Berlin Raceway notes 2004-06-26

Anderson, Bliss, Van Haitsma, Blonde flex muscles Berlin prepares for ARCA invasion next Saturday MARNE, MI -- Repeat winners Lee Anderson, Bob Bliss and Terry Van Haitsma proved their power again Saturday night at Berlin Raceway, winning ...

Anderson, Bliss, Van Haitsma, Blonde flex muscles
Berlin prepares for ARCA invasion next Saturday

MARNE, MI -- Repeat winners Lee Anderson, Bob Bliss and Terry Van Haitsma proved their power again Saturday night at Berlin Raceway, winning their respective weekly Berlin division features. Also racing Saturday was the wickedly fast open-wheel Auto Value Super Sprints, with Jason Blonde collecting his third win of the season.

In the 25-lap Standale Lumber Sportsman division, sophomore Terry Van Haitsma of Hudsonville won his fifth Powerflex Trophy presented by Hastings Manufacturing Co. sponsored by Engine Pro in nine races this season, growing his points lead to 105 points over second-place Dave Lake. Van Haitsma, the fastest qualifier, was on the move quickly from his eighth starting spot to fourth by lap 13 of the 25-lap feature. With #4 Nick Gebben in the lead and #25 Scott Root on his heels, rookie #23 Chris Koslek spun in turn 2 to bring out the caution. Then on lap 22, Root, still running second but with Van Haitsma closing in, spun in turn 2 for the second caution. On the restart, #21 Van Haitsma ducked inside Gebben in turn 3, then took the lead on the frontstretch on lap 23 and cruised to the checkered flag. Gebben came in second, followed by #24 Lee VanDyk, #15 Casey Berenbrock and #55 Dave Lake. #51 Steve Fairbanks was the Valvoline Hard Charger, advancing nine positions to finish 12th.

In the 30-lap Engine Pro Super Stock feature, Bliss, of Dorr, relied on a little bit of luck in collecting his third Clevite Trophy presented by The Dana Corp. sponsored by Engine Pro of the season. #88 Tim Sweeney jumped out to a huge lead ahead of #98 Bliss and #H7 John Smith Sr. Sweeney had a straightaway lead over Bliss, who had another straightaway lead over Wiersma at the half way point. The race managed to stay green for 16 laps until the first caution came out on lap 17 for a spin by #12 Phil Greene in turn 4. During the caution, leader Sweeney pitted with car problems and handed the lead to Bliss. Two quick cautions were waved while trying to restart the race on lap 17, then the fourth try at completing lap 17 was successful. Points leader #1 Brian Wiersma muscled alongside Bliss on the restart and crossed the line on lap 18 in the lead. But two turns later, Wiersma spun, which handed the lead to Bliss again. The final laps of the race were blemished with four more cautions before Bliss finally crossed the finish line to win. Smith finished second, followed by #8 Billy Eppink, #14 Jon Arendsen and #76 Warren Speet. Bliss claimed the special $500 Boyne Machine Bonus Award for winning the feature. Wiersma retains the points lead, but Bliss moved up two positions to second place, just 55 points out of the lead.

The Coors Light Late Model feature saw the most impressive run of the evening, as #18 Lee Anderson of Walker blew away the competition to win his second Fel-Pro Trophy presented by The Federal Mogul Group sponsored by Engine Pro of the season. Two quick cautions on the first lap delayed the momentum, but Anderson turned it on quickly. The fastest qualifier, Anderson moved to 4th place from his 11th starting position by lap 12, then powered to second on lap 18. He took the lead from #22 Brian Campbell on the next lap, then checked out, beginning to lap cars before the half-way point. The #18 car was the fastest car on the track the entire race and reached the finish line 2.125 seconds ahead of #12 Tim DeVos. #101 Joe Bush finished third, followed by Campbell and #82 Tom Thomas. Anderson's move from 11th to first earned him the Valvoline Hard Charger award. Anderson sits second in the point standings , just 19 points behind T.A.G. Racing teammate Joe Bush.

The Auto Value Super Sprints came to Berlin for the first of two visits this season. The super-fast open wheel sprint cars let it loose in a 30-lap feature, which was won by #61 Jason Blonde. Blonde also recorded the fastest qualifying lap at 119.845 mph. The AVSS series is the fastest series to ever race at Berlin.

Berlin Raceway will be back in action next Saturday night, July 3, for a holiday spectacular including the ARCA RE/MAX Series GFS Marketplace 200 and the Standale Lumber Sportsman running a 50-lap feature. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate for general admission and $30 for pit passes. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the first race begins at 7 p.m.

Complete race results and point standings can be found online at berlinraceway.com and supersprints.com.

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