Berlin Raceway review 2002-6-08

Meeuwsen wins engine Pro Super Stock Night; sweet, Nick Shotko also take checkers. MARNE, MI -- Ross Meeuwsen won his second straight Engine Pro Super Stock feature Saturday night at Berlin Raceway, this time taking the checkered flag in the ...

Meeuwsen wins engine Pro Super Stock Night; sweet, Nick Shotko also take checkers.

MARNE, MI -- Ross Meeuwsen won his second straight Engine Pro Super Stock feature Saturday night at Berlin Raceway, this time taking the checkered flag in the special 50-lap feature race on Engine Pro Super Stock Night. A controversial win for Kalamazoo's Randy Sweet in the Coors Light Late Model feature was also his second of the season, and 21-year-old #4 Nick Shotko took the win in the MTA Sportsman division in front of 4,367 fans.

In the Engine Pro Super Stock division, which normally runs 30-lap features, #51 Scott Otterbein grabbed the lead on the first lap, and #29 Steve Sunde brought out the first caution of the night on lap 11 with a single-car spin. #77 John Smith Sr. took over the lead on lap 16 and held it for four laps until #32 Meeuwsen drove by him on lap 20.

Two simultaneous spins, by #78 Paul McGraw and #42 Matt Piersma in turn 1 (collecting #98 Bob Bliss also) and by #29 Sunde in turn 4, brought out the next caution on lap 30. Meeuwsen retained his lead through two more cautions (a car over the backstretch on lap 39 and a tangle between #26 Chris Muyskens and #9 Jeff Hennip on lap 49), then won a last lap shootout with Smith for the victory. #X Ray Clay finished third, followed by Otterbein and #33 Jerry Groeneveld. Clay was the fastest qualifier (89.418 mph) and #97 Matt Keltner won the Valvoline Hard Charger award by advancing the most positions (13) during the feature. With the win, the Zeeland native takes over the points lead, followed by Clay and Smith.

In the MTA Sportsman division, only one caution (a lap 6 incident involving #71 Dan Vander Molen, who spun in turn 2 after being touched by #4 Nick Shotko) slowed the 25-lap race, which finished in under 14 minutes. Shotko took the lead on lap 8 and held off the #9 truck of Mike Root for the win. #24 Lee VanDyk finished third, followed by #15 Tim Horvath and #23 Andrew MacIntosh. #6 Terry Bockheim was the fastest qualifier (82.798 mph) and #40 Dave Cutler won the Valvoline Hard Charger award by advancing 7 positions. The top four points positions remain the same after 5 events, with Root in the lead, followed by #55 Dave Lake, Shotko and Bockheim.

In the Coors Light Late Model division, a controversial victory for #1 Randy Sweet puts him in the points lead, moving up five positions to the top of the points chart ahead of defending champion #47 Fred Campbell and former champion #101 Joe Bush. The controversy came on lap 29 of the 50-lap feature, as cars were bunched up on a restart from one of four earlier cautions. #1 Brian Wiersma had the lead going into turn 4, but Sweet moved inside and contact was made as Wiersma moved down into Sweet. Wiersma spun and five more cars joined the wreckage (#67 Vern Slagh, #7 Cort Corwin, #82 Tom Thomas, #161 Lee Anderson and #74 Paul Namey). Sweet held steady and took the lead while being chased hard by #12 Tim DeVos. Sweet drove on to victory, followed by DeVos, #55 Leroy Magoon, #27 Billy Shotko and Campbell. Sweet was also the fastest qualifier (103.329 mph) and #7 Alan Fricke won the Valvoline Hard Chargeer award (19 positions). #18 Keith Herp won the Consolation race.

The Festival 100 is up next, scheduled for Tuesday, June 11 at 7 p.m. Winston Cup stars Johnny Benson and Tony Stewart will join the Late Models at Berlin Raceway for this special $10,000-to-win event. Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 on the day of the race; children 12 and under are half price. Pit passes are $30.

-bs-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Tony Stewart , Johnny Benson , Vern Slagh , Alan Frick