Berlin Raceway review 2002-08-10

Lake, Speet capture first-ever wins; Sweet gets back on track MARNE, MI -- Two first-time winners - a rookie and a veteran - made for an emotional night at Berlin Raceway Saturday. A crowd of 4,209 enjoyed watching Dave Lake figure out where to...

Lake, Speet capture first-ever wins; Sweet gets back on track

MARNE, MI -- Two first-time winners - a rookie and a veteran - made for an emotional night at Berlin Raceway Saturday. A crowd of 4,209 enjoyed watching Dave Lake figure out where to find the Winner's Circle to celebrate his first win in 11 years in the MTA Sportsman division, while rookie Warren Speet was a surprise winner in the Engine Pro Super Stock division. Meanwhile, five-time Coors Light Late Model champion Randy Sweet won for the first time since June 8.

In the MTA Sportsman feature, one quick yellow on lap 5 for a #8 Paul Schaffer spin in turn 4 was the only caution of the race. The 25-lap race went green the rest of the way, with the #55 truck of Lake capturing the checkers after leading the race from start to finish. It was an emotional win for Lake, of Howard City, whose wife Trina is eight and a half weeks pregnant with the couple's first child, as the win was his first in 11 years in the Sportsman division. He was driving his third vehicle of the season after totalling his first car and borrowing a second before settling into this truck. Last season, Lake posted two second-place finishes on his way to a third-place points finish. #24 Lee VanDyk finished second, followed by #15 Scott Root, #55 Chris Anthony and #6 Terry Bockheim. The victory moves Lake up into second in points behind leader Mike Root.

In the Engine Pro Super Stock feature, rookie #76 Speet started on the pole and built up a huge lead, but a lap 16 caution as #52 Jim Idema and #42 Piersma got together in the turn 3 wall erased that lead. #32 Ross Meeuwsen, who restarted after the caution in four place, moved up to second on lap 18 and began reeling in Speet, who had built up another solid lead. Meeuwsen came closer and closer to Speet on each lap, but in the end could not catch Speet, who won for the first time in his Berlin Raceway career. Meeuwsen finished second, followed by #X Ray Clay, #26 Chris Muyskens and #3 Ross Eppink.

In the Coors Light Late Model feature, two early cautions slowed the race - a spin by #98 Bob Curry in turn 3 on the second lap (#7 Cort Corwin, #70 Ted Omlor, #11 John Grega and #161 Lee Anderson were also involved), and a hard crash by #37 Terry Senneker and #55 Joe Mazie into the frontstretch outside wall after racing wheel-to-wheel on lap 6. The #1 car of Sweet, which started from the pole, led by a straightaway at the half-way point and had five lapped cars between himself and second-place #79 Jake Meyerink. Sweet extended that lead throughout the remainder of the 50-lap race and won by a half car length over rookie Meyerink, who posted a best-ever second place. #101 Joe Bush finished third, followed by #88 Tim Yonker and #47 Fred Campbell. It was Sweet's third victory of the season (his first since June 8) and moves him up to third place in points. The points battle grew even tighter, as Campbell leads Bush by just two points.

Berlin Raceway will be back in action Wednesday night, August 14, with the second annual Chet Mysliwiec Memorial Open Invitational 100, a 100-lap Coors Light Late Model race featuring NASCAR Winston Cup stars Johnny Benson and Kenny Schrader. The MTA Sportsman division will also run in a non-points race. Tickets are $21 in advance and $22 at the gate for general admission, or $25 for pit passes. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the first race begins at 7 p.m.

-br-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Johnny Benson