Berlin Raceway report 2002-08-24

Campbell regains point lead; Sweet involved in crash. MARNE, MI - Freddy Campbell regained the top spot in the point chase for the Coors Light Late Model championship over point leader Randy Sweet, who was caught up in a horrendous crash on lap...

Campbell regains point lead; Sweet involved in crash.

MARNE, MI - Freddy Campbell regained the top spot in the point chase for the Coors Light Late Model championship over point leader Randy Sweet, who was caught up in a horrendous crash on lap 19 of the 50-lap feature race. Jerry Groeneveld picked up his third Engine Pro Super Stock feature win of the 2002 season while young Scott Root won his first ever MTA Sportsman feature.

In the MTA Sportsman feature, the 25 lap race began with #8 Paul Schaffer leading the first lap from his pole starting position. Schaffer's lead lasted only one lap when #16 Jamie Gritter took over the lead from the outside pole starting position. Gritter's lead only lasted one lap as Scott Root took over the lead from his 3rd starting spot on lap 2. The action was slowed on lap 3 when #31 Mike Bursley hit the outside wall on the front stretch to bring out the first yellow flag while #16 Jamie Gritter did a half-spin. By lap 8 #55 Chris Anthony moved into second place. Lee VanDyk #24 slipped into third place by lap 15. Dave Lake #55 moved into fourth position on lap 18. Lap 19 saw Lee VanDyk spin by himself in turn three to bring out the second yellow flag, while Jamie Gritter did another spin on the front stretch into the inside wall. Lap 22 found #52 Bruce Chase spinning in turn four bringing out the third yellow flag. Scott Root took his #15 to victory lane at the end of 25 laps for his first ever MTA Sportman feature win in his second year of racing. He was followed by Chris Anthony, Dave Lake, Paul Schaffer, and veteran Dave Cutler to round out the top five.

In the Engine Pro Super Stock feature, #51 Scott Otterbein took the lead from his pole starting position. #9 Jeff Hennip, last week's feature winner, worked his way up to 4th by lap 5. While fighting for the lead, #14 Jon Arendsen got together with leader Scott Otterbein resulting in a spin on lap 9 in turn three and collected most of the field in the crash. Only 8 cars managed to get through the wreck unscathed. Jeff Hennip's #9 crashed hard into the outer wall and ended his hopes of winning two Super Stock features in a row. A red flag was thrown to stop the race while the wreck was cleaned up. On the restart #14 Jon Arendsen was the new leader. Jerry Groeneveld's #33 was pushing Arendsen for the lead. Ray Clay, the series point leader, rejoined the field after repairs to his car but was uncompetitive from that point on. By lap 13 Jon Arendsen was beginning to stretch his lead. Lap 19 found another multi car accident involving Clay, #36 Dan Groeneveld and #19 Ben Dozeman on the front stretch. Clay again pitted for repairs and rejoined the field. Lap 23 found Jerry Groeneveld catching leader Arendsen to take over the top spot. Groeneveld was to hold the lead to the checkered flag. Clay was black flagged and dropped from the race because of a smoking engine. After the checkered flag fell, #8 Billy Eppink and #51 Greg Jewett came together and spun in turn one. Following Dorr, MI driver Jerry Groeneveld across the finish line were Jon Arendsen, Ross Eppink, Jim Tenbrink, and Jim Idema. It was Groeneveld's third feature win on the season.

In the Coors Light Late Model feature, #99 Caleb Bisacky started on the pole but was quickly over taken by #1 Brian Wiersma who led the first lap. Tim DeVos #12 who started 5th was moving through the field and in 3rd place by lap 6. On lap 8 Tim Yonker took over the lead from Brian Wiersma, while #12 Tim DeVos slipped into second place. DeVos quickly hunted down leader Yonker and passed for the lead on lap 15. While attempting to pass Jack Gritter, Randy Sweet #1 was moved into the wall on the front stretch. Sweet made emergency repairs and returned to the track at the tail of the field. The crowd's eyes were on Randy Sweet, anticipating his quick charge through the field again. On the lap 19 restart, Sweet moved to the outside of Jake Meyerink, who was driving car #32 after his car developed terminal engine problems earlier in the day. As the two cars approached the middle of turns one and two, Meyerink's right front tire blew and he shot to the outside and collected Sweet. They both hit the concrete wall head on with Sweet becoming airborne and flipping over on the roof. With the race red flagged and the remaining cars stopped, all eyes were on the red #1. Shortly Sweet was seen climbing out of his destroyed machine. Both drivers were treated at the track and transported to Spectrum Health Hospital for further observation. Neither driver appeared to be suffering from serious injuries. After the restart of the race, #47 Fred Campbell and son Brian Campbell #22 raced each other side by side trading 5th and 6th spots back and forth, till on lap 35, father Fred Campbell moved into 5th spot to stay there and regain the point lead for the Coors Light Late model title. #12 Tim DeVos of Rockford, MI cruised to his 5th feature win of the season followed by Tom Thomas, Joe Bush, Tim Yonker, and Fred Campbell.

Berlin Raceway will be back in action next Saturday evening, August 31st with a holiday schedule of Auto Value Super Sprints, and all of the national stars of the USAC National Midget Car Series, along with the Berlin Sportsman and Late Model stock cars with the evening's festivities topped off by a gigantic fireworks display. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the first race at 7 p.m.


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Series Stock car