle between #4 Nick Gebben and #15 Casey Berenbrock. Van Haitsma took the lead in the final turns and raced to his seventh Powerflex Trophy presented by Hastings Manufacturing Co. sponsored by Engine Pro of the season ahead of #55 Dave Lake, Gebben, Berenbrock and #20 Hull. The 30-lap race took 30 minutes to complete as several early cautions slowed the pace. The final yellow flag came out on lap 24 as #15 Scott Root got into the back of #24 Lee VanDyk while the two raced in third and fourth position. VanDyk spun and therefore was sent to the back of the field, while Root was deemed to have spun VanDyk intentionally and was sent to the back for rough driving. Root refused the penalty and parked his car on the frontstretch in protest. It took a tow truck and a push truck to force the #15 car from the racing surface to the roar of the largest crowd of the season. Van Haitsma now holds a commanding 169-point lead over Lake in the season standings.

Racing action resumes next week, Saturday night, August 14, for UAW Night - a weekly show presented by UAW with post-race fireworks. 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.

-www.berlinraceway.com.

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