Berlin Raceway race notes 2004-08-14

Long Time Comin' for DeVos, VanAllsburg, VanDyk MARNE, MI -- Tim DeVos, the defending Coors Light Late Model champion, won for the first time in 2004 after knocking on the door with second-place finishes the last three weeks, and Ray...

Long Time Comin' for DeVos, VanAllsburg, VanDyk

MARNE, MI -- Tim DeVos, the defending Coors Light Late Model champion, won for the first time in 2004 after knocking on the door with second-place finishes the last three weeks, and Ray VanAllsburg, who returned to Berlin after a three-year absence, won for the first time in the Engine Pro Super Stock division. In the Standale Lumber Sportsman division, Lee VanDyk claimed the checkered flag for the first time in more than a month.

The #24 car of VanDyk started the 25-lap Standale Lumber Sportsman feature on the front row and jumped to an early lead over #20 Dave Hull. The first caution came out on lap 2 as #52 Bruce Chase and #23 Chris Koslek got together in turn 4; seven other cars were also caught up in the melee. The next two cautions, on lap 10 and 14, both involved points leader #21 Terry VanHaitsma, who was able to continue the race three laps down. On each restart VanDyk jumped out to a solid lead and the race was never in doubt for the Grand Rapids driver. The real race was for second, as 17-year-old #15 Casey Berenbrock got by Hull for the position on lap 20 as VanDyk was checked out with a 2-second lead, but then lost it to #55 Dave Lake. VanDyk went on to win the Powerflex Trophy presented by Hastings Manufacturing Co. sponsored by Engine Pro, his second of the season, followed by Lake, Berenbrock, Hull and #86 Ray Melinn. #22 Adam Hudson won the Valvoline Hard Charger award by advancing from 22nd to 10th. Van Haitsma still commands the points race, but his 13th place finish allowed Lake to close the gap to 154 points.

In the Coors Light Late Model feature, DeVos, of Wyoming, started 11th and quickly moved through the field. A lap 8 caution was the first of just two in the 50-lap race, as #88 Tim Yonker clipped the turn 3 wall. Green flag racing ensued for the next 40 laps, with #1 Randy Sweet leading #25 Dave Sensiba for the majority of the laps. Sensiba faded in the late laps and spun out on the frontstretch on lap 48 to bring out the final yellow flag. But DeVos continued to charge, taking the lead late from Sweet and claiming the checkered flag. DeVos had a slow start to the 2004 season but finished runner-up in the last three features before breaking through for his first Fel-Pro Trophy presented by The Federal Mogul Group sponsored by Engine Pro of the season. #33 Dave Stehouwer finished second, followed by Sweet, #101 Joe Bush and #18 Lee Anderson. DeVos's advancement from 11th to first earned him the Valvoline Hard Charger award. Bush continues to lead the point standings by a 53-point margin over Anderson, while DeVos moved up two positions to third in the points.

The sloppy 30-lap Engine Pro Super Stock feature finally got under way after several crashes before one lap was complete. Five drivers failed to complete a single lap, while four more completed just two laps. #5 VanAllsburg managed to stay out of trouble and powered his way from eighth to the lead, claiming his first Clevite Trophy presented by The Dana Corp. sponsored by Engine Pro of the season. #22 Jerry Groeneveld finished second for the second time in just four races this year, and #52 Jim Idema finished a season-high third place. #14 Jon Arendsen and #1 Greg Wing rounded out the top 5. #30 Zach Dunson won the Valvoline Hard Charger award by advancing 12 positions to finish ninth. #1 Brian Wiersma, who was involved in one of the wrecks and finished 10th, continues to lead the points race, while VanAllsburg moved up two spots to second, 176 points back.

Racing action resumes Wednesday night, August 18, for "The Chet" presented by Comerica, a special 125-lap Coors Light Late Model feature with Bobby Labonte and Johnny Benson. Engine Pro Super Stock and Standale Lumber Sportsman divisions 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.

-www.berlinraceway.com.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Johnny Benson