Berlin Raceway race notes 2005-05-14

Sweet, Lake, Van Zalen claim victories Dave Shullick Jr. wins first-ever MSA Supermodifieds race at Berlin MARNE, MI -- Berlin Raceway managed to stay dry enough Saturday night to name winners in all four features, dodging dark clouds and...

Sweet, Lake, Van Zalen claim victories
Dave Shullick Jr. wins first-ever MSA Supermodifieds race at Berlin

MARNE, MI -- Berlin Raceway managed to stay dry enough Saturday night to name winners in all four features, dodging dark clouds and defying forecasts to complete 106 of 125 scheduled feature laps.

The Coors Light Late Model feature took the track early after the cancellation of the division's heat races due to impending storms. Rookie #15 Scott Root started on the pole and led early, holding off Fred Campbell, who was driving the borrowed #00 car of Andy Ponstein after his own car broke earlier, until lap 11. On that same lap, #X Ray Clay and #9 Mike Root slipped off the backstretch to bring out the first caution of the night. Two laps later, Scott Root spun as a tire went down. #12 Tim DeVos also lost a tire and pitted, and #88 Tim Yonker and #9 Jeff Hennip also came into the pits.

A battle for the lead developed between #32 Ross Meeuwsen and Fred Campbell through the middle laps of the race, with Meeuwsen challenging Campbell for the lead and forcing side-by-side racing. Meeuwsen took the lead on lap 29, but it was the only lap he would lead. Caution came out on lap 30 for an incident involving DeVos and #74 Paul Namey in turn 2, then on the restart, Meeuwsen appeared to have let up and Campbell got into the back of him, resulting in Meeuwsen's car crashing into the turn 4 wall, ending his night. Campbell regained the lead and held it until lap 41, when his car started to fade and #1 Randy Sweet took the lead. #27 Billy Shotko challenged Sweet on the last two laps of the 50-lap feature, but Sweet took the checkered flag by almost a full car length to record his first win since May 15, 2004. Shotko finished second, followed by #222 Caleb Bisacky, #57 Alan Marcott and Campbell.

The visiting Midwest Supermodified Association feature was the next to take the track for a scheduled 30-lap race. Fastest qualifier Dave Shullick Jr., who posted a blazing-fast laptime of 13.692 (115.162 mph), started eighth and bulldozed his way to the front, taking the lead on lap 17. The feature was called two laps later, after 19 laps were completed, due to rain. #61 Charlie Schultz finished second, followed by #19 Moe Lilje, #7 Dave McKnight and #1 Joe Grunda.

In the Standale Lumber Pro Stock division, #1 Randy Veldman led the 25-lap feature race early, until lap 9 when he got together with #7 Kevin DeGood, who spun and blocked traffic in turn 4, collecting several cars. Caught up in the wreck were #77 Andrew Nylaan, #20 Dave Hull, #3x Travis Nylaan and #40 Dave Cutler. A caution flag for rain was waved on lap 15, but the delay was short. Once green again, #55 Dave Lake and #15 Casey Berenbrock provided the best racing of the night, going side by side for virtually the last half of the race. #23 Chris Koslek waited patiently in third position, and made his move on the final lap by going 3-wide with Berenbrock and Lake. Lake came out the victor for the third time in four races, followed by Koslek, #52 Bruce Chase, Berenbrock and #7 Nick Gebben.

Finally, in the Standale Interiors Sportsman division, #62 Charlie DeJong led the first nine laps of the feature before last week's winner, #44 Brian Van Zalen, got by him for the lead. The race was shortened to 12 laps due to rain, and Van Zalen was named the winner, followed by DeJong, #9 Jeff Sterken, #2 Shawn Simon and #6 Terry Bockheim.

Racing action resumes next Saturday night, May 21, with weekly points races for all four divisions (plus Electric Car Race and Reading Club Night). Tickets are $11 in advance and $12 at the gate for general admission (kids 3-12 are half price) Pit passes for those 16 and over are $25. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the first race begins at 7 p.m.

-berlinraceway.com

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Series Stock car
Drivers Andy Ponstein