Berlin Raceway race notes 2003-05-17

Meeuwsen Dominates On Engine Pro Super Stock Night MARNE, MI -- Ross Meeuwsen of Zeeland continued to dominate Berlin Raceway's Engine Pro Super Stock division Saturday night by winning his third feature race of the season. Meeuwsen, whose...

Meeuwsen Dominates On Engine Pro Super Stock Night

MARNE, MI -- Ross Meeuwsen of Zeeland continued to dominate Berlin Raceway's Engine Pro Super Stock division Saturday night by winning his third feature race of the season. Meeuwsen, whose win came on Engine Pro Super Stock Night with a special 50-lap feature, now has three wins and a second place finish in the four races this season. Kalamazoo's Randy Sweet and Sparta's Scott Root also won features Saturday.

In the Engine Pro Super Stock feature, which ran an additional 20 laps past its normal 30-lap length, #32 Meeuwsen started eighth but moved to fourth within 5 laps, followed closely by defending champion #X Ray Clay, who moved from 9th to 5th. Rookie #71 Brandon Braisted started on the pole but #14 Jon Arendsen of Lansing passed Braisted for the lead on the first lap. #33 Jerry Groeneveld made a pass around Braisted for second place on lap 16, and then the first caution flag of the race was waved as #52 Jim Idema spun coming out of Turn 2. On the restart, Groeneveld, running in second, spun in Turn 3, hitting the outside tire barrier and ending his night. A second attempt at a Lap 16 restart was successful, and within two laps Meeuwsen had moved into the lead, which he would never relinquish.

Caution came out again on lap 29 for a spin by #5 Jack Drolema Jr., and on lap 33 #8 Billy Eppink cut a tire and spun on the frontstretch for another yellow flag. The biggest battle on the track was for third place between Braisted and Clay, as Clay applied pressure to Braisted by running right on his rear bumper for several laps. Clay finally made the pass for on lap 36. The top five of Meeuwsen, #98 Bob Bliss, Clay, Braisted and Arendsen finally settled down and raced single file the rest of the way, through three more caution flags to the 50-lap mark. Meeuwsen took home the Engine Pro/Federal Mogul "Speed Pro" trophy for the win and extended his points lead to 62 points over second-place Bliss. #77 John Smith Jr. won the Valvoline Hard Charger award and 5 bonus points by advancing the most positions, starting 16th and finishing eighth.

In the Coors Light Late Model 50-lap feature, a huge pile-up on the frontstretch delayed the official start of the race as #90 Cort Corwin got loose and hit the outside wall on the frontstretch before one lap was completed Corwin, #11 Leroy Magoon, #82 Tom Thomas and #25 Dave Hart all needed tow trucks to remove their cars from the track, while more than half the field suffered at least minor damage. Since one full lap must be completed for the race to be officially started, cars were able to pit for repairs without penalty and retain their starting position. Thomas and #101 Joe Bush, whose cars were among the most heavily damaged, got a helping hand from #97 Doug VanderVliet and #33 Dave Stehouwer, respectively, who offered their rides to the points title contenders. Drivers are allowed to change cars before the race officially begins as long as both driver and car have qualified for the feature. They were moved to the back of the field due to the driver change.

Once the race finally got officially under way, #98 Bob Curry powered by pole-sitter Sweet for the lead in Turn 2 of the second lap for the lead. The top five of Curry, Sweet, #11 John Grega, #12 Tim DeVos and #47 Fred Campbell raced single file until the half-way point, when Curry, who had stretched the lead to 10 car lengths, cut a tire and brought out a caution. Several single-car incidents slowed the race during the next five laps, but Sweet, Grega and DeVos maintained the top three positions to the finish. Curry, who pitted to change his flat tire and came back out to join the field at the end of the line, worked his way all the way back to an eighth place finish.

Sweet won the Engine Pro/Federal Mogul "Speed Pro" trophy for the win but remains in second place in the points behind DeVos. Thomas won the Valvoline Hard Charger award by advancing from last to seventh, a 21-position move, driving VanderVliet's car.

In the 25-lap Hitches by George Sportsman feature, Ken Smith Jr. of Wyoming started on the pole. The first of two cautions came out on lap 8 as rookie #15 Casey Berenbrock spun in turn 3, hitting the tire retaining wall. The second caution was caused by the spinning cars of #55 Dave Lake and #24 Lee VanDyk. Smith, the pole-sitter, was riding in third place until he spun in the final turn of the final lap, dropping him all the way down to 21st place in the 22-car field. #15 Scott Root of Sparta took the checkered flag and the Engine Pro/Federal Mogul "Speed Pro" trophy, followed by #9 Mike Root. VanDyk recovered from the earlier spin to take third place, #45 Sean Gipson finished fourth and #52 Bruce Chase fifth. #15 Dave Hull won the Valvoline Hard Charger award by advancing 9 positions in the feature. VanDyk continues to lead the points race, while Scott Root moved up one position into second place ahead of Mike Root.

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

Berlin Raceway will be back in action next Saturday night, May 24, as Gordon Food Service presents the Pork The Other White Meat 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series feature. Berlin's Hitches By George Sportsman division will also compete. Tickets are $21 in advance and $22 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.

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