Marne, MI -- The Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Super Sprint Series returns to Berlin Raceway Saturday with much anticipation for another great open wheel show. The first of two appearances at the legendary Marne oval is always a highlight of the ...
Marne, MI -- The Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Super Sprint Series returns to Berlin Raceway Saturday with much anticipation for another great open wheel show. The first of two appearances at the legendary Marne oval is always a highlight of the season for the drivers of the AVSS.
The 410 cubic inch powered machines will continue to challenge that elusive 12-second barrier in Hamilton Trucking qualifications. In 2001, Tom Fedewa of Leslie, MI, broke the track record when he qualified at an amazing 13.080. If the early portion of the 2003 season is any guide to what might happen Saturday in qualifying, it looks great to see another record set at the tricky 7/16-mile oval. At three AVSS events this season the track record has been lowered. At Kalamazoo Speedway it was Millbury, OH, rookie Brian Lay setting a 10.928 record lap. At Toledo Speedway on July 13 it was Oxford, MI, racer Kevin Feeney setting an all-time record at an incredible 12.958 on the highbanked half-mile. The Auto City Speedway in Flint was witness to the fastest lap ever there on June 14 when Terre Haute, IN, speedster Kevin Newton lowered the track record to 12.90 at that 7/16-mile oval. What this says is the fastest cars ever seen at Berlin are what you will be enjoying tonight. The show at Toledo had the ISMA supermodifieds there as well and in qualifying the AVSS had three drivers out-qualify the supermodifieds!
The winged warriors of the AVSS do not only mean sheer speed, but also close competition. In the 22 AVSS events in 2002, there were 12 different feature winners. The drivers points championship was settled at Salem Speedway in Salem, IN, last September when Park City, IL, driver Tim Cox edged Parma, MI, veteran Bill Tyler by a slim five point margin. It is incredible to think that after five months and 22 races it was that close and that proves the amazingly close action you will witness Saturday.
The AVSS cars are specially built chassis that race only on asphalt with wide Hoosier tires and 800 plus horsepower motors burning alcohol at an alarming rate. The cars must weigh 1600 pounds and the top wings are a maximum of five feet by five. The drivers wear the best in safety equipment to protect them in the event of accident or fire. These cars do not have transmissions or starters, so they are in need of the traditional push start from one of the helpful push truck drivers.
The race here at Berlin is the ninth of the 19-race 2003 AVSS season and they will return to the Marne oval on August 30th. There is expected to be close to 30 cars competing tonight and last year there was a record high of 33 cars racing at Berlin. The field will qualify, run 3-4 heat races of 8 laps and a Last Chance race of 12 laps. The feature event is 30 laps.
The drivers that are expected to compete include current points leader and 2002 car owners champion Tom Fedewa of Leslie, MI. He is also the son of legendary driver Gary Fedewa, the three-time AVSS champion who will be competing in his famous number 42. The Terre Haute, IN, driver Kevin Newton will be challenging for the track record and fellow Hoosier Hank Lower will as well. The Angola, IN, legend still holds many track records and hundreds of feature wins on dirt and asphalt. The 2002 drivers champion, Tim Cox, is also the defending race winner of this event. As a matter of fact it, was the only feature win of the 2002 season for the Park City, IL, driver of the B&D racing 40 car.
Also expected to compete are Bill Tyler of Parma, MI; two-time AVSS champion Kevin Feeney of Oxford, MI, the winner of the second Berlin race last season; Chris Hayes of nearby Rockford; Jeff Bloom of Bangor, MI; and Ryan Katz of Battle Creek. The leading rookie contender is Brian Lay of Millbury, OH, who has two feature wins already this season. Also expect last week's winner Jason Blonde of Litchfield, MI; Doug Stepke of Brooklyn, MI; Johnboy Hotchkiss of Charlotte, MI; Curt Shumaker of Ortonville, MI; and Dennis Craft of Dansville, MI.
Visit www.supersprints.com for more information about the fastest cars in the country, the Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Super Sprint Series.