Berlin Raceway race notes 2004-04-24

MARNE, MI -- Saturday's action at Berlin Raceway included a first-time winner, a veteran winner, a crash-infested race that produced two injuries, and a rain-postponed feature race. The Coors Light Late Model feature was postponed due to rain, ...

MARNE, MI -- Saturday's action at Berlin Raceway included a first-time winner, a veteran winner, a crash-infested race that produced two injuries, and a rain-postponed feature race. The Coors Light Late Model feature was postponed due to rain, setting up a double-length 100-lap feature next Saturday, May 1, to make up the lost laps.

In the Standard Lumber Sportsman division, second-year driver Terry Van Haitsma, a 24-year-old Hudsonville native, won for the first time in the Sportsman feature after leading from start to finish. Van Haitsma was strong from the beginning, stretching out to a healthy lead before the first caution came out on lap 9 for the #6 truck of Terry Bockheim going off the backstretch. Back under green again, Van Haitsma ran away from the field, winning by a 3.325 second margin over second-place #86 Ray Melinn to claim his first-ever Powerflex Trophy presented by Hastings Manufacturing Co. sponsored by Engine Pro. #15 Casey Berenbrock finished third, followed by #77 Andrew Nylaan and #15 Scott Root. The consolation race was postponed due to rain and will be completed next Saturday. Point standings were not computed as all events are not yet complete.

In the Engine Pro Super Stock feature, eight caution flags marred the 30-lap event. The hardest hit came on lap 5 as #5 Jack Drolema Jr. spun between turns one and two, coming to a stop sideways on the track. He suffered a devastatingly hit hard in the drivers side by #76 Warren Speet, last week's winner. #42 Matt Piersma was also involved. Both Drolema and Speet were transported to the hospital, Drolema with a probable broken ankle and Speet with rib pain. After eight cautions, 53 minutes and raindrops beginning to fall, #98 Bob Bliss of Dorr finally went on to take the Clevite Trophy presented by The Dana Corp. sponsored by Engine Pro. Rookie #9 Nick Szotko finished second, followed by rookie #30 Zach Dunson, #14 Jon Arendsen and #13 James Haney. #1 Brian Wiersma, the 1997 and 1998 Super Stock Champion who is returning to the division after five years in the Late Model division, finished seventh and takes over the points lead after two events.

The Coors Light Late Model feature will be completed next Saturday as a double-length 100-lap feature. Qualifying has been completed and #1 Randy Sweet will start on the pole alongside #82 Tom Thomas. Four cars transferred in to the feature from the Last Chance/Consolation race, rounding out the standard 28-car field. For this special 100-lap race, another Last Chance race will be run on May 1 and two more cars will transfer to the feature. This allows the five cars that did not make the transfer, as well as any new cars that did not attend Saturday's race, the opportunity to race their way in to the 100-lap feature field.

Berlin Raceway will be back in action next Saturday night, May 1, for a points race. Coors Light Late Model (100 laps), Engine Pro Super Stock and Standale Lumber Sportsman divisions will compete. 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.

-www.berlinraceway.com.

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Series Stock car