Near sellout sees Magoon, Meeuwsen, Root prevail MARNE, MI -- A near-sellout crowd of 8,057 enjoyed a perfect night Saturday at Berlin Raceway, with exciting racing, great weather and the sights and smells of the annual Berlin Fair on the...
Near sellout sees Magoon, Meeuwsen, Root prevail
MARNE, MI -- A near-sellout crowd of 8,057 enjoyed a perfect night Saturday at Berlin Raceway, with exciting racing, great weather and the sights and smells of the annual Berlin Fair on the grounds adjacent to the track. The races, presented by Powell Relocation Group, were won by Grand Rapids' Leroy Magoon, Zeeland's Ross Meeuwsen and Sparta's Scott Root.
In the Coors Light Late Model division, points leader #12 Tim DeVos had an uncharacteristically slow 26th-place qualifying effort and was forced to race his way in to the feature via the last chance race, lining up in 25th position for the 50-lap feature. #79 Jake Meyerink started on the pole and led early. On lap 7, #82 Tom Thomas spun on the frontstretch and slammed his back end into the outside wall in heavy traffic; luckily all of the oncoming cars were able to avoid hitting the #82 car as it blocked the outside half of the track. On the restart, the purple #11 of Leroy Magoon charged up on the inside of Meyerink to challenge for the lead. The two cars raced side-by-side for six laps until Magoon finally got past Meyerink on lap 13. Meanwhile, DeVos had moved into 15th position in just 10 laps. #101 Joe Bush was also on the move, shooting into third place around #X Ray Clay on lap 15 after starting eighth. Bush passed Meyerink for second on lap 22, and #47 Fred Campbell got around Meyerink for third shortly thereafter. Magoon stretched out to a huge lead but Bush kept him in his sights, closing back in as Magoon weaved his way through lapped traffic.
The second of two cautions came out on lap 45 as #7 Alan Fricke got into the back of #26 Chris Muyskens going into turn 1, spinning out both cars. In the five-lap shootout after the restart, Magoon held off Bush and Campbell for his first Engine Pro/Federal Mogul Speed Pro trophy of the season. Clay finished fourth and #28 Scott Thomas finished fifth. DeVos won the Valvoline Hard Charger award with an impressive sixth place finish, his first finish outside the top five all season. #18 Mike Root, the defending Sportsman champion who was making his debut in the Late Model division driving Keith Herp's car for the night, qualified 21st and finished in 15th place, an admirable run for Root in his first race in the track's premier division (Root also ran in the Sportsman division Saturday, finishing third). DeVos leads the points race by 190 points over Bush.
In the Engine Pro Super Stock division, points leader Ross Meeuwsen, already the winner of eight of the first 11 races of the season, started on the pole after a seventh-place qualifying effort and the roll of the dice by fast qualifier #3 Ross Eppink - his first fast time of the season - to set the inversion. Meeuwsen jumped out to a healthy lead, and the lone caution - a lap 7 crash as #71 Brandon Braisted and #29 Steve Sunde got together between turns 3 and 4 and the #53 car of Chris Modzeleski spun trying to avoid the crashed cars - was not enough to keep him in touch with the field. At the end of the 30 laps, Meeuwsen claimed his ninth Engine Pro Trophy of the season ahead of #8 Billy Eppink, #10 Jay Gipson, #3 Ross Eppink and #98 Bob Bliss. The strong effort by the Eppinks resulted in the first time the father-son team both finished in the top five. #36 Dan Groeneveld was the Valvoline Hard Charger, advancing six positions in the feature. Meeuwsen's points lead grew to 124 over second-place #98 Bob Bliss.
In the Hitches By George Sportsman feature, rookie #30 Zach Dunson started from the pole position and led until #25 Scott Root passed him for the lead on lap 10. The only caution of the 25-lap race was for #12 Steve Walters, who hit the outside wall on the frontstretch early in the race. Root led the rest of the way and claimed his third Engine Pro/Hastings Manufacturing Powerflex Trophy of the season, followed across the line by #55 Dave Lake, #9 Mike Root, #24 Lee VanDyk and Dunson. Mike Root won the Valvoline Hard Charger award by advancing five positions. VanDyk leads the points battle over Mike Root by a tight 52 points.
Complete race results and point standings can be found online at www.berlinraceway.com.
Berlin Raceway will be back in action next Saturday night, July 26, for the 53rd Anniversary Race presented by B&B Beer Distributing. Coors Light Late Model, Engine Pro Super Stock and Hitches By George Sportsman divisions will compete in points races, plus a special Vintage Racing Organization feature race. A post-race fireworks show will cap off the evening. 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.