Lake, Bockheim win second straight ; DeVos, Shotko also win on second night of season MARNE, MI -- Berlin Raceway was back in action Saturday night after a week off due to snow, and the racing action - if not the weather - heated up in the...
Lake, Bockheim win second straight ; DeVos, Shotko also win on second night of season
MARNE, MI -- Berlin Raceway was back in action Saturday night after a week off due to snow, and the racing action - if not the weather - heated up in the second event of the season. In the top two divisions, 2003 champion Tim DeVos won the Coors Light Late Model feature and last year's points runner-up Nick Shotko won the Engine Pro Super Stock feature. In the lower two divisions, repeat wins were in the cards for #55 Dave Lake in the Standale Lumber Pro Stock division and #6 Terry Bockheim in the Standale Interiors Sportsman division.
In the Standale Interiors Sportsman division feature, rookie #13 Brad Haney led the first five laps, then #44 Brian Van Zalen, who started 10th, passed for the lead on lap 6. Veteran #6 Terry Bockheim was right behind him, having moved from 11th to second in six laps. It was a two-man shootout for the lead in the 15-lap feature. In the end it was Bockheim, of Grand Rapids, who got around Van Zalen as the white flag signaled one lap to go and Van Zalen got sideways in turn 4. The #2 of Shawn Simon came home second, followed by Van Zalen (who lost ground but saved a spin on lap 14) in third, #9 Jeff Sterken in fourth and #15 Mat McClarren in fifth.
The Engine Pro Super Stock feature provided the best nail-biting racing of the night, between 24-year-old #19 Nick Shotko of Grand Rapids and 55-year-old #98 Bob Bliss of Dorr. Bliss advanced from his eighth place starting position to third on lap 8, then inherited the lead on lap 12 when leader #30 Zach Dunson and #88 Tim Sweeney, last week's winner, got together in turn 3. Meanwhile, Shotko started ninth and worked his way to second position on lap 14, setting up the shootout. The two raced side-by-side all the way to lap 27, with Bliss leading most of the laps from the outside w hile Shotko's nose crossed the line just inches behind Bliss on the inside line. Shotko finally emerged on lap 27, getting his car around Bliss and finally claiming sole possession of the lead. Shotko crossed the finish line for the win one second ahead of Bliss, with #1 Brian Wiersma finishing third, followed by #42 Matt Piersma and #H7 John Smith Sr.
In the Coors Light Late Model feature, #33 Dave Stehouwer dominated early, taking the lead on the first lap and holding it through the mid-way point of the 50-lap race. Then it was #12 Tim DeVos's turn. DeVos, of Wyoming, took over on lap 26 and drove to the checkered flag, winning by a 1.798-second margin over Stehouwer, who held an almost 4-second advantage over third place #1 Randy Sweet. #15 Brian Maxim finished fourth and #X Ray Clay finished fifth. The race lasted more than 45 minutes due to several long cautions, including red flags to temporarily stop the race on lap 4 for a hard crash involving #16 Tim Steele, #26 Chris Muyskens and #18 Keith Herp on the fronstretch and again on lap 40 as #27 Billy Shotko's tire brushed the door of Clay's car, sending the #27 spinning and slamming hard into the turn 1 wall.
In the Standale Lumber Pro Stock division, #55 Dave Lake took the checkered flag for the second time in two races this season, claiming the lead for good on lap 9 of the quick 8-minute 25-lap feature. #23 Chris Koslek came in second, followed by #20 Dave Hull, #15 Casey Berenbrock and #1 Randy Veldman.
As part of the All Faiths Night festivities, the â^a^ÜFaster Pastorâ^a^Ý race sported six area pastors racing in borrowed Sportsman/Pro Stock cars in a special heat race. The 8-lap race was won by Pastor Tim Meendering of Fourth Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, who won $166.75, or 25% of tickets purchased by his church group of nearly 70 people in attendance. Pastor Meendering drove the #17x Jason Hoogerhyde car and topped out at a lap speed of 70.286 mph. Second place was Pastor Bernie Groendy ke of Resurrection Life Church, driving the #13 Brad Haney machine.
Racing action resumes next Saturday night, May 7, for a weekly points race (Standale Interiors Sportsman night; Reading Club Night; School Bus Races). Tickets are $11 in advance and $12 at the gate for general admission (kids 3-12 are half price) Pit passes for those 16 and over are $25. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the first race begins at 7 p.m.