Former champion Sweet wins Late Model feature; looks forward to Wednesday's Mysliwiec Invitational MARNE, MI -- Former track champion Randy Sweet returned to his winning form on Saturday at Berlin Raceway, claiming victory for the first time...
Former champion Sweet wins Late Model feature; looks forward to Wednesday's Mysliwiec Invitational
MARNE, MI -- Former track champion Randy Sweet returned to his winning form on Saturday at Berlin Raceway, claiming victory for the first time since May 5 in front of a crowd of 5,394. Sweet's victory should make Winston Cup driver Kenny Schrader happy, as Schrader will borrow a car from Sweet to race in Wednesday's Chester Mysliwiec Memorial Invitational.
Lansing's Jon Arendsen became a first-time winner in Super Stocks and Grand Haven's Cort Corwin won his third Sportsman race of the season.
In the Late Model division, Sweet was the fastest qualifier but started 12th after the roll of the dice and inversion. The #88 of Tim Yonker started on the pole and led most of the race, but Sweet picked off positions methodically, taking the lead from Yonker on lap 36. Tim DeVos followed Sweet past Yonker, then rolled past Sweet to lead laps 37 through 42. Sweet re-claimed the lead on lap 43 and went on to take the checkered flag, his second of the year. DeVos finished second, followed by Yonker, #21 Lee Anderson and #11 Leroy Magoon.
Only two caution flags were thrown in the race, a lap 2 spin by #82 Tom Thomas and a lap 3 crash involving #98 Bob Curry and #61 Adam Chase.
Fred Campbell of Battle Creek remains in the points lead. Anderson moved up one position to second place, followed by Thomas, DeVos and Sweet, who also moved up one position.
In the Super Stock division, #14 Arendsen led only one lap, but it was the one that mattered. Arendsen started on the pole, but was passed by #77 John Smith Sr. on the first lap. Smith led from lap one to the end of the last lap, when Arendsen dove inside him in the fourth turn of the final lap to claim the checkered flag, his first Super Stock victory. Finishing third was #98 Bob Bliss, followed by #33 Jerry Groeneveld and #X Ray Clay.
Two cautions slowed the 30-lap race - on lap 1, #5 T.J Westveld and #51 Scott Otterbein crashed between turns 3 and 4, and on lap 21, points leaders #64 Rick Eding and #97 Matt Keltner veered off course over the backstretch.
Arendsen moved up one spot to 16th in the season point standings. Eding and Keltner remain in first and second.
In the Sportsman division, Howard City's #55 Dave Lake led the first eight laps, when a caution came out as several cars spun, instigated by the #10 truck of Jay Gipson's spin in turn 2. The #7 car of Cort Corwin charged towards the front on the restart, taking the lead on lap 10 and continuing to stretch his lead as the laps ticked away, followed distantly by Lake. The rest of the field was a half lap back late in the race.
A lap 23 spin by #1 Randy Veldman brought out the caution, bunching up the field and giving other drivers a chance to fight for the lead. One lap later, pole-sitter #40 Dave Cutler blew his engine and dropped oil in the third and fourth turns, bringing out the red flag. On the re-start with two laps to go, Corwin again pulled away, proving he was the class of the field on this Saturday. Points leader #27 Billy Shotko pulled up alongside Lake on the final straightaway but was not able to make the pass. Shotko finished third, followed by #66 Joe Dochod and #29 Steve Sunde.
Shotko remains in the points lead, but Corwin closed the gap by 18 points, trailing Shotko by 86 points. Lake stands third in the points.
Heat winners Saturday were Paul Schaffer, Jeff Sterken, Bob Bliss, Matt Keltner, Tom Thomas, Leroy Magoon, Dave Lewis, James Haney, Keith Herp and Denny Anderson.
A special evening of racing will take place on Wednesday, August 15. The Chester Mysliwiec Memorial Open Invitational for Late Models is slated for Wednesday at 7 p.m. and will include Winston Cup drivers Johnny Benson and Schrader in the $10,000-to-win, 100-lap feature. It will be the first time that two active Winston Cup drivers will compete in the same event at Berlin raceway. ASA drivers Butch Miller and Gary St. Amant are also entered in the invitational. Berlin's Sportsman division is also scheduled to compete.
Gates open at 11 a.m. Wednesday and ticket prices are $20 for general admission and $25 for pit passes. Children 5-12 are $5 and children 4 and under are free.