Eddy Dominates Meijer 300 on Way Back to Asa National Tour Winners Circle MARNE, Mich. (June 12, 2004) - Mike Eddy put in an absolutely dominating performance en route to winning the Meijer 300 presented by Tony's Pizza, Tysons, Stouffer's and...
Eddy Dominates Meijer 300 on Way Back to Asa National Tour Winners Circle
MARNE, Mich. (June 12, 2004) - Mike Eddy put in an absolutely dominating performance en route to winning the Meijer 300 presented by Tony's Pizza, Tysons, Stouffer's and Edy's Ice Cream at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich.
Running a part-time schedule in the No. 5 Sizzlemarine.com Chevrole, Eddy took the lead on lap 85 of the 300-lap event on the tough .438-mile track, and nearly ran away from the entire field. By lap 144 Eddy had all but two other cars a lap down, and had a lead of more than 10 seconds over Butch Miller at the time. Eddy's car was able to run anywhere on the track, and he could move through traffic as if his car was covered in butter.
Ultimately, Eddy would lap the entire field save Miller, but the entire complexion of the race changed for a yellow flag on lap 263 when Ed Brown spun on the backstretch. At the time there were five cars on the lead lap as Mike Garvey, Robbie Pyle and Kevin Cywinski had all raced their lap back.
The five cars headed down pit road, each taking on right side tires, but it was the leader Eddy who had an extremely slow pit stop as they had trouble with the air gun on the right front tire and came out in fifth. Garvey was assessed a stop-and-go penalty for running over his air hose so Eddy moved to fourth on the restart.
The seven-time ASA National Tour Champion was then forced to race for the win in an event that he had so thoroughly dominated through the middle laps, and ended up with a .970 margin of victory over Pyle, the pole sitter.
It was Eddy's 58th ASA career win, but the first since the 1999 win at LaCrosse, Wis.
"The car was awesome tonight," Eddy said, an obvious fact considering he led 209 laps. "That is the third time in this car (for me) and that's a full week of hard work by everybody involved to get us here."
"I never retired, I was just unemployed," Eddy said of his two year absence from racing prior to getting back in the seat at Lake Erie (Pa.) Speedway a couple of weeks ago. "There was a lot of people calling me to do this, but I don't do this for nothing."
Second place Pyle said, "Running behind Mike Eddy is a task in itself. What a great racer. I had a lot of fun racing him. We're pretty happy with second. The beginning of the year started off slow and now just getting up there and battling with them is a whole lot of fun." Pyle won his second Jani-King pole of the season earlier in the day in the No. 63 Citgo Chevrolet, and was coming off last week's win at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Speedway.
Kevin Cywinski, in the No. 1 Country Joe Homes Chevrolet, finished third on the evening.
"At about lap 130 we were all pouting in our Cheerios," Cywinski explained about being a lap down to Eddy before the race had even reached halfway. "Luckily it ran long enough for us to get back on the lead lap and get ourselves a halfway decent finish."
The beginning of the race was especially competitive, with quite a few lead changes. In total there were 11 lead changes among four drivers. The caution flag flew 5 times for 38 laps. There were 5 of the 32 starters on the lead lap.
Unofficially, the top 10 finishers were Eddy, Pyle, Cywinski, Butch Miller, Garvey, finishing on the lead lap. One lap down was Tim Sauter, Wade Day, Bryan Reffner, Toby Porter and Greg Stewart.
The Cool Shirt "Cool Move of the Race" award was given to Mike Eddy for the way that he was able to move his car through traffic. Eddy also picked up the BFGoodrich Tires Halfway Leader award, and the VP Fuel "Hard Charger of the Race" was Toby Porter for moving up 17 positions during the race.
Earlier in the day Bobby Stremme won the Berlin 100, the ASA Late Model Series event, the first of his career.
Stremme, the series point leader heading into the race, was second when a lap 77 caution put him on the back bumper of the No. 29 of Brian Campbell, the pole sitter. Stremme got a great restart in his No. 53 Meijer Chevrolet and the two cars raced side- by-side for the lead for three laps before Stremme was able to get the inside line and make the pass stick.
"I saw that he was running higher, and higher, and higher and I was loose from the get go but I knew I could get off the bottom better and it just looked like he kept on pushing and pushing," Stremme explained. "I was trying to follow him for the most part. I let him go at the beginning because I wanted to see what kind of line he would run. I am so glad to win here at Berlin the first time ever seeing the track."
The ASA National Tour returns to action next at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo., on Sunday, July 4. The ASA Late Model Series visits Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Ill., on Saturday, June 19. The American Speed Association is based in Pendleton, Ind., and has offered stock car racing programs since 1968, including the ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series, several regional touring series and the ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit asaracing.com.
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