MWS: Kalamazoo: Race notes

Erik Darnell Wins NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series, Kalamazoo 150 Kalamazoo, Michigan (September 4, 2004) - Erik Darnell, of Beach Park, Illinois, notched his first career NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series, win ...

Erik Darnell Wins NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series, Kalamazoo 150

Kalamazoo, Michigan (September 4, 2004) - Erik Darnell, of Beach Park, Illinois, notched his first career NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series, win Saturday night at Kalamazoo (Mich.) Speedway by claiming the Kalamazoo 150.

Darnell was the Bud Pole fast qualifier, but started 10th after the mandatory series invert. He quickly roared to the front of the field and took the lead on lap 32.

"We heard before we got here that if you could keep the car right on the bottom of the track that you could be relatively fast," said Darnell. "We got the car working down there and it really showed.

The middle stages of the race saw the 21-year-old Darnell open as much as a three-second advantage before a late race caution set up a two-lap shootout for the win. Darnell held off second finishing Justin Diercks, of Davenport, Iowa, by .317-seconds. Steve Carlson, of West Salem, Wisconsin; Russ Blakeley, of Palmyra, Wisconsin and Eddie Hoffman, of Wheaton, Illinois rounded out the top five.

"For the first time all year, at the end of the race, it became a point race for me," said Diercks. "I would have liked to go up there and mix it up with Erik, but I knew I had to look at the big picture, protect the bottom and keep Steve behind me. That was no fun."

Diercks maintains a 72-point advantage over Carlson in the championship standings as the Midwest Series travels next to LaCrosse (Wisc.) Fairgrounds Speedway, October 9-10, for its 2004 season finale.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Erik Darnell , Justin Diercks , Steve Carlson