Berlin Raceway race notes 2003-04-26

DeVos, Meeuwsen, Van Dyk win Berlin Raceway season openers. MARNE, MI (April 27, 2003) -- Berlin Raceway's 2003 season got off to a solid start Saturday, running the three weekly racing divisions of Coors Light Late Model, Engine Pro Super Stock...

DeVos, Meeuwsen, Van Dyk win Berlin Raceway season openers.

MARNE, MI (April 27, 2003) -- Berlin Raceway's 2003 season got off to a solid start Saturday, running the three weekly racing divisions of Coors Light Late Model, Engine Pro Super Stock and Hitches By George Sportsman for points in front of a crowd of 5,413 fans at the half-mile oval. Winners - and points leaders after one race - were Tim DeVos of Rockford, Ross Meeuwsen of Zeeland and Lee Van Dyk of Grand Rapids.

DeVos, a 26-year Berlin veteran who finished eighth in the 2002 points race, started from the fourth position in the 50-lap feature. An early third-lap crash on the backstretch hampered several of the perennial favorites, including 10-time and defending track champion #47 Fred Campbell, #88 Tim Yonker, #82 Tom Thomas, #11 John Grega, #1 Brian Wiersma and #1 Randy Sweet. The race was slowed by several single-car spins as DeVos drove his way to victory lane followed by #11 Leroy Magoon of Grand Rapids, #94 Greg Usher of Comstock Park, 2002 Rookie of the Year #27 Billy Shotko of West Olive and Sweet of Kalamazoo. Sweet won five bonus points by winning the Valvoline Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions (15) from start to finish in the feature.

In the 30-lap Engine Pro Super Stock feature, Meeuwsen, a favorite to win the championship, took the checkered flag ahead of #98 Bob Bliss of Dorr, defending champion #X Ray Clay of Jenison, #76 Warren Speet of Hamilton (2002 Rookie of the Year) and rookie #2 Jimmy TenBrink of North Muskegon. #36 Dan Groeneveld of Dorr claimed the five bonus points for winning the Valvoline Hard Charger award, finishing in eighth. Meeuwsen, in his 13th year of racing, won five feature races in 2002 on his way to finishing eighth in the division despite missing two races.

The Super Stock field was filled with rookies, as seven of the 18 entries are new to the division.

In the Hitches By George Sportsman division, Van Dyk held off 16-year-old rookie #4 Nick Gebben of Holland for the win, followed by #1 Randy Veldman of Grand Rapids, defending champion #9 Mike Root of Grand Rapids and #55 Dave Lake of Howard City. Van Dyk finished fourth in the division in 2002 with five feature wins and is entering his fifth racing season.

All three winners currently lead the points standings.

Berlin Raceway will be back in action next Saturday night, May 3, with a weekly show of Coors Light Late Model, Engine Pro Super Stock and Hitches By George Sportsman divisions. Tickets are $11 in advance and $12 at the gate for general admission and $25 for pit passes. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the first race begins at 7 p.m.

Complete race results and points can be found online at www.berlinraceway.com/results/index.shtml.

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