MARNE, MI -- Lee Anderson of Walker drove his ...
MARNE, MI -- Lee Anderson of Walker drove his #21 Berger Chevrolet Late Model to his first checkered flag of the season Saturday night at Berlin Raceway, earning the coveted 51st Anniversary Race trophy. Anderson scored an exciting come-from-behind victory, as he forced a 3-wide pass in turn 3 of the final lap (lap 51, in honor of the track's 51st Anniversary) to get past the leader, #82 Tom Thomas, for the win in front of 7,929 fans.
A hard final-lap crash involving #94 Greg Usher and #1 Randy Sweet, just in front of the finish line, added to the lap 51 fireworks. Other cautions included a lap 1 spin by #16 Jack Gritter, forcing #15 Brian Maxim and #8 Troy Marciniak off the edge of the track on the backstretch; a lap 8 spin by #22 Brian Campbell; and a lap 39 crash into the turn 3 wall by Marciniak.
Thomas started on the pole and led the most laps, giving up the lead early to #71 Bob Holley but quickly reclaiming it. He finished second, followed by Holley, #11 Leroy Magoon and #12 Tim DeVos. #47 Fred Campbell, who finished seventh, remains in the points lead in front of Thomas and Anderson.
In the Super Stock division, #32 Ross Meeuwsen of Zeeland claimed his second straight feature win and the 51st Anniversary trophy in dominating fashion. He ran away with the lead mid-race, only to have the field draw back in on him due to a spin on lap 15 by #X Ray Clay and #5 T.J. Westveld, the final caution of the feature. Meeuwsen held the lead on the re-start and cruised to victory ahead of points leader #64 Rick Eding. Finishing third was #53 Tom Sprague, followed by #42 Matt Piersma and #97 Matt Keltner.
A seven-car pile-up in turn 1 on lap 4 was the big crash of the race. Getting the worst of the damage were Westveld, #26 Chris Muyskins, #98 Bob Bliss and #52 Jim Idema. Other cautions included early single-car spins by Idema and Keltner.
Eding remains in the points lead, extending his margin over Keltner to 84 points, followed by Meeuwsen, who moved up one position to third, and Clay.
The Sportsman division saw the most cautions of the night, with six yellow flags in the 25-lap race. The first caution occured on lap 1 as #27 Billy Shotko brushed #55 Dave Lake, cutting Lake's tire. #12 Phil Greene and #10 Jay Gipson were involved in two crashes each, and #13 James Haney, #1 Randy Veldman and #23 Scott Fryman were also victims.
Shotko gradually worked his way from 10th to the lead, fighting off fellow Grand Haven native #7 Cort Corwin for his first checkered flag since winning the first two races of the season. More fireworks flew on the cool-down lap, as Lake came around to bump Shotko in retaliation for the first-lap incident.
Todd Senneker finished third, followed by Mike Root and Dave Cutler. Shotko maintains his points lead ahead of Corwin and Lake.
Saturday's racing action was capped off by a 51st Anniversary fireworks celebration.
Racing will continue at Berlin Raceway next Saturday night, August 4. The three regular racing divisions Sportsman, Super Stock and Late Model will take the track. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the first race begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $20 for pit passes. Children 5-12 are $5 and children 4 and under are free.